StudentForSQA
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This is where we chat about the higher English course and hope to help each other with advice when needed!

PLEASE READ VERY BENEFICIAL FOR YOUR QUALIFICATION!
Frequently asked questions:
1.) What is the finale exam like?
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Answer - The final exam is split into 2 sections: RUAE (Reading for Understanding Analysis and evaluation), worth 30 marks (usually always 9 questions) for 1 hour 30 minutes long, it includes 2 passages in which question 1 - 8 is about passage 1, and question 9 is about comparing both passages based on a particular situation. The second section is your critical reading which is split in 2 parts: 1) Scottish text: either based on drama, prose or poetry (depending on what you learned in class) worth 20 marks, 2) Critical essay: worth 20 marks in which you are given a range of questions with a theme and you find your theme and pick a question out of the 2 you think fits in well with what you learned, also worth 20 marks. This means paper 2 is worth a total of 40 marks, meaning the whole exam is out of 70 marks. For past papers go here - https://www.sqa.org.uk/pastpapers/fi...glish&level=NH .


2.) What is the portfolio about?
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Answer - You need to write 2 essays: A broadly creative essay (this includes: Reflective, Poetry etc..) and a Broadly Discursive (A persuasive essay, A report etc...). Each are worth 15 marks, making it a total of 30 marks. For more information, go to pages 12 to 18 in this link https://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/Hig...pecEnglish.pdf .


3.) I want to read other peoples essay (which have already been marked!), is that allowed?
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Answer - Yes it is allowed, for the first draft maybe even read your friends essay. If you want to read second draft marked essay then just click on this link: https://www.understandingstandards.o...gher/portfolio . You can also find previous marked past papers here! (Very useful link)!


4.) I’m stuck on essay ideas. Can you help?
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Answer - I have a few links you may wish to visit: 1.) For Creative essays: https://thinkwritten.com/365-creative-writing-prompts/ . Still stuck? I have some few ideas of my own: 1.) A mirror witnessing a murder - talk about the action, detailed character descriptions, dramatic words/scenes, make the mirror reflect on it, talk about the unspeakable wrongness in front of the police during investigation, describe their terrified faces when they come in, talk about hearing the sirens etc... 2.) Organ transplant - talk about how it happened, make it feel sad, connect with the audience (reader), make it reflective and personal to you (in my creative essay I made it personal throughout and then reflected in the conclusion). Here are some ideas for persuasive essays: https://justbuyessay.com/blog/persuasive-essay-topics .


5.) I’m stuck on analysis.
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Answer - Analysis can be found online. This could be found in previous past paper marking schemes! It can be found in YouTube videos and websites on the internet e.g. bbc bitesize! Still stuck? Just ask here!


6.) What’s the best way to study?
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Answer - Whatever makes you feel comfortable! I usually write all the analysis in a book and read over it 10 times, I read the poem and really think about the analysis, I take it in and understand whats happening. For essays, write at least 2 to 3 different essays with the SAME quotes, I’d recommend remembering at least 7/8, (I remembered 10 for nat five and got 17/20) so maybe remember even 10? Also your quotes can be as little as 4 words and remember to relate it back to the question! Also do at least 4 to 5 PEA’s, which relate back to the questions. For RUAE, just practise how to answer questions and do past papers. Do past papers for all the sections.


7.) My questions isn’t here, what do I do?
Answer - Just ask here!
Last edited by Labrador99; 10 months ago
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Nerdythings
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What textbook would you recommend?
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oliver coutts
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I personally think the Leckie Leckie and BrightRed textbooks are best for RUAE. For your set texts/essays, it may be worth getting any analysis book about them (not necessarily SQA-based) as most of the analysis will transfer. I personally wouldn’t recommend the Hodder Gibson books, as from personal experience they seem to teach you in a weirdly specific way that doesn’t always work for some people. Although, that being said, I honestly think there is an abundance of online resources such as youtube videos, annotated poems, book analyses, past papers etc that I personally found more useful than textbooks.
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Inayah Sadiq
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does anyone have the 2020/2021 p&n publications English paper
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Ahhhhhelpppppp
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Had anyone done the prelim? If so what article did u have to read
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Saybot404
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P&N prelim for RUAE done here. It really was not that bad, cover past paper questions and you should be absolutely fine.
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Ahhhhhelpppppp
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(Original post by Saybot404)
P&N prelim for RUAE done here. It really was not that bad, cover past paper questions and you should be absolutely fine.
Do u remember the name of the article? Or what it was about at least so i don’t stress too much :’)
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Saybot404
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(Original post by Ahhhhhelpppppp)
Do u remember the name of the article? Or what it was about at least so i don’t stress too much :’)
No... sorry. Wouldn't really help seeing the article prior to it anyways as at the end of the day it's the analysis skills you're really looking for. Just cover past papers/practice papers and it's the exact same standard.
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Caps_21
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I was wondering how you do the commonality question for CAD and how do you learn the analysis and points of commonality. My teacher this year for english rambles a lot so he hasnt given us a set method to answer the last question.
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montgomery82
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critical reading for prose fiction is apparently character, setting and turning point
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Ahhhhhelpppppp
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(Original post by montgomery82)
critical reading for prose fiction is apparently character, setting and turning point
Is this the P&N prelim higher English?? So setting is one of the questions ? (Pls reply ASAP)
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Ahhhhhelpppppp
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(Original post by Saybot404)
No... sorry. Wouldn't really help seeing the article prior to it anyways as at the end of the day it's the analysis skills you're really looking for. Just cover past papers/practice papers and it's the exact same standard.
It would help me a lot, so If anyone else remembers then pls let me know I’m so stressed out over RUAE
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oliver coutts
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(Original post by Ahhhhhelpppppp)
It would help me a lot, so If anyone else remembers then pls let me know I’m so stressed out over RUAE
I know we don’t have exams this year, but in an exam you wouldn’t get to see it prior. Please don’t try to cheat your way through Higher English, it makes the skills way harder to learn in such a valuable course! Also a word of warning, one of the schools in the city I live in had to redo their whole paper cos it was revealed that they had found out what the exam paper was on from friends at different school who had done it prior. So my advice is to just do your past papers, revise your techniques, and ask teachers for lots of help, and you’ll do fine .
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Saybot404
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(Original post by Caps_21)
I was wondering how you do the commonality question for CAD and how do you learn the analysis and points of commonality. My teacher this year for english rambles a lot so he hasnt given us a set method to answer the last question.
I'm also doing Duffy, here. Let me have a quick rundown of how to do commonality. There are likely to be other methods but this is what I have taught (and gotten good marks for!):

Make use of the three headings below.

Note, my examples are in reference to the question below for IMTC, from a Leckie Practice Paper.


Question
By referring to this poem and to at least one other poem by Carol Ann Duffy, show how she explores a darker side of growing up in her work. (10)


Commonality (2 marks)
Comment on how the exam poem links to another, or several, poem(s) from Duffy.
I like to do this by linking to key themes - they give a really simple way of 'linking' between poems. I will attach a key theme document to this post if you don't have something like this.


  • In 'In Mrs Tilchser's Class', Duffy explores the key theme of growing up in the form of how moving on from primary school is a big step in life and that there is more to worry about as an adult. ✓
  • In 'Originally', similarly, Duffy explores the key theme of growing up in the form of how a person can change as they age and lose a sense of identity. ✓


Extract (2 marks)
Answers worth two marks. Take your pick of any quotes from the poem in front of you (in this case, IMTC), and answer relating to the question. You can follow the structure on how you'd normally answer your questions.
Note: you do not need to remember the quote - you can 'reference' it. An example of this is further below.

Remember to discuss the impact of this - usually on the persona... SQA are really really clamping down on this.


  • "tangible alarm" - The word choice of 'alarm' has negative connotations of being in danger, sirens, as well as waking up to a new day. This suggests that as persona progresses in life she is beginning to become more aware and exposed to the dangers of adulthood.
  • "sky split open into a thunderstorm" - The metaphor and pathetic fallacy highlight the word choice of 'thunderstorm' which has negative connotations of danger, pain and gloom. This is foreshadowing the worries and risk the persona is going to feel as she becomes older.


Elsewhere (6 marks)
This is where the majority of your marks are from. Answers worth six marks. Basically do the same as above, but with the poem, or poems, you listed in the commonality section. You don't get marks if you do another poem (for example, in my answer, if I began starting to analyse any quote from Valentine I'd get 0 marks as I didn't make the commonality link).
Again, remember the impact.


  • "shedding its skin like a snake" - Metaphor. Just as a snake sheds its skin to reveal new skin, so too is the persona's accent going away to reveal a new one. This shows that the impact of aging and moving places can change a person and this can make the persona lose who she is.
  • Where the persona uses a rhetorical question asking herself who she is - The rhetorical question emphasises the persona's struggles of who she feels she is, to try to figure out her identity. This conveys that aging can result in changes in your life, like moving home, which can result in a loss of identity and leaves a person feeling lost and confused.

...and so on, needing 4 more answers to reach 6 marks.

Hope this helps.
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Ahhhhhelpppppp
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(Original post by Saybot404)
I'm also doing Duffy, here. Let me have a quick rundown of how to do commonality. There are likely to be other methods but this is what I have taught (and gotten good marks for!):

Make use of the three headings below.

Note, my examples are in reference to the question below for IMTC, from a Leckie Practice Paper.


Question
By referring to this poem and to at least one other poem by Carol Ann Duffy, show how she explores a darker side of growing up in her work. (10)


Commonality (2 marks)
Comment on how the exam poem links to another, or several, poem(s) from Duffy.
I like to do this by linking to key themes - they give a really simple way of 'linking' between poems. I will attach a key theme document to this post if you don't have something like this.


  • In 'In Mrs Tilchser's Class', Duffy explores the key theme of growing up in the form of how moving on from primary school is a big step in life and that there is more to worry about as an adult. ✓
  • In 'Originally', similarly, Duffy explores the key theme of growing up in the form of how a person can change as they age and lose a sense of identity. ✓


Extract (2 marks)
Answers worth two marks. Take your pick of any quotes from the poem in front of you (in this case, IMTC), and answer relating to the question. You can follow the structure on how you'd normally answer your questions.
Note: you do not need to remember the quote - you can 'reference' it. An example of this is further below.

Remember to discuss the impact of this - usually on the persona... SQA are really really clamping down on this.


  • "tangible alarm" - The word choice of 'alarm' has negative connotations of being in danger, sirens, as well as waking up to a new day. This suggests that as persona progresses in life she is beginning to become more aware and exposed to the dangers of adulthood.
  • "sky split open into a thunderstorm" - The metaphor and pathetic fallacy highlight the word choice of 'thunderstorm' which has negative connotations of danger, pain and gloom. This is foreshadowing the worries and risk the persona is going to feel as she becomes older.


Elsewhere (6 marks)
This is where the majority of your marks are from. Answers worth six marks. Basically do the same as above, but with the poem, or poems, you listed in the commonality section. You don't get marks if you do another poem (for example, in my answer, if I began starting to analyse any quote from Valentine I'd get 0 marks as I didn't make the commonality link).
Again, remember the impact.


  • "shedding its skin like a snake" - Metaphor. Just as a snake sheds its skin to reveal new skin, so too is the persona's accent going away to reveal a new one. This shows that the impact of aging and moving places can change a person and this can make the persona lose who she is.
  • Where the persona uses a rhetorical question asking herself who she is - The rhetorical question emphasises the persona's struggles of who she feels she is, to try to figure out her identity. This conveys that aging can result in changes in your life, like moving home, which can result in a loss of identity and leaves a person feeling lost and confused.

...and so on, needing 4 more answers to reach 6 marks.

Hope this helps.
In the “other poems” I’m pretty sure you can do as many different poems (from the ones you have studied) as you want and you still get marks (I did anyways and did not mention all in commonality)
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Saybot404
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(Original post by Ahhhhhelpppppp)
In the “other poems” I’m pretty sure you can do as many different poems (from the ones you have studied) as you want and you still get marks (I did anyways and did not mention all in commonality)
Haha, well, you got lucky that your teacher doesn't know how to properly mark SQA exams. You should not have gotten the mark if you didn't mention it in commonality. Definitely do not keep doing this in future!!! 😅
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Ahhhhhelpppppp
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(Original post by Saybot404)
Haha, well, you got lucky. You should not have gotten the mark if you didn't mention it in commonality. Definitely do not keep doing this!!! 😅
Does this mean I can mention 4 poems in commonality or only 2??
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Saybot404
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(Original post by Ahhhhhelpppppp)
Does this mean I can mention 4 poems in commonality or only 2??
You could technically do 4 poems in commonality, leaving you open for more choices in elsewhere. But that would be a heck of a lot more work to do, which isn't great when you're in an exam setting where time is precious. You'd be writing 5 commonality comments for 2 marks instead of 2 commonality comments for 2 marks, if that makes sense.
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help1578
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Hi, have you sat the prelim yet? And was setting one of the options?
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Saybot404
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(Original post by help1578)
Hi, have you sat the prelim yet? And was setting one of the options?
Every school will do different prelims. Yes, the SQA have released a paper, but schools both don't have to use them nor do they have to use the paper exactly as it is. They can easily modify the paper. Don't try to cheat this year's system, as it could quite easily bite you in the butt later on by your school's prelim choice. Revise for it like you would an exam.
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