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How can I improve my RUAE skills and answer any critical essay questions easily?

Hi! I am currently studying National 5 English, maths, chemistry, physics, art & design and administration & IT. I did well in all my subjects except English.

This year, we’re studying a poem called ‘Hyena’ by Edwin Morgan, ‘Tally’s Blood’ by Ann Marie Di Mambro and another poem which we will study after the english prelim.

I got 14/30 for my RUAE which I don’t usually get as I struggle with time management, I got 15/20 on my critical reading and I got 9/20 for my critical essay because I wasn’t being specific when referring to the question and I didn’t develop the comments fully about the main idea of the poem.

I put all my hard work into English and attended almost every supported studies. I feel very anxious about my results in English and the prelim is coming pretty soon after Christmas. 😟

If any of you have any advice on how to answer any kinds of critical essay questions and improving RUAE skills please let me know.

Many thanks 😊
(edited 1 year ago)
Critical essay is fairly straightforward to deal with - there is a fairly limited range of questions that get asked so all you need to do is identify the main question types, and then write an essay for each question type. Once you have done that, pester your teacher/tutor/pals for really specific comments on how to improve it. Get those essays up to the level you want to be at, then learn them off by heart. All that's left to do then is practice adapting them to fit any question that gets asked.

In a way, you have the best possible problem to have with N5 English - it's entirely possible to just brute-force a solution by learning essays off by heart, and practicing questions. Let me know if you need any help!
Reply 2
Hi, I’ll take your advice and try it out. And thanks by the way, I really appreciate your response! 😃
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Axiom123
Hi! I am currently studying National 5 English, maths, chemistry, physics, art & design and administration & IT. I did well in all my subjects except English.

This year, we’re studying a poem called ‘Hyena’ by Edwin Morgan, ‘Tally’s Blood’ by Ann Marie Di Mambro and another poem which we will study after the english prelim.

I got 14/30 for my RUAE which I don’t usually get as I struggle with time management, I got 15/20 on my critical reading and I got 9/20 for my critical essay because I wasn’t being specific when referring to the question and I didn’t develop the comments fully about the main idea of the poem.

I put all my hard work into English and attended almost every supported studies. I feel very anxious about my results in English and the prelim is coming pretty soon after Christmas. 😟

If any of you have any advice on how to answer any kinds of critical essay questions and improving RUAE skills please let me know.

Many thanks 😊


For essay writing, I'd write practice essays on broad subjects e.g essay on the theme of the story, essay on an intresting character, essay on a key incident in the text. Gain feedback on these essays and remember the the main quotes and points you used in each. In national 5, this should be enough and you'll get a similar question in the exam, you just need to twist your essay a bit to perfectly answer the question.

For set text, gaining a good broad understanding of what all of the poems mean e.g the themes and ideas of them, and then looking for specific quotes in the poems which help explain these things can be useful rather than memorising answers. If you have extra time at the end of this paper, add extra answers to questions you werent sure about- they cant take marks away!

For RUAE, do not read all the text at the beginning, read the section required for each question when you get to that question. Here again, if you have any extra time, just jot down some quotes that you think couldve worked for some language questions, at nat 5 you get marks for quotes!!

Good luck! :smile:
Reply 4
Original post by cooljellyfish12
For essay writing, I'd write practice essays on broad subjects e.g essay on the theme of the story, essay on an intresting character, essay on a key incident in the text. Gain feedback on these essays and remember the the main quotes and points you used in each. In national 5, this should be enough and you'll get a similar question in the exam, you just need to twist your essay a bit to perfectly answer the question.

For set text, gaining a good broad understanding of what all of the poems mean e.g the themes and ideas of them, and then looking for specific quotes in the poems which help explain these things can be useful rather than memorising answers. If you have extra time at the end of this paper, add extra answers to questions you werent sure about- they cant take marks away!

For RUAE, do not read all the text at the beginning, read the section required for each question when you get to that question. Here again, if you have any extra time, just jot down some quotes that you think couldve worked for some language questions, at nat 5 you get marks for quotes!!

Good luck! :smile:

Hi, thanks for the advice you gave me and I really appreciate your response! Thanks again! 🥹

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