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Exam Countdown Begins

We are now 8 double lessons away from the exam (6 doubles if you are in mock exams this week) and you've got your mock marks back.

Some of you are very please - some less so.

Here is my weekend rundown of the key errors I have seen question by question:

Q1 - Look at what the question is asking you. You don't have to analyse language or anything difficult like that just select, retrieve and interpret information. Look at the key words in the question and remember the question is not about what YOU learn but what you learn about SOMETHING. Make sure your work is focused on that something.

Q2 - Asks you about why the text is effective. Here you must analyse and evaluate (higher level thinking skills). The question does not ask you what doesn't work but what does so don't waste your time on point out the flaws you perceive. Get in an analyse and find something effective. There is always going to be a range of things to talk about: Language Devices in Headlines. Colours and content of image. Focus in on these and develop your analysis.

Q3 - Thoughts AND Feelings

The key is to cover both: Remember a thought is a cognitive process and a feeling is a sensation or emotion (Dr George Cooper approved knowledge). Make sure you are making at least two points about each and backing these up with a quotations each (4 quotations minimum). Don't analyse language here - this question like Q1 (note it is the odd questions) needs you to explain and interpret.

Q4  - You need to focus on language in this question and to do this you need at least 8 quotations. You must compare and you must analyse and evaluate (note the even questions in the reading section require these skills). You should be jumping in and using quotations straight away commenting on the effect of the language used. By all means comment on structure but it is difficult to use quotations for this so make sure you do this after you have really engaged with language. If you struggle to develop detail then use OWLS.

Q5 - Both reading questions NO PARAGRAPHS NO C! Make sure you have a range of paragraph lengths and at least 6 (think of the 6 pack - I warn you that image will appear again if people leave out paragraphs)

Make sure you have some complex vocabulary to up your spelling mark too.

(Top tips for improving spelling: Read Cover Write Check - Mnemonics: never eat chips eat sausage sandwiches and raspberry yoghurt - Over pronounce words: Con Sci Ence - Look for words within words PIEce trAGEdy)

Q6 - Be careful of the form of your writing. An article is different from a report - see the bottom of my blog for links to articles.

Happy studying - and have a good weekend.
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