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AQA Exam - An exam question a week - supersized edition

As you begin your exam preparation, you may want to start practising your timings over longer sections than individual questions. So I'm going to group all the questions together in one post which will give you a question per week or you can do chunks at a time.

My advice is always to start with the last questions first and work your way forward. That way you can ensure you spend 1hr 30 - 1hr 40 minutes on the questions with the most marks and then quickly work your way through the 8 mark questions.

Here are a few ways to structure your revision questions.

Spend 1hr 40 minutes on question 6, 5, 4 in one go.


Spend 35 minutes on questions 1 ,2, 3.


Spend 1hr on Section B.


Spend 1hr on Section A.


Do the whole paper in 2 hours 15.

Do each question with the following times:

1 - 12 Minutes

2 - 12 Minutes

3 - 12 Minutes

4 - 30 Minutes

5 - 25 Minutes

6 - 35 Minutes

Here are your sources:

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Question 1  - What do you understand about the life of Christopher Knights and the impact on the local community?

Question 2 - Explain how the Headline, the sub-headline and the picture are effective and how they link to the text.

Question 3 - Explain some of the thoughts and feelings of the writer about coming out to his parents.

Question 4 - Compare some of the ways the writers use language for effect. (Source three and either Source 1 or Source 2).

Question 5 - Describe a piece of technology and explain why it is important in your life.

Question 6 - Persuade people for or against the idea of living without the internet.

Happy Revising.

Mr Milne

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5 March 2014 at 17:09

Question One:

From the very beginning of the article, Christopher Knight is described to be a "hermit". This suggests that he is very solitude and inactive, yet this is contradicted further in the article, as we learn of the "1000 burglaries" that he has been involved in. From this we can interpret that the impact that he had on the local community was an increased fear amongst the residents that lived nearby.

Additionally, the life of Christopher Knights is suggested to be unusual and unexpected: many of the local residents "were hardly unaware" of his camp. He had to steal food, especially from the "Pine Tree", but also from "dozens of cottages", which suggest that he lived a violent lifestyle in order to survive at his camp. This is later supported in the article where we learn about how authorities had been trying to "nab Knight for years. Not only does this reinforce the interpretation that he lived a violent life, but it adds to the interpretation that he had a negative, fearful and disruptive impact on the local community.

Question Two:

The headline uses a pun with "glasshole", which creates the effect of suggesting that these glasses will cause people to have negative impressions of you. This link to the text where the ideas of the "Do's and Don'ts" highlights without following the recommended guidelines, they could end up "losing friends".

Additionally, the headline uses the imperative "don't" creating the effect of making the reader feel as if they are obliged to follow the advice that Google is suggesting. Alongside this, the uses of the colon makes the reader pause, almost symbolising time passing, and thereby having the effect of highlighting that after time passes, there will be a greater understanding of how to use the glasses properly and fewer people will be misusing them. This links to the text where the statistic of "8000 individuals" being 'early-buyers' of the product creates the impression that the early release of this advice will result in a greater awareness of how to use the glasses before many more purchase it.

The sub-headline uses a quote with the word "win", which has the effect of luring the reader into an imagination of prize and reward. However, the soon realisation that a misuse of these glasses will cause a loss instead, has the effect of persuading the reader into using these glasses properly. This links in with the text since it repeats the same quote, highlighting the stress that Google is putting on following their advice, further encouraging them to buy it.

The picture uses a close-up camera shoot, zooming into the camera in the glasses. This has the effect of making the reader feel as if they are being watched, making them feel intimidated. A direct link from this to the text can be made as the text highlights how some people believe that their right to record "is more important than others". Hence, both the text and the picture are able to make the reader realise how oblivious they have been to how others may feel when they are being recorded, as others misuse the glasses.


5 March 2014 at 20:16

For question one I would probably like one more paragraph for higher marks. I'm not sure I'd agree with the inference of a violent lifestyle - I think that is more of an assumption as there isn't any real evidence of violent behaviour. Be careful you don't let your own pre-conceptions taint your inference. Stick to what is evident in the text. 6 / 8

Question 2 is an excellent example. I would give you 8 marks for this because of the depth of detail but you could probably get the same mark with one less point by including some more evaluative phrases in your analysis and links. 8/8

Well done.

5 April 2014 at 21:35

This is my attempt to the November 2013 paper, and I was wondering if you could mark it for me. Thank you so much. You're an awesome teacher!

Question one:

One thing that I understand from the article about the issues of children is that they are "being denied the sheer joy of being outdoors". From this I can interpret that children are not being able to enjoy themselves, as much as they can. However, what I also interpret is that it is the fault of the children themselves, who must be spending too much time on computers, for example, and neglecting the outdoors, which we then later understand is not true: in fact, parents have too much "dependence on computers" and are too "anxious" about their children experiencing the outdoors. This suggests that it is not the fault of the children - but the fault of parents - that they are not being able to experience the beautiful outdoor nature anymore.

Another thing that I learn from the article about children is that their lack of time outdoors has not only had "consequences for their health", but that they are unable to create the memories of an "outdoor experience". This suggest that parents should be less worried about the countryside and places where their children can to explore, as it is having a negative impact on their health and future. Later on in the article, this is supported as we learn how parents should know "where the risks are", rather than "trying to wipe them out", further suggesting how it only takes some effort to allow a child to have a fun outdoor adventure.

Question two:

The headline uses the imperative "forget" to make the reader feel as if they are being commanded, while the idea of the "X-Factor" creates a sense of familiarity. This creates the effect of suggesting that their is something of a greater importance that has been found - since the "X-Factor" brings in the idea of a search - which we assume to have a relation with "talons". In the text, this is emphasised as we are introduced to numbers - "2.5m" and "150 miles per hour" - which are of a large magnitude, allowing the reader to interpret the vast extent of talent that the "golden birds" have.

Additionally, the picture uses a close-up camera shot, allowing us to focus directly on the facial expressions of the man: he looks proud. The idea of proudness is supported in the text as learn of how the people of Mongolia are "awfully proud" of their golden eagle". The picture also contains shades of golden, which connote preciousness, as if the eagle's talent is immense, while the imbalanced construction in the caption - with more words on one side than the other - suggesting how, after time has passed, they have broken past the expectations of society and impressed them with the talent of their golden eagles. This is supported by the idea that there is an "Eagle Festival" where they can "[show] off" their eagles.

5 April 2014 at 21:38

Question three:

At the beginning of the journey, the writer uses the words "rubble", "rock" and "littered", from the semantic field of dirt, as if to highlight his feelings of disgust to what he is seeing on his journey, from which we can interpret that he doesn't like the place that he was in. However, later, we learn that he was "in a bad mood", suggesting that his feelings are negative not be he doesn't like the place, but because he was in a bad mood.

Later in his journey, the short sentence, "excitement gripped me" is used. Its shortness has the effect of cutting the tension short, conjuring the idea that the writer's feelings of disgust have now transitioned into feelings of complete admiration and impatience to explore what he seen, suggesting that he has seen what he has been waiting for all along: the pyramids.

At the end, he is "speechless", conveying the idea that he feels as if there is nothing he can say to describe the pyramids' beauty. This highlights how the writer felt that he has finally seen something totally amazing, after the "dirty" buildings and "rubble" - something that had taken away his feelings of disgust, removed the tension and left him wanting to explore the pyramids.

Question four:

Both of the writers of source one and source three use comparatives. In source three, we immediately see the comparative "greener", which brings in the idea of beauty and freshness, though the comparative highlights how his journey consisted of feelings of hope to find a place of beauty and freshness. The juxtaposition with this and the "rubble" and "rock" highlights how the writer's hope didn't last for long, while the harshness of the sounds further reinforce how he was unable to find fat beauty that he wanted to see, at the beginning of his journey, and instead, he saw a dilapidated city.

While source one also uses comparatives, the writer, Moody, uses it to evoke a sense of guilt from the reader. The word "weaker" is used to communicate how 'shunning out' time outdoors is affecting the health of the children, creating the effect of making the readers feel guilty about the damage the damage that they may be causing to their children. Alternatively, it may create the effect of making the reader realise their own oblivion to the fact that their exploitation of "the computer", so that their children wouldn't have to go out, is having an immense impact on their health.

Although both of the sources use a list of three, the writers of both of the texts used used them in different ways. In source one, the list of three places emphasis on the memorability of experiences outdoors, while the continuous use of the word "or" suggests that there is a never-ending variety of activities that can be done outdoors - but the children are out on. This allows the reader to realise how they have merely neglected the positivities that being outdoors can have, and only though about the "safety".

Likewise, source three uses a list of three, but in this case, McGregor highlights the dirtiness of the place and how he felt uncomfortable through it. However, the list of three he uses omits the word 'and', creating an overwhelming flow of words, and hence a claustrophobic effect, almost as if to cause the readers to experience the exact feelings that the writer was experiencing on his journey.

5 April 2014 at 21:40

Question five:

Skipping through the forest: flowers dotted across the hedges in beautiful patterns of their own, branches stretching upwards into the sky, towards the heavens, followed by the soft, sweet scent of lushious grass. Outdoors - it's perfect!

When you're outdoors, there is simply nothing that you could want. As all of that stress about the work you have to do slowly fades away as you take small steps, feeling the elegant rays of sunlight on your cheeks, and the tickling hands of the wind sweep across your face, the congorous chirps of the crickets play in harmony with the skitling sounds of the animals that sore high in the leafy giants.

But that's not all: it's free!

Why spend that hard-earned money on a ludicrously ridiculous video game, when you save it, and spend time with the kids? Let them be free. Let them explore the wonders of nature and the outdoors. Let them now how much you really love them. You can really see the benefits now - they're endless...

The outdoors - the 'life' - is not sitting on a park bench, listening to the lugubrious noises of the trains as they pass; it's about more fun! Why don't you try it too?

(Note: I bet you that you will not be able to find that exotically blue butterfly that currently flies outdoors...or can you?)

Question six:

Don't sit at home watching sentimental lunatics sing away at the cost of humiliation on the X-Factor! Isn't it time you experienced the world? Travel, explore new territories and find something that you reall enjoy. The X-Factor, and shows like it, are not part of the 'life' that you should be living.

You deserve more!

A long, tiresome day at work - all you want to do is put your feet up and relax, right? Well, surely, the X-Factor is a way to relax: judges judging - that is, of course, people who fail to establish themselves as what they (hideously) define as 'talent' - signers singing and voters voting. That is certainty the way to live for the thrill, the expeirence, the adventure. Turn on cheap TV...

Cheryl Cole, she was a judge, in 2010, probably one of the best, but did she say in her debut single? "If it's worth having, it's worth fighting for" - isn't your life worth having? Spend your evenings living that future that you have worked hard for. Reward yourself. Don't reward Mr Simon Cowell, whose face glistens with joy every time you add an extra £1000 to his bank balance, when you switch on his cheap TV.

What did you say - "it provides good entertainment" and "what else is there to watch?"? I agree - the auditions can be quite funny, with 'so-called' artists belching the sounds that an old man might make - snoring. But where's the value? In about twenty years, you might be in hospital - all alone - and there will be no memories; instead, you would be wishing that you did more. But this doesn't have to happen! Stop watching hours of such ridicule and use that time to make some memories.

Change. Today.

You know - and I know - that there is nothing better then relaxing once in awhile. But you also knob that deserve more! Be the star you are and experience something different on your Saturdays - something amazing.

Aaran. :D

17 April 2014 at 19:59

Question 1 - 6/8 - I think the 'denied' part is the parents' fault rather than the fault of the children and you could then develop the inference then that Parents are more scared for their children's safety than they were.

Q2 - 6/8 I'd probably want another point with a link to the text. Your skills here are fine here though.

Q3 7/8 You do a great job of covering feelings but if I was to be picky, I'd want an idea about thought here too.

Q4 13/18 You have a range of great analysis here and some evaluative phrases but you don't quite do this throughout.

Q5 - 7/10 - You meet the purpose of describe here but border on moving to persuade rather than explain why it is important to you.

6/6 - Accuracy is fine here.

Q6 - 12/16 To show greater sophistication in your writing you can try to juxtapose some more serious points with some humorous images.

Accuracy - 7/8 - A couple of typos in this piece.

64/80 By last year's boundaries that would be an 4 marks into an A*

Well done.

18 April 2014 at 18:24

Thank you - writing is definitely my weakness. This took me 1 hour 33 minutes to do, so I'm going to make sure I spend more time writing more points, as that costed me a few marks. But overall, I'm happy, so thank you!

1 June 2014 at 15:41

Question 3 from above -

One feeling conveyed at the start is 'being ashamed'. "Feeling guilty about pretending to be someone i wasn't". The fact he couldn't be 'himself' suggests he was ashamed because he was guilty of pretending but he still remained doing it. He had to hide the 'real' him and he didn't enjoy it but he was too scared to reveal who he really was and that suggests he was ashamed.
However his feelings change and he becomes happy and open about the situation. "I started talking to my dad more about being gay". This suggests he began to feel more free and open as his dad was his idol and he accepted his son being gay. This boosted the confidence of him as he was so worried to tell someone he looked up to so much and someone who accepted the 'real' him.

Not long enough but can you judge what was written. thanks.

1 June 2014 at 18:34

Try to be succinct and if you are making an inference don't put it in quotations marks like your first sentence. Remember to get in some thoughts in here too but your skills are fine. If there is a device in your quotation you could also mention that to show sophistication

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