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Learning from the June & November 2019 Exams: AQA English Language Paper 1

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Hello everybody and welcome to this video
on AQA English Language paper 1. Now the November re-sit results came out this
week, and with them the examiner’s reports. In today’s video I will take you through
some of the key points from the exam reports for 2019, from both the November and
the June exams. Now I won’t go through everything covered
in those reports – almost all of the points made are things I already teach in my animated
videos, so do check those out, and I will link them at the end of this video. The first point relates to Paper 1 question
1, and is really down to students making this question harder than it needs to be. Remember, question 1 is supposed to be an
easy opener to settle you into the exam. It asks you to list four things about a certain
topic from a certain section of the text. Now I cover this point in my animated video
on this question, but I wanted to go over it again because it comes up in both the June
and the November 2019 exam reports. And that point is that students should remember
that inferences are not required for this question, and can in fact lead students to
speculate rather than interpret. If you’ve seen my animation on this question
you’ll remember that the example I gave of this is a question to list four things
about Brightly. One thing we read in the text that Brightly
began to cough. Students who simply wrote ‘Brightly coughed’
would get a mark for this, but trying to interpret that cough and writing ‘Brightly was sick’,
or ‘Brightly had allergies’, or ‘Brightly had asthma’ would not, as it’s not something
that is stated in the text itself. It’s a simple point to make, but students
are making mistakes here time and time again. For question 2 there was one interesting point
in the November report which stated that ‘students continue to struggle to make clear comments
on the use of sentence structure and punctuation and such comments should only be made where
it is possible to link the usage to a precise effect.’ Again, if you watch my videos you’ll remember
that the November 2018 resit paper didn’t contain any sentence forms worthy of note,
so it’s important to use the bullet points in the question as a guide, and not feel you
have to write about all three. If you find a sentence form or use of punctuation
that seems to be significant, but can’t think how it creates a specific and precise
effect, then don’t write about it. In June 2019 the same point was made, that,
‘Students tend to find less success writing about sentence length or punctuation’. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do
so, it just means that many fail to write about these in a way which will achieve high
marks by offering a perceptive and detailed analysis. For question 3, a common mistake I’ve seen
time and time again myself, that students write about language in this question, when
it is in fact a structure question. Remember, structure is about why a certain
detail is located at that point in the text. The June 2019 report pointed out one successful
way to focus on structure, which is to ‘note a structural feature at a specific point in
the text and then comment on how it has developed from earlier or how it contrasts with the
start or the end.’ For question 4, and again I go through this
in my video on this question: you do not have to argue both sides in this question – you
can agree, disagree or have a balanced view. This was mentioned as a key point where the
exam report stated ’Some students were determined to find a counter-argument, but without having
secure evidence for this. Students should be reminded that a counter-argument
is not essential for this question; they may be more successful making and developing points
that continue their original argument’. For question 5, there was a very interesting
point made. Now I never tell you what the questions themselves
were, because I don’t want to give away questions that you may end up doing for a
mock, but the key thing here is that many students decided to write their creative piece
in a younger voice, as children. The November exam report points out that the
difficulty with doing this is that a younger narrative voice was simplistic and did not
allow students to showcase their narrative skills. In other words, you want to show the examiner
just how amazing your writing skills are, with your vocabulary, your punctuation, your
structure, your language devices and so on. Don’t choose to write in a way which hinders
that. And even if the image prompt seems to be leading
you to write in a simplistic way, know that that is not what the exam board want you to
do. The image is a prompt for ideas, and should
encourage you to write beyond what is simply contained within the picture itself. Well I hope you found this video useful. My guide to this English Language exam has
just passed 300 reviews on Amazon, so why not pick up a copy today. It takes you through each question in paper
1 and paper 2, and is linked in the description. Next week we’ll look at Language Paper 2. Please do like and subscribe, and have a good
day.

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2 thoughts on “Learning from the June & November 2019 Exams: AQA English Language Paper 1”

  1. Tilly Hewitt says:

    First sksk

  2. Hamza Dudha says:

    Your videos really help

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