Section 1 of this paper consists of four unseen texts, which can be anything from a painting to an extract from a play or novel, and are usually a mixture of different text types, both visual and written. Following these, there are five questions, four of which are in response to individual texts, and the last which will ask you to compare two of them.
It is easy for students to dismiss this section of the paper due to the short length of the answers required, but it is important to remember that is is worth as many marks as the essay and creative writing sections. These are easy marks to gain and to lose!
Even though the answers in this section are short, it is important to remember to fully explain your ideas by using the PEEL (Point, Example, Explain, Link) structure, and to include specific references to the text, such as quotes or techniques. Answers which do not flesh out their ideas or include examples are heavily penalised, as the marking criteria only gives full marks to answers which explain in detail.
A simple guide to how much detail each answer needs is to look at the number of marks it has been allocated. The number of techniques you should use in your answer should correspond with how many marks it is worth, with the exception of the comparative question, where you should ensure that you refer to the two texts equally.
The 2014 notes from the marking centre indicated that candidates needed to improve in meeting the requirements of specific questions (for example, using the correct number of texts asked for), choosing the most appropriate quotes or textual features to support their arguments, and in analysing the texts with clearly explained textual references. In order to succeed, it is important to remember to cover these areas in your responses, as the markers will most certainly be looking closely to make sure students are improving!
The Area of Study covers a range of different kinds of discovery, including those which are emotional, creative, intellectual, physical, and spiritual. It encourages students to examine the personal, cultural, historical and social values and contexts of the texts they encounter. It also covers rediscovery of that which has been lost, forgotten or concealed. It is important to look back at the prescriptions list to ensure that your understanding of discovery covers all areas, and that you are confident using a range of different elements of discovery in your responses.
Finally, allow yourself to take the full forty minutes available to you for this section. It can be tempting to rush through it in order to give yourself more time for the essay and creative writing sections, but as each section is worth the same amount of marks, there is no sense in sacrificing it for the others.
Oliver Moore- Capra English TutorDate Posted: 19 February 2016