The majority of you did well on your Year 11 mock exams, but this report focuses on what could be improved in advance of the second set of English mocks in March.
Unit 1: Reading
- Make sure you stick to 15 minutes per question; Question 4 had the lowest average mark for this paper, which is possibly down to you running out of time.
- Refer to writers by their last names. You’re not friends with them.
- Start each question on a new side in the answer booklet. This makes it easier for an examiner to mark, and easier for you add extra content to in the event that you have some spare time.
- Try to begin each answer with a topic sentence that shows you’ve understood the question.
- Back up all of your points with quotations from the texts.
- Use the language of the question in your answer to ensure you stay focused on what’s being asked of you.
- Do what the question tells you to do. If you’re asked to divide an answer into two sections, do it.
Unit 2: Writing
- Take your time working out what you are being asked to do and make sure you’re doing it!
- The letter, for example, ought to have been addressed to a local newspaper, and yet around ¼ of you aimed it at the local council. Similarly, some of you thought it was the newspaper planning on running a festival. Read the task carefully.
- A ‘lively’ article should be entertaining, and not dull. Many of you wrote articles on social networking that felt more like advisory leaflets.
- Think carefully about your audience. The article, for instance, was aimed at students your age, and so the best responses were a little more casual and entertaining.
- Adopt the right form for your text. Letters need addresses – and these need to be in the right place. Articles need headlines and bylines, and these should be engaging – not dull.
- Plan your pieces of writing and include these plans in your answer booklet so that the examiner can see you’ve given your work some thought. Well-planned pieces almost always achieve higher marks.
- A strong set of arguments is always preferable to simply crowbarring in the persuasive devices.
Sentence structure, punctuation and spelling
- Basic errors meant that the average mark out of 7 was for SPPS was under 3.
- There is no excuse for failing to start sentences/proper nouns with capital letters.
- Commas should not be used to separate sentences.
- Apostrophes should be used when necessary and avoided when not.
- To access the higher marks for SSPS, you should be:
- Using a range of punctuation (beyond full stops, commas and apostrophes) accurately and for effect.
- Varying your sentence functions and types for impact on the reader.