GCSE English Language
Exam Practice: Paper 1
© Caroline Harmer 2004
This resource will help you to prepare for Paper 1 of the AQA Syllabus, Specification A and give you handy hints on how to tackle the exam. To do well in exams, you need a combination of perspiration and inspiration and this guide will help you to put in a bit of both so that you can dazzle the examiner with your knowledge and exam expertise.
So let’s start off with a brief overview of Paper 1. Words underlined will be explained in the glossary of terms at the end of this resource..
Both Foundation and Higher Papers consist of Section A (marked for reading only) and Section B (marked for writing only) with equal marks for each section. There is no choice in Section A (i.e. you must answer all the questions) but in Section B you choose one out of three or four questions.
The time given is on the front of both papers (1 hour and 45 minutes) and you are told on the front of the paper how long to spend on each section. Take note of their guidelines: they are there to help you.
Section A is the Reading section of the paper. On both Foundation and Higher, you are advised to spend about an hour on this section. You will be given two or more pieces of non-fiction or a media text. These could consist of:
❖ newspaper articles
➢ items from the internet
➢ extracts from a biography
➢ travel writing
➢ an advertisement
➢ a charity appeal
➢ a leaflet
➢ an encyclopaedia entry
You may be given a visual stimulus – a photograph, cartoon, etc.– and be asked to comment on that too.
The questions in Section A are designed to test your understanding of what you have read. You need to show that you can show how form and style help writers to get their ideas across, and that you understand how writers use different techniques to persuade us that their ideas are valid and...