English Language Question Breakdown

This is to help gcse english language students to interpret and understand the sections and questions that they will face in the exam. Aswell as listing the key english devices they should be aware of in order to achieve higher grades. Good Luck!

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  • Created by: Nicola
  • Created on: 28-05-12 16:14
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Section A - Reading
Spend 1 hour and 15 minutes reading in this section.
Read Text 1 - Answer question 1 (8 marks/12 minutes)
Read Text 2 - Answer question 2 (8 marks/12 minutes)
Read Text 3 - Answer question 3 (8 marks/12 minutes)
Section A: Reading
Four Questions:
1) What do you learn about.....from the text - for this question you pick out relevant quotes from
the text and then state what you've learnt from them
2) Explain how the headline, sub-headline and picture are effective and how they link with the
text- describe what they portray and if any literary techniques are used to do so (e.g. puns,
alliteration, rhetorical questions) and then say how they link with the text
3) Explain which parts of the text you find..... (e.g. tense and exciting) - only pick specific parts
of the text that are tense and exciting and then explain why you think this
4) Compare the different ways in which language is used for effect in the two texts- for this
question you have to find any literary techniques that are used and how they make the text
effective, do not just state the techniques.
Section A: Reading part 2
Question 4 things to look out for:
Is it in the 1st or 3rd person
Any use of 2nd person (In second person point of view, the narrator tells the story to
another character using "you")
Descriptive (lots of adjectives), factual (statistics), formal or informal (tone) language
Imagery, metaphors and similes - how do they work
Onomatopoeia (word sounds like what it is e.g. buzz), alliteration
Syntax (sentence structure) - lists, short sentences ? why are they there?
Words to do with the meaning of the text
Rhetorical questions
Hyperbole (exaggeration)
Oxymoron (two words placed together that contrast each other e.g. love/hate)
Always remember to compare throughout your answer and describe how the language is
Section B - Writing
Spend 1 hour on this section
Question 5 - Describe, Explain and Inform (16 marks/ 24 minutes)
Question 6 - Argue and Persuade (24 marks/ 36 minutes)
Section B: Writing
5) Write and article or letter etc for a website or school competition etc telling someone about
something - this is pretty simple, just include appropriate detail and choose an audience
depending on who or what you have to write the article for. Example structure:
Intro - anecdote to explain what your writing about

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Main - give examples/ make points clearly (each paragraph), give personal opinion
Conclusion - end with a question, joke or go back to the anecdote
6) Arguing for or against a point of view - pick a side and stick with it, then pick your
audience and think about your purpose, use what was described in question 4 part 2 to
enhance your answer.
English Devices!
Pronouns when the reader is addressed directly to involve them in the text.…read more

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SimileA comparison (using like or as) e.g. he was as tall as a giant
MetaphorA comparison without using like or as: e.g. he was a giant
PunA play on words with two meanings: e.g.…read more

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Power of three
Emotive language
Rhetorical questions
Say again (repeat to get point across)
Undermine opposing views
Direct address
Exaggeration…read more


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