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General Guidance
Successful candidates:
see the texts as plays in performance and themselves as members of an
audience
see the stage directions as part of the dramatic action of the scene and
visualise this onstage action
pay explicit attention to the wording of the question and balance attention on
each strand of the question
construct succinct and purposeful opening paragraphs, focusing specifically
on the given question
select and integrate brief quotations to explore the dialogue and to support
and amplify their ideas
avoid pre-conceived model answers and formulaic approaches and trust
their own direct personal response.…read more

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General Guidance
Less successful candidates:
see the texts as pieces of writing only and themselves as readers
see the stage directions merely as pieces of bolted-on written
communication and ignore their significance to the onstage action
start with a pre-conceived introductory paragraph, which is unhelpfully
generalised, biographical or list-like and says nothing specific about the
play or question
lose the focus of the question and use pre-prepared material which has
little direct relevance to the question
misread the question and write about the wrong character or moment
become detached from the dramatic action and resort to listing features…read more

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Extract based questions
Successful candidates:
devote at least two-thirds of answers to discussing, quoting from and
commenting on the extract itself, but still convey understanding of
the whole play context
begin their response by locating the extract in the context of the
whole play
succinctly establish the dramatic context for the characters and
audience in the opening paragraph
ground their reflections on the whole play firmly in the detail of the
extract
pay close attention to the build-up of dramatic detail throughout the
extract.…read more

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Extract based questions
Less successful candidates:
produce generalised answers with limited attention to the given
extract, or approach the extract as if it is an "unseen" exercise and
give little sense of the rest of the play
produce a sweeping opening paragraph and largely ignore the
question
rarely offer quoted material from the extract or, conversely, copy
out large chunks without any attempt at commentary
miss the reference to the given moment in the question and, as a
result, answer on the play as a whole with little or no reference to
the printed extract.…read more

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Discursive questions
Successful candidates:
focus rigorously on (and sometimes challenge)the terms of the question,
maintaining relevance throughout their response
select judiciously across the text to find supporting detail for their
arguments
balance their answers thoughtfully when answering double-stranded
questions
show a sharp awareness of audience response
5 Examiners' Reports - January 2011
quote shrewdly and economically
arrive at a relevant and well-reasoned conclusion.…read more

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