Before you can start revising, you need to understand the exam. This means getting understanding the syllabus – how are the topics organised, what do you need to know, what are the examiners looking for? Start by getting an overview of the syllabus:
You need to know how the topics in each subject are broken down. This will help you organise your notes and plan your revision.
… you can do this by …
…heading over to your exam board’s website and downloading a copy of the syllabus. You should find an overview of the syllabus like this:
As you can see, the AQA GCSE English Language syllabus is broken down as follows:
Firstly: there are two papers: Paper 1 – Fiction and Paper 2 – Non-Fiction
Secondly: each paper has two sections: Section A – Reading and Section B – Writing
Great, now that you have an overview of the syllabus, you need to drill down…
two: drill down
Let’s start with Section A: Reading – this is all about analysing a text. The syllabus says this means:
Yeah, a little scary! Don’t let this scare you, it’s a lot easier than they are making it sound. Essentially you need to be able to:
Firstly: Identify the themes in the texts and be able to summarise them.
Secondly: Discuss how the writer uses language and structure to convey these themes.
That’s it! All you need to do is: read a piece of text, understand what the author is writing about and discuss the techniques the writer uses to make sure their message is conveyed well. Easy peasy-ish…
But that’s just the first section, let’s drill down a little more into the second section…
three: drill down a little more
Let’s look at Section B: Writing – here’s where you show that you can use the language and structure techniques to convey your ideas. Here’s what the syllabus stays you have to do:
Again, the exam board has used a lot of fancy words, but really all you need to be able to do is:
Firstly: write a clear piece of text that either: describes, explains, instructs, informs or argues.
Secondly: use various literary devices to enhance the message you are trying to convey.
Thirdly: make sure your writing is well-structured, grammatically correct and uses a good range of vocabulary.
And that’s it, that’s the AQA English Language syllabus. In a future
The DE Team