Your guide to gaining the best possible grade for reading
How is my GCSE made up?Unit 1 - Your examination (2 hours 15 minutes)Worth 40% of total marksSection A – Understanding non-fiction texts (testing reading skills) 20%Section B – Producing non-fiction texts (testing writing skills) 20%Unit 2 - Speaking and ListeningWorth 20% of total marks3 x assessments completed in class and assessed by your teacherUnit 3 - Controlled AssessmentsWorth 40% of total marks1 x Extended reading – worth 15%2 x Creative writing – worth 15%1 x Spoken Language Study – worth 10%All assessments completed in exam conditions in class and assessedby your teacher
Unit 1 section A.How can you maximise yourchances of gaining a C in thissection?Let’s see what the exam board sayyou need to know....
AQA Assessment objectives for Unit 1 Section AThis is what the exam board AQA say you need to know:Read and understand texts, selecting material appropriate to purpose,collating from different sources and making comparisons and cross-references as appropriate.This means can you understand what the text is about and be able to writeabout it clearly? Can you select parts of the text that support your ideas andcompare two different texts with each other.Explain and evaluate how writers use linguistic, grammatical, structural andpresentational features to achieve effects and engage and influence thereader, supporting their comments with detailed textual references.This means can you explain why the author has used specific words andphrases. Can you explain the effect they have on the reader. Can you also talkin detail about the presentation (not the writing) of the text?
AQA Assessment objectives for Unit 1 Section AIn the examination, you will be given 3 pieces of unseen writing to read. The writingwill always be non – fiction / media and you will always be asked five questions.The type of texts you are asked to read could be any of thefollowing:LeafletsArticles (newspaper and magazine)ReportsAutobiography / biographyTravel writingAdvertisementsWeb pagesReviews
AQA Assessment objectives for Unit 1 Section ASo, there are five questions in total:Question 1a – find information in Source 1 (4 marks)Question 1b – write about how a point is suggested, sobeing able to read between the lines in Source 1 (4marks)Question 2 - find and understand part of Source 2 andsuggest what is being implied (8 marks)Question 3 – write in detail about the language thewriter of Source 3 has used (12 marks)Question 4 - choose two of the sources and comparethe presentational features used (12 marks)
Preparing for the readingsection of the exam reallyhelps you prepare for thewriting section of the exam –many of the skills are identical.
Back to BasicsSkimming and scanningtechniquesSkimming and scanning are ways ofreading a text quickly. You will needthese skills when you are lookingfor information in your sourcematerials.
Skimming and scanning are especially valuable when there is only one item of information that you need to find from a particular passage. Skimming and scanning are very rapid reading methods in which you glance at a passage to find specific information. These reading methods make it easier for you to grasp large amounts of material, especially when youre previewing. They are also useful when you dont need to know every word.
Skimming refers to the process of reading only mainideas within a passage to get an overall impression ofthe content of a reading selection. An example of this iswhen we read the title of a newspaper to know whathappens everyday.How to skim:1.Read the title.2.Read the introduction or the first paragraph.3.Read the first sentence of every other paragraph.4.Notice any pictures, charts, or graphs. * Notice any italicized or boldface words or phrases.5.Read the summary or last paragraph.
Scanning is a reading technique to be used when you want to find specific information quickly. In scanning you have a question in your mind and you read a passage only to find the answer, ignoring unrelated information.How to scan:1. State the specific information you are looking for.2. Try to anticipate how the answer will appear and what clues you might use to help you locate the answer. For example, if you were looking for a certain date, you would quickly read the paragraph looking only for numbers.3. Use headings and any other aids that will help you identify which sections might contain the information you are looking for.4. Selectively read and skip through sections of the passage.
Back to BasicsWhen reading any type of non fiction text, try to find the PAF.PAF means PURPOSE, AUDIENCE, FORMPURPOSEThe purpose of a text is most important. What is the text trying to do? Is ittrying to make you buy something? Is it trying to give you advice? Is it trying togive you balanced information about an event? How do you know this? Whatgives it away?AUDIENCEWho do you think is the intended audience of this text? Is it a child? Is it ateenager? Is it an adult? How do you know? What gave it away?FORMWhat kind of non fiction text is this? Is it a letter, a newspaper article, areview? How do you know? What gives it away? Do you know the features ofeach kind of non fiction text type? This will be helpful for the writing sectiontoo.......
Reading between the linesHumour / sarcasm. A writer might poke fun at a topic or mock it to show thatthey disagree with it.Exaggeration. A writer might go over the top about the topic. This implies thatthey like or don’t like something.Repetition. A writer could repeat a statistic or a phrase to show they do ordon’t like something.Rhetorical questions. This is a technique often used in writing an argumentand its function is to get the reader to agree with what the writer thinks.Positive and negative language. Words often carry positive and negativemeanings. It might be nice to be called ‘curvy’ but not so nice to be ‘fat’.Emotive language. This is language that stirs up the emotions. If the writeruses language like ‘unimaginable cruelty’ when discussing animal experiments,they are probably not in favour of them.
Finally!!Top tips for exam success........1.Prepare for your exam now. Start saving that junk mail ..... you know what to do!2.Start asking for those past papers.3.Time yourself. You have 1 hour to complete 5 questions. Can you do it?4.Read every non fiction title you can manage. Start to look at different types ofnewspapers and magazines, web pages, travel writing etc. Start to look for particularstyles – know what to expect.5.Get a good night’s sleep before your exam – you’ll need it!6.Pack at least two pens in black or blue.7.Read the questions before you read the texts. This will help you as you alreadyknow what you are looking for when you read the texts.8.Read the questions carefully. Use the bullet points to help structure your answer.9.Remember that you get most marks for questions 4 and 5. You can do it!!