M22 Examinations Calling

Are you ready for May 12th?

For all students of the M22 session, May 12th is the red-letter day for the Paper 1 examination for English A: Language & Literature. And the burning question on all of (y)our lips right now is: Am I ready? What do I need to do between now and then to prepare?


Unlike many of your other subjects, there is limited revision required for this paper. However, practising papers and preparing for examination strategy is key to success. Remember, time is limited in this assessment, so you must have realistic expectations for the number of words you plan to write, the number of paragraphs that equates to, and what should go into those paragraphs. Take a read of Paper 1 - Examination Strategy for how to manage time on the day, and, for crucial guidance on how to organise your response, work closely with Paper 1 - Structuring a Guided Textual Analysis.


Knowing how you plan to respond and what goes in which paragraph is essential not only to the organisation of your written Paper 1, but it also frames your thinking. How much of the response should be focused on the guiding questions or statements, for example? Am I meant to know every last features of every non-literary text type, or is a broad ability to analyse text and image and connect them to thematic meaning, authorial purpose, and even global issues enough? Using the structural guide in Paper 1 - Writing a Guided Textual Analysis, and the important skills of analysis and evaluation explored in Paper 2 - Analysis and Evaluation are critical to success. You might want to consider what is common in the guiding statement in Paper 1 - Writing Guiding Questions to help you to prepare.


Finally, are you ready and able to write effectively about image? HL students will certainly have to do so for one of the texts, while SL students will have the option, but even the more "wordy" of the two texts will have presentational devices and images to include in the analysis. I would recommend deep-diving into Paper 1 - Dealing with Infographics and  Paper 1 - Student Examples: Comic Strip to help you with the sorts of things you want to comment on and how.


There are plenty of student responses with examiners' comments on the site, including those from last summer's students, so reading, considering, assessing and reflecting on these exemplar responses in Paper 1 - M21 Responses should finally help you to be as prepared as you're going to be.


May the [12th] be with you all.