Higher Language exam grade boundaries Out of 80 (40 marks section A & 40 marks section B) Grade A* 61 – 80 A 55 – 60 B 49 – 54 C 44 – 48 D 39 - 43 E - F - G - Higher READING NON-FICTION Reading Non-Fiction This paper is about testing your understanding of 3 non-fiction (not story) texts. There are 4 questions that will always be in the same order. Question 4 (the double mark question) is always where pupils fall down – so work hard on that one. Question One This question is all about trying to show that you understand the article. My advice is to spend 15 minutes on this question; that involves reading, highlighting evidence AND answering the question. STEP ONE: Read source one & highlight about 6 points. STEP TWO: Write. Question One How to structure your answers (bits in red are from mark scheme): Give the first of the writer’s points in your own words, embedding a piece of ‘evidence’, e.g. We learn that the tribe grow ‘maize, sweet potato’ as well as ‘cotton’. Show that you understand ‘less obvious detail’, e.g. This shows that they are self-sufficient. Make ‘connections’ & ‘interpret the text’, e.g. Therefore they don’t require ‘contact’ with the outside world. Go on to your next point. To get into that top band you need to show that you ‘fully’ understand the text so refer to all parts of the article not just one bit! But don’t forget that you only have 15 minutes in total! Question Two This question is about showing you understand how the headline and picture are used. Again, my advice is to spend 15 minutes on this question; that involves reading, highlighting evidence AND answering the question. STEP ONE: Read source two & highlight evidence in the article that links to the headline and the picture. STEP TWO: Write. Question Two How to structure your answers (bits in red are from mark scheme): ‘Detailed ‘ P.E.E. of the presentational features used in the headline (e.g. bold, colour, etc. – read the ‘Presentational Devices’ document that’s on the English blog ). Plus, discuss the use of language, embedding ‘evidence’ when you do so, e.g. The use of an exclamation mark after the word ‘Slimezilla’ emphasises the word and makes the reader pause which adds to the dramatic effect. Furthermore, the word itself suggests that the article will be about some sort of disgusting slimy monster, which intrigues the reader. ‘Link’ to the article, e.g. This turns out to be a “huge jellyfish”. ‘Detailed ‘ P.E.E. of the picture and its connotations; remind yourself of camera shots - PPT is on the English blog, e.g. A long shot of a diver alongside the jellyfish allows the reader to actually see its enormous size. ‘Link’ to the article, e.g. This reinforces the article’s assertion that it’s “6ft wide, up to 200kg in weight”. Question Three This question is about showing you understand the thoughts and feelings of an individual or individuals. Once again, my advice is to spend 15 minutes on this question; that involves reading, highlighting evidence AND answering the question. STEP ONE: Read source three & highlight evidence in the article that shows thoughts and feelings. STEP TWO: Write. Question Three How to structure your answers (bits in red are from mark scheme): P.E.E. that ‘interprets’ thoughts and feelings, e.g. When Bill sits “bolt upright”, it’s clear that he’s fearful at this point. Furthermore, it suggests that he thinks he’s in danger as he’s not going to wait around to find out what the noise is. This idea of danger is reinforced when he “instinctively” reaches for his knife… Identify another piece of evidence that ideally shows a different thought/feeling. Refer to all parts of the article not just one bit! Question Four You need to compare the way language is used differently in TWO texts. This is the whopper question and can be the difference between an A* and a B or between a C and a U! My advice is to spend 30 minutes on this question; that involves skimreading, highlighting AND answering the question. Hopefully you will have done some of this already when reading the texts for Questions 13! STEP ONE: Skim-read source three & either source one or two. Highlight evidence that allows you to show your knowledge of language AS WELL AS show you understand WHY it’s been written (Purpose, Audience, Text type). STEP TWO: Write. Question Four Right, firstly, don’t forget that although source 3 is also non- fiction (they all are), it tends to be written in narrative (story) form (usually in 1st person with lots of description!) as it wants to entertain. Look for language that shows this, e.g. similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, etc. and explain why they’ve been used – PAT. Although sources 1 and 2 may use similar techniques to source 3 (find them if they’re there!), language tends to be more impersonal / factual; this is often where you’ll find lots of IAMAFORESTER techniques. Again, explain why they’ve been used – PAT. Question Four Here’s an example: In source 3, direct speech is used to change the tone. Bill’s response to Katz is that if it’s a skunk, it must be big as “its eyes are three feet off the ground”. This injects a bit of humour into the extract and breaks the tension but still allows the reader to understand that Bill is petrified of “whatever it was”. The use of the word “whatever” also creates tension for the reader as they have to wait to see whether or not it’s a “bear”. In source 1, direct speech has also been used when Fiona Watson states that the tribe will survive only if they “remain isolated from the outside world”. However, unlike source 3, speech has been used here as an expert opinion to reinforce how serious the threat is. Furthermore, the words “outside world” have been repeated in order to emphasise the fact that we are the danger, which will perhaps make the reader feel guilty. If you can’t spot any similarities, don’t worry, simply mention the differences, e.g. Unlike source 1, source 3 doesn’t use any statistics. However, it does use… Timing is key! Question 1 Question 2 Question 3 Question 4 (8 marks): (8 marks): (8 marks): (16 marks!): 15 minutes 15 minutes 15 minutes 30 minutes Some of you may wish to consider starting with Question 4 to ensure you don’t get your timing wrong and lose a lot of marks! Reading non-fiction revision Perhaps try some of the following ideas: 1. Split a piece of A3 paper into 4 and put top tips or step by step instructions in each quarter regarding how to do each question. 2. Practise the one question that you find most difficult (receive lowest marks) – ask your teacher to mark it. 3. Get a past paper, time yourself (1¼ hours), complete and hand in for marking. Higher WRITING NON-FICTION Writing Non-Fiction You will have to write two non-fiction texts. START WITH QUESTION 6 FIRST AS IT’S WORTH MORE MARKS! Question 6 usually asks you to persuade or argue. It is worth 24 marks and you are advised to spend 35 minutes on it. It’s usually an article but the target audience varies. Question 5 usually asks you to explain (it may also ask you to describe or inform). It is worth 16 marks and you are advised to spend 25 minutes on it. It’s usually either a blog entry or an article and the target audience varies. Question Six STEP ONE: Read and highlight the purpose, text type and target audience. STEP TWO: Mindmap your ideas & number them – don’t forget to think about that punchy opening and clever ending when doing so. This should take no longer than 5 minutes. STEP THREE: Write for 30 mins max. And don’t go for the usual ideas, make it interesting! WRITING TO PERSUADE WHAT TO INCLUDE Disguise your opinion as fact. Argue why you’re right – use IAMAFORESTER techniques HOW TO WRITE IT PARAGRAPH (TiP ToP) Include a short paragraph for effect (1, 2 or 3 words ideally). Variety of sentence types (long sentence then a short sentence for effect) Use other persuasive techniques (look at persuasive techniques sheet on the blog) such as an anecdote and similes/metaphors. Use humour, sarcasm, irony, hyperbole. Use counter arguments…then tear them apart. Summary statement. Vary sentence openings Correct spellings including homophones (they’re, there & their / your & you’re) Use a variety of punctuation correctly: ,.? ! () – ; : Adventurous vocabulary (WOW words) Question Five STEP ONE: Read and highlight the purpose, text type and target audience. STEP TWO: Mindmap your ideas & number them – don’t forget to think about that punchy opening and clever ending when doing so. This should take no longer than 5 minutes. STEP THREE: Write for 20 mins max. And don’t go for the usual ideas, you’ll bore the examiner, e.g. if you’re asked to describe your favourite location, describe a prison. WRITING TO EXPLAIN WHAT TO INCLUDE Present the reader with a set of reasons. Write a clear, detailed explanation of the reasons. Use causal connectives such as since, because and therefore. Although you’re not persuading, those IAMAFORESTER techniques may still come in handy! Use anecdotes and similes/metaphors to bring your writing alive. Where appropriate include humour, sarcasm, irony, hyperbole. Summary statement. HOW TO WRITE IT PARAGRAPH (TiP ToP) Include a short paragraph for effect (1, 2 or 3 words ideally). Variety of sentence types (long sentence then a short sentence for effect) Vary sentence openings Correct spellings including homophones (they’re, there & their / your & you’re) Use a variety of punctuation correctly: , . ? ! () – ; : Adventurous vocabulary (WOW words) Writing non-fiction revision Try the following: 1. Ensure you know IAMAFORESTER and learn (perhaps create your own mnemonic) other persuasive techniques. 2. Practise past exam questions (time yourself – 1 hour in total) and hand in for marking. Experiment with being as weird and wild as possible.