English Language GCSE Paper 1 Summary

Here’s a quick summary of what you need to do in this paper.

  • Spend 10 minutes reading the whole text, underlining any techniques you can find and marking them however you like, e.g. L for language and S for structure.

You don’t have to do these tasks in any particular order. My son is likely to struggle with Question 4, and enjoy Question 5, so he will probably do the questions in this order: 5-1-2-3-4.

Section A Question 01

  • This is a hunting task – you’ll be asked to find four things.
  • Spend 5 minutes listing four items from the text.
  • 4 marks available (a mark for each thing you list).

Section A Question 02

  • This is a question on language techniques
  • Spend 10 minutes on this question
  • Identify two of three techniques and write three or four sentences about them.
  • 8 marks available.

Section A Question 03

  • This is a question on structural techniques
  • Spend 10 minutes on this question
  • Identify two of three techniques and write three or four sentences about them.
  • 8 marks available.

Section A Question 04

  • This is a longer question where you choose techniques which support one side of an argument. This question is likely to ask whether you agree with a statement, or how you feel about the writing.
  • Spend 20 minutes on this question
  • Identify at least four things which support the argument and write a good detailed PEEL paragraph about each of them (5 minutes each).
  • 20 marks available.

Section B Question 05

  • This is a creative writing task. The task might be a piece of narrative or descriptive writing.
  • Spend 5 minutes planning what to write, and noting down some of your favourite language techniques or structural techniques which you might like to include. Think about this in advance of the exam so you are prepared to use them.
  • If the task is to write a narrative piece, ideally you’ll need an introduction, a rise, a climax, a fall, and a conclusion (the ending could be something satisfying, a revelation, or a catastrophe).
  • Spend 40 minutes writing.
  • 24 marks for available for content, 16 marks available for technical accuracy.

At the end

  • Spend 5 minutes correcting punctuation and any other errors.
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