With the summer exams fast approaching, I’ve drawn together some of our top tips and ideas to aid A Level English Language exam prep and help your students to get the most from their revision time.
The key requirement for both exam papers
Five of the six questions across the two exams will require students to analyse unseen texts.
One of the best ways to get students well prepared for this is by encouraging them to read widely. Reading a range of non-fiction and media texts will help students feel more comfortable with analysing unseens. Ask them to regularly read and annotate a columnist, for example.
Successful exam preparation - Assessment recap
Students are more likely to do better if they are confident with the exam structure. Let’s briefly recap the assessment requirements and key points for each paper.
The first question comes in two parts:
Question 1a – Identifying and analysing the use of lexis and semantics in Text A
Question 1b – Identifying and analysing the way that sentences are used / grammar is used in Text A
Students should carefully consider the audience and purpose of the task. The audience will be a non-specialist one so students should gloss terms and references that a generic reader may not necessarily know.
Students should show a broad understanding of issues and consider alternative views but their response needs to remain grounded in the language issue being explored.
Students should try to integrate comparison of both texts throughout. Comparisons could be made of the basis of language levels or through topic or purpose.
Students should consistently analyse the data in the transcript, making links to context.
Language analysis and comparisons could be explored through different language levels, through theme/topic or through purpose. Students should analyse language features and patterns in both texts in relation to contexts.
As this question is synoptic, responses could encompass elements from across the course.
Here you’ll find the best ways to help your students revise for their exams and discover revision techniques and ideas that will keep them motivated and on track to achieving their best results.
Language and Gender
Topical language issues
Theories and concepts
Child Language Acquisition
Language in the media
For more ideas and activities, don’t forget to check out our range of teaching and learning resources, available on the A Level English Language webpage. Useful assessment feedback and tips are also available in our Examiners Report.
Submit your comments below, and if you would like to get in touch with us then please email us via firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on @OCR_English.
Keeley Nolan, OCR English Subject Advisor
Keeley joined OCR five years ago as a Qualifications Manager for Modern Foreign Languages. In 2014, she joined the English team as a Subject Advisor, leading on the development of GCSE 9-1 English Language and supporting first teaching of the new specification. Keeley currently looks after the OCR A Level English Language and A Level Literature qualifications. Prior to joining OCR, after graduating with a BA Joint Hons in English and French from the University of Leeds, Keeley spent two years teaching English abroad. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, reading and swimming.