Revision Guide – English Language

SUBJECT: ENGLISH LANGUAGE
EXAM BOARD AND CODE: AQA 8700
NUMBER OF PAPERS: 2 papers
1. Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing
2. Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives
LENGTH OF PAPERS: Both 1hour 45mins
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED: Black pen (and spare)
WEBSITE LINK: AQA | GCSE | English Language | Specification at a glance


Topics to be revised

Paper 1
Section A (1 hour): Reading information and ideas – response to one fiction text and answering questions about it

  • Retrieving specific information about the source
  • Identifying a writer’s viewpoint and selecting specific information from texts
  • Explaining, commenting on and analysing how writers use language and structure to
    achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology
  • Evaluate and judge texts critically, arguing for and against a statement about the text and supporting views with relevant textual references

Section B (45 minutes): Extended descriptive or narrative writing – a choice of one task from two (one will always be an image)

  • Communicating clearly, effectively and imaginatively, adapting language and structure to produce engaging pieces of writing.
  • Interpreting the task in a creative and imaginative way.

Paper 2

Section A (1 hour 45 minutes): Reading a pair of texts connected by topic .  Texts will be from either 19th, 20th, or 21st century

  • Identifying 4 true statements from a selection of 8
  • Writing a summary of similarities or differences between the two texts
  • Exploring how the writer of one of the texts has used language to describe one aspect of the extract
  • A comparison of the different perspectives in the two pieces

Section B (45 minutes): Writing in a non-fiction format to argue, persuade, advise, or explain/inform

  • Communicating clearly, effectively and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences
  • Organising information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features to support coherence and cohesion of texts

Revision Tips

  1. Read lots of media articles and non-fiction writing
  2. Read a good biography!
  3. Practise answering the different styles of questions – you can apply these questions to articles you find on websites or in the newspapers
  4. Practise your writing under timed conditions. Forty-five minutes is a long time – you will need to practise generating and mind-mapping ideas for different tasks
  5. Familiarise yourself with the conventions for different forms of writing: letters, news articles and speeches, for example.
  6. Brush up on your spelling, punctuation and grammar
  7. Memorise discourse markers in order to help you structure your creative writing

Useful websites:

AQA website for sample papers, examples of candidate responses and examiner comments
AQA | English | GCSE | English Language

GCSE Bitesize Links: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english/writing/

News websites including:
BBC News website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/
The Guardian website http://www.theguardian.com/uk
Daily Mail website http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html
Telegraph website http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
Mr Bruff videos https://www.youtube.com/user/mrbruff


Exam Hints

Section A (Reading):

  • Read the question carefully so that you answer on the correct source and address the focus of the question
  • Use short quotations from the sources
  • Question 1s – carefully select the words or phrases you are asked to find; answer in full sentences with a relevant short quotation to back your points when required

Language and structure questions – back your ideas with short quotations from each text. Be clear and concise. Make a wide range of points and try to be perceptive and detailed in your analysis. Do not forget structure – how the text begins and ends is always worth considering. Are there any places where the writer suddenly changes direction?

  • Follow the bullet-points and use textual references to back your ideas. Develop every point as far as you can and try to take into account the type of texts and how differences in audience and purpose might guide the writers’ styles. Which text achieves its purpose more powerfully and why?

Section B (Writing):

  • Before you start make sure you know who you writing for (audience), why you are writing (purpose) and what type of text you are writing (genre). Adapt your language accordingly. Use your relevant writing techniques. Always proof-read and check for accuracy.

The question says “In this writing you SHOULD…” That means you MUST cover those bullet-points to get the marks.


Download a printable version here

Revision Guide – Biology

Revision Guide – Business

Revision Guide – Chemistry

Revision Guide – Child Development

Revision Guide – Combined Science Trilogy

Revision Guide – Computer Science

Revision Guide – D&T

Revision Guide – Dance

Revision Guide – Drama

Revision Guide – Economics

Revision Guide – Engineering

Revision Guide – English Language

Revision Guide – English Literature

Revision Guide – Film Studies

Revision Guide – Food Preparation & Nutrition

Revision Guide – French

Revision Guide – Geography

Revision Guide – German

Revision Guide – History

Revision Guide – Mathematics

Revision Guide – Music

Revision Guide – Philosophy & Ethics

Revision Guide – Physical Education

Revision Guide – Physics

Revision Guide – Psychology

Revision Guide – Sociology

Revision Guide – Spanish