Reading: The Exam

FS Level 1FS Level 2AQACity & GuildsEdexcelHighfield QualificationsNCFEOpen Awards

Reading: The Exam Revision

Reading: The Exam


Depending on the exam board your exam will be structured a little differently. However, there will be the same basic format, and you can prepare in a similar way for all of them.

The best way to start your level 2 English revision is…...

The subject knowledge assessment. This covers key areas from the level 2 English exam and once completed will provide revision suggestions so you know what topics to focus on. 

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The Essentials


 

Marks:

On average there will be 30 marks you can achieve.

 

Time:

The exam will last for a standard time of one hour.

More time may be allowed if necessary, according to official needs assessment documents.

This will be agreed with your exam organiser prior to your exam date.

 


 

Every reading exam, regardless of exam board, will be made up of two basic elements:

 

1. Sources:

The number and type of source texts will vary, but there will usually be at least one formal and one informal source.

 

AND

 

2. Questions:

The questions you will have to answer could be either multiple choice or written answer questions.

 

Some exam boards use only one style of question, others use both.

 

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Understanding Questions


There are many ways that your knowledge will be tested in the exam.

You maybe asked to find a word’s:

  • definition
  • examples of bias
  • or even specific language features in the source text

 

However, you will always be told which source text the question is asking you about, so you know where to look.

You may know all of the content, but it’s just as important to know how to apply it in the exam.

 

Let’s break down how to understand what these questions need you to to do…

 


 

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More Detail


There are 3 main things the questions in your reading exam will try to get you to do.

The question may not always use these specific words, but if you read it carefully, it will almost always ask you to do one of these three things:

 

 

 

Let’s take a look at each one in more detail…

 


 

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See what level 2 English topics you need support with.

The subject knowledge assessment tests your skills on a number of topics that will come up in the actual exam. You then get feedback on what you need to revise. 

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Identify


 

When asked to identify, you will need to make a judgement.

The question will ask you for something in particular, and you will need to provide an example, or decide on the qualities of what you have been presented with.

In such questions, skills like scanning and picking out key or specific details will be very important.

For Example:

”Identify the aim of text B.”

 

 

Your answer could be:

”The aim of text B is to persuade.” – Level 1

 

”The aim of text B is to persuade the reader to leave a positive review for restaurant ‘La Bamba’.” – Level 2

 

  • In this answer, the student has correctly identified the aim of the text (to persuade), and identified the reason for the persuasion (to leave a positive review for restaurant ‘La Bamba’).

 

 


Explain


 

When asked to explain, you will need to provide detail.

The question will ask you for insight into something in particular. You will need to go into detail to explain how the writer’s choices affect the text.

For Example:

”What is the effect of alliteration and hyperbole in this text?”

 

Your answer could be:

”Alliteration- emphasises and hyperbole exaggerates and persuades.” – Level 1

 

”Alliteration of the words ‘careless cooks‘ emphasises how the writer blames carelessness for the local food poisonings. The repetition of the ‘c‘ sound is harsh and angry, so creates this effect on the whole text.

The hyperbole of  ‘the worst thing to happen in Derry for years‘ exaggerates the seriousness of the incident. This helps to persuade the reader that action needs to be taken to stop this happening.” – Level 2

 

  • In this answer, the student has correctly identified an example of both alliteration and hyperbole, and explained how they affect the text. They have provided some detail on the impact of the example and then how this affects the whole text.

 

 


Demonstrate


 

When asked to demonstrate, you will need to show understanding of a word, phrase, or concept in the question. The examiner is looking for evidence that you have sufficient knowledge, and are able to apply it to new source texts.

For Example:

”This text contains both facts and opinions. Provide an example of both.”

 

Your answer could be:

”Fact- ‘6o% of visitors to ‘La Bamba’ became ill within 24 hours.‘ Opinion- ‘this is a result of careless cooks‘.” – Level 1

 

”The writer says that ‘6o% of visitors to ‘La Bamba’ became ill within 24 hours.‘ This is a fact because it relies upon provable statistics, and is not biased or based on personal judgements. This gives credibility to the text and makes it more persuasive. The text also includes opinions such as ‘this is a result of careless cooks‘. As this cannot be proven, and is based upon the writer’s opinion of the cooks as ‘careless‘, it makes the text more emotive.” – Level 2

 

  • In this answer, the student has demonstrated knowledge of the difference between fact and opinion, and judged how they affect the text. They have provided some detail on the impact of the example and then how this affects the whole text.

 

FS Level 1FS Level 2AQAEdexcelCity & GuildsNCFEOpen AwardsHighfield Qualifications

Additional Resources

PFS

Exam Tips Cheat Sheet

FS Level 2

Reading: The Exam Worksheet and Example Questions

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Reading: The Exam L2

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Reading: The Exam L1

FS Level 1NewOfficial PFS

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