Instructions & Advice For English Language Paper 1 - Questions 1 - 3

October 5, 2017

Approaching GCSE English Language Paper 1 - Questions 1 - 3

AQA Language Paper 1 – What can I expect?


What's assessed

Section A: Reading

one literature fiction text


written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

80 marks

50% of GCSE


Reading (40 marks) (25%) – one single text

1 short form question
(1 x 4 marks)

2 longer form questions
(2 x 8 marks)

Instructions and Advice

Paper 1 is about fiction texts. You will be given a fiction extract to read. In the first half of the exam you will have to answer questions about this extract. In the second half of theexam you will produce your own piece of creative writing. The exam is out of 80.

English Language Paper 1

Q1: List four things about a specific part of the text (4 marks)

These four things will generally be the details of a description of a person or thing. Sometimes there will only be two or three obvious answers, so take care to be precise in your answers; ensure each answer contains only one detail so that you have at least four answers. This question asks you to ‘list’, so you don’t need to respond in full sentences if you are short on time.

Q2: Analyse the writer’s use of language (8 marks)

When writing this response, best practice is to introduce your answer by giving an overview or summary of the effect the writer created within this section of the text. For example, if the writer was describing a character during this section, what overall impression of the character did the writer leave you with, and how/why did they achieve this impression?

Another way to approach this question is to think of the assigned section as a painting or image. Through it, what picture does the writer create and how did they go about creating it?

Try to comment on specific words and phrases from the text, and comment where applicable on how the writer has used specific techniques for impact on the reader.

Q3: Analyse the structure of the whole text (8 marks)

Here you will be asked to look at the opening of the text before considering how the writer transitions from the opening to the middle to the end. Typically, you will be asked to explain how the writer attempts to raise your interest in the opening lines, and what the writer intends for you to focus on, before analysing what aspect of the story or action that the writer intends to shift your focus to.

Many of these texts feature a first-person narrator, and direct address, both of which are often used to draw in a reader in a text’s early stages. You should also consider the focus of specific paragraphs, the writer’s use of sentence structure (i.e. think about why the writer might be using a particular type or form of sentence), etc.

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