AQA Examiner Report tips- literature paper 2 (Modern Texts and Poetry)


Staff member
Advice for Students
• If you know the text well you will be able to demonstrate this knowledge and understanding in the exam. Learn the text rather than learning possible questions that might be asked on it. Knowing your text will help you to gain confidence in ranging across the play or novel to find the most salient references to support your response.

• Answer the question. Make sure you’ve read the question accurately. Make sure you are answering the question you have chosen rather than the one that you would have preferred to be on the paper.

• Demonstrate your knowledge of the text by ‘pointing’ to particular moments. If you use a direct reference, make sure it’s relevant to your answer, and that you can say something useful about it. You don’t get extra marks for more quotations, but you do get more marks for making plenty of interesting comments about the references you have selected.

• Try to allow some time to do a short plan. It gives you the time and space to gather your thoughts and think about the direction and shape of your response. • Focus on the range of things that the writer might have done on purpose during the process of putting the text together.

• Perhaps take some time to consider genre and form. A focus on the key elements of genre and the writer’s choice of their particular form in relation to how, and why, they made the choices they did when crafting the text, could be really helpful to your consideration of relevant methods that the writer has used.

• Using the writer’s name can help you to think about the text as a conscious construct and will keep reminding you that the author deliberately put the text together.

• Link your comments on contextual factors / ideas to the text. Remember that context informs, but should never dominate, your reading of the text. The text comes first. Chunks of biographical or literary/historical detail are almost always redundant.

• For Section B, perhaps start your response with an opening statement that thematically connects the two poems you are going to use to answer the question. • Read the unseen poem and make sure you get a sense of the overall point first. Select three or four key methods to focus your attention on that stand out for you. You don’t have to write about everything.

• Manage your time effectively. Don’t spend too much time on the final question as it is only worth 8 marks. Remember that this task asks you to compare methods, so make sure you focus your attention on the similarities / differences between what the two poets have done to make meaning