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How to move from a grade B to a grade A

Discussion in 'English' started by ruby_neurotic, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. My daughter seems to be ony a few marks away from a grade B on all her work. What can she do to push herself to a grade A?
    She is studying AQA and has just done one controlled assessment, her next assessment is creative writing.
    Any ideas what she can do to push herself to a grade A? If someone could point me in the right direction that would be great!
    Also I can't find any practice exam papers as on the AQA site you need a teachers password, any ideas where I can get any past papers for her to practice? Are there any books/websites you could recommend?
    Thanks so much!
  2. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Grade A writing to accurate and uses varied and effective vocabulary and syntax. It is cleverly structured and fluent with a sense of style. Grade B writing does all these things, but less successfully. It looks contrived and does not read as well because there is a lack of fluency that is a feature of Grade A or A* writing. In reading, Grade B students will analyse language and structure an argument, but again less convincingly and consistently than Grade B. Well, that's how I see it, but others may disagree. You don't need past papers. Find non-fiction extracts (newspaper articles, travel writing etc) and get your daughter to 1) sum up the article and identify and 2) explain the thoughts, feelings or views implied. Shell have about twenty five minutes (roughly 12 mins per answer) to write about a side of A4 on each question, she's aiming to explain clearly in 1) and analyse in 2) and should be using short quotations in both answers. Then you need some webpages where she writes at similar length about the presentational devices, linking them to the text. Last question is analysis of language in two texts. She must make comparisons and they have about 25 mins. Finally, there are two writing questions - you should at least be able to see a specimen paper on the AQA English 2010 page that will show you the format.
  3. seaviews

    seaviews New commenter

    All the above comments ... and grade A students tend to have natural creative flair and ability, read widely, read independently ... read a lot! They have a wide vocabulary, high level skills of analysis and criticism. They speak and write fluently and confidently with a high degree of sophistication. They are insightful and perceptive.
    True 'A' grade students are born and not made.
    Have a look at the chief examiners' reports (available on the AQA website) on what an A grade student is expected to do.
    Past papers aren't the answer. She'd be much better off reading - newspapers, academic magazines, novels, poems, plays and talking about them. That way she will develop independence and confidence and will stand out from the rest.
  4. anteater

    anteater New commenter

    I agree with the posters above.
    The buzz words on the mark schemes are "sophisticated" and "impressive" for the higher grades: just below come "confident" and "assured."
    However, with regard to the statement above, I would amend that to "True A* grade students". It may be the "dumbing down" of exams, but I have had quite a lot of students over the last few years who, in my opinion, were natural B grades: however, by dint of sheer persistence and hard work they got an A.
    But the A* students are those who (dare I say it to those managers who think all "top set" children should be able to get there?) are those with the natural flair - the two I had last year could probably have got there with minimal teaching (just give them the right text and arm them with some exam technique know-how).
    Good luck to your daughter, OP!
  5. Thanks very much for your replies [​IMG]

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