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NUMBER ONE: APPROACHING A TEXT
Remember you are being tested on the information given in the text in front of you rather than your general knowledge.These steps will help you with the reading process: Read the title and where it comes from to understand the context. Read the questions before looking at the text. As you read the text highlight areas of interest or confusion. After your first reading you should be able to answer general questions such as: Where and when is the text set? Who is involved? Who is telling the story? Who was this text written for? What is the text about? Read the text again, keeping the examination questions in your mind and read carefully over the key parts of the text. Answer the questions by going back to specific areas of the text. Skim read to locate the answer.Proofread all your answers.
READ ON THE LINES, THEN BETWEEN THE LINES, THEN BEYOND THE LINES
NUMBER TWO: UNDERSTANDING A QUESTION
Each question has several parts to help you build on key ideas in logical stages. Each stage is more demanding.Questions are made up of instructions such as 'read lines 5–10' or 'in your own words' and thinking skills such as 'explain why' or 'identify'. It is vital that you underline these keywords in each question so you can work out what you have to do and where you can locate the information. How questions are phrased gives you clues about the level of answers required.E.g.Achievement - identifyMerit and Excellence - explain and respondIdentify, name, find, locate, what is the meaning of...Explain why/how, describe the differences, explain the effect of..., what is suggested by.... How do verbal and visual features combine to target the audience
NUMBER THREE: WRITING AN ANSWER
A good answer is one that clearly shows your understanding of the text and directly answers the questionHow to answer a question: Read the question carefully and answer by following all instructions. Answer all parts of the question. Take notice of visual clues such as bold, underlined, or capitalised words for instructions in the question or features within a text. The numbers down the side of the text are line references, so you don't have to count the lines to locate information quickly. Be clear, to the point, and use keywords in your answer. Don't write the question into your answer as this wastes time. Use the amount of space provided for the answer as a sign of how much to write. When using quotations, underline the key part of the quote that answers the question. 'Merit' and 'excellence' questions also require you to explain how a language feature works in a particular text. To say that the language feature helps to gain our attention or add emphasis is not enough. You must name the specific language feature and the idea it reinforces, show an understanding of how it works in the text, and why it was chosen.
Read the question carefully, follow all instructions, and answer all parts of the question. Read the whole text before answering the questions. Read the text more than once. Work in a logical order so you don’t leave gaps. Attempt to answer all the questions. Use appropriate language terminology and understand how and why the terminology has been used. Use specific and accurate examples from the text. If you have made a mistake, signal clearly where you have written your answer in the back of your answer booklet – arrows can be confusing. Use standard English in your answers not colloquial language or texting. Proofread for missed questions and confusing answers. Keep an eye on the time so you can answer all the questions.
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