Examiners’ tips for English Language Paper 2

Candidates are offered the following advice:

• For short answer Questions 1 and 4 ensure that you are responding briefly and selecting
information, not just writing out a section. For Question 4, make sure that you read the
question carefully.

• For the AO2 (language and structure) questions, make sure you are offering ideas
about how language is used. Again, for Question 2, many of the candidates gave an
example, but not all offered a comment about how language was used. For Question 5
the example is given for you, so read the example and talk about how language is used
rather than selecting another example from it.

• For Question 3, consider the way Text 1 has tried to engage you as the reader. You could
pay particular attention to the opening and closing of the text as these are important
points for any writer. They will help you to see how the writer has shaped their text to
initially gain the interest of the reader and then to leave them at a particular point.

• In Question 3, try to cover points on both language and structure, commenting on
the different techniques that have been used by the writer and how they engage and
interest the reader.

• For your evaluations, make sure you are thinking about which elements from SITE
are useful for the text you have read, and use evaluative vocabulary when you are
commenting. You do not need to comment on language and structure here unless this
supports your evaluation. You can think about the audience and purpose of the text and
whether it would be successful for readers.

• For question 7a, always comment on similarities. You can comment on differences in 7b.
There are only 6 marks for 7a so be brief and succinct here. In 7b, link comparisons back
to ideas of the writers and their perspectives.

• When you are writing, always think about your reader, what you want them to
understand and how you want them to react at different parts of your writing; then
choose the best words, phrases or techniques available to you to achieve those effects.

• Think carefully about how you will begin to write so that it is engaging for your reader
from the very start.

• As you begin to write, know where you will end. This will help you to write in a manner
that is cohesive and coherent for your reader.

• Take care throughout with accuracy of all sorts: spelling, punctuation and grammar.

• Keep a close eye on the time during the examination and use the number of marks
available for each question as an indication of how long you should spend answering
each question.