Yes you read that correctly, not only is English compulsory but it also is allowed to put you through the agony of two exams. Each exam tests different things so make sure you are prepared for the right exam on the right day! The Board of Studies is a very creative bunch, so the two exams are called paper one and paper two.
This is designed to test your knowledge about the Area of Study. It is made up of three sections, all worth 15 marks
You will be given a selection of texts/excerpts from texts related to the concept of belonging and will be required to answer a number of short answer questions about these texts and how they enrich your understanding of belonging. This section is essentially a comprehension; you will be given texts and will be required to comprehend and interpret them and how they reveal information about belonging.
This is the creative writing section. You will be given a stimulus or brief and will have to compose your own imaginative text that draws on the stimulus and demonstrates what you have learnt about belonging, its importance and what it means in various contexts.
The dreaded essay. You will be given a statement about belonging and be asked to discuss it, or be given a direct question which asks you about some aspect of belonging. You will need to respond to this in an essay form, drawing on your prescribed text and possibly one or two related texts to support your arguments about belonging.
This paper will test your knowledge about each of the modules. It is IMPERATIVE that you answer the correct question that corresponds with the texts/electives you have studied.
There will be one question for each elective, and each question is worth 20 marks. As a general rule, you will be required to write an essay response to each question, however, be warned that there is nothing in the syllabus that says you cannot be asked to write some other text type such as a speech, so be prepared!
You should also note that each exam goes for 2 hours, meaning you will have only 40 minutes to plan, write and edit each question you answer. Time management in exams is not a natural skill, so it is best to practice and seek advice on how to best compose clear and concise exam responses in the limited time available.
More details about each section of the exams, what will be expected and how to answer questions will be featured in later posts.