AQA Paper 1 Question 1: boring but important

OK, let’s look at how we might tackle question 1 so it’s over with as quickly as possible.

We want this one over and done with asap as it’s worth a measly 4 marks. Let’s look at the question from the practice paper:

Read again the first part of the Source from lines 1 to 7.List four things from this part of the text about the weather in Cornwall. [4 marks]

Remember: look carefully at the question and underline the key word or words:

List four things from this part of the text about the weather in Cornwall.

Remember hack #3: you haven’t read the passage yet. So, all you are going to do is read the bit they ask you to read. Which is the first paragraph:

Now: take your trusty pen (you don’t need highlighters in a million colours, trust me. A pen will do) and circle or underline four words or phrases that are about the weather (you can write all over the exam paper):

It was a cold grey day in late November. The weather had changed overnight, when a backing wind brought a granite sky and a mizzling rain with it, and although it was now only a little after two o’clock in the afternoon the pallor of a winter evening seemed to have closed upon the hills, cloaking them in mist. It would be dark by four. The air was clammy cold, and for all the tightly closed windows it penetrated the interior of the coach. The leather seats felt damp to the hands, and there must have been a small crack in the roof, because now and again little drips of rain fell softly through, smudging the leather and leaving a dark-blue stain like a splodge of ink. 

That should take you about 1-2 minutes to do. Then all you do is write them down on the answer paper:

  1. Granite sky
  2. Mizzling rain
  3. Cloaking them in mist
  4. Air was clammy cold

No need to write full sentences or explain anything. Just get those exact words down on that paper and move quickly along with four marks stored neatly away.

No need to drag that one out – but I will go into more detail with later questions.

This is an extract from my book available on Kindle: The Examiner’s Head

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