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Further Practice

Paper 1 Question 5 




  Focus: Description / Narrative                    Marks: 40                         Time: 45 mins

Click on a topic below:















How are you marked?

The marks are divided into two main skills: Content & Organisation and Technical Accuracy.

Content & Organisation (24 marks) includes:

  • Overall communication

  • Tone and register

  • Vocabulary and language techniques

  • Structure

  • Ideas

Technical Accuracy (16 marks) includes:

  • Accuracy of spelling

  • Variety of punctuation

  • Accuracy of grammar

  • Variety of sentences

The examiner will read your answer THREE times.

  1. ​First they'll decide how successful your overall communication is and decide on a level (L1-L4).​

  2. Then they'll read again (looking at tone, language, structure and ideas) and decide on a final mark for Content & Organisation.

  3. Then they'll read it a final time and award a mark for Technical Accuracy. The two marks are added together.

If you confuse the story and description (e.g. using the picture in the wrong task or writing a story about a given topic instead of a description etc.) it won't usually affect your marks. The examiner will focus on the quality of your writing.

Common mistakes

  • Not planning.

  • Having no structure to your writing.

  • Telling the reader what's happening rather than showing them through description.

  • Using simple, boring language and punctuation.


How to succeed

  • Plan the beginning, middle and end.

  • Keep it simple!

  • Focus on emotions (anger, fear, excitement etc.)

  • Use a variety of language devices, punctuation and sentence types.

  • Read some marked answers to see what makes a good level 3 description/narrative.

  • Go to the Paper 1 practice papers and write some answers to Q5.

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