iGCSE English Language Revision and Study Booklet

AQA Certificate (iGCSE)
English Language
Revision and Study Booklet
AQA Certificate (iGCSE)
English Language
Revision and Study Booklet
Section A: Reading
One Hour and 15 minutes!
Read the passage, retrieve the evidence and answer the questions.
Section A: Reading Skills
Finding and selecting relevant quotes/evidence
Making detailed inferences
Making links between quotes and inferences
Commenting on the writer’s craft
Section A: Reading
One Hour and 15 minutes!
Read the passage, retrieve the evidence and answer the questions.
What can I do to prepare for this section?
 Read as much as possible and discuss what you have read with someone: what have you learnt?
What was the writer trying to make you think/feel/understand? How do you know? What language
and techniques did they use?
 Practise the questions included in this booklet using the processes you have been taught: select the
evidence in different colours, select the most fruitful quotes to answer the questions, choose at least
THREE to FIVE quotes to answer the question; write an answer that addresses the question and links
the quotes you have chosen;
 Answer questions in the correct amount of time (double the marks and add a couple of minutes i.e.
12 minutes for a five mark question). One you have completed them, check: have you got at least
THREE to FIVE quotes? Have you made a detailed and developed inference about each quote? Have
you found links between quotes? Have you referred to the writer? Have you answered the question
fully and in detail?
 Get together with a friend and have a go at the same question in the same amount of time. Mark
your friend’s answer. How have they done? Which answer is better and why? Repeat the process and
see if you can improve! Use the RAG sheet to help you.
In your exam, use at least THREE different colours to highlight evidence in the text
relevant to different questions.
This will help you focus on the most fruitful quotes and cover the text in sufficient detail:
remember – top marks can only be achieved with detailed, thoughtful and well supported
All the answers are there in front of you – find them!
Grandfather’s skirts would flap in the wind along the churchyard path and I would hang on. He often
found things to do in the vestry, excuses for getting out of the vicarage (kicking the swollen door,
cursing) and so long as he took me he couldn’t get up to much. I was a sort of hobble; he was my
minder and I was his. He’d have liked to get further away, but petrol was rationed. The church was at
least safe. My grandmother never went near it – except feet first in her coffin, but that was years later,
when she was buried in the same grave with him. Rotting together for eternity, one flesh at the last
after a lifetime’s mutual loathing. In life, though, she never invaded his patch; once inside the
churchyard gate he was on his own ground, in his element. He was good at funerals, being gaunt and
lined, marked with mortality. He had a scar down his hollow cheek too, which Grandma had done with
the carving knife one of the many times when he came home drunk and incapable…
…It was certainly easy to spot him at a distance too. But this was a village where it seemed everybody
was their vocation. They didn’t just “know their place”, it was as though the place occupied them, so
that they all knew what they were going to be from the beginning. People’s names conspired to colour
in this picture.
Remember to make detailed inferences about each quote
and find links between them!
Doesn’t seem happy at
home and wants to
Kicking seems like quite
aggressive behaviour, not
something we expect from a
He seems to enjoy a more
depressing event, which
suggests he is unusual and
possibly unhappy and
depressed himself
“…excuses for getting out of
the vicarage (kicking the
swollen door, cursing)”
“He was good at funerals,
being gaunt and lined,
marked with mortality”
‘cursing’ shows unexpected
behaviour and that the vicar is
quite angry and possibly
Death may be the
ultimate escape from
his misery, which is
why he enjoys
He seems ‘marked’ with death
and is therefore unusual
looking, which makes his stand
Q1. The writer refers to her grandfather as “a character” (line 50).
What evidence has she given to support this view?
(6 marks)
Reference to writer/question
Throughout the extract the writer gives plenty of evidence to show that her grandfather is a ‘character’. One of the main
reasons why she says this is because he does not seem to live the lifestyle expected and associated with being a vicar. Sage
writes that he was an ‘expert in sin’ which appears to contradict with the image of a man of God that one usually thinks of.
Instead of abstaining from vices such as drinking and smoking, at ‘many times… he came home drunk and incapable”. The
author writes how ‘the smell of him and his tobacco’ made her grandmother sick and this all suggests that the grandfather
was a colourful character and not quite what you’d expect from a Church minister. Sage also presents the idea of him being
a ‘character’ through his supposed interest in death. She says that it was ‘burials he relished’ which is surprising as most
people prefer the normally more jolly wedding ceremonies and this sets him apart. The author also mentions how he stood
out in society, she said that ‘the grown-ups all played their parts’ and that ‘everybody was their vocation’. Sage is giving
evidence for her statement that he was a ‘character’ because the grandfather appears unique and different. He is at odds
with the setting he lives in. Finally the writer explains about how ’he was locally famous for his sermons’, if they were
famous then they must have had some sort of quality that attracted people back and was popular. Thus she shows his
nature as a ‘character’ who stood out in society.
Past Papers: Section A (One hour and 15 minutes)
How does the writer…
These questions are asking you to comment on how a writer has created their text to achieve a
particular effect. Look out for and analyse the effect of the following things:
Narrative perspective (Whose voice do you hear? Why is this important? What do they
Past, present or future tense
Word types: verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs
GRIPPERS 3PS or SOAPAIMS (don’t call them this; name them individually: the writer uses statistics
such as…)
Descriptive detail
Real life examples
Emotive details
Comparisons / contrasts
Personal opinions
Directly address reader (‘you’)
Order of events (Are character dealt with separately? Does something unexpected happen at the
end? What effect does this have on your undestanding?)
Sentence or paragraph lengths (What words/images/ideas are being emphasised? Why?)
Tone (positive, negative, formal, informal, humorous, serious etc.)
Humour or irony
Hyperbole (exaggeration)
Section B: Writing
45 minutes
Planning and writing
Section B: Writing Skills
Effective and engaging communication
Appropriate detail and techniques used for purpose
Secure and effective use of paragraphs
Range of vocabulary
Varied and effective sentences
Varied and effective sentence starters
Accurate and effective punctuation
Secure spelling of common and complex words
Section B: Writing to Describe or Writing to Narrate
Top Tips:
Have an awareness of your purpose (clearly describe or narrate);
Use a consistently appropriate tone;
Write lively and detailed descriptions;
Be coherent and develop your ideas in detail;
Use a wide range of punctuation;
Take some risks (use personification throughout your description,
include a twist in your story, for example, but make sure it makes
 Use a variety of sentences and sentence starters;
 Use a range of vocabulary and imagery to engage your reader;
 Vary the lengths of your paragraphs (use one and two line paragraphs
for effect).
Writing to Describe: Structure!
Paragraph One
Description of whole scene
Paragraphs Two and Three
Focus on one element
Paragraphs Four and Five
Focus on another element
Paragraph Six
Description of whole scene: how
has it changed?
Use personification when you are writing to describe. For example,
you could give a voice to an old haunted hospital if you were asked
to describe a frightening place.
For example:
I stand in a neglected corner of the town and watch as people scurry
past, looking cautiously over their shoulders; they are watching for
the ghosts of the past that roam within my walls. My grey, cold,
stone walls are crumbling, breaking, decaying. Debris, scattered
across the floor, is made up of stones, litter, old equipment. A gust of
wind, invading through the broken glass, is the only thing that
disturbs it every now and then. Frequently, however, my shadows
move, shift, and dance revealing the cracks in my dead-alive
foundations; I’m a shadow of what I used to be.
Writing to Describe: Tasks to try as part of your exam preparation!
Describe a childhood memory.
Describe a frightening place.
Describe a shopping centre on Christmas Eve.
Describe a holiday resort at the height of summer.
Describe an unpleasant or unusual place.
Your story should take place in
no more than FIVE minutes!
4) Resolution
Use verbs and adverbs
to engage your reader
If you choose to write a story,
use the following structure.
2) Introduce TWO
Bring the action to a conclusion but leave
some mystery!
Create an engaging atmosphere
3) Action
1) Setting
Create some mystery about your
Writing to Narrate: Tasks to try as part of your exam preparation!
Write a story with the opening line: “He was frozen!”
Write a story with the closing line: “I never looked back.”
Write a story with the title: ‘The Body’.
Write a story based on the images below:
Expand your vocabulary!
Complete the table with effective words you have used in your writing. Learn how to spell these words and
create sentences using these words. Find the synonyms of these words to help expand your vocabulary.
Start with an adverb (-ly)
i.e. Slowly
Start with a topic word followed by a colon
i.e. Money:
Start with three single word sentences
i.e. Hope. Ambition. Legacy.
Start with a subordinate clause ( but make
sure you complete the sentence!)
i.e. As I kicked the football, a loud scream
pierced my ear distracting my attention.
Start with a question
i.e. Do you want to….?
Start with an exclamation
i.e. Success!
Start with a fragmented sentence (,,,)
i.e. Kids crying…people watching.
Start with an imperative verb
i.e. Do something now.
Starting your sentences in different
ways is key to effective writing.
Write an example of a sentence from
a description of a school
playground/field, using each of the
different sentence starters in the
Choose FIVE of the words in
the list.
Write a sentence using this
word at the start.
For example:
Unwanted clothes were
scattered about the floor;
someone had left in a great
Re-write the following sentences to
make them more effective and
1. The police stood ready to attack.
2. The protestors were unprotected.
3. The smoke filled the air.
4. The buildings were behind the
5. The police car was behind the
Remember to use a range of simple, compound and complex sentences.
Write a range of sentences to describe a school playground/field.
1) I do not like that band.
2) I think that jumper is awful but I
know you like it.
3) The fire was started deliberately,
the policeman said.
4) Should we go to McDonalds or
Burger King?
5) I hate the dark.
6) I went to town and bought my
brother a present.
7) Although I am a vegetarian, I like
8) The boy was running.
9) Tom, who was only 5, saved his
mother’s life.
Remember to vary the lengths of your sentences for
This sentence has five words. Here, there are five more. Five word sentences are
fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening.
The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The
ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create
music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use
short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I
am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable
length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a
crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals; sounds that say listen
to this, it is important.
Remember use homophone spellings correctly!
Write a sentence in each box using each homophone spelling correctly.
1) their/they’re/there
Their house is really lovely.
They’re so talented.
There is my uncle.
2) where/were/we’re
Where did you go?
Were you there?
We’re not coming.
4) its and it’s
The plane is on its way.
It’s going to be late.
5) here/hear
I am staying here.
I hear clearly.
7) to/two/too
I am going to bed
It’s two in the morning.
It’s too late for me!
8) whether/weather
I will decide whether I can make it.
It depends on the weather.
3) been/being
I have been shopping.
I am being inpatient.
6) you’re/your
You’re joking me!
Your joke wasn’t funny!
9) our/are
Our neighbours are noisy.
Are they even aware they are so loud?
Write an example of each technique to describe the scene in a school
1) Death hunts me down.
2) The whoosh of gun fire frightens
3) 3) The soft sound of snoring seems
out of place in this dark trench.
4) There are broken, bruised bodies.
5) Pins and needles numb my hands.
6) Fear grips me.
7) Carrying the gun is like carrying a
ten tonne weight on my shoulders.
8) I run at lightning speed.
9) The sound of the shots buzzes in
my ear.
Apostrophes for Omission:
Write the contraction for each pair of words.
1) Can not
2) She will
3) They would
4) Will not
5) Should not
6) Do not
7) Has not
8) Would have
9) Could have
10) Should have
Apostrophes for Possession!
A possessive noun is a word that shows ownership or belonging.
Add an apostrophe and an s ('s) to a singular noun to make it a possessive noun.
For Example:
Betty's sandwich or Tommy’s fish
If the person’s name ends in an ‘s’ just add an apostrophe after it (s’)
For example:
James’ ball
An apostrophe can be used to show that something belongs to one or more than one person or thing.
If you wish to show that it belongs to one person we add ‘s.
For example:
It was the boy’s football.
If you wish to show that it belongs to more than person (i.e. A group) we place an apostrophe after the s.
For example:
It was the boys’ football.
Complete the sentences adding the possessive apostrophe in the
appropriate place.
1. It was Sarahs bedroom.
2. The boys ball went over the fence when he was playing on his own in the
3. The girls netball match was cancelled. They were gutted!
4. James exam was a great success.
5. The teachers enjoyed a meal together.
6. Her parents car was smashed to pieces.
7. The parents evening was well attended.
8. Lydias cold was getting worse.
9. The cats leg was broken in the accident.
10. The doctors waiting room was full of patients during his late night
Colons and Semi-Colons
A colon ( : ) separates two parts of a
A semi-colon ( ; ) joins two
parts of a sentence.
The part of the sentence that comes
after the colon explains the part
Both parts of the sentence will
be related in some way.
For example:
The plate was empty: the girl had
eaten all the cake.
It can also indicate the start of a list.
For example:
The cake contains: three eggs, half a
pound of flour, and lots of sugar!
For example:
Mary drives a Mercedes;
Joanne drives a Chevrolet.
Write down the following sentences putting the colon in
the appropriate place.
1) The boy was in a critical condition he had been hit by a car.
2) The classroom had fifteen desks, 30 chairs and an interactive
3) The circus was very entertaining there were many different acts to
4) It was a devastating storm the wind had knocked down many
5) The pie contained flour, butter, lots of meat and onions for flavour.
Write down the following sentences putting the semicolon in the appropriate place.
1) Elephants drink water they travel in herds.
2) Beckham plays for LA Galaxy Rooney plays for Manchester United.
3) She works all day in a store she takes classes in the evenings.
4) John is Canadian however, he lives in the United States.
5) Pupils attend school from the age of four they leave at sixteen or