Wednesday, June 28, 2006

ENA6 then it's all over...

I know it's late, but here are some last minute tips for the ENA6 exam. I wouldn't normally bother as it's so close to the exam but I know that people have been using this blog for their exams right up to the last minute: in fact there was someone searching for ENA5 stuff on Monday at 12.30 which was an hour before the exam started. Stop it! Sort your life out! Have some lunch!

Anyway, the secret of doing well in this exam is a bit like the secret of good comedy................... timing.

There are 5 very different questions and if you stick to giving the short, 5 mark questions the time they deserve, and use the rest of the time to plan and write detailed answers to the big two questions (1c and 2a) you'll probably do yourself a favour. If you have the right technique on 1a, 1b and 2b you should be able to have them out of the way in no time at all (15 minutes maximum).

So, looking at them how do you do that? Question 1a requires a 3 sentence answer. Use linguistic terminology to label the 3 features/processes you're asked to find and give a brief explanation. That's it...

Question 1b requires a 5 point approach. You have to have some sort of aim, a method of collecting data, a framework to analyse that data, an awareness of extra linguistic variables and issues of ethics and validity, and an idea of what you will find and what it means. There is more detail on this available on the AQA site here (aimed at teachers but useful for students if you know what you're doing).

Question 2b can almost be done as you do 2a. If you build in 3 linguistic features to comment upon, you'll be able to refer back to them in your 2b answer. Remember to quote specific egs and label them linguistically before explaining your intended effect.

Question 1c is a textual analysis but requires an added level of evaluation from what you did in ENA1. Try to respond to the ways in which the writer makes his/her material accessible and interesting to the non-specialist audience. There's more to this question, but it's too late to go over the frameworks now and you should already be secure on these.

For question 2a, all I can really advise is be engaging and creative. Examiners will read loads of scripts that re-hash the source material in various ways, but will be happy to come across scripts that take risks and make reference to other sources of information and language debates. It's a synoptic unit, so try to show your grasp of the links between the different topics you've studied and your engagement in the language debate that the paper is focused on.

Good luck!

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