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7 Steps to A* for Prose Questions

Always remember your PEA (Point, Evidence, Analysis)!

You have a choice in the Prose section to either attempt a Passage Based Question or an Essay based Question. Remember these points while attempting these questions:

1. For all Passage based questions, highlight the key words and phrases that need to be commented in the answer. Detailed analysis of way writers achieve their effects is required for success. Provide an informed personal response to the question that accompanies the passage.

2. Avoid re-telling the story or paraphrasing for Passage based or Essay question.

3. Read it carefully and be prepared to probe it really close.

4. For Essay question, don’t reduce your response to a simple character sketch or re-telling the story.

5. Understand and pay close attention to the word from the question and compose your answer based on it.

6. The examiners look for candidates who have the confidence to express individual views of their reading based on sound evidence [that is reference to and quotations from the text]. This is in brief the idea behind literary study as opposing to mere parroting of the words from study resources.

7. Avoid wasting time on background, biography or lengthy introductions- these are not awarded. It is important to stick to the question set and every sentence must add something to the overall discursive essay that the candidate is writing. Be critical and avoid story re-telling at all times. Analysing writer’s effect in all set of questions is the key to high grades.

And finally, all the very best!

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