As John Dewey (1859-1952) once claimed: "We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience." Perhaps the best way to practice for Paper 1 is to take a mock exam (under exam conditions), make mistakes, discuss those mistakes and then fix those mistakes. Most likely, the kinds of mistakes that you make are the kinds of mistakes that other students have made before.
Teachers often provide students with feedback on their Paper 1 responses like the feedback provided in the Google Doc below. To give feedback on a student’s response,
- make a copy of this Google Doc (see button below),
- delete the comments that do not apply to the student,
- add new comments and examples from the student’s response,
- give marks by replacing [X],
- and ask students to rewrite their Paper 1 response, taking the feedback into consideration.
Humans are creatures of imitation. As unflattering as the adage sounds, it is: monkey see, monkey do. To prepare for a (mock) Paper 1, read very good examples and imitate their arguments and language. After reading a stimulus text and model response, try writing your own response to the same stimulus text. Is your response unoriginal? No worries. This is not an exercise in originality but an exercise in skill building. Which sentence structures are useful? Which words and phrases are useful? Which points of analysis are impressive? Keep practicing these!
One comment for criterion C suggest that you should: "organise your analyses of finer points into paragraphs on major points." What does this mean? There is a kind of tree of stylistic features; some smaller features are related to bigger features. Narrative technique, visual language and figurative language are like tree trunks from which quoted speech, symbols and metaphors grow respectively. A topic sentence announces a tree trunk and analyses explore several branches, providing examples like leaves. By grouping smaller devices into bigger devices, you show better understanding of language and an ability to organise your analyses.
Credit: This page was inspired by this feedback document, by Nada Yasin from Hayah International Academy.