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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:20 pm
Posts: 40
Hi,

Just wanted to know your top tips for the writing task eg. time, setting characters, vocabulary.


Thanks :D


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:59 am
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Location: N London
Hi Imranali,

I don't know what your DC is like but my DS got so engrossed in telling an exciting story he would forget to show the skills that get you marks. So we worked out a formula for him to use so that he could still use his creativity but at the same time get some marks.....

First para - super opening sentence, introduce characters or setting with description.

Second/third paras the story happens, action etc. include speech or thoughts, description or senses, if appropriate.

Final paragraph should conclude the story.

Check full stops and capital letters and other punctuation. Great to try and use level six punctuation (correctly) I.e. ?!'":;,...

This approach is controversial, some think it's too prescriptive, but it made DS appreciate the sort of thing the examiner might be looking for, in addition to a good plot (not a problem for him) and some great use of language. We didn't learn stock phrases or descriptions for certain settings, we did practice grammar.

Tell us more about your DC and you might get some more useful tips.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:31 pm 
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Thanks. My DD struggles with time. Do you have any solutions?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:42 pm 
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For the schools we were sitting, the written tasks varied in length from 20 minutes through to 55 minutes. We worked out in advance how much ds could comfortably write in that time (allowing time for planning), and therefore for each school ds went in knowing that he was expecting to write say 3 paragraphs/one side of A4, or 6 paragraphs/2 sides of A4 etc. This helped both in planning and timing.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:26 pm 
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Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:49 am 
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With regards to 20 minute pieces if you are not able to complete the piece would it be acceptable to try and leave the story at a cliff hanger? My dd struggles to finish a story.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Absolutely not. That is a cop out. Never do a dream and never do a cliff hanger. Show the examiner that you are a master story teller and can create a strong ending. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:11 am 
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I suspect that it depends on the task set. Usually for a very short piece such as 20 minutes, the brief is fairly specific - and it may well be to finish off the comprehension pice, or to write a description etc. If the task is a short story then there will usually be specific marks for structure and story-telling, and cliff-hangers don't tend to get these marks.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:20 pm
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I agree with DG that all DC should try to finish their writing pieces to enable the evaluator to see their capabilities in full. However, it may not be the end of the world if he/she doesn't. Last year, DD finished (in her estimation) only 50% of the story in her first exam (she struggled with it because she didn't like the theme) and 80% in the second (ran out of time) - surprisingly, she received offers from both schools.

Having said that, I would not suggest following my DD's example. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:20 pm
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Thank you so much. Does anyone have any tips for starting the story?


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