Question B advice

What do I need to think about before I start writing?

Imagine your answer is a SUITCASE – the examiner is looking for certain TAGS.

T = Topic. Stick to the topic. Have plenty of ideas. Identify problems but also offer solutions.

A = Audience. Who are you writing for? What kind of language is appropriate? (formal/informal)

G = Genre. Are you writing a diary/report/speech etc…? What layout is expected?

S = Style. What techniques will you use? Emphatic words, vivid imagery, address audience etc…?

If these elements are there then you should have everything you need in your answer.

You cannot answer QA & QB on the same text.

If you do you lose 25% of the marks for Paper 1.

What can I be asked to write?

Report / memo


Letter (may be based on the text)




Diary entries (may be based on the text)




How much should I write? 1½ – 2pgs

How long do I have? 45Mins

Do I need to read the text the QB follows?

Often you are asked to base your answer on the information in the text so you will have to read it quickly to get ideas.

The examiners will reward ‘creative modeling’.

This means you can use the ideas in the text BUT you cannot just re-write sentences word-for-word and pretend you’ve come up with them yourself (this is plagiarism.)

They are expecting you to model the same style – if the writer used quotes, you should too (but different ones), if the writer included an anecdote you should do (but your own anecdote…). You must add your own personality & imagination. Don’t steal the ideas, challenge them, add something new, model a similar style but different content. 

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