What does one need to include in the GCSE Creative Writing exam to earn a high mark?
When taking the GCSE English Language exam, the subject of creative writing will count for almost one-sixth of the overall score. You'll be asked to complete any number of creative writing tasks, so it's important to be prepared to complete each type of task. The more you're prepared, the higher your score will be. The tasks you could be asked to perform include either "writing for or about film or television programs"; writing an opinion piece; taking a story and rewriting it in another format, such as taking a poem and rewriting it as an article; writing an original short story; or writing a narrative based on your own personal life experience (BBC, GCSE Bitesize, "English: Creative Writing Overview"). Since there are so many types of writing tasks to be prepared for, below are a couple of ideas to help get you started, as well as sources to use to continue studying on your own.
No matter which task you are assigned to write, there are certain tips you can use to make your writing as effective as possible, as asserted by GCSE Bitesize:
- Make sure that what you say is both interesting and correct.
- Make sure your organization is clear and strong.
- Make sure you know how to use correct word choices, grammar, and spelling.
- Make sure you grab your reader's attention.
- Understand the genre for which you are writing; e.g. there is a huge difference in content between writing an article and writing a narrative essay.
- Understand your audience. There will be a huge difference in style between something written for an adult reader and something for a kid, etc.
- Understand your purpose. In other words, thoroughly know exactly why you are trying to write what you're writing and what you're trying to say so that you can say it.
- Understand differences in writing styles and which style will be most effective for the particular task. Styles can vary between being "formal, chatty, serious, comic, slang etc."
As you prepare for the exam, keep practicing all of the types of tasks you could be asked to do until you've incorporated each bullet point above. However, each task has specific sub-tasks you could also be asked to do, so, briefly, let's take a look at what you have to prepare for in order to complete a task concerning writing for or about film or TV. Under this task, you could be asked to write either a film review or to write a documentary voice-over script. Let's take a look at what you need to know to be able to write a film review, as stated by GCSE Bitesize:
- It has a specific structure, including an overview, a summary of the plot, an analysis of the film, and information about when the film will be released.
- It has a specific style that can sound informal, personal, and even chatty while also being sophisticated in language use.
- It has specific language that can be used to help you analyze the film, such as cinematography, music effects, sound effects, and special effects.
So, as you practice writing film reviews for your exam, as well as practice writing other tasks you could be asked to complete, practice incorporating those above bullet points.
According to the website I linked below, the main criteria you are graded for are content, organization, accuracy, and effect. I'd say the best thing to do in order to get a high mark is just practice. The more you do something and the more you study, the better you will do.
For my AP English Exams we wrote essays everyday. No matter how annoying it is, it really does help you improve. All you have to do is make sure you have an interesting paper that is written clearly, effectively, and with valid proof and evidence. Read about the test and information you need to be prepared and confident.