Lit Crit was re More than you ever wanted to know was re Answers from Diana

otheng otheng at
Fri Jun 8 12:35:44 EDT 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: Ven <ven at>
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 2:29 AM
Subject: Re: Lit Crit was re More than you ever wanted to know was re
Answers from Diana

> One of my friends horrified my with her opinion that for any' A' level
> question there were 20 points you had to get in your essay, worth
> 5 % of the marks each so doing well was just a question of
> learning the right answers to as many of the standard questions as
> possible. I'd gone about it believing they wanted to see an essay
> that answered the question with reference to the text........ As an
> English teacher Gill, can you tell me do the 20 points really exist?

I can promise you they don't! What a horrible idea! No - you need to make a
number of valid points, backed up with reference to the book, but there's no
set number, and definitely NO single correct answer. The thing about A Level
teaching is the arguing and debating that is vital - you learn to put
forward ideas, support them, listen to other people and take interesting
concepts from them and develop them - synthesis and understanding are what
it's about, IMHO. The examiners stress that they are looking for original
*personal* responses, not pre-digested Received Opinion handed out by the

The new AS is more prescriptive, and that worries me - English at A Level
should be about enthusing the student and liberating the mind, not

You may guess I have a bee in my bonnet.<g>


To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list