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AQA: Paper 1 Question 5


AQA: Paper 1 Question 5 Revision

AQA: Paper 1 Question 5

Ready to let your imagination run free? Question 5 is the perfect place to let your creative skills take over.

Here you will find out:

  • The format of the question
  • How to approach answering the question
  • The Assessment Objective (AO) of the question

This page will also feature an extract from a model answer to highlight what is expected of you if you want to gain the most marks possible.

Assessment Objectives (AOs)

Question 5 is covered by AO5 and AO6.


For A05, you are required to:


  • Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register to different different forms, purposes and audiences.



Well, what does this mean?

Tone is the overall feeling that is given off the by the writer’s words, in other words, the tone of writing creates a particular mood – you will need to select the right tone for the chosen format of writing in the exam. Does the text need to be persuasive or emotive, for example?

Style is the way the text is written – the writer’s use of language and structural features will affect the style of writing – in your exam, you need to be wise with the choices you make.

You also need to make sure that your writing suits the register of the chosen format. Should it be chatty or professional for example?



For AO6, you are required to:


  • Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.



Well, what does this mean?

This AO point is a lot clearer than the one above!

Vary the length of your sentences and use detailed and sophisticated vocabulary throughout – remember to check your answer for any spelling or punctuation errors.




Question Format


For Question 5 in the AQA GCSE English Language exam, you have a choice of two questions to answer.

You can either write a description based on an image, or you can write a story with a title relevant to the theme of the paper.

On the right is an example question in the same format that you will find in your exam.

Remember you only have to answer one of the two questions.



Notice that there is an introductory phrase to accompany the question – this varies in each paper, however you will always be asked to write a description or a story!




There are no sources to read for this question – you’re imagination is your source!

This question is worth 40 marks – you are assessed on the content of your writing as well as its accuracy.

As this question has the highest number of marks on offer, you are advised to spend the most amount of time on this question.

Spending around 45 minutes on this question should ensure that your answer contains enough detail to score highly!


Let’s have a look at how to approach Question 5 in Paper 1 next…


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How to Approach

If you plan on writing the description, take a careful look at the image and analyse every aspect of it. If you immersed yourself in the image, what would you be able to hear, see, smell, touch?

Use everything available to you to ensure that you have enough to talk about.

To ensure that your answer is structured and well planned out, it is recommended that you take some time before writing to note down the key points you want to mention…

A good way to do this is to create a mind map with the relevant information!


If you plan on writing the story, you have more freedom with what you write, as long as it relates to the given title.

To ensure that your answer has structure, draft up a rough plan for the beginning, the middle and the end.

You will lose marks if the writing does not flow naturally – the examiner will feel that the writing is rushed and unbalanced!



Regardless of which option you decide to go with, always remember to include lots of language techniques!

This will enable the examiner to visualise what you are describing or narrating in a more vivid and impressive way.

The result? Your answer will stand out to them, which means you will gain more marks!




Extract from Model Answer: Description

Please note: the following is just a small extract from an answer – your answer will have to include more points than this!


Why is this a good answer?


  • The writer has immersed themselves in the image to provide a detailed and accurate description.
  • A number of language techniques are used, including simile and personification.
  • Complex sentences have been used accurately.
  • Sophisticated language has been used to enhance the description.




Extract from Model Answer: Story

Please note: the following is just a small extract from an answer – your answer will have to include more points than this!


Why is this a good answer?


  • The story is allowed to flow nicely through the use of long and short sentences.
  • A number of language techniques are used, including the rule of 3 and rhetorical question.
  • Complex punctuation has been used effectively, including semi-colon and colon.
  • The story aligns with the title given on the question paper.



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