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Writing: Sample Questions


Writing: Sample Questions Revision

Sample Questions

Here are some example questions to refresh your AO knowledge and show you how to spot what skills to demonstrate in each question.

Remember: for your writing sections, the only two AOs you need to worry about are AO5 and AO6.

Assessment Objectives

Let’s have a quick refresher of what AO5 and AO6, two very important skills tested in the writing section of your exam, involve…


AO5: Content and Organisation

  • You need to be able to communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively.
  • This means selecting and adapting your tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences.
  • You should be able to organise information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features.



AO6: Technical Accuracy

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


But what can we expect?…




What can you Expect from Questions?

As we have seen, AO5 and AO6 are the Assessment Objectives you will be tested on in the writing questions of your exam.

The questions will be relatively short and function more as prompts to produce a creative response from.

Typically, the questions may ask you to write a description, story, or a non-fiction text, often related to the same topic as the texts from the reading section of your paper. 

Some exam boards may provide you with an image to help generate some initial ideas for your work.



Remember that creativity is valued in your responses to the writing tasks you are given!

In the examiner’s report on answers to the writing question, they highlight that preparing a stock response is not the right approach, so make sure you learn how to use specific language and structural techniques

Get inspired by reading books, watching films and listening to music to help make sure that your writing is as interesting and creative as possible.



You should consider the purpose of your writing when you read the question. 

For example, if you are asked to write a story, your purpose should be to entertain. For this, you need to use sophisticated and creative language, vary your sentence length, and make sure the content of your answer as interesting as possible.

You could also give your writing its own aim and direction. For example, you could use emotive language, a confident tone or even use rhetorical questions for a certain character’s dialogue to represent them in a particular way.



Finally, don’t be afraid to show off your skills in the exam!

This is where you can bring together all of your knowledge and skill to create a really brilliant piece of writing

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Exam Board Variation

While there is a variety of different question styles in each exam board, they all test the same basic skills required by the government. 

For example, Edexcel sometimes ask their learners to write about their personal experiences as part of the question, whereas AQA don’t. 

However, these different formats will still test the same AOs, so practicing your skills using multiple exam boards is a fun way to keep your studying varied whilst also preparing you for the content in your exam.


If you’re not comfortable writing about your own life, making something up is fine – as long as your writing is interesting and engaging




Example Questions: Paper 1

Let’s take a look at some sample questions



Describe a mysterious event.”     

(includes 16 marks for the range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate use of spelling and punctuation)

(40 marks)




Write a description based on this image.”     

(24 marks for content and organisation

16 marks for technical accuracy)

[40 marks]



As you can see, despite being worth many more marks than the individual reading section questions, the writing section questions are a lot shorter.

Try not to let this worry you, this simply means that you have more freedom to interpret the question in a way that interests you so you can make your writing more engaging and detailed!

If you go along with the image, use your five senses to get as much inspiration as possible, or try to imagine the emotions it conveys.




Example Questions: Paper 2


Let’s take a look at some sample questions


Sample One

In Paper 2, the questions may look slightly different.

Here, you are given a prompt to respond to in a particular way, which includes who your audience might be: the readers of a school newsletter.

This can also inform your language choice, perhaps you use more specialised language within education, as the audience would be familiar with it.

Depending what angle you take, you will also need to adapt your tone.

Does the response need to be formal or informal? Chatty or professional?

The text type and audience will often inform you of this.



Sample Two

In this question, you are even given clues on the format your answer should have. In this case you have been asked to write an article, which has distinct structural features.

For example: Creating relevant subheadings to organise information and a headline to grab the reader’s attention is a great way to gain marks in AO5 for organising information clearly.

Your subheadings could use language techniques like rhetorical questions or repetition to engage the reader further.



Sample Three

The purpose of your writing is also laid out in this question which asks for your point of view on the statement given. 

Here, your main aim would be to persuade the reader. In your plan, you could look to include emotive language, direct address, or rhetorical questions to make your writing more convincing!

Remember, this doesn’t have to be your real point of view.

It can even help in the planning stage to imagine someone else’s opinion, or simply make one up.

This will help focus your writing, where you can employ different techniques accordingly.



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