I know some of you are starting to get a bit twitchy about the fast approaching exams and need a little bit of reassurance. In this post I will go over the basics of Achievement Standard 90724 (Unfamiliar Texts).
You will answer questions based on two written texts ‑ one prose and one poetry. Questions will be set on each text and there will also be questions involving the comparison of both texts.
You will be given a resource booklet with all texts to be read and a separate question and an answer booklet with lines for you to write on.
I suggest that you spend at least 40 minutes on completing this standard. You could spend 20 minutes reading and answering each text.
As you know questions in this standard no longer have separate parts. The questions are specific enough to apply to the text, but wide enough to enable all students to attempt a response while better students can reach for Excellence. You are not required to write essay responses in this standard. You do need to have a “toolbox” of well-understood language terms. This applies to the specifics of language, grammar, style etc, as well as to understanding the wording of the questions. Terms such as “identify”, “discuss”, “compare” also need to be understood.
Key skills you need to achieve in this standard are:
- ability to read and understand the texts
- ability to identify/label language techniques/features of style
- ability to link language techniques/features of style to effect
- ability to support the above with appropriate references to and/or quotations from the text
- ability to make connections within a text on a literal level
- ability to identify and discuss pivotal points or shifts in tone.
To achieve well in this standard you must be able to:
- write in-depth answers, and provide examples which are then analysed and explained
- identify clearly elements of style/language techniques and explain their effect
- write in an integrated style, providing an holistic understanding of the text (perhaps using embedded quotes) rather than discussing techniques/meanings in isolation
- show an awareness of connections between ideas in the text, commenting on patterns, contrasts etc
- show an awareness of author’s purpose
- show an awareness of how language works
- analyse rather than describe
- identify and discuss clearly elements of style and explain their effect
- identify and discuss clearly changes in tone and explain the effect
- make perceptive links between language features/style and the author’s purpose
- show an understanding of comparing/contrasting
- read confidently for inference, commenting confidently on connotative as well as denotative meanings
- have a fluent writing style
- respond in a personal way and show evidence of intelligent, original thought
- discuss reader response
- evaluate texts effectively.