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What's the code?



In these questions you are given the opportunity to express your opinion about the ideas and/or the styles of writing in the passages. It's important for you to give a considered opinion, based on your understanding of the ideas, and an appropriate analysis of the style. The only way you can show this is to continually refer to the passage. Look out for phrases in the question like 'how effective' or 'to what extent' or 'in your opinion' or 'which passage did you find more'.

Evaluation questions which come in the 'Question(s) on both Passages' section at the end of the paper pose a bit more of a problem. They can be worth more marks and you may well be running short of time, so it's important that you approach them with a clear plan in mind.

You are not being asked to comment about the ideas or writing styles in the passages. You are being asked for a specific response to the ideas or the styles (or both) in the passages.

Make sure that you understand whether you are being asked to respond to the ideas of the passages or to the styles of writing or to both. Use the code to help you. Plan your answers accordingly.

Always refer closely to the passages to support what you are saying. You don't have to refer to the passages equally but you can't deal with just one, no matter how much better you understand the ideas. There's nothing wrong with using material from answers to earlier questions, but don't overdo it!


  • Check out the comparison questions at the start
  • Plan your time carefully
  • Refer in detail to both passages
  • Explain clearly the nature of the comparison

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