Paper 1&2 reflection

After doing practice papers in class, I’ve noticed some mistakes that I’ve continuously been making, such as:


-confusing rhyme with rhythm

-connecting the elements of the poem with its content, such as thinking of a ‘hymn’ from ‘reverential’ word choice.

-writing ‘Firstly, Nextly…’ instead of ‘First, Next..’

For Paper 2, I thought it was harder to write a commentary if the question is only limited to, for example, seeing the effect of the settings in the novel. Also I felt the need to read books in more detail in order to prevent generalised response in paper 2. It was harder than I thought to compare two books and to pick out similarities and differences.


Paper 1 Practice- Learning points

I can honestly say that I learnt that I need a lot of help when it comes to writing essays. I look at the question and freeze. I understand what it is asking of me, but I’m not sure as to how I’m supposed to organise my essay or what exactly the exam is looking for. I do know that I must have assertions, but what to assert? How to support? What to write?!?!

Anyway, I did take away some learning points.

1) I am not supposed to begin paragraphs with facts, evidence, summaries or generalizations, but with assertions.

2) I’ve got to get my facts about the novels correct- eg. number of people, peoples’ addresses ect.

3) Dashes come in pairs, just like brackets must be opened and closed.


I think I was very lucky to have gone first. I just got over it, and didn’t have to worry about it anymore.

Through doing my own IOP and watching the rest of the class do it as well, I’ve learnt a lot about presentations, what works and what doesnt. To be fair, I thought that all the presentations were pretty goood. There were instances where I was honestly very bored and tired. And I realised that getting the audience’s attention and interest is something that is very important but very difficult.

When analysing a text, I realise that i’ve got to analyse it as a  piece of literature  and characters as made characters of fiction rather than real people. I think that’s really difficult. Sometimes I read fiction and I analyse their lives so much it feels that they’re real. That’s something I’ve got to take note of.

Overall, I learnt a lot about how different people interprete different texts, and how we all take note of different things when reading the same text. Some of the other presentations really brought up issues I never thought about when reading the text. Through this, I got to see the different texts in different lights. It was very exciting.

Sonnet 29 commentary

In my response to “Sonnet 29” I mentioned how the imagery and structure helped to make the poem sad. I used the structure PEEL (point, example, explain, link back to the question) but my explanation tended to be too long; therefore I wasted a lot of time. After reading Mr. McKnight’s commentary I realized that nearly every sentence contains a point and is relevant in some way or another. I then looked at the marking scheme and it states that I need to do this. So something I can do to improve my writing is to stick to the point and not go off track because I do not get any extra marks according to how good its written, if its got no relevance to the poem.

Exam review

When I received my mock exam back, I was rather surprised to find that my grade had increased even though I thought I’d done worse than on the one in class. I learnt I need to not try and use words that complicate what I’m trying to say, o I should try and be more simplistic


After getting my results back I was shocked since I had gone down from my last commentary. I believe that I didn’t put as much thought into it. When I sat down for the exam my head wasn’t in the right place, this obviously reflected onto my work. Once we read the poem in class I understood something that stumped me in the exam. Hopefully I will do better in my next one.

Exam stuffz

After getting back my results, i felt…normal. I was actually expecting a 3 after I got home after the exam as I realized that I commented less on the language and more on theory. I was also realized that my work was lacking in detail, and that my citation style was wrong. I felt that my score was better than expected but not as high as I could get.


Reflections on Exam

Today, we got back our exam papers. I can truthfully say that i’m neither disappointed nor happy, as I (sort of) expected to get the grade I got. 

After looking at the poem and my answer as well as the comments, I have learnt a few new things. Firstly, when I get stressed, I tend to misspell some words. I will be more careful in future to spell words as accurately as possible even when I’m stressed out during exam conditions. I also realised that when I look at poems, I have to take note of its sentences, so as not to make weird mistakes and misunderstand the poem completely.

When writing commentaries in the future, I should also delve deeper into themes that the poet talks about, and reflect and analyse more deeply, rather than just looking at the surface of the poem.

I think that with more practice reading poems and writing commetaries, I should be able to improve and be better prepared for the future tests and examinations.

Exam Reflection

After we got our exams back I wasn’t really surprised with my grade because I didn’t understand that poem at all and I seem to have missed the main idea completely. Whatever I wrote was based on personal opinion and whatever I thought I saw when I read it. Reading through the comments, I realize that I have a lot of problems with interpretation and analyzing the poem and also other pieces of literature. My main problems in this exam were to do with the expression of some of my ideas as well as quoting technique. I also need to improve my analytical skills as well as understanding of literature. I think that in order to improve I will need to read the bible and learn about Christian theology because it seems like most of what we learn in english literature now involves some elements in religion in one way or another.


After receiving English exam back, I was quite disappointed because my score was lower than what I’ve expected S:

For Understanding and Interpretation (Criterion A) and Appreciation of the writer’s choices (Criterion B), I’ve received the mark I was expecting. My interpretation could have been more persuasive to readers, and the analysis of the techniques could have been more detailed.

I was quite shocked by the marks for Criterion 3 and 4 (Organization and Development, and Language) but after reading my answer again, I agreed more with the marks that I’ve received. Maybe this was because I haven’t had enough practice of writing in IB style, or because I ran out of time at the end (so I didn’t have time to go over what I’ve written) Next time, I’ll try to pay attention especially to organization and language of the commentary and also look over the criterion for marks to make sure I know which part to improve on.

Commentary Exam

Hmm… This exam was pretty bad I think. I need to have more detail on the points that I’m writing about, and stop being so general. This was the grade I expected to get though, and I need more practice writing essays.

One of the main problems is the difference between IB and IGCSE from last year. In IGCSE, lots of people pretty much made up things or wrote whatever the examiner ‘wanted’ and was able to get high marks. However, IB is completely different. You have to have a clear idea about the text and actually write things that are related to your own interpretation of it.

I also think it would be more helpful if we could see some example essays. Another thing I don’t understand is about our ideas on the text. This is because I thought we could all have our own originality in our essays, yet when we discuss things, there seems to be only 1 correct way of interpreting the poem.

Lessons Learned from Commentary

What I learned from writing the commentary for the English exam is that in some of my main body paragraphs I fall into the habit of making generic comments on stuff like “vivid imagery” when there is none apparent.  I should instead get straight to my more developed points about possible interpretations of cited passages.