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ZigZag Education Educational resources for schools and colleges
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GCSE AQA Practice Papers for the annual topic

'As close as you are going to get to the real thing...
All teachers of the spec need materials like this!'

L Bird, Head of Media & Independent Reviewer


3 Practice Papers for the exam topic

Fully prepare your students to succeed in the exam!
  • Theory tasks test all key concepts
  • Variety of design tasks covering web, print, storyboard & script
  • Original papers in the latest exam style – not available from AQA
‘I particularly liked the way the examiner's thoughts were presented and were very realistic... a great opportunity to see exactly what an A* response looks like!’ J Stenner, HoD, Examiner and Independent Reviewer

Everything you need:
  • 3 practice papers with pre-release briefs
  • Student-friendly mark schemes – great for self-assessment!
  • Full sample answers for 2 papers at different levels A*–C
  • NEW 'What's the Examiner Thinking' sections with detailed examiner-style commentary

'I love it!...It’s so useful to have mock exam papers written for the actual exam topic... Accurate mock exam papers are invaluable...Practical tasks spread across all skills required...the mark scheme is written in pupil speak giving them clear ideas of how to get the best answers.' L Bird, Head of Media & Independent Reviewer
'The best ZigZag resource I've ever purchased.' L Jessop, Head of Media & Independent Reviewer

ZigZag Education is not affiliated with DCSF, Pearson, Edexcel, OCR, AQA, WJEC or CEA in any way nor is this publication authorised by, associated with, sponsored by or endorsed by these institutions.

What do teachers have to say about the 2013 papers?
"It is always wonderful to find a resource that saves you researching and preparation time! The briefs which follow the usual format for pre release materials from the exam board are exciting and relevant. The topics and questions within offer the chance for students to be able to investigate uncovered areas of the market... There is a variety of tasks - I like the idea that they may create a video podcast and this is something I had not thought about. Resources like this are about idea generation and actually getting the ball rolling with regard to research and planning this unit... The mark schemes are student friendly and act as a guide to preparing their answers for the questions, or leading the students through by teacher guidance."S Crawte, Head of Media Studies & Independent Reviewer
"The exam marking scheme is written in pupil speak... relevant as an independent revision tool for higher ability pupils... the mark scheme could [also] be used and explained in class alongside the mocks in the lead up to the exam... Within the marking guidelines relevant theories and typical expected answers are listed, I think students would find this of great benefit (as would teachers in knowing what to deliver for the higher answers.) There is also some sound advice given on page 12 regarding approaching the paper for highest marks... I like the sample answers and the challenge to pupils to decide a mark... Having well written mock exam papers is invaluable to aid progression. I would like students to have regular access to the mark scheme and apply it to their own work as the exam approached and also it could be applied to additional task written by teachers themselves... Additional design tasks on page 38 are very good."L Bird, Head of Media & Independent Reviewer
What do teachers have to say about the 2014 papers?
'I found the resource incredibly useful, mainly because, with the GCSE topic changing every year, it is really helpful to have ready made resources to save teacher time in the busy lead up to GCSE exams. Often Media teachers aren't specialists and it takes time to think up creative and engaging sample briefs therefore this is a welcome pack... I really liked the sample answers at different levels - these take real time to produce. Although peer marking is useful students often feel inhibited so to mark a "strangers" answer is ideal and allows them to be really objective... The sample answers and clear student friendly mark scheme are fantastic for AfL, peer and self assessment. This is an ideal way for students to improve their exam responses. With the topic changing every year there is a lack of past papers/exemplar answers so this resource fills that gap... The questions read just like AQA exam questions for previous units and the mark scheme is a fantastic student version of it. The exemplar answers and examiner responses also sound knowledgable and like someone who has marked media papers before.'P Town, Media/English Teacher & Independent Reviewer
'A simple yet effective resource that will come in handy for exam preparation... I really like the clear layout for the mark scheme, it is very student friendly. This will allow it to be used for peer assessment... The variety of example answers for the design task - showing alternative options for storyboard / website/ script... Example answers are beneficial to the students, allowing them to see what an 'a' grade answer would actually look like, especially when it comes to production tasks, where students aften lack confidence... tasks and preliminary material are representative of those in the exam.' – E Richardson, Meida Teacher & Independent Reviewer
'Extremely comprehensive... I particularly liked the way the examiner's thoughts were presented and were very realistic... Going through the paper question by question would really help students achieve a higher grade than if they went into the test blind - in other words a great opportunity to see exactly what an A* response looks like!I like the way the resource makes students see responses from an experienced examiner's perspective and raises much greater awareness of the assessment objectives - students also get a clearer idea of what competent use of terminology looks like in practice... The annotation of the storyboard was excellent and of particular note. All comments were constructive and informative! This resource is clearly fitted to the specification and highlights the assessment objectives really well, raising student awareness of these vital aspects of the specification... Definitely on my list for resources to purchase next academic year! A thoroughly useful, creative and student friendly focus on the assessment objectives, with a realistic and attainable set of tasks.'J Stenner, Head of Creative Media, Examiner and Independent Reviewer
'The Examiner's comment section is a fantastic idea, which enables us to understand in more detail how an exam paper is marked and the reasoning behind it... a great deal of people, especially those new to teaching Media Studies for this specification would find the guide to approaching the Unit 1 exam invaluable.Exciting Prelim material which instantly engages the mind in thinking about target audience and ideas for promotion. The tasks set in [paper 1] stretch the student and the mark scheme explains in detail the expectations for each level - something that can be applied to any topic... The exemplars for this particular paper are of varying grades and the Examiners comment are specific to this... An excellent resource, which helps teachers prepare for the exam topic saving vast amounts of time. The tasks can be set as a mock paper or simply just a task to be completed in the lesson or for homework. Thank you to the person who wrote this resource - please write more.'S Crawte, Head of Media Studies & Independent Reviewer