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5 Ways Your Teenager Can Prepare For Writing Assessments

Do you have a teenager that is a stuggling writer? or are they a reluctant writer?

The right preparation is key when it comes to your teenager growing in confidence in their writing.

Especially in writing assessments!!

But how can your teenager prepare for writing success?

1) Follow a checklist

You may have a teenager that is a struggling writer and finds it difficult to start writing. They may not know the key steps they need to take to produce a clear piece of writing.

A checklist can help them to get more clarity on where they should start first.

For example,

For a reading assessment:

If they need to answer an exam question by reading an extract.

They should:

  • Read the question - Highlight the keywords in the question.

(This will give them a clear focus on what key information they need to find for their answer).

For example,

How does Shakespeare present Macbeth as a powerful character?

I would highlight the following keywords.....

How does Shakespeare present Macbeth as a powerful character?
  • Read the extract (highlight key quotes from the extract that tells us that Shakspeare presents Macbeth as a powerful character).

For example,

This extract is a GCSE AQA exam paper of Macbeth - but they can use this method of preparation for any question they need to answer. Especially, when they need to analyse/evaluate the language in a text.

- Then write their answer! Using clear sentence starters/writing prompts which I will cover in my next point.....

2) Use writing prompts

Your teenager might get writer's block when it comes to writing out their answer and when they need to analyse/evaluate a text. Especially for GCSE, it can be difficult to answer the a question.

It is always good to have some sentence starters such as:

Great for analysing/evaluating language in a text

A great one to use when structuring a creative writing story (add sentence starters if necessary).

3) Use model answers

Model answers can help them to start writing their paragraphs and find a way to put their words together correctly in a sentence.

For example,

Sometimes I may write a few sentences to help them to start their paragraph or find another students' work that would be a good example.

If your teenager has an older sibling that can offer a good example of an essay, I would highly recommend it, whether you are homeschooling your child or they are in school.

For example.,

If your teenager does not have any older siblings, you can always ask their tutor or teacher if they have any good model answers of high-level essays from their students that they can photocopy for you.

As I always say,

If you don't ask, you don't get!!

4) Self assess their work

It is always a great way for your teenager to monitor their writing habits and see what their strengths and weaknesses are.

Here are a few descriptors that I use for self assessing work for analysing language or creative writing:

Reading - Comprehension/analyse:

CF: Clear focus in the answer and referring back to the question with the use of paragraphs.

E: Adding evidence (quote) from the text to support your answer.

AQ: Analysing the quote.

WT: Mentioning the writing technique that is used in the chosen quote.

E: Explaining your answer in more detail and referring back to the question.

Z: Zoom into a word in the quote and explaining what does it tell the reader.

ER: What effect do all these examples have on the reader?

WM: What is the writer's message?

Writing - Describe/narrate:

AV: Using ambitious vocabulary - words that are not usually used E.g instead of the word excited - use the word 'elated'

AP: Ambitious punctuation - punctuation that is used to create a particular effect or emotion E.g question marks, hyphens, ellipsis

WT: Using a variety of writing techniques E.g alliteration, similes, personification, metaphors, etc.

SO: Using sentence openers E.g Cautiously, suddenly, etc.

S: Using a variety of sentence structures E.g Simple, compound, complex.

SP: Spelling

P: Punctuation

G: Grammar

Depending on the type of writing they need to do, you can use this as a simple way for your teenager to self assess their work.

For info on self-assessment please click on my other blog post that will show how complete it successfully.

5) Identify their strengths and weaknesses

When they have self-assessed their work, you can keep their results in a separate folder with all their written essays and make sure you write the date so they can review and see their progress.

If a child is aware of their strengths and weaknesses, then they can make better preparation to do better in their next writing assessment.

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Best Wishes,

Natalie Chama

English Tutor

Chama Tuition

'Reach your full potential with confidence'


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