Although, obviously, the actual questions that are asked change every year, there are some things that questions usually ask about which may give you an idea of what aspects of your texts to revise and what to expect when you get into the exam.
The questions are rarely prescriptive. They are ’open’ so as to invite you to debate the issues and encourage you to develop informed judgements on the texts and the issues they raise. It is these judgements that the examiner is interested in seeing.
Where the questions contains some kind of proposition (a statement about what the question ‘thinks’ is true such as ‘Actions are more important than words), you are never expected to simply accept it. You can challenge or reject these assumptions if you want and this is often something that better answers will do. However, if you do challenge, reject or indeed accept these propositions then you must have clear reasons for your position and evidence to support this.
Aspects of texts that are frequently asked about include:
· How dramatists present characters and communicate to the audience their thoughts and motivations
· How dramatists present their ideas and thematic concerns to the audience
· The structure of the plays and the effect this has on the audience
· The use of a particular dramatic feature – motif, dialogue, setting, etc - in the texts and the effect that this has on the audience
· The importance of conflict in drama
· The beginnings and endings of the plays … or other key moments of your choice