Foundation Exam

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Requirements

In the Poetry Section of the Foundation Level Paper you are asked to read an unseen poem and answer four questions - A B C D - about this poem. There are 10 marks allocated for each of these questions.

You are also expected to answer question E, based on the poetry you have studied. There are 20 marks going for this question.

There is often a choice offered in question E based on the topic of a poem or on the emotions it expresses. (See below.)

The question is often organised into parts. It is important to answer each part of the question.

Even if you are not asked in the question, it is vital to begin your answer by stating the name of the poem and the name of the poet.

You should attempt to include some quotation from the poem in your answer. To do this it may help to memorise some lines from your chosen poems before the examination.

As there are 20 marks allotted to this question E, your answer should be more detailed than the responses to questions A B C and D.

It is important that you are familiar with the poems you have studied. You are also often expected to be able to say whether you liked or disliked them. (See the responses section on each of the poems in this project.) You will be rewarded with marks by showing that you have understood and responed well to the poem you have chosen.

You should express your opinions and describe the poem in language that is clear, well written and accurate in the mechanics of the language (i.e. spelling, grammar and punctuation).

 

Total Marks
for Question E
Time suggested
for this question
20 marks
10 - 15 minutes

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Previous Exam Questions

2007 : Poetry Section - Question E.

Think about a poem you have studied that described:
A Family Event OR A School Event.

Name the poem and the poet
Describe the family event or the school event
Give the poem marks out of ten and explain why you gave those marks.

***

2006 : Poetry Section - Question E.

Think about a poem you have studied that described:
Something Cruel or A Sad person or A beautiful place.

Name the poem and the poet
Tell the story of the poem
Explain why it was cruel or sad or beautiful

***

2005 : Poetry Section - Question E.

Think about a poem you have studied which you like.

Name the poem.
Tell the story of the poem in your own words.
Give two reasons why you liked this poem.

***

2004 : Poetry Section - Question E.

Think of a poem you have studied which made you feel frightened or sad or lonely or happy.

(i) Name the poem and tell the story of the poem in your own words.
(ii) Explain why the poem made you feel frightened or sad or lonely or happy.

***

2003 : Poetry Section - Question E.

Think about a poem you have studied which describes one of the following:

A happy scene
A sad scene
A family scene
A nature scene

Name the poem
Briefly tell the story of the poem
Do you think it is a good poem? Give a reason for your answer

***

2002 : Poetry Section - Question E.

Think about POEMS you have studied.
Choose a poem which describes ONE of the following:

feeling alone
feeling lost
feeling brave
feeling happy

Name the poem
Write the story of the poem
Explain why the poet felt alone OR lost OR brave OR happy.

***

2001 : Poetry Section - Question E.

Think of the POEMS you have studied. NAME a poem about which you think ONE of the following is true.

The poem I studied was - not so good.

Or

The poem I studied was --- fairly good.

Or

The poem I studied was --- very good.

Or

The poem I studied was --- brilliant.

Give three reasons for your opinion.

***

2000 : Poetry Section - Question E.

Select a poem you studied which describes any ONE of the following -

· feeling good
· feeling bad
· feeling afraid
· feeling lonely

1. Name the poem and say how the poet described feeling good or sad or afraid or lonely.

2. How many stars-one to three-would you give the poem you picked? Give reasons foe your rating the poem: one-star, two-star or three-star.

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Department of Education Sample Answers

The Chief Examiner's report for 2006 dealt with responses to the 2006 question (see above.)

For Part E, where candidates were asked to write about a studied poem, the most popular choice, as in previous years, was Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney.

This part was well answered, with candidates producing detailed commentary and some writing out the whole poem.

However, candidates appear to be studying a very restricted range of poetry, and demonstrate a disproportionate reliance on
Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney
.

Example of Good Answer:

The poem I have studied is called Mid Term Break by Seamus Heaney.

The poem is about a sad person and also very sad family but they all show it in different ways.
The poem is about the death of a young boy who is killed by a car while the poet is at school.
When the poet comes home he is shocked to see his father crying on the footsteps of his house.
The baby is happy to see him. The mother takes his hand but she doesn't cry she "coughs out angry tearless sighs" In the morning the poet goes to his brother's body.
The poet gives us a sad but gentle image, he says "snowdrops and candles soothed the bedside". In the end of the poem we find out the age of the poet's brother when he says "he lay in his box as in his cot, a four foot box, a foot for every year.

I think this poem was very sad because it really showed the pain the whole family went through. In the end we find out the age of him it is even more sad he could only live till he was four. It is very sad to think how a family could suffer.

Marks awarded: 20 ex 20
The candidate demonstrated competency in making reference to both imagery and language as appropriate to this level. The candidate clearly fulfilled all the requirements for this section.

***

The Chief Examiners report for 2003 dealt with responses to the 2003 question (see above.)

Question E required the candidate to give 4 points about a poem they had studied. The majority of candidates could name the poem and tell the story of it. A large number of candidates then ignored the last 2 parts to this question; 'Do you think it was a good poem? Give a reason for your answer.'

The most frequently selected poem was "Mid-Term Break" by Seamus Heaney.

Students need to be able to do more than just give an outline of the poem. They need to be able to articulate a personal response and be able to give some evidence from the poem studied to support it.

Example of Good Answer:

The poem I have studied is called Mid-term break by Seamus Heaney. This is about a sad or family scene. The poem is about a young boy who's brother dies.
The young boy is in school and his neighbours come to collect him when he get home he sees lots of people in his house they start shaking his hand saying sorry for your troubles. He hears people whispering saying he was the eldest son. The boy gets embarrest. Then he heres his mother crying leaving out angry roars. Then the funural is on he sees is small brother in a white coffin that is four foot long a foot for every year because he was only for. He is laid out in the coffin and the coffin is in his cot. No, I don't like this poem because I think its very morbid. I don't like the images of it especially because it a young child that is after dieing.


Marks awarded 20 ex 20
The candidate fulfilled the criteria for marks awarded in that:

He/she addressed each element of the question asked in a clear and competent manner and displayed a clear knowledge of the poem studied.

He/she was clearly able to articulate a personal response to the poem.

***

The Chief Examiner's report for 2000 dealt with responses to the 2000 question. (see above).

Question E gave plenty of scope to candidates to show off their grasp of studied poems. The "star-rating" task, in particular, seemed to appeal to candidates.

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