Media Studies TV News: Last Minute!


The Media Studies exam is 4 hours away. Having had 4 weeks to work on your pre-release brief, you should be more than ready. However, in case your mind is a little blank after the excitement of the prom at the weekend, here are some last minute tips and reminders which could help you today.

The exam details:

  • 1.5 hours long
  • 4 questions
  • 15 marks per question (spend 20 minutes on each)

The exam questions:

We can’t guarantee what the questions will be about, or even tell you the order, but here are some possible questions:

  • A design/production task – where you will be asked to storyboard/script a segment from your show. Make sure that your storyboard is detailed and well labelled with the correct media terminology.
  • A pitching/promoting task – where you have to explain the details of your product, how you have used/subverted conventions, how you will appeal to target audience.
  • An analysis/exploration task – where you have to show detailed understanding of 3 existing news shows. This question may ask you how existing news appeals to audiences through content/style/e-media.
  • A promotion/e-media task – where you may have to explain how you will use e-media to promote your news show and engage with audiences.

Bear in mind that these are merely examples, we can’t guarantee what questions will come up.

The pre-release brief:

Here are some slides we used to get thinking about the brief:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Top News Stories:

Visit the news channels this morning as a final reminder about style and content. Also explore the websites to see how e-media is currently used by news networks to maximise audience engagement.

BBC News

Sky News

Channel 4 News

ITV News


English Language Exam – Writing

You are tested on your writing skills in Section B of the exam. Firstly, ensure that you allow enough time to complete this part of the exam – one hour. Don’t overrun during the reading section!

There are two questions to respond to – question 5 asking you to inform/explain/describe, and question 6 asking you to persuade/advise. Read the questions closely to find out the purpose and audience for your writing. For example, in this question: Write a letter to your local MP persuading them to improve the facilities for young people in your area, you are being asked to write a letter (you should adopt the form by using an address and Dear Sir/Madam) to your MP (which suggests that it should be formal) persuading (use persuasive techniques).

Once you have established purpose and audience, you are ready to plan. It’s worth spending a little time planning so that you don’t ‘burn out of ideas’ half way through writing. Decide what the main points of your description/argument are going to be. These can be developed and will become your paragraphs.

Now you are ready to write! For both questions, you are being tested on your communication, organisation and accuracy:

Writing Overview

Here are some ideas to help the organisation of your writing:

writing paragraphs

Writing features

Here is a writing toolbox with a reminder of what to include:

writing toolboxAnd finally, the all important mark scheme. Aim high!

writing grades

Last Minute English Language Paper Tips (Higher Tier)

Tomorrow is the big day for AQA English Language students; it’s exam time!

There are plenty of posts on the blog to help you focus on skills for each question, but this post should give you a good overview of what is being asked from you in each question. Thanks to those in class today who helped to create these guides.

Reading Section (Part A) 1 hour (plus 15 minutes reading time)

Reading Paper Tips

Writing Section (Part B) 1 hour

Writing Paper Tips

The exam is a test of your reading and writing skills. Make sure that your answers are as detailed and accurate as possible, this is your chance to show off your literacy skills to the max! REMEMBER – Answer ALL questions and stick to the timings!

Good Luck!