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IB Highlights: English Lit Questions

IB Question of the Week: What do English A Literature exam questions look like, and what percentage of a student’s IB grade comes from exams?

Here are examples of the English A Literature HL Paper 2 exam questions:

Answer one essay question only. You must base your answer on at least two of the Part 3 works you have studied and compare and contrast these works in response to the question. Answers which are not based on a discussion of at least two Part 3 works will not score high marks.

Drama

Explore the techniques used by at least two playwrights you have studied to portray characters constrained by social expectations, and the effects created.

In the works of at least two playwrights you have studied, compare the ways in which plot and structure are used to engage the audience.

Explore the techniques used to interweave elements of comedy and tragedy in the work of at least two playwrights you have studied.

Poetry

In the work of at least two poets you have studied, compare the techniques used to reveal the speaker, and the effects achieved.

With reference to the work of at least two poets you have studied, compare in what ways and to what effect language has been used to create intense and/or unforgettable moments.

Some poets shine a light on particular issues, while others criticize explicitly. Compare these different approaches in the work of at least two poets you have studied.

Prose: novel and short story

Compare the different approaches to narrative that are used to create suspense in the works of at least two authors you have studied.

Some works end with a neat resolution; others are less clear cut. With reference to the work of at least two authors you have studied, compare the techniques used to create such endings and the effects achieved.

With reference to the works of at least two authors you have studied, compare the ways in which trapped or confined characters are used to highlight social issues.

Prose other than fiction

How and to what effect are seemingly minor details resulting in major consequences presented in the work of at least two authors of prose other than fiction you have studied?

With reference to the works of at least two authors of prose other than fiction you have studied, compare the techniques used to portray misunderstanding and its effects.

In the works of at least two authors of prose other than fiction you have studied, discuss the creation of setting and its role in providing an emotional landscape for the reader.


Here is the breakdown of the weightings for the IB assessment components for English A Literature HL.
Note: Papers are the exams taken in May of senior year.

CORE Highlight: TOK Essays
The students who are full Diploma candidates take the Theory of Knowledge Class (TOK). By March 15 of their senior year, they must write a TOK essay. They choose one of these prescribed titles:

  1. Is replicability necessary in the production of knowledge? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.
  2. For artists and natural scientists, which is more important: what can be explained or what cannot be explained? Discuss with reference to the arts and the natural sciences.
  3. Does it matter if our acquisition of knowledge happens in “bubbles” where some information and voices are excluded? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.
  4. Do you agree that it is “astonishing that so little knowledge can give us so much power” (Bertrand Russell)? Discuss with reference to the natural sciences and one other area of knowledge.
  5. Are visual representations always helpful in the communication of knowledge? Discuss with reference to the human sciences and mathematics.
  6. To what extent is the knowledge we produce determined by the methodologies we use? Discuss with reference to history and one other area of knowledge.

CAS Experiences Highlights: CAS experiences recorded by Upper School Students this week included having meetings to raise money for the Women and Children Free Restaurant, volunteering with the blood drive, playing tennis, participating in the 2023 Speedo Sectionals, participating in the Talent Show, making jewelry, wool felting, helping with the lights and sound for the Talent Show, creating a personal art project, playing golf, knitting, painting, participating in the Physics Rube Goldberg building competition, learning, creating and optimizing Robot code in Java, and participating in State Knowledge Bowl.