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CommeDesEnfants

French B Paper 1

So at my school, we finish French B SL, our only Group 2 option, in May 2009, which is in about... 3 months. We've spent the better part of the last 2 months doing tons of orals and the occasional essay. Thus, we've began writing mock exams. We had a mock Paper 2 yesterday that we finished today, and immediately after, we received a Paper 1...

...and I literally died. We had barely done any Paper 1 work since around October, and here it is, strung out to us so randomly and with barely and prepration.

I had glanced at some sample Paper 1s from 2005 and on, and they didn't look trop facile. This exam was from MAY 1999 and was utterfly confusing. The questions were extremely bizarre, and some of the articles were hard to understand. One was even overwhelmingly contradictory, and its corresponding questions were, for lack of actual words, o_o.

On my essay and interactive oral, I've scored mid-high 6s. You'd think that one would consider this to be good... but I've been scoring in that range [i]all year.[/i] Since September. Okay, so maybe I was at a high 5/low 6, but the point is, if I had finished the exam in, say, October, I might've ended up with a 6. I'd really love a 7, but my complete disability

It's not that I don't understand [u]AT ALL[/u]; I get the general gist of what the article is saying. However, the questions then address specific things in the article themselves, which become a lot lot trickier.

Basically... what else can I do, besides going through endless amonts of Paper 1s (and I only have ones from November 2000 and onwards, and I don't think my teacher would appreciate me going through them beforehand seeing as how she's going to give them to us as mocks every day until ou rexam ><), in order to [i]m'améliorer[/i] my aptitude at Paper 1?

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The good news is that the papers pre-2002 are trop difficile. The papers in the 90ies were harder than the papers that came after the syllabus change in 2002.

All you can do to be better at Paper 1s, is to read either [url="http://www.lemonde.fr"]http://www.lemonde.fr[/url] or [url="http://www.leparisien.fr"]http://www.leparisien.fr[/url] daily. Increase your vocabulaire and really that's all you can do.

At least you're not doing HL :ashika:

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Yeah, it's actually really stupid to give you pre-2002 exams in French. We had one, once, but that was just because they lacked a réponse écrite and it was before we were really able to do that kind of writing.

So don't worry: many of the types of questions from back then have been removed, and the texts are generally easier now.

What you should do is read as much as you can, and always make sure that you're understanding what you're reading. Look up words and write them down somewhere: make sure that you learn them! Try to find articles and things and read together with friends, and then discuss them to make sure you're all getting the same message from them. And do Paper 1 exams together! We did this a couple of weeks ago, and it was pretty interesting to hear other people's strategies in finding the answers. Things like how to eliminate choices for the MCQs and how to find synonyms and corresponding beginnings and ends of sentences are tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it should be easier.

So I guess the answer is: practise, practise, practise!

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Well, ironically, we marked them and I got 34/50, aka a high 5, aka somehow the highest mark in the class LOL which is kind of sad. People were happy for "passing." :ashika: I suppose I should take solace that pre-2002 ones were a lot harder... well, we still have November 1999-May 2001 left to write, so I just have to survive those I guess. :/ Taking harder exams should, en participe, prove helpful for me when I get the "easier" post-2002 ones, right? :ashika:

I think after I had some time to settle down and get over the whole "OMG" factor, there are actually tip sand tricks for each question. :) The synonym matching part can be relatively easy, since they're all in sequential order and there's the general rule of "past participle-past participle," "plural noun-plural noun," etc. In fact, I got this one right where I had NO idea of the meaning but simply matched it up bceause they were both feminine past participles. :P

Strangely enough, I found this one fill-in-the-blank verb part the easiest. :P It's easy to spot things, especially perfect tenses.

Generally, I suppose I should just practice more. I'll have a look at thoes reading comp sites. :( Thanks for all the advice!

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I think the hints that @Hyperbole and @Aboo gave were quite helpful. My French SL Exam should be on the 27th of may and I think the reading of news, which will help me stay up to date as I have given up reading any news lately whilst improving my french. Collectively doing Paper 1's and learning answering techniques, no matter how stupid and pointless this may be, has really proven to be useful. Especially regarding "Texte D" i.e. the mini-essay question where it literally is simply about finding the relevant points and following the instructions for the given text type. Forget creativity, forget about writing structured essay, forget grammar and spelling.

Simply follow the technique. This is: Writing out the arguments relevant to the question, be very careful what they're asking you to write about. Keeping the general "introduction, argument, conclusion" structure and just adapt this based on wether you're asked to write a [i]discour, journal [/i]or [i]article.[/i]

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