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:
Here are some ideas to help the organisation of your writing:
Here is a writing toolbox with a reminder of what to include: