IB Exam Paper 2, Sample
ENGLISH A1—HIGHER LEVEL—PAPER 2 PRACTICE ESSAY
YOU MAY NOT USE
YOUR BOOKS TO COMPLETE THIS EXAM.
- On the exam, you can only choose ONE question
from the DRAMA section or the GENERAL LITERATURE section. It is highly
recommended that you choose a drama question because it will probably be
more focused and easier to apply to the books you have to write about. You
may not choose a question from any other section.
- On this exam, you must write
about 2 plays that we’ve read this semester. Your choices are:
- Oedipus the King
- King Lear
- Death of a Salesman
- 'Master Harold' ...and the Boys
- Please remember author names, character names, what
gender they are, and how to spell them!
- Take time to really understand what the question is
asking you (ALL PARTS of the question).
- Outline or otherwise map out what you are going to write
about BEFORE diving into writing your whole essay. Do not underestimate the
importance of this “planning” step.
Even when they don’t specifically ask you for it, IB
questions expect you to include, to some extent, a discussion of “overall
effect,” a.k.a. judgment of a theme.
If a questions asks you to discuss how “effectively” the
work has done something, you might want to discuss that in your conclusion
(depending on how much importance that request is given in the question).
Answer one essay question only. You must base your
answer on at least two of the part 3 works you have studied. You may include in
your answer a discussion of a part 2 work of the same genre if relevant.
Answers which are not based on a discussion of at least two part 3 works
will not score high marks.
“Time and place are the basic elements of a play.”
In what ways does your study of
two or three plays lead you to support (or modify) this
Using plays you have studied, write an essay on the presentation of the
relationships between male and female characters (or between characters of the
same sex), giving some idea of the dramatic effects achieved by these means.
General Questions on Literature
Communication between person and person, and between groups is a common
problem addressed in literature. How did works you studied deal with such
matters, and how did they interest readers in them?
A playwright said of one of his characters: “…she was a demonic
character; the size of her feelings was too great to contain without the escape
Discuss the presentation of
“madness,” or mental disturbance, or very powerful feelings in works you have
studied, saying what was the effect in each case.
Literature admits conflicts between good and good, as well as between
good and evil. Which two or three works would you choose to
discuss to illustrate this generalization, and why might both types of conflict
“Comedy injected into despair.”
How far and to what effect have
you found these, or any other two apparently incompatible qualities, linked in
works you have studied? How effectively have they been presented?