AQA Sample Paper: GCSE English Language
Paper 2: Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives
Time allowed: 1 hour 45 minutes
· The marks for questions are shown in brackets.
· The maximum mark for this paper is 80.
· There are 40 marks for Section A and 40 marks for Section B.
· You are reminded of the need for good English and clear presentation in your answers.
· You will be assessed on the quality of your reading in Section A.
· You will be assessed on the quality of your writing in Section B.
You are advised to spend about 15 minutes reading through the Source and all five questions you have to answer. You should make sure you leave sufficient time to check your answers.
Source A: 20th century nonfiction
Extract taken from Bill Bryson’s travel book Notes from a Small Island.
Blackpool – and I don’t care how many times you hear this, it never stops being amazing – attracts more visitors every year than Greece and has more holiday beds than the whole of Portugal. It consumes more chips per capita than anywhere else on the planet. (It gets through forty acres of potatoes a day.) It has the largest concentration of roller-coasters in Europe. It has the continent's second most popular tourist attraction, the forty-two-acre Pleasure Beach, whose 6.5 million annual visitors are exceeded in number only by those going to the Vatican. It has the most famous illuminations. And on Friday and Saturday nights it has more public toilets than anywhere else in Britain; elsewhere they call them doorways.
Whatever you may think of the place, it does what it does very well - or if not very well at least very successfully. In the past twenty years, during a period in which the number of Britons taking traditional seaside holidays has declined by a fifth, Blackpool has increased its visitor numbers by 7 per cent and built tourism into a £250-million-a-year industry - no small achievement when you consider the British climate, the fact that Blackpool is ugly, dirty and a long way from anywhere, that its sea is an open toilet, and its attractions nearly all cheap, provincial and dire.
It was the illuminations that had brought me there. I had been hearing and reading about them for so long that I was genuinely keen to see them. So, after securing a room in a modest guesthouse on a back street, I hastened to the front in a sense of some expectation. Well, all I can say is that Blackpool's illuminations are nothing if not splendid, and they are not splendid. There is, of course, always a danger of disappointment when you finally encounter something you have wanted to see for a long time, but in terms of letdown it would be hard to exceed Blackpool's light show. I thought there would be lasers sweeping the sky, strobe lights tattooing the clouds and other gasp-making dazzlements. Instead there was just a rumbling procession of old trams decorated as rocket ships or Christmas crackers, and several miles of paltry decorations on lampposts. I suppose if you had never seen...