Reading, research and understanding The candidate has chosen to consider the three parallel education systems in Pakistan as an aspect of modern Urdu-speaking society. Although the candidate has mentioned some merits/ demerits of these systems, there is little evidence of reading and research. The candidate has some basic knowledge of the various types of schools in Pakistan but the understanding of the question set is limited. He/she has discussed the importance of education at some length but could not relate it properly to modern Urdu-speaking society. The response falls into the category of a discursive essay because of its descriptive style.
Mark band: 7 – 12 (probably in the middle)
Organisation and development There is evidence of some organisation and development. The candidate has organised the material into four paragraphs. The introductory paragraph sets the scene effectively but the following paragraphs do not link the essay into a coherent whole. The conclusion is very general and does not relate particularly to modern Urdu-speaking society. The second half of the last paragraph is a repeat of the first paragraph.
Mark band: 4
Quality of language Communication is good in this essay. The language is mainly accurate and appropriate. There is a good range of lexis and structures. Errors do not impede comprehensibility.
Mark band: 5
This essay does not demonstrate any reading or research. Analytical approach and a clear viewpoint are also missing. To access the higher mark bands, candidates need in-depth reading and research, the ability to analyse their knowledge and give their opinion.
Commentary on Example 2 Reading, research and understanding The candidate has chosen to discuss the character of ‘Raj’, played by the legendary actor Amitabh Bachan in the film “Baghban”. The candidate has provided plenty of information on the character and his development which is a clear evidence of watching the film several times and also of adequate understanding of the chosen character and various aspects of his role i.e. a good husband, a good friend, an honest worker and above all a loving and dedicated father who spent all his life for the betterment of his children. However, there is little evidence of research as the candidate did not mention even the names of the director and the writer of the film and their contribution in portraying this character successfully.
Mark band: 13 – 18 (probably in the middle)
Organisation and development There is evidence of adequate organisation but the development is a bit patchy. The candidate has some ability to sequence the ideas, although with lapses. Introduction and conclusion is particularly very simplistic and unambitious. The length of the essay is within the rubrics.
Mark band: 5 - 6
Quality of language The communication is achieved on a good level and errors do not impede comprehensibility. The language used is mainly accurate and appropriate and there is a good range of lexis and structures.
Mark band: 5
This essay is an example of one which may be expected from an average candidate at this level. The candidate has a good understanding of the character and the film. This essay would have benefited from extensive research and more effective and logical expression of the candidate’s opinion.
Commentary on Example 3 Reading, research and understanding The candidate has chosen to discuss the central theme of the text ‘ Toba Tek Singh’ and there is evidence that reading and research has been done but not in-depth. The response is rather narrative but it does show the knowledge of the text and some understanding of the central theme of the story. The candidate has rightly claimed that the writer has tried to depict his theme through the main character of the story and therefore described this character in detail but could not relate it successfully to the theme. The candidate has totally ignored the second part of the question which has become the major weakness of the response.
Mark band: 13 – 18 (in the middle)
Organisation and development The candidate has divided the essay into four paragraphs and there is evidence of some organisation and planning. However the development is patchy and remains unambitious throughout. More than half of the third paragraph is irrelevant and ignoring to answer the second part of the question is unforgivable. Although the length of the essay is correct, it is certainly rather repetitive at times.
Mark band: 3 - 4
Quality of language The communication is achieved on a good level and there is high level of accuracy in this essay. The language is mainly appropriate with good range of lexis and structures.
Mark band: 5
This essay is an example of one which may be expected from a fairly average candidate at this level. The essay shows that the text has clearly been read and researched but the evidence of research is not extensive. This essay is also an example of one where the candidate does not read the question properly and looses valuable marks as a result.
Commentary on Example 4 Reading, research and understanding The candidate has chosen to consider the character of ‘Anarkali’ in the classic play ‘Anarkali’ written by Imtiaz Ali Taj. There is clear evidence that the candidate has thoroughly read and extensively researched the text as the candidate has shown an excellent knowledge and understanding of the character. The candidate has given a lot of information on the character and her development, for example how she developed into a brave and dedicated person from an innocent, shy and coward young girl and what was the force behind this change i.e. the force of love. Analysis of the character is interesting and logical. Throughout ideas are included together with personal evaluation of the chosen character. Overall, the candidate has produced a very worthy essay and deserves a great appreciation.
Mark band: 25 – 30 (top end – but would have been reduced if one third of the essay had been ignored because of the excessive word count)
Organisation and development Although the essay is far too long than the prescribed limit, there is evidence of excellent organisation and development. There is a clear introduction and the essay progresses neatly from the introduction to the middle and then to the conclusion. Ideas are always well–sequenced and the candidate has the ability to develop points.
Mark band: 9 (but would be reduced because of poor organisation in terms of length)
Quality of language
Communication is excellent and the whole essay is free of error. The language used is always fluent, varied and appropriate. There is a very wide range of lexis and structures. Style is excellent and the essay itself seems to be a piece of literature.
Mark band: 6
Overall This essay is an example of one which are rarely achieved. The essay shows a high level of intellectual competence, a very matured attitude and also a very good literary taste. It would have been a perfect essay if the work limit was observed.
Commentary on Example 5 Reading, research and understanding The candidate has chosen to consider the central theme of the text “Hindustan se aik khat” written by the renowned Urdu writer Intezar Hussain. The candidate has read the story carefully and there is clear understanding of the main issues contained within in it. The candidate has the ability to draw on true interpretations of the key symbols used by the writer. These interpretations has helped him/her to understand the extent of the tragic aspects of the partition of the South Asian sub-continent. As a result, there is a sound appreciation of the central theme which cannot be gained without in-depth reading and research. Although the response to the first part of the question is almost perfect, the candidate has dealt with the second part very briefly in the last paragraph which has become the only drawback of this literary essay.
Mark band: 19 – 24 (upper end)
Organisation and development
There is evidence of good organisation and development and the essay is within the prescribed limit of word count. The candidate has followed a structure which moves from an appropriate introduction to different aspects of the central theme of the story. Ideas have been sequenced effectively and many points developed mainly within the context of the theme. However the lack of attention to deal with the second part of the question properly is definitely a sign of some poor planning.
Mark band: 7 – 8 (probably 7)
Quality of language Communication is very good throughout and there is hardly an error. Language used is always fluent, varied and appropriate. There is a wide range of lexis and structures.
Mark band: 6
Overall This is a very good essay which succeeds in combining factual information, evidence of research and understanding and effective communication. The weakness of this essay is a very brief and insufficient response to the second part of the question, although the candidates seems to be able to do it successfully. Therefore this essay is also an example of one where the candidate does not read the question carefully and loses valuable marks despite his/her ability.
Commentary on Example 6 Reading, research and understanding The candidate has chosen to write about the economic factors and their significance in the city of Sialkot in Pakistan. There is clear evidence to show that he/she has acquired a detailed factual knowledge of the economy of Sialkot through extensive reading and research. Various economic factors including major industries with their historical background have been mentioned and the candidate has also pointed out their importance in the economy of the city as well as of the country, for example provision of employment in the area and earning valuable foreign exchange for Pakistan. The candidate could probably go into more detail were the word limit higher.
Mark band: 25 – 30 (probably in the middle)
Organisation and development
Although slightly high on the word count, the essay is well-planned and succeeds in sequencing the ideas effectively and logically. There is clear evidence of good organisation and development. This essay progresses smoothly from the introduction to the conclusion. The candidate has expressed his/her view point in a logical way and his/her ability to draw conclusions is clearly in evidence.
Mark band: 7 - 8
Quality of language A very good communication has been achieved with varied and appropriate language. There is a very wide range of lexis and structures. There is a high level of accuracy as the essay is virtually free of error.
Mark band: 6
Overall This is very good example of the type of essay which may be achieved on this topic. It covers all aspects of the economy of Sialkot and at the same time it shows the clear evidence of in-depth and extensive reading and research. It is difficult to find a better essay on this topic at this level.
Commentary on Example 7 Reading, research and understanding The candidate has chosen Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan as a person from the period of history studied. The candidate has offered a large body of factual knowledge about the life and achievement of Bhutto which is a clear evidence of in-depth reading. However this knowledge remains largely unexploited and undeveloped. The second part of the question - significance of this person’s
role – has largely been ignored. There is little evidence of research.
Mark band: 13 – 18 (upper end)
Organisation and development There is clear evidence of adequate organisation but the development is quite patchy. The length of the essay is within the prescribed limit of word count. The candidate has begun with an introduction and took us chronologically through the life of Bhutto. However the essay does not really focus enough on the second part of the question which is definitely a weakness in terms of organisation.
Mark band: 5 - 6
Quality of language
The communication is achieved on a very good level and there is in fact barely a grammatical error. The language is always fluent and appropriate. A good range of vocabulary and idiom is used.
Mark band: 6
Overall The essay is reasonable and appropriate for the specification but does lack clear understanding of the question. Its weakness is in the fact that it almost ignores a response to the second part of the question – the significance of the role of this
person – and this means that it could not access the higher mark bands for “Reading, research and understanding”. Candidates must learn the skill of reading the question thoroughly and use their knowledge and understanding to address the demands of the question.