Sunday, 15 May 2011

AS Media Studies Exam Tips

Sorry I haven't been posting recently- been busy! If you are doing OCR AS Media, it's your exam this week, so you might need some tips. Don't panic- here are the main things to bear in mind for the exam.

For Q.1 you get 30 mins screening and notes 45 mins writing; it's worth 50 marks. these marks are divided up between Explanation, Argument, Analysis (20) Examples (20) and Terminology (10)

there is no point trying to guess what the sequence will be, but if you want to see some previous extracts chosen for the exam, you can find them here:

(summer 2009- ignore the comments!)

(January 2009)

(January 2010)

You have to analyse how four technical features are used in the extract: camerawork, editing, mise-en-scene and sound. Each of those features can be sub-divided, so for camerawork you should consider shot distance (LS, MS, CU etc), angle and movement, for example. For editing such features as pace, how time and space are manipulated, transitions and matches on action would feature. Mise-en-scene needs to consider costume, colours, props, settings and so on- everything that appears in front of the camera, and sound features voice, music and sound effects.

For each of them, you need to show how a particular representation is constructed through these technical codes. The different representations which can come up are gender, ethnicity, age, sexuality, class/status, disability, regional identity. Whichever one comes up, it should be fairly obvious in the sequence and part of your job is to show how it is constructed for the viewer through those technical features.

Key to your task is note-taking: you might do this through a spider diagram or a chart or whatever, but you need to take as many notes as you can while you watch so that you have plenty available to write about. It is important that you cover all four technical areas and I would suggest that the simplest way to put them in your essay is to deal with each one in turn. DO NOT just write a blow by blow account of the sequence as you won't get a good mark! Pick out striking moments and concentrate on how the four codes work in those moments.

Examples are key and they are worth 20 marks, so make sure you have a lot of them to back up your points! Your introduction should be really brief- no more than a sentence, then GET ON WITH IT! A good conclusion would be to just say something about how the four areas, working together construct the representation. After 45 minutes of writing, draw it to a close, as you need to then get on with question 2!

Section B will pose a question about the media industry you have studied. You might find the question hard or confusing, but you have to answer it! Again you will have 45 minutes and it is marked in the same way. What you use for the content of your answer will depend upon the area you have studied, your precise case studies and the question itself. But these are the things you should know about in order to face any possible question...

Production Funding Distribution Marketing Exchange

Do you know what these mean? How do they apply to your industry?

Ownership- who owns your case study examples? what is the significance of this?
cross-media convergence and synergy- what's the difference and how do these apply?
technology- how important have recent changes in it been?
hardware and proliferation (just means spread)- what impact has new hardware had on your industry?
technological convergence- in what ways does this apply to your industry?
targeting audiences- who is targeted and how?

A few Tips:

do a little plan before starting
answer the question set (and not a question you imagined!)
structure your argument carefully
support all points with examples throughout
use the time effectively- stop q.1 so you have 45 mins to answer q.2 and use as much of the next 45 mins as possible!
Keep your intro and conclusions short!

Good luck!!

1 comment:

  1. Whichever one comes up, it should be fairly obvious in the sequence and part of your job is to show how it is constructed for the viewer through those technical features.
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