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AQA A2 Media Studies | How To Get The Top Grades

Caroline Bagshaw | Thursday August 25, 2011

Categories: A Level, AQA A Level, AQA A2, Hot Entries

How do I get my students to reach the top grades? This is a question which we all ask.

Examiners and moderators often see work by students who may not be in the top ability bands yet manage to reach the higher mark bands because they REALLY understand what is required of them.

Below are some ideas and strategies which have been proven to help raise achievement in both exams and coursework modules.  These are focused on the AQA Media Studies A2 level course, although much of the advice could be adapted for other awards. 

A2 students need to move beyond looking at just the texts themselves and now be actively engaged in asking why texts are the way they are.  Considering context is key to reaching high marks at A2; at A/S students focused on how texts were constructed; at A2 they need to consider why, thinking about contexts surrounding production and reception.


At A2, there is a higher expectation that students are exposed to and can use more complex theories.  A good starting point is Postmodernism ~ see ‘An Introduction to Postmodernism’ by John Lough and the link below on Strinati.  As with A/S, in the exam as well as in their coursework there is little if any reward for throwing the word into their analysis without demonstrating understanding of the term and its relevance to the point they’re making.  For this reason, it might be useful to spend some time at the beginning of the course getting them to understand and apply to specific texts the ideas behind this concept and some of its main players, such as Baudrillard and Strinati (see separate article - coming soon). In this way, abstract theories can be made concrete for students to understand them and be able to apply them in their own work.

MEST 3 Section A | Unseen Text

Read the supplied information

As with MEST 1 at A/S level, do make sure the students know how crucial it is for them to read the information on the question paper.  The few minutes spent on this at...

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