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Teaching AQA AS Media Studies MEST1 Guide

Rob Miller | Monday December 02, 2013

Categories: A Level, AQA A Level, AQA AS, Hot Entries, Staffroom

MEST1 Investigating Media is a two-hour exam, worth 80 marks and is 50% of the AQA AS Media Studies qualification. It comprises two distinctly different sectionsSection A: Text, Concepts and Contexts with 4 short answer 12 mark questions based on stimulus material (either static image or audio-visual). Section B is called Cross Media Study and comprises a choice between two 32 mark more essay based questions (detail later in resource). Students are advised to spend 1 hr. 15 minutes on Section A and 45 minutes on Section B.

Approaches to teaching and timescales vary but MediaEdu suggest that MEST2 coursework, Creating Media should be complete by the end of January/early February to allow students to focus on studying MEST1 Section A stimulus and applying key concepts up to Easter. Research projects can then be introduced, laying the foundations for Section B Cross Media Study two weeks before Easter – schemes of work and approaches may differ if team teaching applies. Alternative approaches/timescales have suggested that the Cross Media Study can inform MEST2 coursework.

click on image to enlarge

MEST1 Section A

MEST1 Section A question areas are predictable but only in the concept they explore and all are linked to the stimulus:

  1. Media Forms incl. Genre: e.g. conventions and narrative, use of media language including technical language and mise-en-scene, how the sequence is constructed to engage audiences (techniques), form and style.
  2. Representation: linking with challenging or reinforcing stereotypes e.g. representation of technology, celebrity, family, realism, place, gender, national identity, ethnicity, age, social class, sexuality, ability/disability…how the construction evidences the representation. Again, as is in Media Forms (media language) the correct application of representation media language/terminology is required.
  3. Media Institution: e.g. branding to audiences and brand image (popular question),...

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