Most exams include some creative writing and in 11+ and 13+ this amounts to a significant percentage of the English marks. What are schools looking for? Well, they certainly don’t expect an amazingly original storyline. Don’t forget, the examiner will have read thousands of these over the years.

They want to see how you use language.

They are hoping to see:

a variety of punctuation used accurately

a high level of vocabulary

the use of literary devices eg similes, metaphors etc

a strong structure that demonstrates your control of the story/description

Here are a few hints that will help you produce a piece of writing that stands out from the crowd.

  1. Always plan your story (even if you don’t write down much of a plan, spend some time thinking about your ideas)
  2. Keep your plot simple
  3. Avoid monsters/aliens/zombies – a very over-used genre
  4. Stick to one main character that you can develop
  5. Concentrate on description and atmosphere rather than action
  6. Make sure you include lots of interesting adjectives and adverbs
  7. Check your work so you can correct any silly mistakes

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