IGCSE First Language English Paper 2: Narrative Writing

The Cambridge IGCSE First Language English Paper 2 is title Directed Writing and Composition. Section A tests both reading and writing skills. You can check out our previous post on genres to learn more about that. Section B, though, tests only the student’s writing skills.

Section B of Paper 2 gives the student four options to choose from: two descriptive prompts and two narrative prompts. Our last post covered descriptive writing. This post will give some suggestions for succeeding in the narrative writing.

If you would like individualized, daily instruction to help prepare for the IGCSE English or AS English exams, Mr. Lux is a trained Cambridge teacher who can help you. Visit the About and Enrollment pages for more information.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Below are sample narrative prompts:

  • Write a story that ends with the phrase ‘he couldn’t believe his eyes’.
    Write a story where one of the characters becomes ill.
  • Write a story that involves solving a problem.
  • Write a story which includes the words, ‘… this could not be the present …’.
  • Write a story with the title, ‘Visitors’.
  • Write a story which involves a mistake in the sending or receiving of a message.

Mark Scheme

24 marks are given for style and accuracy: Precise, well-chosen vocabulary and varied sentence structures, chosen for effect; consistent well-chosen register suitable for the context; spelling, punctuation, and grammar almost always accurate.

16 marks are given for content and structure: The plot is well-defined and strongly developed with features of fiction writing such as description characterization and effective climax and convincing details.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Tips for the Narrative

  • Write from personal experience, and make it interesting.
    • Makes it credible and engaging
    • Avoid zombies, aliens, and monsters
    • Make it believable
  • Time and length are short
    • Structure and organize
    • Develop a plot: Beginning, middle, end
    • Allow to time to edit
    • Have a realistic but interesting ending–don’t just start strong
  • Use narrative features
    • Setting (imagery, sensory details)
    • Characterization (2-3, and believable)
    • Conflict (main issue)
    • Dialogue (not too much)

  • Style and Accuracy
    • Punctuation and grammar
    • Tense consistency
    • Spelling…proofread!
  • Vocabulary and Sentence Structure
    • Appropriate vocabulary
    • Varied sentence structure (see next slide from descriptive writing)