Category Archives: Controlled Exam

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Predicted Sitcom Exam Questions

Here are a few predicted exam questions. Get cracking on them as they are likely to come up in the exam!

  • “It would help us to plan a new show if we could be clear about how sitcoms have developed since they first broadcasted. Give us your thoughts and discuss the significant changes”

  • “We need to consider our rivals. What are the key factors of the sitcoms you think are likely to be our biggest competitors? However, we want to move things on. How can we make our sitcom different and appeal to today’s audience?”
  • “We want to see how your ideas would look. Suggest a title for the new sitcom, devise new characters and give an outline of a sample story line. Feel free to include any sketches if you think they might be helpful. Explain how your suggestions are in line with the brief. “

  • “Come up with a design for the pilot episode of the sitcoms featuring your characters in the story line you have suggested you should produce:

    EITHER: a full story board and a script for a 3 to 5 minute sketch in the pilot episode.

    OR: create a design for each character including clothing etc with a list of key personality traits and a design for one main production area (ie Living Room).

    Remember to apply the usual conventions. Use the storyboards and A3 sheets provided. “

  • Choose a sitcom which you think will be one of our competitors and explain its appeal to the audience.
  • Outline your ideas for a new sitcom, remembering that any new programme must conform to Denham Productions* core values.
  • Produce a storyboard for the opening two minutes (approximately) of your sitcom, making sure you provide details of: shot, camera movement, transitions, length of take, sound effects, dialogue and music. The use of colour is strongly suggested.
  • Where did you find inspiration for your situation comedy? Refer to the other sitcoms / TV programmes / films that have inspired your decisions.
  • Why would your intended audience find this to be a suitable opening for a TV situation comedy programme?

* You will be given a letter from a fictitious company in the exam who explains what kind of sitcom they want: audience profile, family/workplace … etc. You will then have to remember to link your ideas to the specifications.

Preliminary Material Release Date

The Preliminary material is released on the AQA website on Friday 25th April

However is will be in hard copy in you media lesson after that date.

Assessment Objectives and Weightings

The scheme of assessment requires candidates to demonstrate their ability to:
– use media terminology appropriately to describe theoretical concerns and production techniques
– demonstrate a knowledge of mass media organisations and their structures including new technologies, output and the working practices and constraints under which they produce texts
– be aware of the impact of the mass media on people’s lives and the formation of social attitudes (AO1 – Knowledge and Understanding 15%)
– analyse and evaluate a range of media texts, their distinctive formats and conventions, including their own media productions consider the implications of media representations of individuals, groups, events and issues
– explore the relationship between the production of media texts and institutions  and their consumption by audiences (AO2 – Analysis and Interpretation 20%)
– use practical skills to create, individually or as a group, a media production, demonstrating creativity and initiative in using available resources
– undertake a range of pre-production tasks such as research, scripting, and storyboarding and production tasks such as recording, editing and design

About the Controlled Exam

The Controlled Test carries 50% of the total marks available for this qualification, and please note that:

– sufficient time is given of the teaching of the Controlled Test topic before
the release date of the preliminary materials (3571/HM and 3571/FM)
– no teaching of the topic will take place after the date of preliminary materials release
– no tier changes are permitted after this date – make sure you get the right tier
preliminary paper from your teacher

When is the preliminary materials out?