Unseen paper preparation – Rhinegold Publishing

Unseen paper preparation


Without doubt, the unseen paper is the most difficult element of the AQA drama and theatre studies exam to prepare for, both for students and teachers. Having been involved in preparing the papers for the past five years, and having been a team leader marking the paper for the same period of time, I know only too well the problems faced by everyone.

As an exam, it garners the most complaints and questions every year, as teachers struggle to cope with the demands of the paper. However, I do believe that there is some validity in the exercise, and there are ways to tackle it successfully. Here are my suggestions for some approaches to solving the problems it generates which have worked with my own pupils. 

This is a suggested set of tasks and exercises that should help whatever the unseen text happens to be. I would suggest that each exercise or task is done with a new piece of text, thus furthering students’ knowledge of different styles and genres of theatre, which is where I wish to begin.


  • Recognition of style and genre
  • Reading the text: Visualisation
  • Making notes
  • The compulsory question
  • The acting question
  • The design question
  • The directing question
  • The synoptic element: wider experience
  • Past papers, reports and mark schemes

            Number of lessons: n/a

            Related Products