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SPECIMEN EXAMINATION PAPERS
2009 - 2010
AS/A LEVEL MEDIA STUDIES
SPECIMEN QUESTION PAPERS


MEDIA STUDIES
MS1

Media Representations and Responses
SPECIMEN PAPER
2 ½ hours

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS
In addition to this examination paper, you will need:
the printed resource material
a 12 page answer book

INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES
Answer all three questions.
Write your answers in the separate answer book provided.

INFORMATION FOR CANDIDATES
The number of marks is given in brackets at the end of each question or part-question.
You are reminded that assessment will take into account the quality of written communication
used in your answers.
No certificate will be awarded to a candidate detected in any unfair practice during the
examination.


Answer all three questions
.
Study the front covers of the magazines Sugar Lad Mag and Men's Health.

1. Analyse the two front covers commenting on:

Visual codes
Layout and design
Language. [40]

2. (a) Choose one of the magazine front covers. Suggest two different audiences for this
magazine. Give brief reasons for your choice. [6]

(b) Using the same magazine front cover chosen for 2 (a), explain how the main
audience for this magazine has been targeted. [9]

(c) In what ways do different audiences respond differently to the same media text?
Refer to your own detailed examples. [15]

3. With reference to your own detailed examples, explore the different representations of men
in the media today. [30]



Resource Material for use with Section A

The resource material consists of the front covers for two magazines, both published in November
2006: Sugar Lad Mag and Men's Health. Study both front covers carefully before answering the questions in Section A.



































































MEDIA STUDIES
MS4
Media - Text, Industry and Audience


SPECIMEN PAPER
2 ½ hours

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS
In addition to this examination paper, you will need:
a 12 page answer book
INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES

Answer three questions: one question from Section A
and
two questions from Section B.

Write your answers in the separate answer book provided.

INFORMATION FOR CANDIDATES
The number of marks is given in brackets at the end of each question or part-question.
You are reminded that assessment will take into account the quality of written communication
used in your answers.
No certificate will be awarded to a candidate detected in any unfair practice during the
examination.
You are reminded that this paper is synoptic and so will test understanding of the connections
between the different elements of the subject.

Answer three questions.
Answer one question from Section A and two questions from Section B.
Use a different media industry for each answer.
Complete the box below to indicate which media industry you will use for each question you answer.

Section Question Chosen Media Industry
E.g., Television, Film, Computer Games etc.
A
B
B
For each answer, you should use examples from the three main texts studied.


SECTION A: TEXT
Answer one question from this section.
Either
A1. Explore the ways in which your chosen texts reinforce or challenge typical representations of
gender. [30]

Or

A2. How do your chosen texts use genre conventions? [30]



SECTION B: INDUSTRY AND AUDIENCE

Answer two questions from this section

B1. Briefly outline the ways in which your selected industry is regulated. What impact has
regulation had on your chosen texts? [30]

B2. Explore the impact of digital technologies on your selected industry. [30]

B3. How do your chosen texts attract their audiences? [30]

B4. Explore the marketing strategies used by your selected industry. Use the
examples you have studied to illustrate your answer. [30]







MARKING SCHEMES

MS1: Representations and Responses

MS1: Generic Marking Scheme


Question 1
Level AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding when analysing media products
and processes, and when evaluating their own practical work, to show how
meanings and responses are created.
Level 1: 0 -15 Superficial view of texts at a common-sense level. Lack of focus on text.
Descriptive rather than analytical. Some unsupported assertion or irrelevance.
Lack of fluency. Uninformed by media knowledge or understanding.
Level 2: 16-23
(16-19)
(20-23)
At the lower end of this level, there will be a basic sense of how meanings are
created although there may be some attempt to analyse key features. Some
recognition of connotations but a tendency to over-elaborate the simple.
Descriptive.
At the upper end of this level, candidates will demonstrate an understanding of
media texts and their conventions linked with an ability to analyse. Recognition
of connotations and representations but undeveloped. An understanding of how
texts make meanings. Tendency to describe.
Level 3: 24-31
(24 -27)
(28-31)
At the lower end of this level, there will be a sound understanding of media
texts and their conventions linked with a sound ability to analyse. Sound grasp
of connotations. At this level, points will be established, using the appropriate
media terminology. Individual point of view beginning to emerge.
At the upper end of the level, candidates will reveal a good understanding of
media texts and conventions linked with a good ability to analyse. Confident
use of media terminology and a well-structured argument, possibly drawing on
different approaches. Exploration of ideas to give a valid interpretation of the
text, appropriately supported.
Level 4: 32-40 Sophisticated and perceptive analysis, revealing a thorough understanding of
key signifiers and techniques. Complex ideas expressed with coherence.
Awareness of the polysemic nature of texts with a possible recognition of the
ideological. Evidence of an overview. Well-developed use of media
terminology.



Question 2
Level AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of media concepts,
contexts and critical debates.
Level 1: 0 -11
Little or no sense of concept of audience.
Level 2: 12-17
(12-14)
(15-17)
Basic understanding of the concept of audience. Descriptive and oversimplified.
An understanding of the concept of audience emerging but undeveloped. May
be implicit references to critical debates surrounding audience.
Level 3: 18-23
(18 -20)
(21-23)
Sound knowledge and understanding of concept of audience. May begin to cite
relevant audience response issues, theories or debates.
Good knowledge and understanding of concept of audience. Relevant reference
to audience response issues linked to a range of appropriate examples.
Awareness of relevant theories, changing debates, different views and
approaches.
Level 4: 24-30
Sophisticated understanding of concept of audience. Draws on audience
response issues and debates and engages with relevant theoretical issues e.g.
representation, needs, ideologies and aspirations.



Question 3
Level AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of media concepts,
contexts and critical debates.
Level 1: 0 -11 Superficial argument. Relies heavily on description. Lacks appropriate
examples. Little evidence of understanding of the concept of representation.
Level 2: 12-17
(12-14)
(15-17)
A basic attempt to engage with media concepts and debates. A simple view of
texts. Lacks depth and development.
Sense of media concepts and debates Approach may be overly descriptive.
Response may be limited to stimulus material with no other examples.
Level 3: 18 -23
(18-20)
(21-23)
Sound understanding of representation issues. A sound attempt to engage with
media concepts and debates using appropriate examples. Moderately complex
ideas will be expressed clearly with some evidence of a personal interpretation.
Good understanding of representation issues. Good exploration of relevant
media concepts and debates using a range of appropriate examples. Likely to
draw on different approaches.
Level 4: 24-30
Sophisticated understanding of representation issues linked to current thinking
and theories. Confident exploration of media concepts. Good sense of issues
and debates surrounding a wide range of media texts.



MS1: Question-specific marking scheme
Candidates are awarded marks for each of the assessment objectives. Markers need to ensure that
candidates are placed within the correct Levels and given marks accordingly.
This question-specific marking scheme provides points which candidates may refer to in their
answers. It must be used in conjunction with the grid above. Examiners are however reminded that
this is not a definitive list and that they should remain open-minded and engage with what the
candidates have written. Relevant answers, which cover material not included below, must be
rewarded on merit. There is likely to be a variety of approaches to the Questions 2 and 3 and centres
are likely to have studied a range of different examples. This is wholly acceptable and each response
must be considered individually.


Study the front covers of the magazines, Sugar Lad Mag and Men's Health.
1. Analyse the two magazine front covers commenting on:
Visual codes
Layout and design
Language. [40]
Visual Codes
use of colour e.g. effect of black and white, connotations
clothing and physical appearance
body language
facial expression and 'gaze'
photographic codes – angle, shot type, composition
lighting
Layout and design
typography e.g. font style, size, colour
use of graphics
design techniques e.g. corner banner, sell lines
cropping and editing
composition e.g. placement of images
Language
connotations of title
cover lines
sell lines
mode of address e.g. imperatives, rhetorical questioning, quotations
persuasive techniques e.g. alliteration, hyperbole, superlatives, punctuation, puns
use of slogans
enigmas
intertextuality




2. (a) Choose one of the magazine front covers. Suggest two different audiences for
this magazine. Give brief reasons for your choice. [6]

teenage girls, their boyfriends, younger girls aspiring to teenage
sophistication, mothers (Sugar Lad Mag)
(heterosexual) men in their 20s, teenage boys aspiring to the lifestyle implied,
girlfriends, gay men (Men's Health)
Reasons based on:
polysemic interpretation of front cover
awareness of secondary and alternative readership for magazines.


(b) Using the same magazine front cover chosen for 2 (a), explain how the main
audience for this magazine has been targeted. [9]
Sugar Lad Mag – teenage girls

use of 'stereotypical' good looking boys
the gaze
'chatty' language giving sense of belonging
relevant celebrity endorsement
idea of finding out answers…'why boys change on you – weird male moods
explained'
use of 'pin-ups'
sell lines with pun 'all-new bigger boys bits'
Men's Health – 20+ men
'sophisticated' colour scheme i.e., use of black and white
aspirational use of image
cover lines – idea of selling a lifestyle
the gaze
understated sexual content
content concerned with being healthy
targeting 'new' man with different priorites
absence of half-naked women on cover – clue to audience


(c) In what ways do different audiences respond differently to the same media text?
Refer to your own detailed examples in your answer. [15]


responses affected by social and cultural background e.g. gender, ethnicity
etc.
other influences on audience responses e.g. age, situated culture etc.
context e.g. men in men's magazines, men in women's magazines etc.
active and passive users of the media
the way in which texts construct and position audiences e.g. through visual,
technical
and language codes and modes of address
notions of the polysemic readings of different texts



3. With reference to your own detailed examples, discuss the different representations of
men in the media today. [30]
Discussion of representation of men, some relying on traditional stereotyping of male macho
power, whilst others being more challenging (sensitive, empathetic men). Degree to which
men are represented more in terms of sexuality in more contemporary media (in some
contexts). Examples may be drawn from and may suggest that the media context affects the
nature of the representation.

men in advertising e.g. men's fragrances, sports advertising
men in film e.g. action heroes, romantic heroes
men in other magazines e.g. Nuts, Cosmopolitan
men in television e.g. The Simpsons, situation comedies,
men in news e.g. political figures, hoodies, news anchors
men in popular music e.g. CD covers, pop videos, music programmes
men in computer games e.g. Grand Theft Auto, Sims



MS4: Media – Text, Industry and Audience
MS4: Generic Marking Scheme

As no fractions are used, please note that the numbers used to achieve levels for the two Assessment
Objectives are guidelines and are placed in square brackets […]. A candidate's final mark within a
level should be established on the basis of the total out of 30 as noted below.


Level/Marks AO1
Demonstrate knowledge and
understanding of media concepts,
contexts and critical debates
AO2
Apply knowledge and
understanding when analysing
media products and processes, and
when evaluating their own
practical work, to show how
meanings and responses are
created

Level 1: 0-11
A basic, common-sense response.
Superficial understanding of the texts
studied and their industry and
audience contexts. Response
characterised by irrelevant detail.
[0-7]
Analysis will be weak and lack depth,
tending to be generalised without any
supporting examples.
[0-3]
Level 2: 12 – 17
(12-14)
(15-17)
At the lower end of this level, there
will be the beginnings of a relevant
response but it will lack focus. There
will be a tendency to concentrate on
one (or two) texts although a basic
knowledge of their industry and
audience contexts is evident.
At the upper end of this level, a
viewpoint will be emerging and
examples may be used more
relevantly. Answers are likely to be
more descriptive.
[8-11]
At the lower end of this level, there
will be a basic but inconsistent
analysis of the relationship between
text, industry and audience. Any
analysis is likely to be simply
expressed demonstrating a basic
understanding of how meanings and
responses are created.
At the upper end of this level, the
analysis of the relationship between
text, industry and audience will tend
to be descriptive. An understanding
of how meanings are responses are
created will be evident.
[4-5]
Level 3: 18 - 23
(18-20)
(21-23)
At the lower end of this level, there
will be a sound response which
demonstrates knowledge and
understanding of texts and their
industry and audience contexts.
At the higher end of this level, a good
understanding of texts, their industry
and audience contexts will be
demonstrated through relevant and
detailed examples plus the
appropriate use of relevant media
terminology.
[12-15]
At the lower end of this level, there
will be a sound analysis of the
relationship between text, industry
and audience. A sound understanding
of how meanings and responses are
created will be evident.
At the higher end of this level, there
will be a good understanding of how
meanings and responses are created.
[6-7]
Level 4: 24 - 30
A sophisticated understanding of
media texts, their industry and
audience contexts. Examples used
will be detailed and lead towards a
well-established point of view.
Highly appropriate use of relevant
media terminology.
[16-20]
A sophisticated analysis of the
relationship between text, industry
and audience. Similarly, there will be
a sophisticated understanding of how
meanings and responses are created.
[8-10]





MS4: Question-specific marking scheme
Candidates are awarded marks for each of the assessment objectives. Examiners need to ensure that
candidates are placed within the correct levels and given marks accordingly.
This question-specific marking scheme offers points which candidates may include in their answers.
It must be used in conjunction with the grid above. Examiners are however reminded that this is
not a definitive list and that they should remain open-minded and engage with what the candidates
have written. Relevant answers, which cover material not included below, must be rewarded on
merit. As centres will have selected a wide variety of texts to study, there is likely to be a variety of
approaches to the questions. This is wholly acceptable and each response must be considered
individually.

SECTION A: TEXT

A1. Explore the ways in which your chosen texts reinforce or challenge typical
representations of gender.

Candidates’ response will be dependent on the industry selected. They may decide that the
representations are typical or challenging or a mix of the two. This is acceptable. For higher
grades candidates may be linking their responses to theoretical perspectives.
Candidates may refer to some of the following points in their answer, depending on the media
industry selected:

character roles
stereotypical, conventional or challenging representations
theoretical perspectives which may include:
- gendered perspectives linked, for example, to Laura Mulvey
- post-feminist perspectives
- postmodern perspectives
- ideological perspectives: dominant v oppositional.

A2. How do your chosen texts use genre conventions?

Candidates may open their answers by outlining what they understand by genre conventions.
Responses are likely to be based on how most media texts replicate, with some variation,
standard conventions. Better answers will demonstrate some of the reasons for that approach
(e.g., a balance between industry and audience interests) whilst the most sophisticated may
consider the ideological implications of conforming to or challenging standard conventions.


SECTION B: INDUSTRY AND AUDIENCE


B1. Outline the ways in which your selected industry is regulated. What impact has
regulation had on your chosen texts?


Candidates’ responses will be largely dependent on the industry they have selected, but their
answers are likely demonstrate an understanding of the relevant regulatory body (e.g.
OFCOM, PCC, ASA, BBFC) and codes of practice. The impact that regulation has (or has
not) had on the selected industry is likely to differ but points may include:

subject matter
content
placement
language/image used
certification/guidance.

B2. Explore the impact of digital technologies on your selected industry.
The impact of technology on the industry will differ depending on the industry selected.
Higher grade candidates are likely to be engaging with ‘explore’ whilst weaker candidates
may simply list connections between technologies and the selected industry.
Points may include reference to:

the impact on the production of texts
the impact of convergence – the way the internet, satellite and mobile communications
systems have affected production, distribution and audiences/users, particularly the
potential for users to become ‘participative producers’.

B3. How do your chosen texts attract their audiences?
It is likely that candidates will need to begin by explaining (defining) the target audience for
the text/s. Candidates may refer to some of the following points in their answer, depending
on the media industry selected:

content: form and structure
content: representations, characters
mode of address
placement/scheduling
some references may be made to theories such as the uses and gratifications theory and to
ways in which audiences are attracted to texts depending on the cultural positioning.


B4. Explore the marketing strategies used by your selected industry. Use the examples you
have studied to illustrate your response.

Higher grade candidates are likely to discuss a range of strategies and may engage with an
exploration of their effectiveness. Weaker candidates may simply list the strategies used by
their selected industry. Depending on the industry selected the following points may occur.

Use of television, film, print and radio advertising
Market research and audience questioning
References to theoretical frameworks such as those provided by Maslow, the 4 P’s,
Young and Rubicam
Links to specialist agencies
Use of technologies such as the internet and mobile phones/handsets
Use of mail shots, freebies and special offers.

1. TEXTUAL ANALYSIS

Students will be required to analyse texts showing an understanding of why elements of the

text are selected and how the text is constructed. It is essential that students are taught to

transfer skills across a range of different examples. In this way they will be able to analyse

any text they are exposed to under examination conditions.

Study of the following concepts are recommended.


GENRE

Generic conventions – repetition, typicality, themes and key signifiers

Mise-en-Scene

Settings and Locations

Characteristic plots

In particular students should consider how conventions are used AND how they are

challenged, adapted and combined.


NARRATIVE

Construction

Structure

Key codes such as action and enigma

The role of characters within the narrative


SIGNS AND CODES

Students will be expected to have an understanding of TECHNICAL CODES and how

meanings are created through them. It is important that students can do more than name the

code; they need to be able to discuss how and why it has been used. Where appropriate,

students should be aware of the following technical codes and their use:

Camera shots/angles

Photographic techniques

Framing

Editing

Lighting

Special effects

Students should also be aware of AUDIO CODES, in particular the use of diegetic and non

diegetic sound through:

Dialogue

Music

Sound effects

I


n the study of print based texts students should also consider the following through the use

of VISUAL and WRITTEN codes:

Design / layout e.g. graphics, use of colour etc.

Typography

Language

Persuasive techniques

Register and mode of address

Note: although in the Specification we use terminology like codes, which emphasises a

structuralist heritage, this is not the only approach Centres may wish to introduce their

students to. The important factor is that students understand that texts go through a process

of selection and construction and that they can, generally, be interpreted differently by

different audiences.



2. REPRESENTATIONS

Centres may wish to encourage their students to examine a range of positive and negative

representations across media forms. In examining the nature of representations (how they

have been selected, constructed, mediated and anchored) and exploring how they are

interpreted and responded to by audiences, students may develop an understanding of

ideologies, for example:

Ways of seeing the world – ideologies as values, attitudes and beliefs

How ideologies are conveyed through texts

How ideologies have affected the production of the texts

How dominant ideologies are reinforced and/or challenged by texts.


Key Questions:


What kind of world is being constructed by media texts?

Students might consider the following points:

That the “reality” of the world presented by texts is constructed

That audiences respond to texts according to their experience and knowledge of

the world presented to them


How are stereotypes used as a shorthand to represent certain groups of people?

Students might consider the following point:

That makers of media texts use audience recognition of types to transmit

messages rapidly. Most media texts (e.g. films, magazine articles, television

programmes and advertising) only have a short time to establish characters and

as a result offer limited representations.


Who is in control of the text? Whose ideas and values are expressed through the

representations?

Students might consider the following points:

Texts are constructed and often manipulated by the producers (and

organisations behind them). For example: newspaper articles, films, television

programmes

A process of mediation occurs in the construction of media texts, for example a

news report.


How will audiences interpret the representation within texts? Who are the texts aimed

at?

Students might consider the following points:

That an understanding of representation is linked to the cultural experiences and

the backgrounds of the audience.

It is also affected by the audience relationship with, for example, the individual

star/ event /environment etc.


What ideologies / messages might be contained within the representation/s?

Students might:

Be aware of the view being presented through the text.

Question whether the particular interests / views of the world are being

challenged, reinforced or promoted.

Consider whether the texts are promoting, challenging or judging the roles of

gender / ethnicity/ age etc.


3. AUDIENCE RESPONSES


The focus for this question will be on the relationship between the text and the audience.

The emphasis will be on the social and cultural experiences that affect audiences’ responses

to the text and it is therefore important that the initial focus is on the range of possible

responses to texts and not audience theories – although the analysis of the response may

lead to an exploration of relevant audience response theories.

Students might like to explore:


The different ways in which audiences can be described e.g.

social / cultural background (demographics)

active and passive

interactive users

industry categories ( such as those used by advertisers e.g. aspirers,

achievers etc.)


How texts position audiences through the use of:

Modes of address

Representation/s

Narrative/s


How different audiences respond to, use and interpret texts, through the

use of relevant theories which underpin the following:

Preferred ; Negotiated; Oppositional Readings

Active and Passive responses

Reception Analysis


What will students be required to do in the examination?


They will be given stimulus material taken from a range of examples as detailed in the

specification.

For Question 1 students will focus on an analysis of the stimulus material.

For Questions 2 and 3 they will respond to questions on representation and audience. These

questions will explicitly require students to incorporate references to the detailed examples in

their responses. Students who rely solely on the stimulus material in their answers will

obviously produce a limited response.