English Literature, closed text exam - How best to revise? +REP Watch

daruishraz
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So I have an English exam in two months. I need a high A. And I need TSR's help on basically 'how the hell will I get through this exam'?

It is a closed book exam (meaning = NO TEXTS ALLOWED). Section A is poetry, with an unseen poem, Section B is two plays - which we have been studying.

Personally, i don't think I am THAT good at acing English exams, and naturally my English isn't one of my strongest subjects. To be honest with everybody, I am not entirely sure of the poems and texts we've been studying up to now - I have forgotten a LOT.

Section A is William Blake's poetry (Songs of Innocence and Experience), Section B is the two plays, Measure for Measure (Shakespeare), and the Duchess of Malfi (Webster).

I need to memorise key quotes to do with mutiple themes from all texts... and I really don't know what I should revise.

So aside from ranting on and on, I need your help on how best I can revise these texts, as well as any good resources. I have the York Notes books on Blake; Measure for Measure; and Duchess of Malfi, however the books explicitly state these texts are not to be used standalone or to cover up the study of these texts.

2 months will be over before I know it! HELP!

THANKS IN ADVANCE! + REP TO THOSE WHO HELP!

P.S: if it helps, i am doing WJEC Eng Lit GCE A-level. General advice would be more than welcome.
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daruishraz
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MSB
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Are you asking for what these "key quotes" are? Those are the main things you need to concentrate on, along with the themes and ideas that they relate to.
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daruishraz
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Well, key quotes would help, but most of all I am asking what I can do best to prepare for the exam? And any general advice on how I should write an essay to do with the themes and ideas.
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Pedus
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(Original post by daruishraz)
So I have an English exam in two months. I need a high A. And I need TSR's help on basically 'how the hell will I get through this exam'?

It is a closed book exam (meaning = NO TEXTS ALLOWED). Section A is poetry, with an unseen poem, Section B is two plays - which we have been studying.

Section A is William Blake's poetry (Songs of Innocence and Experience), Section B is the two plays, Measure for Measure (Shakespeare), and the Duchess of Malfi (Webster).

I need to memorise key quotes to do with mutiple themes from all texts... and I really don't know what I should revise.

So aside from ranting on and on, I need your help on how best I can revise these texts, as well as any good resources. I have the York Notes books on Blake; Measure for Measure; and Duchess of Malfi, however the books explicitly state these texts are not to be used standalone or to cover up the study of these texts.

2 months will be over before I know it! HELP!

THANKS IN ADVANCE! + REP TO THOSE WHO HELP!

P.S: if it helps, i am doing WJEC Eng Lit GCE A-level. General advice would be more than welcome.
Hi, is this the AS or A2 exams. The good thing about Closed Text exams is that they lower the grade boundry, so you are safe.

With section A, the poetry section, I'd advise you to revise only a few of William Blake's poetry key quotations.. because you need to compare a few poems. Try and limit yourself to only 2-3 of his poems really good, memorising only key quotes, and knowning how you can deconstruct and relate back to the exam question. You can revise this a lot before hand so it's all good! 2 months is a lot of time to prepare for this section.

With section B, like you said earlier, you need to learn essential quotes specific for mutiple themes.. So if there are sections in Shakespeare's plays that explores relationships, learn a few, and make sure that you can make good and clear links to compare this trait between characters from different texts.

Some good websites that you can use are Sparknotes.. It has really helped me in English Lit A level.. and the York revision books are also good resources..

Finally, like myself, I also have to learn Critic quotations? Is this something that you have to include in your exam? If you do, just remember a few that you can relate to your texts/poems.. And most importantly just keep comparing and flicking through different traits in different poems and texts, and you'll be fine!

If you need anymore help, feel free to ask!

Good luck xx
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Deutsch_Beth
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(Original post by daruishraz)
So I have an English exam in two months. I need a high A. And I need TSR's help on basically 'how the hell will I get through this exam'?

It is a closed book exam (meaning = NO TEXTS ALLOWED). Section A is poetry, with an unseen poem, Section B is two plays - which we have been studying.

Personally, i don't think I am THAT good at acing English exams, and naturally my English isn't one of my strongest subjects. To be honest with everybody, I am not entirely sure of the poems and texts we've been studying up to now - I have forgotten a LOT.

Section A is William Blake's poetry (Songs of Innocence and Experience), Section B is the two plays, Measure for Measure (Shakespeare), and the Duchess of Malfi (Webster).

I need to memorise key quotes to do with mutiple themes from all texts... and I really don't know what I should revise.

So aside from ranting on and on, I need your help on how best I can revise these texts, as well as any good resources. I have the York Notes books on Blake; Measure for Measure; and Duchess of Malfi, however the books explicitly state these texts are not to be used standalone or to cover up the study of these texts.

2 months will be over before I know it! HELP!

THANKS IN ADVANCE! + REP TO THOSE WHO HELP!

P.S: if it helps, i am doing WJEC Eng Lit GCE A-level. General advice would be more than welcome.
Why hello, I am sitting the exact same exam as you
I'm doing Blake as well, though different plays.

I have a terrible memory, and can't possibly expect to learn the entire plays ect off by heart, so this is the compromise I have come up with, which worked for GCSE as well btw.
Here is my revision technique, which works like a charm.
For Blake, write a list of all key themes, contextual points and key structural points to his work (ie.enjambement, quattrains ect ect) and then plan to choose 10 poems, 5 pairs with one from innocence and one from experience in each pair, making sure that within the 10 poems, every key theme or point is covered at least twice, ideally twice within a pair.( I've already decided on Introduction & The Voice of the Ancient Bard, The Divine Image & The Human Abstract and The Little Boy Lost & A Litte Boy Lost, and just need 2 more pairs.)
The idea of this being that I would only need to learn 10 poems yet would definietly be able to use any of the 5 pairs to discuss in my exam, whatever the question.

For the plays I have planned this:
For each play write a list of key characters, themes and contextual points. For each of these, find 5 key quotes and learn them. This should mean that whatever the question, you will have several quotes that link to my argument, as obviously a lot of the quotes will overlap.
There might be one or two rogue ones you need to learn that don't fit in with this ^^ btw, as they may be said by insignificant characters but be important to the play.

If you do something like this then it will seriously cut down on the amount of stuff you learnt, yet won't stop you being able to answer any question they may ask us in the exam.

Hope it helps!
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Pedus
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(Original post by daruishraz)
Well, key quotes would help, but most of all I am asking what I can do best to prepare for the exam? And any general advice on how I should write an essay to do with the themes and ideas.
What themes and ideas are you exploring? Relationships?

Introduction - make it clear in what you aim to do.. Also refer to the books/poems you are going to use..

Main Body - keep comparing the texts

Conclusion - Summarise and explain briefly, with your own personal opinions, what you thought of it.. etc.
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BrazilianBarbie_x
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I'm doing William Blake's poetry too which I'm so excited about because I love his work! I've found that spider diagram's & cue cards work best for me especially with trying to remember some main quotes. Just remember to talk about the themes, commentaries etc. There's some book's in WHSmith on this poetry that have sample questions along with guideline answers. Good luck (:
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Jingers
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Yo.

Re-read all your poems and then group them together in terms of themes. This will help you a lot. Write about ~6 poems (I think it's best to do 4 from Innocence and 2 from Experience) and then like 3 others, such as 'from Milton', and the other big hitters. (It's been nearly a year since I did this exam, so this is all very sketchy.)

Seriously, don't overthink English Literature. In the exam, I made up quotes from critics and from the poems, and got an A. They'll probably forgive you if you misquote something, provided you express yourself really well.
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Hala.
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For preparation, read the texts over and over again, you need to be really familiar with them. I'm not in any way suggesting you should attempt to learn them off by heart. That would cause more harm than good. :P Also, read as much relevant literature (York notes, critical essays etc.), as the examiner will be far more interested in your evaluation and comparison of the texts than your ability to memorise lines. You can find critical essays online, although it's quite hard to get access to free ones, but you could also ask your teacher if (s)he knows of any books you could get from the library.
Don't stress too much about quotes. I think you should just try to learn a few very important quotes from each text (and make sure the quotes you memorise can be linked to the theme that you relating the texts to). There doesn't seem to be a large amount of marks that you could get for writing quotes; for the second half of my English lit. AS exam last year, I freaked out and wrote few, if any, quotes and still got an A.
Good luck, I'm really worried about this exam too.
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daruishraz
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Wowwwwww, thanks for all the help guys! I can relax a little bit more now after the reassurances of some people! I will rep a person a day, in order from top to bottom.

Thanks again. Oh and Pedus, its the A2 exam.
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Pedus
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(Original post by daruishraz)
Wowwwwww, thanks for all the help guys! I can relax a little bit more now after the reassurances of some people! I will rep a person a day, in order from top to bottom.

Thanks again. Oh and Pedus, its the A2 exam.
Ah, same as me! I'm on Edexcel for English Lit, so a bit lucky that I get to have my texts infront of me in the exam, but I bet you it'll be just as hard!

Do you also have to include critic opinion, and alot of context in your english exams? And mind me asking, what did you get for your AS english?
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pete1111
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Did the same exam last year got an A - bank your quotes thematically, read york notes but try and get books with proper academic criticism (especially for Shakespeare) don't use the critic's ideas in your work approach them objectively and absorb them into your essay. Practice your essay under exam condition also practice writing plans for your essay, plans are so important in the exam use 5 minutes planning in the exam to gather your thoughts

Can I also add that I got this exam remarked from a D to an A on results day and wouldn't have got into uni if it wasn't for the remark. Don't want to worry you but English marking is terribly inaccurate so get a remark on results day if you need it!
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Pedus
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(Original post by pete1111)
Did the same exam last year got an A - bank your quotes thematically, read york notes but try and get books with proper academic criticism (especially for Shakespeare) don't use the critic's ideas in your work approach them objectively and absorb them into your essay. Practice your essay under exam condition also practice writing plans for your essay, plans are so important in the exam use 5 minutes planning in the exam to gather your thoughts

Can I also add that I got this exam remarked from a D to an A on results day and wouldn't have got into uni if it wasn't for the remark. Don't want to worry you but English marking is terribly inaccurate so get a remark on results day if you need it!
D to an A !!! :eek3: Yea, totally agree with you on the marking.. There's no real proper mark scheme for examiners to pick up on.. It's not like any science subjects where there is a definate answer..
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daruishraz
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(Original post by Pedus)
Ah, same as me! I'm on Edexcel for English Lit, so a bit lucky that I get to have my texts infront of me in the exam, but I bet you it'll be just as hard!

Do you also have to include critic opinion, and alot of context in your english exams? And mind me asking, what did you get for your AS english?
Yep, I'm sure we need to include lots of context (AO4), and the views of other readers/critics, however I don't think we need to cite them as such, I think we just go along with writing "Some readers view this as...", or "Some critics...". :p:

AS English, I got an A. If I had one UMS lower, than it would have been a B - thus I really need a high A in my A2 year to meet my uni offer.

Eeeeeek, and regarding the marking of English exams...it's too scary to think about! :eek:
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Pedus
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(Original post by daruishraz)
Yep, I'm sure we need to include lots of context (AO4), and the views of other readers/critics, however I don't think we need to cite them as such, I think we just go along with writing "Some readers view this as...", or "Some critics...". :p:

AS English, I got an A. If I had one UMS lower, than it would have been a B - thus I really need a high A in my A2 year to meet my uni offer.

Eeeeeek, and regarding the marking of English exams...it's too scary to think about! :eek:
I'm so nervous! :ninja: Yea, we have to include referrances to Critics to get higher band marks, but I've done the same thing as you because I can't remember all the critic names, but I can remember the quotes... And yea, I think AO4 is the hardest, because you have to include **** loads of context and it just fustrates me!

And I got lucky for my AS last year; I managed to get 104/120 in exam and I didn't finish reading all the texts :rofl: but I done aweful in my coursework and ended up with a B after getting it remarked
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onelessdayofschool
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I'm in dire need of help- can people check my post about WJEC English Lit GCSE but for Spec A
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ildoanything
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for william blake, are these pretty much all the themes they can ask of us?

- religion
- society
-politics
-childhood
- nature

im struggling to see what else they could ask to be honest, theme wise. im hoping they do put a thematic question on...!
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ildoanything
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oh and humanity/human failing. but other than that...
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RGBlinkFrayXx
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I had my TKAM exam today and accidentally wrote "breeches" instead of "britches"... will that make a huge difference or am I just being hyper?
Also whoever said the grade boundaries were lower, we were told that the Lit. grade boundary was 90% for an A*
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