Anyone here done cie igcse english literature??? If so, any tips for a* please :)

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chaza01
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Hey,

I have english igcse eng lit this may. I am studying great gatsby, julius caesar and songs of ourselves. Does anyone have any tips on what to include in essays to get an A*? ANY HELP WOULD BE REALLY APPRECIATED (AND REWARDED ) REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU ARE STUDYING SAME TEXTS; AS LONG AS YOU HAVE AN IDEA AS TO WHAT TO INCLUDE IN ESSAYS TO GET THAT A* )
THANKS,
CHARLIE
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magicmuggle
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I do do IGCSE english lit. Have you looked at the mark schemes for the essays?

Our teachers say that having a clear, ordered answer, interesting introduction and strong anchor sentences will help. As well as having a clear, lucid style and expressing your points concisely. Personal opinion is always good too .
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chaza01
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(Original post by magicmuggle)
I do do IGCSE english lit. Have you looked at the mark schemes for the essays?

Our teachers say that having a clear, ordered answer, interesting introduction and strong anchor sentences will help. As well as having a clear, lucid style and expressing your points concisely. Personal opinion is always good too .
Thanks!!!!! what do you mean by anchor sentences? oh, and how are you revising? cheers x
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Mynameisnotearl
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Hi! I did IGCSE last June and got 100% and A*, except I did Wuthering Heights, Tennyson and Much Ado. I self taught myself mine for moving countries (and just sat the exam alone at a convent, which was weird but the nuns were lovely and brought me chocolate), so I can't really give any teacher tips.

I'd say make sure you know your text really well - even though it's open book, it can save you about 5 mins if you don't need to find every quote and only really use it for the passage based question.
I also found it really helpful to know each character and their role, the setting, symbols and a really handy website I found for revision is Shmoop (it's for SAT in America but seriously good - I use it for AS Revision as well). Some of the questions on the Shmoop theme section are good for generating opinions and looking for quotes.

Basically, I'd say getting A* comes down to having a good essay structure as magicmuggle mentioned and making sure it's relevant (my teacher this year enjoys the odd rant about people writing about things not at all related to the topic but because they want to wedge in something they got a good mark for a different time).

Good luck and hope this helps
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chaza01
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(Original post by Mynameisnotearl)
Hi! I did IGCSE last June and got 100% and A*, except I did Wuthering Heights, Tennyson and Much Ado. I self taught myself mine for moving countries (and just sat the exam alone at a convent, which was weird but the nuns were lovely and brought me chocolate), so I can't really give any teacher tips.

I'd say make sure you know your text really well - even though it's open book, it can save you about 5 mins if you don't need to find every quote and only really use it for the passage based question.
I also found it really helpful to know each character and their role, the setting, symbols and a really handy website I found for revision is Shmoop (it's for SAT in America but seriously good - I use it for AS Revision as well). Some of the questions on the Shmoop theme section are good for generating opinions and looking for quotes.

Basically, I'd say getting A* comes down to having a good essay structure as magicmuggle mentioned and making sure it's relevant (my teacher this year enjoys the odd rant about people writing about things not at all related to the topic but because they want to wedge in something they got a good mark for a different time).


Thank you very much indeed, how many quotes would you advise learning?

Good luck and hope this helps

Thank you very much indeed, how many quotes would you advise learning?
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magicmuggle
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(Original post by chaza01)
Thanks!!!!! what do you mean by anchor sentences? oh, and how are you revising? cheers x
Anchor sentences are the sentences that introduce each paragraph - having an interesting one is good for the examiner, and planning them in advance means you know exactly what each paragraph is focussing on.
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chaza01
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(Original post by magicmuggle)
Anchor sentences are the sentences that introduce each paragraph - having an interesting one is good for the examiner, and planning them in advance means you know exactly what each paragraph is focussing on.
But how would you know what's coming up in the exam? Cheers
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magicmuggle
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(Original post by chaza01)
But how would you know what's coming up in the exam? Cheers
If you write a plan while in the exam for each essay, writing out the first sentence for each paragraph is what we're advised to do, as it helps order your thoughts.
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chaza01
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(Original post by magicmuggle)
If you write a plan while in the exam for each essay, writing out the first sentence for each paragraph is what we're advised to do, as it helps order your thoughts.
Oh right, that's a good idea! Will try that! Did you revise by character and them then?
Oh, and do you have any tips for empathetic response tasks? Cheers
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yoyo1994
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i got an a* last year. i was never good at lit. my advice is to not worry about quality of ur writing. simply get done everything you know on the exam paper. also try and organise your ideas into themes. e.g. love.....
by following this u wont get 100%. but can get 93 like me.
just learn what each word in a poem is implying and write as much content as u can in the exam
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Mynameisnotearl
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I would advise having between three and five (I normally do three for poems, 5 for novels, and know where abouts they fit in the story, who says them and roughly where to find them in the novel in case you can't remember it precisely word for word) per text that are meaty and can be used multiple times.

One I loved from Wuthering Heights was how Cathy talks about her love for Heathcliff by personifying them as parts of the moor - it worked well in most essays about Cathy, Heathcliff and Linton, as it revealed bits about their character, related to setting and it could fit with questions on conflict.

I agree about anchor sentences and you'll also notice that recurring questions come up, so you could prepare starters on:
- Character
- Setting
- Key moment
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chaza01
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(Original post by Mynameisnotearl)
I would advise having between three and five (I normally do three for poems, 5 for novels, and know where abouts they fit in the story, who says them and roughly where to find them in the novel in case you can't remember it precisely word for word) per text that are meaty and can be used multiple times.

One I loved from Wuthering Heights was how Cathy talks about her love for Heathcliff by personifying them as parts of the moor - it worked well in most essays about Cathy, Heathcliff and Linton, as it revealed bits about their character, related to setting and it could fit with questions on conflict.

I agree about anchor sentences and you'll also notice that recurring questions come up, so you could prepare starters on:
- Character
- Setting
- Key moment
So would a key moment be like a particular speech or something or assassination of Caesar? And what would setting involve? Cheers, I appreciate this
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chaza01
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(Original post by yoyo1994)
i got an a* last year. i was never good at lit. my advice is to not worry about quality of ur writing. simply get done everything you know on the exam paper. also try and organise your ideas into themes. e.g. love.....
by following this u wont get 100%. but can get 93 like me.
just learn what each word in a poem is implying and write as much content as u can in the exam
do you have an idea on what the grade boundaries are? Cheers
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yoyo1994
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(Original post by chaza01)
do you have an idea on what the grade boundaries are? Cheers
90%
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chaza01
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(Original post by yoyo1994)
90%
90 per cent raw mark or UMS? does it not change each year? cheers
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Mynameisnotearl
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Setting refers to things such as the time when a text is set (such as Gatsby being in the Jazz age and the influence this has - such as Gatsby being a bootlegger, the eyes of Dr TJ Eckleburg suggesting consumerism has replaced religion in America etc) and where it's set (such as the Buchanan manor being a reflection of the marriage: it's beautiful and luxurious on the outside "reflecting gold" but on the side it's white and ultimately hollow like the marriage).

I think you're on the right lines with key moments. They're the points in the novel that set off major chain reactions. Going with my Gatsby example, I'd say the key moments in the plot are probably the meeting between Daisy and Gatsby (you can see that the relationship will never work and you just know it's all going to go pear shaped) and the hotel scene, when Daisy finally admits she can't deny having loved Tom - after that, it's pretty much textbook tragedy with death, loss of status with the empty funeral, the revelation of Gatsby's life being a lie, and the Buchanans running away.

Another example of a key moment would be in Lady of Shalott, when she looks in the mirror. It's a large contrast to what she's done so far, and then the mirror breaks and you know that there's no turning back.

Hope that helps
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smallerthanmost
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Hey, I did this last June and got an A* with 100 percent as well, mainly due to the fact that I have a wonderfully eccentric teacher who lives to teach the subject! The advice that's already been given is awesome, I just thought I'd chip in my two cents

It sounds basic, but as regards to structure make sure you stick to a point, quote, analysis structure. You can't go wrong as long as you don't waffle and remember to always bring your answer back to the question. As regards to analysis, it's always good to refer to the atmosphere or tone evoked by the writing, and/or to the audience/reader reaction With your personal response, I know it sounds stupid but try and weave it into a sentence fluidly rather than starting with a 'I think that'.

Um, it's always really good to include an intertextual link for the highest marks. I didn't do either of the books you're studying, but I did do Songs of Ourselves, and if Hardy's 'The voice' is still on the syllabus, for example, you could try likening the 'Woman much missed' to the 'faithful phantom' in another of Hardy's elegaic poem, 'The Haunter'.

Also, concerning exam preparation, I always find character maps are really good to do, especially if you're a visual learner. Another good thing to do is to write practice compare and contrast essays, for examklyple comparing one poem with another in 'Songs of Ourselves', as those do sometimes come up in the exams and with your characters sometimes you can discover so much more to write about concerning their relationships with other characters.

Oh and if there are films of the things you're studying, watch them! You could use performance criticism too, when I did it ours was Death of a Salesman, and I got to happily write on about how Dustin Hoffman's dramatic portrayal of Willy exaggerated the Brooklynese diction of the character. It counts!

Oh and one more thing (jeez, excuse the essay!) read up on the biography of your authors. An autobiographical approach, relating the text to the author's own experiences or feelings, can squeeze so much more out of the text and give you a billion other things to write, whilst making you sound like you really know your stuff.

Hope this helped a little!
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(Original post by chaza01)
90 per cent raw mark or UMS? does it not change each year? cheers

90/100 raw every year
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chaza01
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(Original post by yoyo1994)
90/100 raw every year
Is that for english literature wit coursework or...? cheers
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chaza01
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(Original post by smallerthanmost)
Hey, I did this last June and got an A* with 100 percent as well, mainly due to the fact that I have a wonderfully eccentric teacher who lives to teach the subject! The advice that's already been given is awesome, I just thought I'd chip in my two cents

It sounds basic, but as regards to structure make sure you stick to a point, quote, analysis structure. You can't go wrong as long as you don't waffle and remember to always bring your answer back to the question. As regards to analysis, it's always good to refer to the atmosphere or tone evoked by the writing, and/or to the audience/reader reaction With your personal response, I know it sounds stupid but try and weave it into a sentence fluidly rather than starting with a 'I think that'.

Um, it's always really good to include an intertextual link for the highest marks. I didn't do either of the books you're studying, but I did do Songs of Ourselves, and if Hardy's 'The voice' is still on the syllabus, for example, you could try likening the 'Woman much missed' to the 'faithful phantom' in another of Hardy's elegaic poem, 'The Haunter'.

Also, concerning exam preparation, I always find character maps are really good to do, especially if you're a visual learner. Another good thing to do is to write practice compare and contrast essays, for examklyple comparing one poem with another in 'Songs of Ourselves', as those do sometimes come up in the exams and with your characters sometimes you can discover so much more to write about concerning their relationships with other characters.

Oh and if there are films of the things you're studying, watch them! You could use performance criticism too, when I did it ours was Death of a Salesman, and I got to happily write on about how Dustin Hoffman's dramatic portrayal of Willy exaggerated the Brooklynese diction of the character. It counts!

Oh and one more thing (jeez, excuse the essay!) read up on the biography of your authors. An autobiographical approach, relating the text to the author's own experiences or feelings, can squeeze so much more out of the text and give you a billion other things to write, whilst making you sound like you really know your stuff.

Hope this helped a little!

Thank you so much!!!!!!!!! Also, would you recommend quoting critics for the play and book, e.g Ernest Schanzer argued that though Brutus was 'a bad judge of character' his was by no means 'devoid of political shrewdness' or 'practical wisdom' (and then follow on from that and come to a critical judgement on whether his comments are accurate) Indeed, Brutus did allow Antony do speak at Caesar's funeral, maintaining that [quotation], despite Cassius' remarks that Antony was [quote]. This turned out to be a grave error, for Antony's funeral oration caused Rome to descend into the 'civil strife' he had expressed his intention to cause in his soliloquy. The ensuing civil war directly led to the foundation of the Second Triumvirate and defeat of the conspirators. If Brutus had heeded Cassius' warning, the Roman Republic may have been preserved after all. It is hard, however, to accept the notion that Brutus possessed this 'political shrewdness' for not only was he a poor judge of character, but he also underestimated the effect the assassination of Caesar would have on the Roman people. Perhaps driven by his archconservatism, Brutus sought to maintain the Roman Republic, a system of government which had democracy as its cornerstone; the Roman people were therefore an essential facet of the institution Brutus slayed Caesar to protect, but yet they are shown as fickle: they celebrated Caesar's 'triumph' over Pompey after having been loyal to Pompey when he was sole consul of Rome, they went from vehemently supporting the conspirators after assassinating the despot they previously worshiped, to being swayed completely against Brutus' cause in favour of the emotive appeal made by Antony. Marullus' judgement of the Roman people as 'worse than senseless things' perhaps best portrays their actual value to The Republic.



Oh, btw, does anyone have any ideas for english language IGCSE??? cheers
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