(Original post by spwills)
As all the A2 English Literature students know, the exam is coming up soon!
I personally study from home, so sadly I'm not able to get any extra advice from teachers/other students, and I desperately need an A in this subject!
I just wanted to know how the rest of you are revising?
I'm just reading and remembering quotes, and doing past papers. I'm a bit worried that I don't know enough!
Has anyone got any revision tips, exam techniques or revision timetables they would like to share?
What have you guys all been reading?
Did you all cover topics like "John Donne and the Metaphysicals", Wordsworth and "The Rise of The Novel" in school?
I'd love to talk to some of you!
I didn't do your texts, but I DID do A2 English Literature last year (I'm in my 1st year of English at uni now so I'm having to revise all that now!) so I can't help you with the poetry, but I can give you some general English-y revision advice.
My first tip is to relax, because it is never as bad as it seems (if you have actually tried) and the more you relax, the easier it is to remember things.
Don't try to force yourself into memorizing quotes either, that really doesn't help. Just try and understand them, enjoy them and think about them. I did William Blake for A2 and I STILL can remember the whole of 'The Sick Rose', including all the punctuation marks and everything, purely because I enjoyed and understood the language.
I also tried just having mp3s of all the poems (some I recorded myself, and others I got off youtube and librevox I think it is called). That didn't work too well as I'm not an auditory learner, but then it may work for you.
I also used to read them aloud to myself, and my friends, and we would often get one another to read whilst we drew pictures of the images that were conjured by hearing the words (this is also a really great practice for the close reading elements in your exam on the unseen parts, just learning how to interpret certain words). Also most poetry is very musical and reading it helps it all sink in like you would learn a song.
As I am really visual, I COVERED my wall in mindmaps of themes, quotes, essay plans, everything. I put them around my shower and on my mirrors so if I was in the bathroom in the morning I would be revising. This worked better than anything, and I still use it at uni.
Flashcards are a great help, with quotes, critics, contexts that all link to different themes and characters.
Try doing a bit of research too, such as on google books and in the library or if your school/college has a JSTOR subscription. It's brilliant, as you can nick the quotes critics think are important, and the more you read the better awareness you have of a writing style you get. Also you pick up great bits of context and often critics will quote the same sentences and it reinforces it all again.
And finally. The most USEFUL bit of information. ESSAY PLANS. These were my god send. I would do one practice essay a week, and then I would just plan out essay after essay in bullet point form. And then I would time myself. It is amazing how quickly it can improve your essays. And when you run out of past papers, make your own up! Also go over mark schemes and see what they have to say about what themes, points they want.
Something they taught us at uni I wish I had known at A level: Practice writing your introduction. Do it for everything. Your introduction is THE MOST important aspect of your essay and it really can make or break you. Make sure you set out: A bit of context, make sure you make it SUPER obvious what question you are answering by using the key words, then say EXACTLY what you want to argue in one sentence (thesis statement) and then how you are going to argue it in brief terms. Keep in concise. If your Introduction is nice and 'tight' then so will the rest of your essay
Anyway, don't work tooooooo hard. I'm sorry this is such an essay.
If you have any more questions (literally about anything) I am more than happy to help.
If you want any help looking at poems etc, then feel free to message me. I don't know how much use I will be, but there is nothing like two brains!