AQA A2 English Literature A Exam help? Watch

spwills
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Hi everyone,

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!
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kaylaurend
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(If this is about a2 love through the ages)
Hi there, yeah we did do the metaphysicals, we sort of went in order really.
First it was courtly love (Chaucer etc, despite the fact Chaucer was mocking it), then it was the renaissance I think (just while Shakespeare was starting out I think) then Elizabethan (Shakespeare, Spenser, Marlowe etc) then Metaphysical - Anne Bradsheet (if that's her name lol) John Donne, and definitely Marvell that bast*** who did To My Coy Mistress, then we missed out the Charles era and Civil War etc and skipped to 18th Century Romantics 1st & 2nd generation and how it's all nature-fied/gothic and stuff like Jane Eyre (or anything Bronte), Blackmoor etc Jane Austen, P. Shelley, Keats (key one here in my class) Hardy, Wilde, Yeats etc. We did nothing on 20th Century though, unless I missed it and it was all about 20th Century in the January exam therefore I got a U...

Anyway I posted to also ask if anyone knows how to revise? Because I actually really don't know how to revise Eng Lit! I've memorised loads of key quotations but that really didn't help me in the January exam.. so need some better techniques and I've still got them memorised.
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spwills
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(Original post by kaylaurend)
(If this is about a2 love through the ages)
Hi there, yeah we did do the metaphysicals, we sort of went in order really.
First it was courtly love (Chaucer etc, despite the fact Chaucer was mocking it), then it was the renaissance I think (just while Shakespeare was starting out I think) then Elizabethan (Shakespeare, Spenser, Marlowe etc) then Metaphysical - Anne Bradsheet (if that's her name lol) John Donne, and definitely Marvell that bast*** who did To My Coy Mistress, then we missed out the Charles era and Civil War etc and skipped to 18th Century Romantics 1st & 2nd generation and how it's all nature-fied/gothic and stuff like Jane Eyre (or anything Bronte), Blackmoor etc Jane Austen, P. Shelley, Keats (key one here in my class) Hardy, Wilde, Yeats etc. We did nothing on 20th Century though, unless I missed it and it was all about 20th Century in the January exam therefore I got a U...

Anyway I posted to also ask if anyone knows how to revise? Because I actually really don't know how to revise Eng Lit! I've memorised loads of key quotations but that really didn't help me in the January exam.. so need some better techniques and I've still got them memorised.
Thanks for replying! I think I covered everything you just said, problem is, I can't remember any of it ! lol I don't know what I m even meant to know about these people....

I'm exactly the same as you, I don't know how I am meant to revise... Was all your wider reading entire books or did you look at extracts too? I don't think I've read enough either. I'm going to fail....
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kaylaurend
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(Original post by spwills)
Thanks for replying! I think I covered everything you just said, problem is, I can't remember any of it ! lol I don't know what I m even meant to know about these people....

I'm exactly the same as you, I don't know how I am meant to revise... Was all your wider reading entire books or did you look at extracts too? I don't think I've read enough either. I'm going to fail....
We've looked at 0 entire books! There was a couple we were meant to read for our coursework but tbh I finished the coursework fine without finishing the books (The Small Hand - Chris Cleave & The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter). All we do is look at extracts, analyse and then write a comparative essay like what one question would be in the exam. I mustn't fail! It's just so hard Out of lesson like right now I don't know how to revise or find extracts to do a comparative essay on, maybe I'm just an idiot ha. Doing past papers must be on the right track though! Maybe I'll do that...
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spwills
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(Original post by kaylaurend)
We've looked at 0 entire books! There was a couple we were meant to read for our coursework but tbh I finished the coursework fine without finishing the books (The Small Hand - Chris Cleave & The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter). All we do is look at extracts, analyse and then write a comparative essay like what one question would be in the exam. I mustn't fail! It's just so hard Out of lesson like right now I don't know how to revise or find extracts to do a comparative essay on, maybe I'm just an idiot ha. Doing past papers must be on the right track though! Maybe I'll do that...
Same, I don't know where to find extracts! I can't even do the past papers, I have nothing to say! I honestly don't know what to do.

Are you looking at going to uni in September?
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kaylaurend
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(Original post by spwills)
Same, I don't know where to find extracts! I can't even do the past papers, I have nothing to say! I honestly don't know what to do.

Are you looking at going to uni in September?
Yeah Anglia Ruskin you? It's hard though cause in August I will (hopefully!) have 2 A2s and 1 AS so can't be too picky with the university choices. I just found this on a 2 year old post regarding Love through the ages, seems helpful! (Now to conjure up extracts to write about)

"Hi, I sat the exam in January and came out with a good result so I hope I can help here. I think that looking at different types of love is certainly more valuable that trying to revise in a chronological way. The advice that we got is that, as long as we had one text from each genre to talk about, that would be enough wider reading. I basically went over the texts that I studied last year for Victorian Literature and also revised the texts that I'm using for coursework. I also put a small collection of poetry from different poets and time periods together.

Honestly, though, I think the most valuable thing that I did in terms of revision was just practice. I got hold of lots of different extracts and poems to do with love and worked out where I could make links etc. Remember, the main bulk of the marks in the A2 exam come from analysing the unseen texts rather than wider reading references so practice is the best thing you can do!

Hope this has helped!"
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flaresamc
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I am at uni, but i got an A* in English Lit at A level.

My advice is as follows:
- know the text inside out- but don't try to remember massive paragraphs.
- every point you make, you need to be able to back it up with evidence from the text. That doesn't mean you have to know paragraphs of text accurately, often a word or two can support your point if you're talking about how the language reflects XYZ.
- identify key themes that could come up. If you have to discuss two texts make mind maps on the different topics showing their similarities and differences. Makes it easier if those themes come up in the exam. If they don't, then you'll be used to comparing and contrasting the langauge, style etc.

I did the following texts:
John Donne and The Duchess of Malfi. (exam)
Othello. (exam)
Angela Carter. (coursework)
The Crucible and Making History. (coursework)
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kaylaurend
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(Original post by flaresamc)
I am at uni, but i got an A* in English Lit at A level.

My advice is as follows:
- know the text inside out- but don't try to remember massive paragraphs.
- every point you make, you need to be able to back it up with evidence from the text. That doesn't mean you have to know paragraphs of text accurately, often a word or two can support your point if you're talking about how the language reflects XYZ.
- identify key themes that could come up. If you have to discuss two texts make mind maps on the different topics showing their similarities and differences. Makes it easier if those themes come up in the exam. If they don't, then you'll be used to comparing and contrasting the langauge, style etc.

I did the following texts:
John Donne and The Duchess of Malfi. (exam)
Othello. (exam)
Angela Carter. (coursework)
The Crucible and Making History. (coursework)
This is very helpful to me, I was also wondering if you know what the changes are of something that came up in January exams to come up again in June? For example 20th century drama what are the chances of this to come up again?
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spwills
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(Original post by kaylaurend)
Yeah Anglia Ruskin you? It's hard though cause in August I will (hopefully!) have 2 A2s and 1 AS so can't be too picky with the university choices. I just found this on a 2 year old post regarding Love through the ages, seems helpful! (Now to conjure up extracts to write about)

"Hi, I sat the exam in January and came out with a good result so I hope I can help here. I think that looking at different types of love is certainly more valuable that trying to revise in a chronological way. The advice that we got is that, as long as we had one text from each genre to talk about, that would be enough wider reading. I basically went over the texts that I studied last year for Victorian Literature and also revised the texts that I'm using for coursework. I also put a small collection of poetry from different poets and time periods together.

Honestly, though, I think the most valuable thing that I did in terms of revision was just practice. I got hold of lots of different extracts and poems to do with love and worked out where I could make links etc. Remember, the main bulk of the marks in the A2 exam come from analysing the unseen texts rather than wider reading references so practice is the best thing you can do!

Hope this has helped!"
UEA, but I need 3 A's! Thanks for your help, I'm going to keep doing past papers. Good luck to you!
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kaylaurend
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(Original post by spwills)
UEA, but I need 3 A's! Thanks for your help, I'm going to keep doing past papers. Good luck to you!
Thanks you too, sounds really tough!
Just found this, you need to sign up and make an account to be able to download it (it's a word document) but seems very helpful!!
http://getrevising.co.uk/resources/l...sh_lit_a2_aqa1
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flaresamc
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(Original post by kaylaurend)
This is very helpful to me, I was also wondering if you know what the changes are of something that came up in January exams to come up again in June? For example 20th century drama what are the chances of this to come up again?
Glad I could help
Do you mean if a topic has come up in January will it come up in June? Not usually, but you may want to look at it anyway. You could bring elements of it under another question, and at least be familiar with it just in case it does come up.
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Brownie anyone?
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(Original post by spwills)
Hi everyone,

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!

Good Luck!
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Also, one more point - If you go through themes and stuff etc, you tend to find that there will be a few quotes you can use for EVERYTHING as they relate to so many different things. Go and find those, and try and figure out how to break them down and argue different things for them.

And remember - One point per paragraph. Don't be tempted to wander off and start talking about something else. Practice writing a little introductory sentence that sets up your paragraphs...For instance: The extent to which Shakespeare challenges notions of absolute authority appears to arise primarily from the complex and subjective portrayal of the Duke, who has remained a point of interest among critics.
(my 1st piece of uni coursework) - In this you can see that I am engaging with the essay title 'notions of absolute authority', and you can see that I am only going to focus on the 'complex and subjective portrayal of the duke' and then I will look at the critical interpretation of him.

It wasn't a great piece of cwk but you see my point
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enatasha
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Does anyone know anywhere to find any model answers for this exam?
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