Why is Higher English basically just a 'memory test' Watch

Memetics
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Why? People most likely wonder this every year, and I know I'm just going to have to deal with it, but why do you have to memorise so many quotations over such a large selection of pieces.:mad:


Memorising the quotations adds nothing to your understanding of the novel/play/poem etc. It just seems unnecessary. I don't understand how part of my future could be put down to the random chance of the questions fitting my quotes. You could be sat there, stumped as nothing fits. :eek:


Would it not make more sense to allow for a list of the quotations to be taken into the exam, so at least you can review them.


I don't know, if anyone has the reason why it is the way it is I'd love to know!
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kylerfc
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(Original post by Memetics)
Why? People most likely wonder this every year, and I know I'm just going to have to deal with it, but why do you have to memorise so many quotations over such a large selection of pieces.:mad:


Memorising the quotations adds nothing to your understanding of the novel/play/poem etc. It just seems unnecessary. I don't understand how part of my future could be put down to the random chance of the questions fitting my quotes. You could be sat there, stumped as nothing fits. :eek:


Would it not make more sense to allow for a list of the quotations to be taken into the exam, so at least you can review them.


I don't know, if anyone has the reason why it is the way it is I'd love to know!
I can see where you are coming from but it is not simple those with the best memory preform best.

For smaller text, like poetry, then the key is to discuss the poets use of techniques and what effect those techniques create. Naturally as a result you will need an example for alliteration or whatever the techniques is. This then means you will know most of the poem as there will be poetic techniques on every line. However, the key to a good mark is using these to answer the question and to be able to write good analysis of these. This means having a good memory is not a great advantage.

For long texts, you will most likely be asked about themes or settings or other 'general' areas rather than a technique. The examiner knows you can remember every word of a 300 page book. However, if you choose to do a question on setting then the least they expect is for you know what the setting is and the best way to do that is to remember how the author described it. But to get 21+ it is important to remember to say what the setting means in the greater context and how that links to the general theme of the book.

You can still score 21+ without using a single quote in your essay (though it is unlikely). You should go in to the exam and know your texts inside out, that doesn't mean you can regurgitate it word for word but you know what happens at the key scenes. If you do you will naturally pick up what is said or described and so you can use it in an essay.

Hope that goes part way to describing why it is not all about memory. Plus the essays only count for 40% of your grade.
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