BaudelaireLucky
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I'm on AQA LITB (the aspects of narrative paper)

In my dramatic genres coursework I got a band 6 which should be an A, with the practice essays I'm doing I'm only getting band 5 which could be an A but I'd feel a lot more secure in a band 6

How do I get top marks on this paper? Any tips/tricks? General or specific advide much appreciated, I'm doing Gatsby/The Kite Runner for section A and then Robert Frost and Robert Browning with either novel for section B
I really need an A this year
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BaudelaireLucky
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Jealous that you're doing Gatsby!! I did it last year and it's such an amazing book.
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BaudelaireLucky
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Jealous that you're doing Gatsby!! I did it last year and it's such an amazing book.
I'm assuming you're in A2 year then?
I love Gatsby, it's actually one of my favorite books so it was great to find out we'd be studying it . How did you find studying it? Was there anything you think might be helpful for when I do the exam?
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(Original post by BaudelaireLucky)
I'm assuming you're in A2 year then?
I love Gatsby, it's actually one of my favorite books so it was great to find out we'd be studying it . How did you find studying it? Was there anything you think might be helpful for when I do the exam?
No I'm in AS too, I was in the iGCSE set for English so did Gatsby then. I would recommend when revising to group together themes in the book eg. moral decay, and find quotes that match with each theme. I have no idea for the exam I'm afraid I'm doing the picture of dorian gray
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BaudelaireLucky
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(Original post by circxwaves)
No I'm in AS too, I was in the iGCSE set for English so did Gatsby then. I would recommend when revising to group together themes in the book eg. moral decay, and find quotes that match with each theme. I have no idea for the exam I'm afraid I'm doing the picture of dorian gray
Oh right okay, I just struggle to revise lit because all I can really do is re-read the books and learn quotes, and gcse was easy enough that I didn't have to do any revision so now I have no idea what I'm doing (oops)
I've never read Dorian Gray but I'm assuming that you prefer Gatsby, good luck with it though!
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AnyRandomName
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(Original post by BaudelaireLucky)
I'm on AQA LITB (the aspects of narrative paper)

In my dramatic genres coursework I got a band 6 which should be an A, with the practice essays I'm doing I'm only getting band 5 which could be an A but I'd feel a lot more secure in a band 6

How do I get top marks on this paper? Any tips/tricks? General or specific advide much appreciated, I'm doing Gatsby/The Kite Runner for section A and then Robert Frost and Robert Browning with either novel for section B
I really need an A this year
I only just got an A on this exam last year (my coursework bumped it up to a higher UMS, though) so I may not be the perfect person to give advice on this. However, I'll just give a list of a few things that you'll probably already know about but are still really important.

  • To get band 6, remember you need to evaluate interpretations. So give alternative ways of reading things, then say which is more convincing and say why.
  • A common reason for getting a band 5 rather than a band 6 is that people don't push their points as far as they can. Lots of people will: make a point; analyse some language; give a quick, slightly glib and contrived alternative with the prefix "some readers could say..." and then just leave it there. The mark schemes (for A2 at least) now say you need to 'drive a point to its conclusion.' So make sure you bleed each point dry, even if it means you make fewer points; the exam board prefer a few points done really well to tons of points made superficially.
  • In section A, don't waste time on a long introduction. Introductions aren't important in this question (if my memory serves me correctly) so get on to writing about the use of aspects of narrative as quickly as possible.
  • Don't forget about structure and form (especially structure). Language is the easiest thing to talk about so it'll impress the examiner if you can make equally perceptive points and counter-points about structure as you can about language.
  • A good revision technique is to plan all past questions and then to think about which questions they could ask you and plan those.
  • Although it sounds stupid to say, make sure you revise properly for the exam. I didn't as my revision consisted of finishing studying Enduring Love and Gatsby because we hadn't been very thorough in class. I think if I'd revised more I'd have got a higher UMS and been in a more secure position this year. It is possible to revise for English, despite what some people say.


This is all I can think of off the top of my head. Hope this helps
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BaudelaireLucky
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(Original post by AnyRandomName)
I only just got an A on this exam last year (my coursework bumped it up to a higher UMS, though) so I may not be the perfect person to give advice on this. However, I'll just give a list of a few things that you'll probably already know about but are still really important.

  • To get band 6, remember you need to evaluate interpretations. So give alternative ways of reading things, then say which is more convincing and say why.
  • A common reason for getting a band 5 rather than a band 6 is that people don't push their points as far as they can. Lots of people will: make a point; analyse some language; give a quick, slightly glib and contrived alternative with the prefix "some readers could say..." and then just leave it there. The mark schemes (for A2 at least) now say you need to 'drive a point to its conclusion.' So make sure you bleed each point dry, even if it means you make fewer points; the exam board prefer a few points done really well to tons of points made superficially.
  • In section A, don't waste time on a long introduction. Introductions aren't important in this question (if my memory serves me correctly) so get on to writing about the use of aspects of narrative as quickly as possible.
  • Don't forget about structure and form (especially structure). Language is the easiest thing to talk about so it'll impress the examiner if you can make equally perceptive points and counter-points about structure as you can about language.
  • A good revision technique is to plan all past questions and then to think about which questions they could ask you and plan those.
  • Although it sounds stupid to say, make sure you revise properly for the exam. I didn't as my revision consisted of finishing studying Enduring Love and Gatsby because we hadn't been very thorough in class. I think if I'd revised more I'd have got a higher UMS and been in a more secure position this year. It is possible to revise for English, despite what some people say.


This is all I can think of off the top of my head. Hope this helps
Thank you! I'll make sure to pull everything out of my points and evaluate as best as I can, I'm struggling for time because we haven't been taught how to answer section B of the paper yet or any of the poetry, and the exam is on the 16th of May so we've been told over the holidays to basically teach ourselves the poetry as well as revise not fun but this certainly helped as we hadn't been told much if any of this before!
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edgarcats
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(Original post by AnyRandomName)
I only just got an A on this exam last year (my coursework bumped it up to a higher UMS, though) so I may not be the perfect person to give advice on this. However, I'll just give a list of a few things that you'll probably already know about but are still really important.

  • To get band 6, remember you need to evaluate interpretations. So give alternative ways of reading things, then say which is more convincing and say why.
  • A common reason for getting a band 5 rather than a band 6 is that people don't push their points as far as they can. Lots of people will: make a point; analyse some language; give a quick, slightly glib and contrived alternative with the prefix "some readers could say..." and then just leave it there. The mark schemes (for A2 at least) now say you need to 'drive a point to its conclusion.' So make sure you bleed each point dry, even if it means you make fewer points; the exam board prefer a few points done really well to tons of points made superficially.
  • In section A, don't waste time on a long introduction. Introductions aren't important in this question (if my memory serves me correctly) so get on to writing about the use of aspects of narrative as quickly as possible.
  • Don't forget about structure and form (especially structure). Language is the easiest thing to talk about so it'll impress the examiner if you can make equally perceptive points and counter-points about structure as you can about language.
  • A good revision technique is to plan all past questions and then to think about which questions they could ask you and plan those.
  • Although it sounds stupid to say, make sure you revise properly for the exam. I didn't as my revision consisted of finishing studying Enduring Love and Gatsby because we hadn't been very thorough in class. I think if I'd revised more I'd have got a higher UMS and been in a more secure position this year. It is possible to revise for English, despite what some people say.


This is all I can think of off the top of my head. Hope this helps
What methods of revision would you recommend? Congratulations on your A
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Skz8
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Can anyone help me with ielts exam. I will go to UNi this year and they require ielts and I have no idea about it.
Looking forward ......


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AnyRandomName
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(Original post by edgarcats)
What methods of revision would you recommend? Congratulations on your A
As I say, my revision was pretty much non-existent for this exam, so I can't give recommendations based on experience. I will, however, give a couple of ideas that I think might be useful, but this is just what I think and I'm hardly an expert

1. First, read your texts again. It would, of course, be helpful to make notes on ideas you have as you're reading, but I think it's a good idea to try and step back by appreciating the texts more generally rather than looking for fine detail all the time. It's easy to get bogged down and lose sense of the main themes and ideas when you're trying to analyse every word. That's not to say that you shouldn't have detailed notes though because you'll need them for section A, especially.

2. Pick out key passages in novels and lines in poems. Although you don't need to learn quotes by heart in your exam, it would be helpful to have a list of things that you have lots of notes/ideas about so that you can use them as go-to quotes in the exam rather than having to flick through your books looking for the "perfect quote" that often won't exist.

3. For section A, try to plan an answer for each potential question. So for a novel, you could think of maybe 3 or 4 points - along with counterpoints and evaluation - from different aspects of narrative for each of the chapters. Doing this for each text would give you an idea on which text you feel most comfortable about discussing in detail. Once you've decided that, then you could focus especially on that text by making your points as strong as possible. You could then learn these plans as well as you can.

4. The mark schemes are very useful to look at if you're short of ideas (especially for section A)

5. For section B, it's best to think about big themes or literary concepts (for example, my question was on time settings). Try going through all the past papers and planning answers, followed by making plans for similar ideas that they could potentially ask you about.
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edgarcats
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(Original post by AnyRandomName)
As I say, my revision was pretty much non-existent for this exam, so I can't give recommendations based on experience. I will, however, give a couple of ideas that I think might be useful, but this is just what I think and I'm hardly an expert

1. First, read your texts again. It would, of course, be helpful to make notes on ideas you have as you're reading, but I think it's a good idea to try and step back by appreciating the texts more generally rather than looking for fine detail all the time. It's easy to get bogged down and lose sense of the main themes and ideas when you're trying to analyse every word. That's not to say that you shouldn't have detailed notes though because you'll need them for section A, especially.

2. Pick out key passages in novels and lines in poems. Although you don't need to learn quotes by heart in your exam, it would be helpful to have a list of things that you have lots of notes/ideas about so that you can use them as go-to quotes in the exam rather than having to flick through your books looking for the "perfect quote" that often won't exist.

3. For section A, try to plan an answer for each potential question. So for a novel, you could think of maybe 3 or 4 points - along with counterpoints and evaluation - from different aspects of narrative for each of the chapters. Doing this for each text would give you an idea on which text you feel most comfortable about discussing in detail. Once you've decided that, then you could focus especially on that text by making your points as strong as possible. You could then learn these plans as well as you can.

4. The mark schemes are very useful to look at if you're short of ideas (especially for section A)

5. For section B, it's best to think about big themes or literary concepts (for example, my question was on time settings). Try going through all the past papers and planning answers, followed by making plans for similar ideas that they could potentially ask you about.
Thanks, I'll definitely use these methods.
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Floppy.balls1
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English lit is easy
I don't even sit the class, and I've done 2 poetry essays for my mate and I got band level 6 in them...
I didn't see the poem before hand, I just got it and annotated it and then wrote an essay.
That being said, always annotate the poem or book, then just give like 5 points in your essay.
Your intro should be about the title of the poem, and how it relates to the question.
After that, do whatever the hell you like
Btw I sit physics, maths, biology and chemistry AS
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naeemah patel
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Wow those tips were really helpful. Thanks.
And as for section B, try to plan answers for past question for all your texts as part of revision. Its very useful.
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watabi
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(Original post by BaudelaireLucky)
I'm on AQA LITB (the aspects of narrative paper)

In my dramatic genres coursework I got a band 6 which should be an A, with the practice essays I'm doing I'm only getting band 5 which could be an A but I'd feel a lot more secure in a band 6

How do I get top marks on this paper? Any tips/tricks? General or specific advide much appreciated, I'm doing Gatsby/The Kite Runner for section A and then Robert Frost and Robert Browning with either novel for section B
I really need an A this year
Hey!

I somehow managed to get 117/120 on the AS exam last year. My biggest piece of advice would be to do as many past papers as you can. Look at the mark scheme and don't ignore any of the words in the question because AQA are very particular about how students answer the wording of questions. Try to find some quotes from each of your texts that you can learn, the only texts we have in common is Robert Frost. With Frosty, expand on his thematic use of divinity and personification of nature. If you need any help, you can personal message me. I think I have some Frost questions that I could you send you as an example, I used one for my Cambridge application so it can't have been that bad ;P.

On Section B - Spend at least 10 mins planning, 5 min - introduction, 10 mins on each text, 5 mins on the conclusion and you should have some time left to find quotes/check at the end. You mustn't run out of time and try to draw on common themes within each text that link to the question. Refer explicitly to the question whenever you can.

Good Luck - I hope you get the UMS you need!
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naeemah patel
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Great advice. Thanks.
And I'm studying Auden and Rossetti so if u have any material on them it would be pretty useful. If not its fine.
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(Original post by BaudelaireLucky)
I'm on AQA LITB (the aspects of narrative paper)

In my dramatic genres coursework I got a band 6 which should be an A, with the practice essays I'm doing I'm only getting band 5 which could be an A but I'd feel a lot more secure in a band 6




How do I get top marks on this paper? Any tips/tricks? General or specific advide much appreciated, I'm doing Gatsby/The Kite Runner for section A and then Robert Frost and Robert Browning with either novel for section B
I really need an A this year

LEARN THE CONTENT OF YOUR PARAGRAPHS!
I got full marks on the exam last year and studies the same texts, except Christina Rossetti as one of the poets, for Gatsby I wrote plans of each chapter. E.g symbolism in this chapter (relevant examples)
Setting (relevant examples)
And then learn the whole thing, and the examples should be quotes, as much as you've got the book in the exam, learn the quotes as you really don't have time to keep flicking through.
We had chapter eight in the exam which frankly was the one I was least comfortable with, and I still got what I got, they're not expecting extreme fluidity from an hour response, just succinct coherence.
I also never got above a B/C on practice essays as our teacher marked us all very harshly to push us to do more.
I'd look too for chapters which haven't come up yet, we all thought we'd get 5 because they've never had it, but we got 8! I'd say don't do as much in depth revision of 8 because the chances of it coming up again are slim.
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watabi
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(Original post by naeemah patel)
Great advice. Thanks.
And I'm studying Auden and Rossetti so if u have any material on them it would be pretty useful. If not its fine.
I'm assuming you mean Christina Rossetti - rather than Dante Gabrielle. I'm not too familiar, sorry.

But, which Auden poems are you looking at? He talks a lot about life, death and the universe which can be linked into Frost. If it's his character poetry, I think that can be linked to some of the Browning.
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AmyGillions1
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The most important thing to remember is that the grade boundaries are so low for this exam - last year when I sat it you only needed 47 out of 84 marks to get an A - so say you get 15/21, 12/21 and 20/42 - you're just in. With practice and knowledge of the AO's that is totally achievable if you're already on Band 5's! I got full UMS last year in my exam, I'm not quite sure how but I have a few tips my teacher drilled into us last year!

1. Don't bother with introductions for Section A - I did Gatsby too, and the most important thing is to have an introductory sentence explaining the wider purpose of the chapter in the whole novel, then relate all of the narrative methods you mention back to this. For example, the purpose of chapter __ is to _____, Fitzgerald achieves this by ______, Nick's retrospective narration __________. This is much better than a long paragraph saying what happens in the chapter and "Fitzgerald uses a wide range of narrative methods in this chapter..." - the examiners already know that's what you're talking about, just get straight into it with shorter sign-post sentences.

2. In Section A Part B, give an indication of your point of view in the first sentence. Establish a perceptive, unique view point that the examiner may be surprised by to make the essay stand out. For example, my question last year was that "Gatsby is a rags to riches story" discuss blah blah... so instead of saying "Yes the novel is and here's why" try and give your own interpretation of the statement with alternative views intertwined.

3. Do not turn the question into something it's not - if the question asks how the story is told, examining a certain theme or a specific character you have to follow the wording of the question in one way or another. Bounce your ideas off of this, but if you end up turning the question into something you'd like it to be rather than what it is, you will lose lots of AO1 marks.

4. Treat Section B as three separate essays of equal length. Don't waste time trying to find tedious links between the three texts because you do not get extra marks for comparative skills, this is primarily an A2 objective. It is much better to make small 'nods' to the other texts, using either "On the other hand, ______ uses setting in a contrastingly different way to ______, and instead focusses on symbolism/heavy description..."

5. Practice in timed conditions. Half an hour per essay in Section A, and one hour for Section B. Section A Part A essays should be the quickest, you are assessed on fewer AO's and therefore you should be able to hit the descriptors in every paragraph easier. I used to write pages on these questions for Gatsby, but you soon learn that being detailed and elaborative on 3-4 narrative methods is enough.

6. There will always be a chance to include Nick's narration. If you can make links between Nick's narration and how this forms the novel (epistolary), and how it affects the structure (disjointed chronology) and analyse the language he has used you are perfectly hitting AO2 objectives.

7. Ask yourself "How does this impact the reader?"... to get a band six make an evaluative comment on how a narrative method or theme affects the reader. A great point can be made better by analysing your point in terms of the whole novel or text, and then bring that back to the reader.

8. Don't make generalised context comments. Just saying "Gatsby can be seen as immoral because alcohol was illegal during the 1920's" is a sweeping statement that could be made more perceptive by something like "Although Gatsby appears to be an admirable and respectable gentleman at face value, his involvements with the criminal underworld and 'bootlegging' of alcohol display the immoral values that were held during the Roaring-Twenties era, and Gatsby is a glamorised reflection of this". (Or something along those lines, I'm a bit rusty not having studied Gatsby since last May haha)

I hope this helped in some way, my teachers are amazing and so clued up about this exam so everything I say has come from them in one way or another!
Good luck for May
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BaudelaireLucky
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(Original post by AmyGillions1)
The most important thing to remember is that the grade boundaries are so low for this exam - last year when I sat it you only needed 47 out of 84 marks to get an A - so say you get 15/21, 12/21 and 20/42 - you're just in. With practice and knowledge of the AO's that is totally achievable if you're already on Band 5's! I got full UMS last year in my exam, I'm not quite sure how but I have a few tips my teacher drilled into us last year!

1. Don't bother with introductions for Section A - I did Gatsby too, and the most important thing is to have an introductory sentence explaining the wider purpose of the chapter in the whole novel, then relate all of the narrative methods you mention back to this. For example, the purpose of chapter __ is to _____, Fitzgerald achieves this by ______, Nick's retrospective narration __________. This is much better than a long paragraph saying what happens in the chapter and "Fitzgerald uses a wide range of narrative methods in this chapter..." - the examiners already know that's what you're talking about, just get straight into it with shorter sign-post sentences.

2. In Section A Part B, give an indication of your point of view in the first sentence. Establish a perceptive, unique view point that the examiner may be surprised by to make the essay stand out. For example, my question last year was that "Gatsby is a rags to riches story" discuss blah blah... so instead of saying "Yes the novel is and here's why" try and give your own interpretation of the statement with alternative views intertwined.

3. Do not turn the question into something it's not - if the question asks how the story is told, examining a certain theme or a specific character you have to follow the wording of the question in one way or another. Bounce your ideas off of this, but if you end up turning the question into something you'd like it to be rather than what it is, you will lose lots of AO1 marks.

4. Treat Section B as three separate essays of equal length. Don't waste time trying to find tedious links between the three texts because you do not get extra marks for comparative skills, this is primarily an A2 objective. It is much better to make small 'nods' to the other texts, using either "On the other hand, ______ uses setting in a contrastingly different way to ______, and instead focusses on symbolism/heavy description..."

5. Practice in timed conditions. Half an hour per essay in Section A, and one hour for Section B. Section A Part A essays should be the quickest, you are assessed on fewer AO's and therefore you should be able to hit the descriptors in every paragraph easier. I used to write pages on these questions for Gatsby, but you soon learn that being detailed and elaborative on 3-4 narrative methods is enough.

6. There will always be a chance to include Nick's narration. If you can make links between Nick's narration and how this forms the novel (epistolary), and how it affects the structure (disjointed chronology) and analyse the language he has used you are perfectly hitting AO2 objectives.

7. Ask yourself "How does this impact the reader?"... to get a band six make an evaluative comment on how a narrative method or theme affects the reader. A great point can be made better by analysing your point in terms of the whole novel or text, and then bring that back to the reader.

8. Don't make generalised context comments. Just saying "Gatsby can be seen as immoral because alcohol was illegal during the 1920's" is a sweeping statement that could be made more perceptive by something like "Although Gatsby appears to be an admirable and respectable gentleman at face value, his involvements with the criminal underworld and 'bootlegging' of alcohol display the immoral values that were held during the Roaring-Twenties era, and Gatsby is a glamorised reflection of this". (Or something along those lines, I'm a bit rusty not having studied Gatsby since last May haha)

I hope this helped in some way, my teachers are amazing and so clued up about this exam so everything I say has come from them in one way or another!
Good luck for May
Thank you! This was more than my teachers have been saying (majority of the class is struggling to hit a grade C so they're teaching to hit a C rather than an A) so it's really helpful to read this, it should hopefully improve my responses


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