Badges: 2
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
Hi so I just found out my GCSE results and I got a C for english literature, 2 marks off a B. For english language I got an A, I wanted to do english literature for an A-Level as english language is not allowed in my school as an A-Level. Do you think I should do english ? would i have a chance at passing ?

If I do do english literature, what can I expect? how is it ? Please keep in mind that I'm not sure what exam board I'm doing in A-Level, i think its OCR.

And finally... I want to make sure I pass and I want to start now before summer ends. What can I do to prepare and what books would I need to start reading. I want to start reading and researching the books I want to be ahead. Determined to pass.

Thank you so much ... Hoping someone can answer these questions

Badges: 5
Report 6 years ago
I personally say that a C is too low for any subject to be continued at A Level. Many colleges wouldn't accept you onto a course with a C. A Levels are really challenging, whereas GCSEs are easy in comparison, so the way I see it is if you can't achieve a top grade at GCSE then you are really going to struggle at A Level.

However, you can always turn it around if you want to and work hard enough. It depends on how hard you worked for your GCSE I suppose. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to contact your teachers and wherever you're doing you A Levels so that they can help you decide.

Anyway, good luck. The OCR A Level in English Literature is new from 2015 and you would only take exams in 2017, unless you took the separate AS Level and dropped it. For the A Level, you would study Shakespeare (at my school we're either going to study the Tempest or Hamlet), poetry such as Tennyson, Milton's Paradise Lost, Rossetti, Chaucer, and plays/drama.

There is also a big focus on wider reading within a genre or theme - they are: dystopia, women in literature, the immigrant experience, American literature and the gothic. The key books are: 1984, The Handmaid's Tale, Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, Dracula, The Bloody Chamber, Sense and Sensibility, Mrs Dalloway, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and Call it Sleep. I would recommend reading any of these, but any reading at all is good. The more you read, the better you will be at english. From this list, maybe 1984 would be the best to read before the end of summer. It is very well written plus it's a familiar story/idea.

Aside from this post, you should read the specification on the OCR site It has all the texts in it and recommend reading so you can choose what to read.

I am also taking OCR english lit and I have bought quite a few advanced guides to english literature. IMO, the best way to achieve the top grade is to be better than the top grade, so I am trying to look at how to approach english literature from university level. There are many books around, I currently have the Palgrave Master series in Mastering English Literature and it is very, very good. I got my copy off Ebay for £5 in great condition, so look around and you'll find something useful.

I hope this helps and that you are not disheartened when I say that you may struggle, but it is better if somebody tells you and you can prepare yourself well or choose a different path. English literature is a fantastic subject and what the Russell Group universities refer to as an 'enabler' for getting into university. I sincerely hope that you can continue to study what you love!
Good luck with making your decision!

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