Why do closed book exams in English Lit even exist?

Watch
Loopy91
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
They're introducing closed book exams for GCSE too as well, but for what purpose?!. Having the clean texts is not magically going to produce an A* essay! It's not as if the texts answer the exam question.
Surely, the exam is about what conclusions you can draw from the quotes, rather than memorising it word for word, so I think it's testing one unnecessary additional useless thing.

Thankfully, for my A Level (Edexcel 2015) ALL my exams are open book, so I don't have to worry, but having just done my mock exams, I can safely say that having the clean copies did not really give me any significant advantage...
2
reply
TSR Jessica
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
Sorry you've not had any responses about this. Are you sure you’ve posted in the right place? Posting in the specific Study Help forum should help get responses.

I'm going to quote in Tank Girl now so she can move your thread to the right place if it's needed. :yy:

Spoiler:
Show
(Original post by Tank Girl)
x
0
reply
justag
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#3
Report 5 years ago
#3
Having clean texts is open book

Posted from TSR Mobile
1
reply
Loopy91
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#4
(Original post by justag)
Having clean texts is open book

Posted from TSR Mobile
I know. I think you misunderstood my post. I asked why English Lit exams have CLOSED book exams with no books whatsoever. I was saying that having the clean texts won't advantage you that much anyway so I don't understand why you're not allowed it.
0
reply
supernerdural
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#5
Report 5 years ago
#5
I know, it's ridiculous! My exam board is AQA and for AS we had open book and it was fine, but for A2 we have to memorise the 4 texts we're studying which include a Shakespeare play and a text written in middle english
0
reply
Loopy91
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#6
(Original post by supernerdural)
I know, it's ridiculous! My exam board is AQA and for AS we had open book and it was fine, but for A2 we have to memorise the 4 texts we're studying which include a Shakespeare play and a text written in middle english
Do you have to memorise the whole text or just relevant quotes? If it's the former then I give up.
How long are the 4 texts? Do you find it interesting?
I find it horrifying that in the new English Lit GCSE, they're now expected to memorise 15 poems that have big words in them, and only one of them comes up in the exam to analyse with another poem!
One website said it's to make sure the texts have been read before the exam, but like I said, the purpose of the exam is to analyse and draw conclusions from the texts, not re-tell the stories of them!!
0
reply
HAnwar
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#7
Report 5 years ago
#7
(Original post by supernerdural)
I know, it's ridiculous! My exam board is AQA and for AS we had open book and it was fine, but for A2 we have to memorise the 4 texts we're studying which include a Shakespeare play and a text written in middle english
You don't have to memorise the whole book do you?
Just learn the quotes which are significant.
0
reply
Loopy91
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#8
(Original post by HAnwar)
You don't have to memorise the whole book do you?
Just learn the quotes which are significant.
Do/did you do English Lit? Did you have closed book exams?
0
reply
HAnwar
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#9
Report 5 years ago
#9
(Original post by Kyle1198)
Do/did you do English Lit? Did you have closed book exams?
Yeah I did.

For AS I had open book.
For A2 (when I needed it the most) it was closed book.
0
reply
Loopy91
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#10
(Original post by HAnwar)
Yeah I did.

For AS I had open book.
For A2 (when I needed it the most) it was closed book.
How was the memorising? Do you think having the clean books in the exam would have given you a SIGNIFICANT advantage?
0
reply
Changing Skies
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#11
Report 5 years ago
#11
I had open book for AS and closed for A2 and honestly, I think I preferred closed. I got complacent at AS and didn't bother studying the texts as much because I knew I'd have the book there with me, but at A2 I knew I needed to memorise loads of quotes so worked harder. It isn't too bad

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
HAnwar
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#12
Report 5 years ago
#12
(Original post by Kyle1198)
How was the memorising? Do you think having the clean books in the exam would have given you a SIGNIFICANT advantage?
Memorizing was the worst.
I had 50+ quotes written for revision on poetry, drama and novel, and I didn't get round to learning them all.

No I don't think it would've, but it would've made life so much more easy.
0
reply
TheOtherSide.
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#13
Report 5 years ago
#13
I'm doing GCSEs right now. My exam board's WJEC, and we have to do closed book for our exams. I need to remember quotations from two books and a play (and one of them is Pride is Prejudice), and I honestly don't know if I'll have all the quotations memorised. I very desperately wish our exams were open book (especially seeing as I need the help in English), but I guess I'll just have to endure them.
0
reply
username2151383
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#14
Report 5 years ago
#14
making it closed book is an example of how the education system is all about memory as opposed to understanding/skill
1
reply
supernerdural
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#15
Report 5 years ago
#15
(Original post by HAnwar)
You don't have to memorise the whole book do you?
Just learn the quotes which are significant.
It's hard to know which quotes are significant when you have no clue what the question will be about. It could be on any theme so you have to learn most of the book/poem/play if you want to get a good grade
0
reply
supernerdural
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#16
Report 5 years ago
#16
(Original post by Kyle1198)
Do you have to memorise the whole text or just relevant quotes? If it's the former then I give up.
How long are the 4 texts? Do you find it interesting?
I find it horrifying that in the new English Lit GCSE, they're now expected to memorise 15 poems that have big words in them, and only one of them comes up in the exam to analyse with another poem!
One website said it's to make sure the texts have been read before the exam, but like I said, the purpose of the exam is to analyse and draw conclusions from the texts, not re-tell the stories of them!!
You need to quote to back up your points but when you haven't got the faintest idea what the question will ask of you it's hard to pick what quotes are significant enough to memorise so we get told to memorise as much of them as you can. One of our texts is a book made up of 10 short stories which range from nearly 50 to 2 pages in length, and it's hard to remember which story is which when there are a few that are super similar! One text is Frankenstein, which whilst not being particularly long (my copy is 170 pages) uses quite complex language. The Shakespeare is Macbeth which would be hard enough just being a 200 page play, let alone memorising the language as there is no room for misquoting. The other text is Chaucer and is quite short (only just over 30 pages) it isn't in a version of English that we recognise so is impossible to just quote something that sounds vaguely right as it was written in the 14th century
0
reply
Loopy91
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#17
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#17
(Original post by Changing Skies)
I had open book for AS and closed for A2 and honestly, I think I preferred closed. I got complacent at AS and didn't bother studying the texts as much because I knew I'd have the book there with me, but at A2 I knew I needed to memorise loads of quotes so worked harder. It isn't too bad

Posted from TSR Mobile
So for AS, did you find it too easy or that you got a good grade with little effort or? Because I had to work for my open book mock!
0
reply
Changing Skies
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#18
Report 5 years ago
#18
(Original post by Kyle1198)
So for AS, did you find it too easy or that you got a good grade with little effort or? Because I had to work for my open book mock!
English has always come quite naturally to me so didn't require too much effort! I actually found AS slightly more difficult than A2 though

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
HAnwar
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#19
Report 5 years ago
#19
(Original post by supernerdural)
It's hard to know which quotes are significant when you have no clue what the question will be about. It could be on any theme so you have to learn most of the book/poem/play if you want to get a good grade
Don't you have a specific theme? That's usually the case.
0
reply
username1226161
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#20
Report 5 years ago
#20
After doing A2 English Lit I can say closed book exams are the best because you spend more time anaylsing and thinking about the question instead of wasting time looking for quotes or mindlessly flicking through the text looking for some inspiration. Having the text with you would just be another unecessary stress/distraction.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Are you tempted to change your firm university choice on A-level results day?

Yes, I'll try and go to a uni higher up the league tables (44)
28.03%
Yes, there is a uni that I prefer and I'll fit in better (14)
8.92%
No I am happy with my choice (88)
56.05%
I'm using Clearing when I have my exam results (11)
7.01%

Watched Threads

View All