Can somebody enlighten me on the English Lit subject (if possible the edexcel one, please), I have to do self study since I live in Greece and I don't know the format of the exam or what I should study. Do I have to read specific books? If so, which ones? What do they normally require in the test?
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A Level English Lit? watch
- Thread Starter
- 14-07-2007 00:00
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- 14-07-2007 00:05
I didn't do Edexcel, i did OCR, but its usually same type of structure.
I had to write two essays for coursework piece on one text (a modern play)
I then had two exams.
1. Shakespeare (Closed Text - Not allowed to take book in, you have to memorize quotations) which involved writing two essays, one on whole play and one on passage.
2. Poetry and Prose (Open Text - You can take texts in with you) which involved writing two essays, one on prose and one on poetry.
You usually have to analyse themes, characters, language, form, poetic devices etc
As for choosing the books, they were chosen for us by our school. Seeing as your self-study, you can find a list (probably on the edexcel site) which will have a list of books you can do
- 14-07-2007 00:08
Not sure about edexcel but i think the exam board gives your a choice of books to study you pick 3 (well it most cases your school picks for you) and you write about them in your test.
- Thread Starter
- 14-07-2007 01:02
I've obviously checked the specification guide but since I'm supposed to choose (from what I gathered) one text from each section I'm not sure which one. Should I study every book cited and where can I find any notes or anything really that'll help me (since I don't have the advantage of a teacher's instructions ).
By the way, closed test means you can bring textbooks with you and open tests means you can't??
Oh well, months of research and I'm still clueless in many things...
- 14-07-2007 11:16
Hi there! I'm self teaching Edexcel English Lit too (I used to live in Cyprus as well - not Greece, but same language!).
Anyway. The first thing you should be aware of is that the assessment technique is changing soon for A level English Lit. At the moment, you take six exams as a private candidate (unless you can find and pay a centre to supervise you for coursework). However, the new A level will only have four assessments: two are exams, and two coursework (making it so much harder as a private candidate). So unless you can find a centre that would be able to supervise your coursework, I'd recommend either taking the AS only, or taking the whole A level in a year.
I wouldn't read every book thats cited in the specification - choose the minimum number and study them properly. Generally, every set text will have two questions to pick from in the exam anyway.
For mine I chose: Unit 1: Edexcel Poetry Anthology (ordered from Edexcel) and A Streetcar Named Desire, Unit 2: Emma, Unit 3: Hamlet, Unit 4: Alias Grace, Unit 5: Not decided yet! But probably the Rivals and The Rape of the Lock and Unit 6: Emma and Pride and Prejudice.
As for notes: the way I've done it is to buy a revision guide, like York notes or Spark notes as a general guide to what the examiners are looking for (seeing as the exams are heavily tailored around the exam assessment objectives). Also, I bought a couple of guides of literary terms and English Lit in general (Literature, Criticism and Style is quite good), as well as a literary terms dictionary for help with poetry analysis.
After having read the books, its useful to google them just to get an idea of other people's opinions of the book, to make up for not having classmates to discuss with.
Lastly, you probably know, but you can sit the exams in January and June. If you're going to try to do the full A level in a year, I'd recommend sitting units 1,2 and 4 in January and then 3,5 and 6 in June to spread it out a bit.
Hope this helps!
- 14-07-2007 11:17
Also, "closed text" means you can't take your texts in with you, "open text" means you can.
- Thread Starter
- 14-07-2007 13:03
Thanks meerkatt84 you helped a lot!
I don't think I can arrange for supervised coursework though, I'll probably take the full A-level and IF I can (you never know with the British Council in Greece ) I will sit 3 units in January and 3 in June.
Now, the problem is my SAT is also in January and I don't know the exact dates for my other A-levels yet (I'm still waiting for a reply from the BC)
so I guess we will see...
I've been helped a lot since I joined this forum
- 14-07-2007 18:36
I had issues with the British council in Cyprus too - esp when trying to get them to send me my results! But you don't really need to deal with them - I would approach a few local schools/private lessons places and see if they'll be willing to enter you for the exams. Thats what I'm doing - I pay them the exam fee plus a little extra to pay for the supervision during the exams (I'm the only one doing Eng Lit apparently), and then they enter me for the exams and send me results etc, as your school would.
Can you not look up the exam dates for your other exams on the examining board's webiste? Edexcel are the same worldwide, and CIE post their timetable as well (I think).
- 24-07-2007 15:26
Unit 1: Drama and Poetry (open text)
Unit 2: Pre-1900 Prose (closed text)
Unit 3: Shakespeare in Context
Unit 4: Modern Novel
Unit 5: Poetry and Drama (open text)
Unit 6: Criticism and Comparison (closed text)
I have no idea whether the unit 3 and 4 exams are open or closed text because I did the courseworks, but it should tell you in the specification. Personally I did the Edexcel poetry anthology and Translations by Brian Friel for unit 2, Hard Times by Charles Dickens for unit 2, Much Ado About Nothing for unit 3, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton for unit 4, The Merchant's Tale by Geoffrey Chaucher and Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe for unit 5 and the Tempest by William Shakespeare and Translations for unit 6. But the best thing about being a private candidate is being able to choose your own texts, so you can see which appeal to you more. I used the York Notes Advanced books and the Spark Notes website, which were both really good, and it would also be a good idea to print a copy of the Assessment Objectives and see how they're weighted for each unit because they're really important for getting top marks.