Kiki._.
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Hi,

I started college in September this year, taking OCR English Lit. as one of my three A Levels.
Can anyone give me advice about the subject, more specifically OCR if you take that exam board?

For more information, I'm studying Dystopia, and the two books we've chosen are 1984 and A Handmaid's Tale.
Thanks!
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Tombre
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I can't give any advice about OCR, but can answer any questions about English Lit A-Level in general. Also, your teachers have chosen AMAZING books to study (I didn't do them in school, but they're some of my faves).
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Kiki._.
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(Original post by Tombre)
I can't gove any advice about OCR, but can answer any questions about English Lit A-Level in general. Also, your teachers have chosen AMAZING books to study (I didn't do them in school, but they're some of my faves).
Okay, great, thanks!!
And yeah, they are really great books!
Are you doing/did you do the new spec?
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Tombre
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(Original post by Kiki._.)
Okay, great, thanks!!
And yeah, they are really great books!
Are you doing/did you do the new spec?
Yes I'm doing the new spec but with WJEC
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Kiki._.
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(Original post by Tombre)
Yes I'm doing the new spec but with WJEC
Okay, great! Can I ask what books you’re studying?
And do you have any advice about making revision materials/work to do outside of class? Like context of books etc
Is there anything you wish you did/started doing after a while that you would suggest?
(Sorry for all these questions, I’m really curious!)
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Tombre
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(Original post by Kiki._.)
Okay, great! Can I ask what books you’re studying?
And do you have any advice about making revision materials/work to do outside of class? Like context of books etc
Is there anything you wish you did/started doing after a while that you would suggest?
(Sorry for all these questions, I’m really curious!)
My prose texts are The Mayor of Casterbridge, The Great Gatsby and Brooklyn, my drama texts are A Streetcar Named Desire and The Tempest and my poetry texts are selected poems by Ted Hughes, selected poems by Sylvia Plath and The Merchant's Tale.

My main advice is to condense the ideas and concepts you cover in class down into a format that works in your head e.g. notes, mindmaps, flashcards and get your head around the purpose of the text, what the writer is trying to convey with it. Find out which AOs you're being assessed on in each text and base your notes on this. Start collecting quotes as you go and constantly condense them down to the most relevant and versatile quotes for a range of essay questions and that also lend themselves to language analysis, context and plurality.

I'm sure you'll be assessed on context (AO3) for each text, so be sure you're aware of the contexts the text was written (so social/historical period) and recieved in (consider readers/audiences of the time and modern audiences and perhaps how their perceptions and ideas about the meaning of the text differ). Make sure you revise each character/symbol/theme in terms of the context and what the writer is using them to show. Watch documentaries or read online resources about the period and/or the writer, but don't get too obsessed because this is English and not History. Always relate anything you research with the language or content and ideas of the text. Also, it's good to read around your text - other books by the writer or from a similar period or with similar ideas. In terms of embedding context into essays, it's often good to use your AO2 language analysis as a springboard into the discussion of context.

Most of your texts will assess your understanding of different interpretations (AO5) and there are a few different ways to get these marks. One overlaps with context, which is comparing the views of readers/audiences at the time of writing and now. The other two ways are fairly similar and they're considering how people from different critical perspectives view the text (e.g feminists, psychoanalysts, marxists) and using quotes from literary critics. My advice for this AO is to read critical articles about your text and start learning a selection of quotes and perspectives for your texts.

You'll also probably have to compare texts, so it's important that you study any texts you're comparing relative to each other. Consider the ideas explored by both texts and be sure to understand any similarities/differences between how they present them.

There's nothing I wish I did that I didn't do - just be sure to ready widely and stay on top of your work. Start practising essays early and get to grips with the essay structure you need to write based on your AOs.

Hope this helps!
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