How do you study for Drama texts (such as Romeo and Juliet) for GCSE/IGCSE exam? Watch

studiousstudent2
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I've been trying to study for this exam for weeks and don't know where to start. I've read the book, drawn mind maps for the main themes, but after looking at past paper questions I don't know how to answer the questions. Do I need to include quotes in my answers? Is there a website that contains all the relevant information I need? How do I structure my answer? How should I study for this exam?

Thank you so much in advance, any advice would be so helpful.
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Anthos
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This mnemonic could help you to structure your answers (PETFACE):
Point (Shakespeare presents x as y)
Evidence (quotation)
Technique (what language technique - alliteration, etc?)
First Interpretation (first interpretation of quote - the alliteration makes it more catchy...)
Alternative Interpretation (second interpretation of quote - alliteration could be mimicking footsteps, wind, etc)
Context (eg in Shakespeare's time, it was a patriarchal society, courtly love)
Effect on reader (this makes the reader want to read on/this makes the reader sad)

You need to include some quotes in your answers, whether it be from the extract or from another scene in the play. You also need to include context - what was it like in Shakespeare (or another playwright)'s time?

Make sure you write about both the extract and the rest of the play
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studiousstudent2
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Thank you so much for the response! I see what you mean about the structuring my answer like that, and will definitely start trying to apply it to my questions.

What if there is no language technique used in the extract that is relevant to the question? A past paper question I looked through regarding 'how Shakespeare made the scene between Nurse and Juliet amusing' didn't seem to have any literary device/technique despite humor. When I tried to answer that question there wasn't much I could do in analyzing and talking about literary devices so my answer came across as not really informed.

And if I were to be including quotes from other scenes in the play, how would I relate that quote to the character in the extract and current question? How many key quotes should I use per character (as in my notes), and how will I be sure they will be relevant to the text I'll be given?

By writing about both the extract and rest of the play, do you mean stating the impact the extract/scene has on the play? Would that mean having to analyse all the affects each scenes have on the play, or is there a select few that may come up in the exam?

Would the themes I've analysed (love, hate, society, etc) be relevant at all in answering the questions? Sorry for all these questions, I'm an external student so I don't have the option of asking a teacher.

Thanks so much again!
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entertainmyfaith
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(Original post by studiousstudent2)
Thank you so much for the response! I see what you mean about the structuring my answer like that, and will definitely start trying to apply it to my questions.

What if there is no language technique used in the extract that is relevant to the question? A past paper question I looked through regarding 'how Shakespeare made the scene between Nurse and Juliet amusing' didn't seem to have any literary device/technique despite humor. When I tried to answer that question there wasn't much I could do in analyzing and talking about literary devices so my answer came across as not really informed.

And if I were to be including quotes from other scenes in the play, how would I relate that quote to the character in the extract and current question? How many key quotes should I use per character (as in my notes), and how will I be sure they will be relevant to the text I'll be given?

By writing about both the extract and rest of the play, do you mean stating the impact the extract/scene has on the play? Would that mean having to analyse all the affects each scenes have on the play, or is there a select few that may come up in the exam?

Would the themes I've analysed (love, hate, society, etc) be relevant at all in answering the questions? Sorry for all these questions, I'm an external student so I don't have the option of asking a teacher.

Thanks so much again!
hi, i didn't do romeo and juliet but there's usually at least one language technique within the extract- did you consider structural techniques also under literary devices?
what exam board are you for, out of curiosity? gcse english lit questions vary across exam boards and the question you said about shakespeare and the nurse sounded more extract specific.
when writing about both the extract and play (if that's what the question asks you), impact's defo one of them:yep: but at gcse you'd get away with just writing how this element mentioned in the question (eg. tension) is portrayed in other parts of the play- they don't necessarily have to be linked to the extract but considering impact's would be really helpful and probably help you get higher marks (depending on exam board)
you can make certain themes work for the question, it's just a matter of being able to word your essay to make it relevant to the question. some you'll probably really struggle to integrate, so don't do it if it comes off as forced. you don't need to talk about every theme, just make your exploration of the ones you do talk about are good:yes:
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studiousstudent2
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Hi, thank you so much for the reply! I had but I wasn't really successful so I think I need to work on identifying structural techniques. I'm studying for the IGCSE CIE exam board, but how I'm supposed to go about studying isn't really clear to me. I get one question about a character in the play, and one about the extract, though I'm not sure right now if that means I should pick a question now and either start studying about the characters or find a way to analyze every scene. It's just a bit confusing at this point, though your advice about writing about how the element present is portrayed in other parts of the play seems super useful! Would I only get to do that though if the element is present in the question?

Thank you so much again
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entertainmyfaith
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(Original post by studiousstudent2)
Hi, thank you so much for the reply! I had but I wasn't really successful so I think I need to work on identifying structural techniques. I'm studying for the IGCSE CIE exam board, but how I'm supposed to go about studying isn't really clear to me. I get one question about a character in the play, and one about the extract, though I'm not sure right now if that means I should pick a question now and either start studying about the characters or find a way to analyze every scene. It's just a bit confusing at this point, though your advice about writing about how the element present is portrayed in other parts of the play seems super useful! Would I only get to do that though if the element is present in the question?

Thank you so much again
no worries!
ah the cie board i'm afraid i'm not really familiar with their exam style questions i've had a quick google for their specimen paper on shakespeare and their mark scheme (which is what i highly recommend you do- getting familiar with the mark scheme can be really helpful:yep:)
you should try preparing for both type of questions- so maybe practice doing extract questions and talking about the wider play but also revise the characters, themes... you'd probably be able to talk about them in either question anyway if you do it right
in response to the element q, i'd say yes- but looking at the specimen paper, where the question is how shakespeare makes this extract such a dramatic and significant moment and support your answer w/ wider knowledge of the play, in this case impact would be a thing that i'd certainly consider writing about- it really depends on what the question asks you to explore; so what happens before the extract, and what happens following it in this example. you could talk about other moments that are also dramatic and significant and see if shakespeare uses similar methods in the extract also.
i'm sorry if my response comes off as confusing, please tell me if there's anything i say that is unclear!!
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