How do I prepare for English Literature A-Level? Watch

liaente
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#1
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Please bare with me because I'm planning to go to one of the two very competitive schools and I want to be ready.
Here's my ordeal: I've never been a fanatic with reading books, I've always shut the book when my parents read to me as a child, I was more active and so on.
I just want someone to tell me their tips, tricks, advice...
And also should I read classic books?? :/ If so, could you please recommend some for me? I heard "war & peace" is good, but idk what it's about...
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Davy611
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If you have aspirations to do an A-Level in English Literature, I definitely think you should at least 'enjoy' reading. You probably don't have to 'have a passion' for it but it's obviously going to be pretty significant.

The wider you read, the better prepared you'll be. I don't think there's any great need to launch straight into 'War and Peace'. It's a tough read. It's okay but it's a slog at times.

Why not find out from friends, or just ask the institutions, what's on the course list and read those, or around those, in preparation. 'Othello' is a popular choice at A-Level. Watch the film, read some essays about it and, of course, read the play. 'Death of a Salesman' is popular too. There'll be a wide variety of poems, I'm sure. In terms of classics, try some of the more accessible ones over the summer. 'Wuthering Heights' is a must, you might like 'Pride and Prejudice'. Try some Dickens: 'A Tale of Two Cities' is pretty readable.

Or my personal favourite, 'The Count of Monte Cristo' by Dumas.
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liaente
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Thank you so much for the recommendations. I don't know really why I don't have a passion for it. I should, my whole family likes reading. It's just Eng Lit has always been my strongest subject, so I took it so it's not that hard for me I guess. I'll try reading, but sometimes I can't get immersed in it if it's like really tough to understand and stuff.
(Original post by Davy611)
If you have aspirations to do an A-Level in English Literature, I definitely think you should at least 'enjoy' reading. You probably don't have to 'have a passion' for it but it's obviously going to be pretty significant.

The wider you read, the better prepared you'll be. I don't think there's any great need to launch straight into 'War and Peace'. It's a tough read. It's okay but it's a slog at times.

Why not find out from friends, or just ask the institutions, what's on the course list and read those, or around those, in preparation. 'Othello' is a popular choice at A-Level. Watch the film, read some essays about it and, of course, read the play. 'Death of a Salesman' is popular too. There'll be a wide variety of poems, I'm sure. In terms of classics, try some of the more accessible ones over the summer. 'Wuthering Heights' is a must, you might like 'Pride and Prejudice'. Try some Dickens: 'A Tale of Two Cities' is pretty readable.

Or my personal favourite, 'The Count of Monte Cristo' by Dumas.
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Davy611
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Totally. Maybe you just haven't 'found' your book. Some people get really into Jane Austen. I always preferred 'Wuthering Heights' in school. 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' is quite good as well. There'll probably be a more modern text on the curriculum as well: 'The Handmaid's Tale' is on television now (Series 1 is the book) whilst 'Enduring Love' by Ian McEwan has been a film too.

If a book doesn't grip you, and you've given it a chance, it's okay to put it down (unless you've got to write an essay on it).
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liaente
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Thanks for putting your time into helping me, this really helped
(Original post by Davy611)
Totally. Maybe you just haven't 'found' your book. Some people get really into Jane Austen. I always preferred 'Wuthering Heights' in school. 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' is quite good as well. There'll probably be a more modern text on the curriculum as well: 'The Handmaid's Tale' is on television now (Series 1 is the book) whilst 'Enduring Love' by Ian McEwan has been a film too.

If a book doesn't grip you, and you've given it a chance, it's okay to put it down (unless you've got to write an essay on it).
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amberix
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I'm nearly finished year 12 and I remember thinking the exact same thing! I think the most important quality you can possess is creative and analytical thinking - try watching a show on Netflix and come up with predictions and fan theories, anything helps! I don't read many 'classic' books, now that we are starting coursework I'm trying to read one out of every genre and I'm really enjoying it! To prepare id definitely read as many of the books you are going to study- this came in handy even if you are reading through the book in class as you understand the context better, and saves you lots of 'reading' homework which is a drag! The more you immerse yourself into the novel or play the easier you will find understanding it! Good Luck!
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liaente
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Thanks mate!
(Original post by amberix)
I'm nearly finished year 12 and I remember thinking the exact same thing! I think the most important quality you can possess is creative and analytical thinking - try watching a show on Netflix and come up with predictions and fan theories, anything helps! I don't read many 'classic' books, now that we are starting coursework I'm trying to read one out of every genre and I'm really enjoying it! To prepare id definitely read as many of the books you are going to study- this came in handy even if you are reading through the book in class as you understand the context better, and saves you lots of 'reading' homework which is a drag! The more you immerse yourself into the novel or play the easier you will find understanding it! Good Luck!
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amberix
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No problem! If you're doing any of the same texts as me, I have a website which my friends and I created recently for the revision resources we have made - feel free to use that if needed as well! Good luck!
(Original post by liaente)
Thanks mate!
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Tolgarda
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Let me get this straight, you're going to be taking A Level English literature in a competitive school, but you're not exactly an avid reader? What? Boy, you better hope you start to enjoy reading more, or else this A Level is going to be hell. I'm studying the subject at A Level now, and while I don't mind reading, this truly tests your passion for reading. You'll find this subject can become a pain in the a** if you aren't independent enough. I thought I was good at GCSE with a decent score of around 96%. Nope. Welcome to a whole new world of difficulty.

I tell you this because I wish someone had told me. Prepare yourself.
Last edited by Tolgarda; 3 weeks ago
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