How to prepare adequately for a level English literature?

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Anonymous1502
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#1
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#1
I will be doing 2 a levels in 1 year one of those a levels is English.I will be simultaneously doing year 12 and 13 classes.I know the books which I will be covering.Which are:

Atonement
The murder of Roger Ackroyd
Keats (Lamia, The eve of St Agnes and Isabella)
Other poems (Porphyria's lover,The ballad of reading Gaol,My last Duchess,The laboratory, Peter Grimes by Crabbe)
Richard ii
King Lear

I thought of reading the modern version of king Lear to understand the play or should I just read the summaries?Will I be able to manage to do all of English A level in 1 year?
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Laura FitzGerald
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#2
what exam board is it? The general advice is that you have to read every text at least 4 times to achieve your target grade, so frankly the best preparation is just to read them. I wouldn’t bother with the modern version, it won’t be what you are using for the a level (it’s all about the actual plays etc) so reading a different version can confuse your understanding of the sequence of events (something which is key in your essays about Shakespeare; for my closed book exam we were given an extract, and your first job is to pinpoint exactly where in happens)
(Original post by Anonymous1502)
I will be doing 2 a levels in 1 year one of those a levels is English.I will be simultaneously doing year 12 and 13 classes.I know the books which I will be covering.Which are:

Atonement
The murder of Roger Ackroyd
Keats (Lamia, The eve of St Agnes and Isabella)
Other poems (Porphyria's lover,The ballad of reading Gaol,My last Duchess,The laboratory, Peter Grimes by Crabbe)
Richard ii
King Lear

I thought of reading the modern version of king Lear to understand the play or should I just read the summaries?Will I be able to manage to do all of English A level in 1 year?
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Tolgash
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Laura FitzGerald)
what exam board is it? The general advice is that you have to read every text at least 4 times to achieve your target grade, so frankly the best preparation is just to read them. I wouldn’t bother with the modern version, it won’t be what you are using for the a level (it’s all about the actual plays etc) so reading a different version can confuse your understanding of the sequence of events (something which is key in your essays about Shakespeare; for my closed book exam we were given an extract, and your first job is to pinpoint exactly where in happens)
What awarding body did you take your exams with?

Anyway, I highly doubt you have to read the set texts four times to reach your predicted grade. That's way too much unnecessary effort.
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Laura FitzGerald
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I took AQA, and I thought it was unnecessary too, but in the end, it actually is needed. You read it once before you are taught it in class, the class reading counts as another, leaving you with 2 more (and the whole idea of English lit is actually enjoying reading anyway...)

My teacher only set reading over holidays (like Xmas etc), which easily gives you time to read the texts. For perspective, someone in my class read Othello 21 times.
(Original post by Tolgarda)
What awarding body did you take your exams with?

Anyway, I highly doubt you have to read the set texts four times to reach your predicted grade. That's way too much unnecessary effort.
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Freyahayless
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#5
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#5
we did lear and reading the text, summaries and 'translation' all together helps at first, definitely do a little context research too so you understand 'foreign' words when used but at the end of the day your teacher will guide you through!
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Tolgash
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(Original post by Laura FitzGerald)
I took AQA, and I thought it was unnecessary too, but in the end, it actually is needed. You read it once before you are taught it in class, the class reading counts as another, leaving you with 2 more (and the whole idea of English lit is actually enjoying reading anyway...)
Reading four times is definitely excessive. Twice is more than enough. I haven't even finished reading all of my set texts, yet I'm still predicted an A.

Also, just a side note, some sixth forms don't do in-class reading. I attend one of them.


(Original post by Laura FitzGerald)
My teacher only set reading over holidays (like Xmas etc), which easily gives you time to read the texts. For perspective, someone in my class read Othello 21 times.
Yikes! That sounds awful, on the verge of disgusting. Did I actually read that right? Twenty-one times? I think I would be gouging my eyes out by the time I had nearly reached my tenth read on a certain set text (if I hadn't been killed off by that point).

All of their toiling was asinine, in my opinion. Did they get 100% or something? What was the point of that?
Last edited by Tolgash; 2 years ago
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absolutelysprout
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#7
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#7
i'm doing atonement for a level lit; just want to warn you it's a pretty dense book- i found it really hard to read at first but it gets easier as it goes along. and it's meant to be written that way i really like it though, probably my favourite book as there's so much you can talk about and debate.
definitely worth reading the books over the summer, wish i did
Last edited by absolutelysprout; 2 years ago
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Anonymous1502
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#8
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#8
I will sit AQA
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Laura FitzGerald
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#9
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#9
It was way more than anyone else, and it is way too many times to read one play. We’re all still waiting on our final results, so only time will tell if it was worth it.
(Original post by Tolgarda)
Yikes! That sounds awful, on the verge of disgusting. Did I actually read that right? Twenty-one times? I think I would be gouging my eyes out by the time I had nearly reached my tenth read on a certain set text (if I hadn't been killed off by that point).

All of their toiling was asinine, in my opinion. Did they get 100% or something? What was the point of that?
For my course, I read Othello & Death of Salesman 4 times each (because Salesman is super short so can be read in a day, and they are first year texts - the OP is doing it all in one year which of course makes it harder to read them many times), and I am predicted an A*.

I read my second year ones about 2-3 times each, and the poems a few times, partly because it was an open book exam so knowing it off by heart is less needed.

What exam board do you do, and if you have a closed book exam to do, you’re gonna value any extra readings you can get (nerves really impact your recall)?

Basically, 4 might feel unnecessary at first but it’s easy to forget things you learn in the first year, and it’s important not to get cocky about your memory of the texts.
Last edited by Laura FitzGerald; 2 years ago
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Gwil
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
Reading four times is definitely excessive. Twice is more than enough. I haven't even finished reading all of my set texts, yet I'm still predicted an A.
That's normal at the end of Year 12, but you will probably find you need to reread them once or twice when it comes to revision before the exams. I had read my texts between twice and four times by the time I took the exams.

OP, I agree that to read them is the best advice. Also, you can familiarise yourself with past papers and mark schemes to really identify what the exam will require of you. Especially since you are doing the whole A-Level in one year, it's never too early to do this.

Good luck!
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Laura FitzGerald
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That’s exactly what I was trying to say (you definitely put it better than I did!), I had to reread them all a couple of times for revision, it’s ridiculous how easily your brain gets rid of the details!

Mark schemes/past papers were also my saving grace for a levels 😂
(Original post by Gwil)
That's normal at the end of Year 12, but you will probably find you need to reread them once or twice when it comes to revision before the exams. I had read my texts between twice and four times by the time I took the exams.

OP, I agree that to read them is the best advice. Also, you can familiarise yourself with past papers and mark schemes to really identify what the exam will require of you. Especially since you are doing the whole A-Level in one year, it's never too early to do this.
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Tolgash
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(Original post by Laura FitzGerald)
It was way more than anyone else, and it is way too many times to read one play. We’re all still waiting on our final results, so only time will tell if it was worth it.
I'd be interested to know the result actually because very few go that far. Would you mind possibly informing me of the result?

(Original post by Laura FitzGerald)
...the OP is doing it all in one year which of course makes it harder to read them many times), and I am predicted an A*.
I see. This was an important fact that I missed. Apologies for that.

(Original post by Laura FitzGerald)
...was an open book exam so knowing it off by heart is less needed.
Wait! You get open-book examinations? That's... new.

(Original post by Laura FitzGerald)
What exam board do you do, and if you have a closed book exam to do, you’re gonna value any extra readings you can get (nerves really impact your recall)?
I'm with OCR, and all of my written examinations are closed book, but there is a catch.

Also, I have no exam anxiety. Actually, I have a little, but nowhere near enough to adversely affect my recall.

(Original post by Laura FitzGerald)
Basically, 4 might feel unnecessary at first but it’s easy to forget things you learn in the first year, and it’s important not to get cocky about your memory of the texts.
Fair enough.
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damhashj
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#13
(Original post by Tolgarda)
Reading four times is definitely excessive. Twice is more than enough. I haven't even finished reading all of my set texts, yet I'm still predicted an A.
Hi Tolgarda, would you have any advice for English Lit in how to reach an A grade? Do you have any regrets in what you would do from the start of year 12. I would really appreciate any help
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Tolgash
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(Original post by damhashj)
Hi Tolgarda, would you have any advice for English Lit in how to reach an A grade? Do you have any regrets in what you would do from the start of year 12. I would really appreciate any help
Why me? I never said that I had reached the A grade. I said I was predicted one. Lmao.

Anyway, as a matter of fact, I do have one key tip for getting 85%+ in essays (although this is B-grade stabdard).

Practise writing essays and incorporate all the relevant assessment objectives in them.

I regret not using my free study periods properly (as in, working and revising more in them), and I regret not being more organised.
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