lizzy_m
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so I’m going into year 13, I got a 9 at English lit at gcse and I’m now predicted an A* at a level, but I feel like I’m not living up to this in the slightest- I fluctuate between getting As and then low Bs or Cs, and I don’t really have any confidence in myself. If there is anyone who does well in English lit pleeeeeaaase give me some advice to get my grades up! My main questions are:

1. what’s the best way to write a section C essay? I know it’s subjective but are there specific ways to introduce arguments and structure them that generally go down well with examiners?
2.what is the best way to actually revise English? I feel like I’ve been bluffing for the past two years

(by the way I do aqa option b- tragedy w/ othello, tess of the d’urbervilles & death of a salesman and crime w/ Brighton rock, atonement, and rime of the ancient mariner)

Can’t explain how much any advice would help me
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HHJ11
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So I did OCR English Lit and found that the best way to revise, was to write key quotations, that cover the novel/play/poem, on flashcards and continuously review them, especially nearer to exam season.

I also done the same with critical quotations, with the critic on the back and the quote on the front.

I also made essay plans, as you will be given the generic question, so you change the keyword (e.g. "tragedy", "feminism" or "folly") in the question and write a list of points that you'd use.
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username4762440
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Hey,
I did OCR so I am not the best person to be replying to this. However, I can offer general tips that helped me.

1. I could not stress enough on how important it is that you print out as many exemplar answers as you can from AQA website and analyse the structure, then imitate it. Practice your own essays and get the teacher to mark them. At the start of year 12, I never had an issue with knowledge but my structure was dragging down my grades. I was getting Ds. Ds and Cs. English Literature is all about discipline and how you answer, although of course what your say matters too. So really: find out what examiners love (read examiner's reports) and please them.
2. I don't know what the criteria for your exam board is but for me a lot of it was literary criticism over time, context, language analysis and all of that. For each question in your exam, see which skill contributes the most to the marks and then focus on that for that novel. So for example, if for Shakespeare question, 50% is context, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW ALL THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT CONTEXT FOR SHAKESPEARE.
Last edited by username4762440; 1 year ago
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Emilyxoxo:)
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Hi, I recently just finished my alevels. I studied English literature, Law and History.

Don’t panic about your grades just yet. The more you panic, the more pressure you put on yourself. First piece of advice, you have time. Believe in yourself and be proud of every piece of work you do.

For section C, my tutor used to give up this “topic” and “ direction “ tip. You look for the topic of the question and then your essay needs to head in the direction of the question! This was taken from the examiners notes. Best bit of advice, look online for the examiners feedback on the previous years exams, this gives you an insight into what the examiners are looking for and what to improve on(super helpful for revision!!)

Best way to revise - practice questions! Character profile sheets. Mindmaps for key themes.

Practice questions - pick your question. Find your topic and direction. Gets some ideas down. Give them context, give evidence, give a critic. Do what you want! If you wanna write it up after you can but I’m more than sure your tutor will be happy if you show them these essay plans!! (Book one to ones to go through these?)

Character sheets!! I did Othello for section B. These were a godsend! Honestly. So I had the name in the middle, key quotes. Key scenes. Critical interpretation. Key themes(eg Othello(Race,God of War, Love, Jealously?) etc and anything else you would want.

Mindmaps - as detailed as you like?

also studied Atonement! Othello and Atonement were my favourites.

Last piece of advice. Keep your notes organised, if you don’t understand anything, speak to your tutor. Have fun, enjoy your alevels!!

About to start my English Lit degree soon.
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Josh5718
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I do Lit/Lang, got an 8 at GCSE and an A at AS - just went into Year 13 too. I know I don’t do pure Lit but I can definitely advise you on ways to revise. What I did was I got a few clean copies of the same extracts or poems and did timed exam styled questions for them, annotating the text each time. The more you do it the better you’ll become at analysing those texts because a lot of it will stay in your mind. I also made little booklets full of context, e.g. for The Great Gatsby I made a contest booklet with sections like 1920s America, Old money vs New money, women etc. I use these while doing my essays and then before a test I would do some questions without it and see what I remember - because I used the mini booklets a lot it all stayed with me. I also made little bookmark type things with terminology I struggle remembering - and after using these a few times it would stick. I’ve read a lot of the essays from the English lit class in my sixth form and a lot of them don’t use much terminology. I gave one of my bookmark things to my friend and then she went up by a whole grade next time she did an essay.

Apologies for my poor grammar lol. But these could help you?
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lizzy_m
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(Original post by Emilyxoxo:))
Hi, I recently just finished my alevels. I studied English literature, Law and History.

Don’t panic about your grades just yet. The more you panic, the more pressure you put on yourself. First piece of advice, you have time. Believe in yourself and be proud of every piece of work you do.

For section C, my tutor used to give up this “topic” and “ direction “ tip. You look for the topic of the question and then your essay needs to head in the direction of the question! This was taken from the examiners notes. Best bit of advice, look online for the examiners feedback on the previous years exams, this gives you an insight into what the examiners are looking for and what to improve on(super helpful for revision!!)

Best way to revise - practice questions! Character profile sheets. Mindmaps for key themes.

Practice questions - pick your question. Find your topic and direction. Gets some ideas down. Give them context, give evidence, give a critic. Do what you want! If you wanna write it up after you can but I’m more than sure your tutor will be happy if you show them these essay plans!! (Book one to ones to go through these?)

Character sheets!! I did Othello for section B. These were a godsend! Honestly. So I had the name in the middle, key quotes. Key scenes. Critical interpretation. Key themes(eg Othello(Race,God of War, Love, Jealously?) etc and anything else you would want.

Mindmaps - as detailed as you like?

also studied Atonement! Othello and Atonement were my favourites.

Last piece of advice. Keep your notes organised, if you don’t understand anything, speak to your tutor. Have fun, enjoy your alevels!!

About to start my English Lit degree soon.
This is so useful! thanks sooo much, and good luck with your degree
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Tolgash
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(Original post by Haider_A)
So I did OCR English Lit and found that the best way to revise, was to write key quotations, that cover the novel/play/poem, on flashcards and continuously review them, especially nearer to exam season.

I also done the same with critical quotations, with the critic on the back and the quote on the front.

I also made essay plans, as you will be given the generic question, so you change the keyword (e.g. "tragedy", "feminism" or "folly") in the question and write a list of points that you'd use.

Yo, OCR kids, did you both attain an A* in the end?
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S.carter
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(Original post by Emilyxoxo:))
Hi, I recently just finished my alevels. I studied English literature, Law and History.

Don’t panic about your grades just yet. The more you panic, the more pressure you put on yourself. First piece of advice, you have time. Believe in yourself and be proud of every piece of work you do.

For section C, my tutor used to give up this “topic” and “ direction “ tip. You look for the topic of the question and then your essay needs to head in the direction of the question! This was taken from the examiners notes. Best bit of advice, look online for the examiners feedback on the previous years exams, this gives you an insight into what the examiners are looking for and what to improve on(super helpful for revision!!)

Best way to revise - practice questions! Character profile sheets. Mindmaps for key themes.

Practice questions - pick your question. Find your topic and direction. Gets some ideas down. Give them context, give evidence, give a critic. Do what you want! If you wanna write it up after you can but I’m more than sure your tutor will be happy if you show them these essay plans!! (Book one to ones to go through these?)

Character sheets!! I did Othello for section B. These were a godsend! Honestly. So I had the name in the middle, key quotes. Key scenes. Critical interpretation. Key themes(eg Othello(Race,God of War, Love, Jealously?) etc and anything else you would want.

Mindmaps - as detailed as you like?

also studied Atonement! Othello and Atonement were my favourites.

Last piece of advice. Keep your notes organised, if you don’t understand anything, speak to your tutor. Have fun, enjoy your alevels!!

About to start my English Lit degree soon.
Hi, which exam board were you with for Law?
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Emilyxoxo:)
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Hi, which exam board were you with for Law?
AQA. Anything I can help with?
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S.carter
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(Original post by Emilyxoxo:))
AQA. Anything I can help with?
Ahh, I’m with Educas, I’ve just been slightly worried about all the extra content on top of the content of year 12, which I’m guessing is the same for all the exam boards..
Do you have any tips for revision?
Atm I have a lot of quizlets and some flash cards, but what did you find the most helpful for revising for the A2 exams? thank you
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HHJ11
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
Yo, OCR kids, did you both attain an A* in the end?
I got an A, whilst expecting a B (or maybe even a C), so I was soooooo happy with that
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Emilyxoxo:)
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(Original post by S.carter)
Ahh, I’m with Educas, I’ve just been slightly worried about all the extra content on top of the content of year 12, which I’m guessing is the same for all the exam boards..
Do you have any tips for revision?
Atm I have a lot of quizlets and some flash cards, but what did you find the most helpful for revising for the A2 exams? thank you
Try not to worry, you’ve got this! I used quizlet and mindmaps. I also did practice questions if I had the time. The amount of content is unbelievable!! The way I did it to stop it feeling overwhelming, I would revise a topic each day from the other modules as well as the current one.

Good Luck!
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S.carter
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(Original post by Emilyxoxo:))
Try not to worry, you’ve got this! I used quizlet and mindmaps. I also did practice questions if I had the time. The amount of content is unbelievable!! The way I did it to stop it feeling overwhelming, I would revise a topic each day from the other modules as well as the current one.

Good Luck!
Ah okay, thank you!
I think I’ll stick with Quizlet then!
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alan55
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I'm in the same boat. For me writing always was a real nightmare. Based on my own exerience I can say that it is ok to have someone proofread an essay and make sure that it doesn't have any glaring errors as we often don't tend to see our own mistakes and typographival errors. It helped me hundreds of times. I checked ukessays review to find a reliable service.
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username4955160
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Hi, writing and editing services are legal and available at ivoryresearch.com, use the code ChloeIvorySR for 10% off!
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cheerIeader
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(Original post by Emilyxoxo:))
AQA. Anything I can help with?
I received a D grade for AQA pathway A.

I'm now retaking and I've been given mark breakdowns per question.

In paper 1 I received 18/75 (U)

Q1 - (Othello, unseen) - 5/25 marks
Q2 - (Unseen love poetry) - 7/25 marks
Q3 - (Gatsby comparison to poetry, open book) - 6/25

Paper 2 I received 42/75 (B)

Q1 - (Regeneration) 14/25
Q2 - (Unseen extract) 13/25
Q3 - (My Boy Jack & Wilfred Owen poetry) -15/25

& coursework I received 42/50. (B)

I know for a fact I completely messed up on the Othello question (closed book and a question on minor characters Cassio and Brabantio came up) in paper 1 and partially on the Gatsby question but I did not expect to get so low because overall my writing style was still good, I answered everything well. I'm also extremely shocked by question 2 on paper 1 because the poetry because it's such a low mark and I thought I did well? I'm so nervous about retaking because I have to pay for the exams and after seeing my mark breakdown it's just like....I'm questioning my capability. I already knew I hadn't done amazing but some of those marks are shocking and I don't even know how I got them? How can I revise for English and what do you make of the marks I got? Do you think it'd be possible to improve?
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Emilyxoxo:)
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Hi!
my first piece of advice is to not be too hard on yourself. That is the first step to making progress! Is it possible to get your script back? Then maybe you could go through it and establish what the weakness was for that paper.

revision: its alot of work, but for Othello i did character profiles for each character (includes, key quotes, themes, critical interpretation, key scenes etc) This helped with minor characters as it was easy to pick the stuff i needed to compare to a major character.

I also did mindmaps for the key themes if possible. I also would do practice mindmap question things( put the question in the middle of the paper) and then try to think of points for each character that question is pointing to. I would also plan questions, even if you don't turn them into essays straight away, always a quick and handy revision task.

Finally, don't question your capability. I see two B grades, thats great! Everyone has the potential to improve if they put themselves to the task.
Take a few days to calm down and give yourself time to think everything through. Im more than positive you will smash your exams! Be proud of yourself, take care of yourself but work hard. Find your balance and you will be great.

If you need anymore help, don't hesitate to ask!

goood luck




(Original post by cheerIeader)
I received a D grade for AQA pathway A.

I'm now retaking and I've been given mark breakdowns per question.

In paper 1 I received 18/75 (U)

Q1 - (Othello, unseen) - 5/25 marks
Q2 - (Unseen love poetry) - 7/25 marks
Q3 - (Gatsby comparison to poetry, open book) - 6/25

Paper 2 I received 42/75 (B)

Q1 - (Regeneration) 14/25
Q2 - (Unseen extract) 13/25
Q3 - (My Boy Jack & Wilfred Owen poetry) -15/25

& coursework I received 42/50. (B)

I know for a fact I completely messed up on the Othello question (closed book and a question on minor characters Cassio and Brabantio came up) in paper 1 and partially on the Gatsby question but I did not expect to get so low because overall my writing style was still good, I answered everything well. I'm also extremely shocked by question 2 on paper 1 because the poetry because it's such a low mark and I thought I did well? I'm so nervous about retaking because I have to pay for the exams and after seeing my mark breakdown it's just like....I'm questioning my capability. I already knew I hadn't done amazing but some of those marks are shocking and I don't even know how I got them? How can I revise for English and what do you make of the marks I got? Do you think it'd be possible to improve?
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cheerIeader
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(Original post by Emilyxoxo:))
Hi!
my first piece of advice is to not be too hard on yourself. That is the first step to making progress! Is it possible to get your script back? Then maybe you could go through it and establish what the weakness was for that paper.

revision: its alot of work, but for Othello i did character profiles for each character (includes, key quotes, themes, critical interpretation, key scenes etc) This helped with minor characters as it was easy to pick the stuff i needed to compare to a major character.

I also did mindmaps for the key themes if possible. I also would do practice mindmap question things( put the question in the middle of the paper) and then try to think of points for each character that question is pointing to. I would also plan questions, even if you don't turn them into essays straight away, always a quick and handy revision task.

Finally, don't question your capability. I see two B grades, thats great! Everyone has the potential to improve if they put themselves to the task.
Take a few days to calm down and give yourself time to think everything through. Im more than positive you will smash your exams! Be proud of yourself, take care of yourself but work hard. Find your balance and you will be great.

If you need anymore help, don't hesitate to ask!

goood luck
Thank you so much that was really helpful.

I'd also like some advice on unseen poetry and how I can become better at it if possible and also for another question - I'm not sure if you did this but for the last section I have to compare a text (Gatsby) to 16 poems. How many poems would you recommend using for a question like that (because two is the minimum) and how would you entwine them into the answer to make it cohesive? But thanks a lot for your response. xx
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