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Report Thread starter 1 year ago
Can someone, who has taken english literature in their A levels give tip regarding this subject? like helpful resource materials, websites, youtubers and guides. I am planning to take this subject, and its very new to me. so can someone please give me a detailed account of how it's assessed, and their experience through the years.
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Report 1 year ago
So, the exact course differs from exam board to exam board, but I shall give you my experience.

I sat OCR A level English Literature in June 2018, I got an A.

My course had 3 assessed components:

  1. Coursework
  2. Exam paper: Drama and Poetry pre-1900
  3. Exam paper: Comparative and Contextual Study

Text studied for each part, and the way they are assessed.
  1. All free choice. 1 essay close reading Bob Dylan's work Pay With Blood and a comparative essay contrasting A Streetcar Named Desire and Slaughterhouse 5.
  2. Richard III (1 extract question and 1 whole text question), Paradise Lost Books 9 & 10 and A Doll's House (comparison essay.)
  3. Unseen text question (identifying Dystopian devices used in an extract), The Handmaid's Tale and A Clockwork Orange (comparison essay.)

The precise manner in which marks are awarded will be in the specification for your course. Examined essays are usually written from a choice of a title to give focus. I strongly recommend finding this and looking at what you need to extract from each text. There is no point learning all the context off by heart when that is not assessed!!

Doing well in A level literature comes down to 5 skills:
  1. Knowing the plot of each text well (Sparknotes is your friend for a good summary.)
  2. Knowing the themes tackled in each text well (Litcharts can give you a basic level of knowledge) and how they relate to various parts of the plot.
  3. Knowing what you need to demonstrate in each piece of assessment.
  4. Knowing how to demonstrate those skills (looking at sample essays (provided by the exam board) is really good for this.)
  5. Coming up with interesting interpretations of the title ( e.g. ‘Dystopian writing often features the misuse of power' you might want to focus on a specific type of power.)
Honestly, the notes you make as you study the course will be your revision guide.

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