6ambz
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#1
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#1
Im really struggling with english lit, i was predicted an A. at the start of year 12 but now i started year 13 im at a D. Any advice or tips to jump a few grades before my summer exams?
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Panjsuce
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#2
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#2
Re read the texts or summaries of the texts if you’re weak on plot, think about importance of where things happen and characters. What exam board are you on? I’d say look at loads of exemplar answers to questions, regardless of if they’re your text or not, and study the style in which they approach the question and their analytical/critical style in evaluating the texts and writers. Then map your own essay plans and practice analysis of texts/contexts, write practice essays regularly and get teachers to mark - keep getting feedback and acting on it whilst referring to the exemplars to try to develop your essay style. Keep reading critical essays on your texts for big ideas, steal these and quote them in if applicable, just always think big!
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6ambz
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Panjsuce)
Re read the texts or summaries of the texts if you’re weak on plot, think about importance of where things happen and characters. What exam board are you on? I’d say look at loads of exemplar answers to questions, regardless of if they’re your text or not, and study the style in which they approach the question and their analytical/critical style in evaluating the texts and writers. Then map your own essay plans and practice analysis of texts/contexts, write practice essays regularly and get teachers to mark - keep getting feedback and acting on it whilst referring to the exemplars to try to develop your essay style. Keep reading critical essays on your texts for big ideas, steal these and quote them in if applicable, just always think big!
Im spending these next two weeks re reading the books as i don’t think i read them properly so yh i was definitely lacking when it came to the plot of the books. Im on the edexcel exam board, I’ve been making essay plans on any theme in each book and have included key quotes, character analysis, context and critics. When im beginning my essay practice should i use these essay plans or just write without anything?
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Panjsuce
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#4
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#4
(Original post by 6ambz)
Im spending these next two weeks re reading the books as i don’t think i read them properly so yh i was definitely lacking when it came to the plot of the books. Im on the edexcel exam board, I’ve been making essay plans on any theme in each book and have included key quotes, character analysis, context and critics. When im beginning my essay practice should i use these essay plans or just write without anything?
Good idea. I’m on edexcel too, there are plenty of exemplars on the website and these will help you to notice how exactly you need to structure and write your responses. In terms of essay practice, you can use the essay plans or write about anything - but since you’re not quite strong yet, I’d probably advise using plans you’ve made to turn them into full responses. You can always think of another thing to discuss but plan this out first and see if it makes coherent sense first before just writing it in straight away.
One massive tip id give us to USE EXAMINER REPORTS - they include extracts and sometimes full responses from students for the exam series with examiners’ comments and overall general comments on how well students interacted with/accessed the exam. They include a range of abilities in the report so you’ll be able to see what is good and what isn’t as good and the comments are extremely helpful in helping to target your own weak areas - and you see exactly what they’re looking for so that you can adapt your exam technique. Remember, your teachers are acting as mock examiners when it comes to marking so whatever the examiners want, your teacher will do this too.
Also so many useful YouTube videos so that you can alter your thinking process and critical approach so that it’s more tailored to targeting the A grade you’re looking for (waffling a bit now sorry)
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6ambz
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Panjsuce)
Good idea. I’m on edexcel too, there are plenty of exemplars on the website and these will help you to notice how exactly you need to structure and write your responses. In terms of essay practice, you can use the essay plans or write about anything - but since you’re not quite strong yet, I’d probably advise using plans you’ve made to turn them into full responses. You can always think of another thing to discuss but plan this out first and see if it makes coherent sense first before just writing it in straight away.
One massive tip id give us to USE EXAMINER REPORTS - they include extracts and sometimes full responses from students for the exam series with examiners’ comments and overall general comments on how well students interacted with/accessed the exam. They include a range of abilities in the report so you’ll be able to see what is good and what isn’t as good and the comments are extremely helpful in helping to target your own weak areas - and you see exactly what they’re looking for so that you can adapt your exam technique. Remember, your teachers are acting as mock examiners when it comes to marking so whatever the examiners want, your teacher will do this too.
Also so many useful YouTube videos so that you can alter your thinking process and critical approach so that it’s more tailored to targeting the A grade you’re looking for (waffling a bit now sorry)
Thank you so much, this was so helpful!! Appreciate it xx
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Tolgash
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#6
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#6
I know it may not quite be the same improvement, but I was a B-grade pupil in the lower sixth, and I ended the upper sixth with a starred A in the subject. The specification my sixth form chose was OCR.

However, I am of the opinion that I still have some advice worth sharing, which I shall do in the list below:

  • Know the exam formats and assessment objectives off by heart. This also means that you should know the timings, how many marks each question is worth, and the weighting of each assessment objective for each question. You should also be able to explain the course's five assessment objectives to anyone; you may also find some "loopholes" as well (e.g. AO1 doesn't explicitly state that quotes are required to substantiate an argument). I still remember everything regarding this for A Level (even most of it for GCSE too). This gives you the upper hand because the exam-paper configurations remain unchanged unless said otherwise (you should always be informed of any changes), so you will always know, depending on the question or section, what content your essay must contain.
  • Pay attention to the minutiae in the examiner reports. Don't just be comfortable with skimming and scanning. These documents can be full of surprises that you may miss if you don't read them thoroughly. For example, did you know that solecisms and spelling errors can still cause pupils problems, even if SPaG isn't assessed? Well, they do: they show a low standard of AO1, which can be seen in this OCR paper-one report, reminding pupils to "eliminate errors of expression wherever possible (especially when these are ‘typos’ or the result of carelessness)". If you didn't know this, you might be losing out on easy marks while being completely oblivious!
  • Know the plots of your texts. Since it's generally advised, not re-reading the texts multiple times can stress any pupil out. I'm here to tell you that it won't cost you, provided that you play your cards right. Merely memorising paragraphs from chapters, or the text for entire scenes or poems for that matter, doesn't help nearly as much as having a concrete understanding of what actually occurs. Once you have a good understanding of the events, just remember a few quotes related to them. That should be it. You can get brilliant plot summaries online, and that should really be enough.
  • Remember versatile critics and what they are for. Critical interpretations are specific to A Level, and they can be a nightmare to remember. However, the material that constitutes a "critical interpretation" is actually very broad and diverse. Whether it be a literary critic or a film director, you should ensure that they can be applied to many arguments or linked to many themes, especially in a manner that doesn't seem too outlandish. That might sound difficult, but it could make all the difference. Also, don't forget how critics can be used. You can start an essay with them, have them in your conclusion, create a dialogue between them and/or use them to support or oppose your viewpoint. Using them effectively can show an examiner your knowledge and likely impress them (e.g. I've heard that starting an essay with them can sometimes already get them on your side).


PM me if you want any more advice or some of my essays. Also, this might help you as well.

- TE
Last edited by Tolgash; 1 year ago
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Panjsuce
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#7
Report 1 year ago
#7
(Original post by Tolgash)
I know it may not quite be the same improvement, but I was a B-grade pupil in the lower sixth, and I ended the upper sixth with a starred A in the subject. The specification my sixth form chose was OCR.

However, I am of the opinion that I still have some advice worth sharing, which I shall do in the list below:

  • Know the exam formats and assessment objectives off by heart. This also means that you should know the timings, how many marks each question is worth, and the weighting of each assessment objective for each question. You should also be able to explain the course's five assessment objectives to anyone; you may also find some "loopholes" as well (e.g. AO1 doesn't explicitly state that quotes are required to substantiate the argument). I still remember everything regarding this for A Level (even most of it for GCSE too). This gives you the upper hand because the exam-paper configurations remain unchanged unless said otherwise (you should always be informed of any changes), so you will always know, depending on the question or section, what content your essay must contain.
  • Pay attention to the minutiae in the examiner reports. Don't just be comfortable with skimming and scanning. These documents can be full of surprises that you may miss if you don't read them thoroughly. For example, did you know that solecisms and spelling errors can still cause pupils problems, even if SPaG isn't assessed? Well, they do: they show a low standard of AO1, which can be seen in this OCR paper-one report, reminding pupils to "eliminate errors of expression wherever possible (especially when these are ‘typos’ or the result of carelessness)". If you didn't know this, you might be losing out on easy marks while being completely oblivious!
  • Know the plots of your texts. Since it's generally advised, not re-reading the texts multiple times can stress any pupil out. I'm here to tell you that it won't cost you, provided that you play your cards right. Merely memorising paragraphs from chapters, or the text for entire scenes or poems for that matter, doesn't help nearly as much as having a concrete understanding of what actually occurs. Once you have a good understanding of the events, just remember a few quotes related to them. That should be it. You can get brilliant plot summaries online, and that should really be enough.
  • Remember versatile critics and what they are for. Critical interpretations are specific to A Level, and they can be a nightmare to remember. However, the material that constitutes a "critical interpretation" is actually very broad and diverse. Whether it be a literary critic or a film director, you should ensure that they can be applied to many arguments or linked to many themes, especially in a manner that doesn't seem too outlandish. That might sound difficult, but it could make all the difference. Also, don't forget how critics can be used. You can start an essay with them, have them in your conclusion, create a dialogue between them and/or use them to support or oppose your viewpoint. Using them effectively can show an examiner your knowledge and likely impress them (e.g. I've heard that starting an essay with them can sometimes already get them on your side).


PM me if you want any more advice or some of my essays. Also, this might help you as well.

- T. E.
You’re really smart, I want to get on your level
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