atothez
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#1
How would you suggest I revise for Eng lit? I've always been a bit clueless as to how to study for English exams properly... my methods so far are writing down key quotes and organising them under themes that could come up in essay questions
0
reply
giella
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#2
Report 2 weeks ago
#2
Know the story. Know it intimately. Quotes only get you so far. When I’ve marked exams it’s always been obvious who rehearsed a bunch of quotes and only read the book once and those who read the book multiple times and knew the story so well they didn’t even need to quote in order to evidence it.
If you’re good at analysis, your close reading section on your exam will allow you to show off your ability to dig into language in detail. The broader questions aren’t looking for quotes so much as your exploration of meaning and the author’s ideas through structure, through characterisation, through storytelling, through setting: all things that cannot be and should not be reduced to a single quote.

Read the books over. Know your characters, know your plot, know your events, know your timeline, know your settings. Don’t waste your time on quotes. They’re not looking for it and it’s not a good use of your time. It’s possible to achieve full marks on a closed book English exam without a single quote. I know because I’ve done it as a student and awarded it as an examiner/marker.
0
reply
165283
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#3
Report 2 weeks ago
#3
You must also know that for some texts, you will be asked a question on the character or on a theme - you have a choice in which question you pick for this. Decide before the exams whether you'd like to focus on themes in the text or characters. There's no point in revising both and overloading yourself. When i did English Lit, I learned quotes for themes and had had a quote from each applicable character under these themes so that if I panicked and chose to answer the character question at the last minute, I would still have a bank of character quotes too. Not sure if that makes sense but anyway.
In regards to revision methods, you really have to experiment and find what fits you! Teachers will moan and say you shouldn't be doing it like that, flashcards are good and revising with friends can distract you. While this may be true for many, it isn't always the case. personally, I like to write all of my quotes into a literal paragraph and memorise the paragraph. In the test I then know that quote x is sandwiched between quote Q and quote B. Again, not sure if that makes sense but it works for me because while I'm not good at many other revision methods I can say I'm fairly good at memorising big chunks of information. So, you do you.
For poetry, I'd say only memorise quotes from poems with interlinking themes. Power and conflict example below.
Image
So I memorised enough quotes for Exposure, Ozymandias, London and War Photographer. These poems cover all the themes so when a poem such as My Last Duchess comes up on the paper, based on whether the question requires the tyrant theme or identity, I have Ozymandias for comparison in tyranny and London for comparison in identity. Of course, it is essential that (if you revise in this manner) you can interpret the surprise poem on first sight. There's no point in memorising particular poems if you haven't studied all of them at all. Make sure you annotate the poem given in the test and retain the information of the correlating poem you memorised in your head.
and that's what I did at least. Good luck.
0
reply
giella
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#4
Report 2 weeks ago
#4
(Original post by 165283)
You must also know that for some texts, you will be asked a question on the character or on a theme - you have a choice in which question you pick for this. Decide before the exams whether you'd like to focus on themes in the text or characters. There's no point in revising both and overloading yourself. When i did English Lit, I learned quotes for themes and had had a quote from each applicable character under these themes so that if I panicked and chose to answer the character question at the last minute, I would still have a bank of character quotes too. Not sure if that makes sense but anyway.
In regards to revision methods, you really have to experiment and find what fits you! Teachers will moan and say you shouldn't be doing it like that, flashcards are good and revising with friends can distract you. While this may be true for many, it isn't always the case. personally, I like to write all of my quotes into a literal paragraph and memorise the paragraph. In the test I then know that quote x is sandwiched between quote Q and quote B. Again, not sure if that makes sense but it works for me because while I'm not good at many other revision methods I can say I'm fairly good at memorising big chunks of information. So, you do you.
For poetry, I'd say only memorise quotes from poems with interlinking themes. Power and conflict example below.
Image
So I memorised enough quotes for Exposure, Ozymandias, London and War Photographer. These poems cover all the themes so when a poem such as My Last Duchess comes up on the paper, based on whether the question requires the tyrant theme or identity, I have Ozymandias for comparison in tyranny and London for comparison in identity. Of course, it is essential that (if you revise in this manner) you can interpret the surprise poem on first sight. There's no point in memorising particular poems if you haven't studied all of them at all. Make sure you annotate the poem given in the test and retain the information of the correlating poem you memorised in your head.
and that's what I did at least. Good luck.
Ignore most of this.
0
reply
165283
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#5
Report 2 weeks ago
#5
(Original post by giella)
Ignore most of this.
Why? I suppose my revision methods aren't suitable for all, is that why you advise OP on ignoring most of my comment?
0
reply
giella
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#6
Report 2 weeks ago
#6
(Original post by 165283)
Why? I suppose my revision methods aren't suitable for all, is that why you advise OP on ignoring most of my comment?
A) you’re commenting on GCSE not A level
B) your formula for exams is inaccurate
0
reply
165283
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#7
Report 2 weeks ago
#7
(Original post by giella)
A) you’re commenting on GCSE not A level
B) your formula for exams is inaccurate
A) I seem to have missed that part of the question, you are correct. My apologies
B) There's a formula for exams?
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Should 'Mental health support' be included on league tables?

Yes (176)
75.54%
No (57)
24.46%

Watched Threads

View All