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AQA A-Level Lit Band 5

Hi, does anyone have any tips on how to get into band 5 for AQA lit? I’m always capped at 18 or 19/25 and would like to get a few more marks for comfortability.
Reply 1
What kind of feedback do you get? What do you do to get those marks? I am not being facetious, I think I could give general advice, but you might already know it and need something a bit more specific.
Reply 2
Original post by CWise
What kind of feedback do you get? What do you do to get those marks? I am not being facetious, I think I could give general advice, but you might already know it and need something a bit more specific.


Usually it’s a mix. Mostly it’s big methods for AO2 and more specific AO3. I really struggle with being concise too. My teachers say it’s something that comes naturally but i’d like to improve before the exam. Thank you!!
Reply 3
Original post by EmilyPhylis
Usually it’s a mix. Mostly it’s big methods for AO2 and more specific AO3. I really struggle with being concise too. My teachers say it’s something that comes naturally but i’d like to improve before the exam. Thank you!!

Brilliant. We can work with that.

What do you mean by big methods?

I studied creative writing at uni and the way I was taught to be concise is to write a short piece (say a paragraph) and see if I can say the same thing in half the words. Strip everything down to the core methods.

AO3 is also really hard - the best method to do it by analysing either quotes, props or events. It is hard to tell without knowing what texts you are doing, if you want more specific examples, but just the title 'my last duchess' gives us tons of psychological, gender and class context. You might already know this stuff already, but it is worth mentioning. What texts are you doing?
Reply 4
Original post by CWise
Brilliant. We can work with that.
What do you mean by big methods?
I studied creative writing at uni and the way I was taught to be concise is to write a short piece (say a paragraph) and see if I can say the same thing in half the words. Strip everything down to the core methods.
AO3 is also really hard - the best method to do it by analysing either quotes, props or events. It is hard to tell without knowing what texts you are doing, if you want more specific examples, but just the title 'my last duchess' gives us tons of psychological, gender and class context. You might already know this stuff already, but it is worth mentioning. What texts are you doing?


I’m doing Othello, Gatsby, Poetry Pre-1900, Handmaids, Streetcar and Feminine Gospels. Usually for Gatsby i’m told i use too much context but for Othello i’m usually lacking in it. I feel like i know the context well for Othello and the time period so i’m unsure. Maybe it’s just how i write it?
Reply 5
Original post by EmilyPhylis
I’m doing Othello, Gatsby, Poetry Pre-1900, Handmaids, Streetcar and Feminine Gospels. Usually for Gatsby i’m told i use too much context but for Othello i’m usually lacking in it. I feel like i know the context well for Othello and the time period so i’m unsure. Maybe it’s just how i write it?

Okay, couple of questions. Give me four major context areas for Othello?

And is it just Othello and Gatsby? I can imagine like The Handmaid's Tale could also be difficult for context.
Reply 6
Context areas for Othello: Women in Jacobean era, morals and values in Jacobean era, maybe more Shakespeare himself context, and love/marriage in Jacobean. I feel like i know these but don’t write about them effectively and that’s why it comes across as if i don’t understand them or i’m making generalisations.

Gatsby context is fine, along with pre-1900 context. It’s Othello, Handmaids, Streetcar and Feminine Gospels i struggle with most for context.
Reply 7
I'd personally avoid biographical context and replace it with settings (being the contrast between Venice and Cyprus, the fact Shakespeare used these settings to portray questionable actions in a different place, so the English didn't think it reflects badly on them). If that makes sense.

I am going to give you a revision exercise if you want to do it.

It is Desdemona’s naivety about men that brings about her downfall.’ In the light of this view, discuss how Shakespeare presents Desdemona in this extract and elsewhere in the play.

See if you can make the four context areas fit this specific question. You can use quotes if you want to, but no analysing the language, critical interpretations and you have to make the context relevant to the question. My GCSE English teacher taught me this exercise, it really helped.
Reply 8
Original post by CWise
I'd personally avoid biographical context and replace it with settings (being the contrast between Venice and Cyprus, the fact Shakespeare used these settings to portray questionable actions in a different place, so the English didn't think it reflects badly on them). If that makes sense.
I am going to give you a revision exercise if you want to do it.
It is Desdemona’s naivety about men that brings about her downfall.’ In the light of this view, discuss how Shakespeare presents Desdemona in this extract and elsewhere in the play.
See if you can make the four context areas fit this specific question. You can use quotes if you want to, but no analysing the language, critical interpretations and you have to make the context relevant to the question. My GCSE English teacher taught me this exercise, it really helped.


i will try this tomorrow. Thank you so much for your help!!!

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