Exam Prep Toolkit: Literature part 2

Our regular blog author, Jill Carter, has prepared some revision tips and advice for your students – pass it on!

You have two English Literature exams so get clear about what each of these requires.  Look for patterns so you can prepare more effectively for both. For both exams, you will need to be able to show that you know your texts well and that you can read critically. (Take a look at Exam Prep Toolkit: Literature part 1) You will also need to show that you can respond to unseen texts and compare texts, and this is what I will be looking at here.

Make sure that you have familiarized yourself with the layout of the exams and the timings suggested for each task.

Unseen Texts

Ask yourself the following general questions about any unseen text (or indeed studied text!):

Ask yourself if you notice any of these devices and the effect they have:

Use of structural devices:

Ask yourself if you notice any of these devices and the effect they have:

  • Sentence lengths and types
  • Paragraph lengths
  • Key moments / climaxes
  • Chronological or non-chronological order
  • Patterns or motifs running through the text
  • Viewpoint
  • Spotlighting
  • Verb tense
  • Shifts in mood, tone or perspective
  • Balance of action, dialogue, description (fiction)

Comparison

When you compare texts think about:

  • Similarities between the way ideas, themes, or perspectives are presented
  • Differences between the way ideas, themes or perspectives are presented
  • Similarities in terms of their use of language and structure
  • Differences in terms of their use of language and structure
  • Similarities in mood, tone, viewpoint or attitude
  • Differences in mood, tone, viewpoint or attitude

Evaluation

When you evaluate texts, think about:

  • How effectively an idea, them or perspective has been presented
  • The impact the text has on you as a reader

Remember to quote to support your answers and good luck!

 

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