Revision tips for English Literature exams


Faculty: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
School: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Course: BA (Hons) English Literature
Category: Language, literature and media

6 June 2017

A female student in the library reading a book by Ralph Ellison

Studying for English Literature exams can be hard, especially if they’re closed book exams. Here are some tips to help you get prepared.

Pick out key themes that interest you, such as gender or nature, and focus on texts that you can relate to those themes. It’s easier to write something original if it’s something you’re interested in. You can collate quotations and ideas on an A4 sheet in a mind map, or a list; or write brief notes on cue cards that you can come back to later.

Key quotes
In those texts that you want to study further, find key quotations. By that I mean quotations you can use for multiple questions. That way, you only need to remember a few from a couple of texts, and will be prepared for multiple questions.

Make sure you do plenty of further reading into your chosen texts and themes. If you can bring in some critical readings, your argument will be more solid. It can also help you to develop ideas of your own.

It’s also a good idea to practice making essay plans. The more you do it, the easier it will get. You can incorporate all the elements you have been working on. You could also time yourself writing the essay, with or without the information, then mark yourself and see how you do.

Good luck for your exams! Using the tips above, I’m sure you’ll be fine.



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