News & Updates
1. Organise your notes!
The first step you should take is simply organising your notes. Go through your school resources, self-made notes, and external resources for each text - you may be surprised by what you have forgotten! The exam questions can get quite specific; therefore, you want to make sure you know your texts inside out. It can be a good idea to compile your notes according to the following categories: concepts, context, form, quotes, techniques, and analysis.
2. Make sure you know what is on the exam
It may sound obvious, but make sure you know what each section of the exam involves. Take a look at last year’s exam paper as well as the sample questions provided on the NESA website. Some Modules may require you to focus on a specific character, a specific aspect of form, or even a specific moment in the text. If you are studying poetry, it is possible you will be asked to analyse one particular poem out of those set for study. Make sure you are aware of the parameters before you sit the exam in order to avoid surprises on the day.
3. Write Drafts!
Writing essay and creative drafts are an important part of the English preparation process. It is best to write a number of drafts so that you can practice writing about different topics and areas of your given text. In the case of Module C, you want to practice writing in each of the three different creative styles: imaginative, persuasive, and discursive. Have your drafts read by a teacher, tutor, or peer and adjust your drafts according to their feedback.
4. Memorise your quotes!
Memorising quotes is probably the most annoying part of English for many students. It is tricky and can take a long time – but it doesn’t necessarily have to be boring! While writing your quotes out by hand is the most sure-fire way to ensure you remember them, you can also try techniques like flash cards, mnemonics, or recording yourself reading your quotes out loud!
5. Practice responding to unseen texts
It doesn’t matter how good your essays are if they do not answer the question you are given on the day. Therefore, it is essential that you practice adapting your prepared knowledge to a range of diverse questions. Different questions will require you to focus on different aspects of a text, therefore you must have the confidence to be flexible in the exam room – which comes only from practice!