During my GCSEs so many people in my year complained that they “couldn’t” revise English because there isn’t anything to revise… Um, what? There is plenty to revise for English even with the unseen questions in the exams, there is still plenty to prepare for.
If you’re struggling to revise for English Literature then here are my methods that I use. I used these at GCSE and now for my A Levels. Also these tips don’t just apply for English Literature, when I did my GCSEs, I used this revision method for history, geography, biology, chemistry, physics and RE, so it might help for any exam you’re doing.
I’m a visual, creative learner. The best way for me to concentrate on the topic is to use lots of colour. I colour coordinate all of my folders, I find it’s so much easier to organise all my notes that way.
For me the easiest way to write out my notes is to have a separate notebook for each topic, and clearly title the pages. Again I use lots of colour, and I try to make my notes individual and creative by putting information into graphs, tables, and bullet points rather than writing paragraphs of information that is difficult to read through. Another tip: highlighters are your best friend. Honestly, highlighting is my holy grail revision tip, it makes you focus on the section you’ve highlighted for quick reading before your exams rather than reading through so many notes to find the precise facts you want.
Use copies of the text to annotate your notes on instead of having to write out page numbers, lines or passages every time just to write your notes by the side. It’s so much easier to annotate alongside the text, again using colour to highlight and underline important quotes or parts to remember.
This was actually a tip from my English teacher. She says that so many times she talks through notes in class with students, they come up with brilliant ideas which she adds to, then when it comes to homework or writing up answers, she notices that the students come up with alternative points to avoid reusing what the teacher has told them. Your teacher is there to teach you; yes they want you to add your own interpretations, but remember to use what they teach you to expand your knowledge.
The dreaded ‘e’ word every student hates to hear. It may seem awful having to write out an essay, but essays, practice questions and past papers are a great way for you to improve before your exams. Not only are they good for timing so you know you can complete a question within the time limit, but they’re also useful for getting feedback from your teacher so you know what to improve on.
In the exam you’ll need quotes to support you arguments and comments, so make sure you learn them. Even if you have an open-book exam, it’s still useful to know a few short quotes so you’re not shuffling through your texts to find them and wasting time.
Remember to take time to relax between revision sessions. You don’t want to overload your brain with too much information at one time. My favourite way to relax between studying is to play video games or having a relaxing bath.
Those are my tips for English Literature revision/revision in general. I hope it helped some of you during your exam periods or maybe seeing my notes has inspired an alternative way for you to revise. Leave your revision tips in the comment below to help myself and others reading this!
Good luck to anyone taking exams, you’ll smash it!
Jade Anna x