/ English Lit GCSE
But now her GCSEs are coming at her like an express train, and she has NO IDEA WHAT SHE IS SUPPOSED TO BE DOING. She is becoming stressed beyond what can possibly be construed as reasonable.
Now, I've got two degrees myself, but I've looked at her notes and I too have no idea what she is supposed to be doing for her Eng Lit assessment tommorrow. This can't be right. What's going on?
Which exam syllabus?
From what I can remember it was about analysing the novel or poetry we were given. So stuff like underlying themes, characters, symbolism, metaphors and stuff like that.
We studied Tess D'Ubervilles then ended up having to rapidly read Frankenstein a couple of weeks before the exam.
What books/poetry has she been studying?
She has my sympathy. I usually did well in exams at school, but when it came to English lit, I had no idea what I was supposed to write in essays.
I asked my teacher what a good essay would look like, and he gave me a sample essay from a `revision guide' book. As he gave it to me he read it and said, ``well I'd give that a C'', which wasn't helpful since grade C was about what I was getting anyhow. It was probably a mixture of poor teacher and poor student, but he never could explain to me what I should be trying to achieve in writing an Eng Lit essay.
I don't know whether this is one essay, 3 essays or some strange amalgam?!?
I would say it would either be:
1. one question and you have to answer that one question
2. a choice of 2-3 questions and you only have answer one question
3. three questions and you have to answer all three questions (if it was a 3 hour exam)
I would say that the questions in her revision guide are just example questions. I sat my English Lit ages ago and cant remember the layout of the exam so this is just my guess...
I don't know if Eng. Lit. is important to what your daughter intends to do after school. For me it had no bearing whatsoever and in addition I hated the subject to the point where I'd cheat in coursework. Back then it was O-levels rather than GCSE and despite my complete apathy to the subject I ended up getting a B, one of my best grades. This caused a bit of a problem as I was intending to take my 3 best O-level subjects at A-level. I couldn't face 2 years more waffle so went for honest subjects. Note that I loved reading so it wasn't a dislike of books or even literature that caused me to reject the subject.
Sorry if it's not a direct answer to your daughter's problem but if it's only this subject then it may not be as big a problem as it may seem.
Basically you need to go into way more detail than the author thought about. Yeah it's almost always bad teaching+teacher I find. My teacher once literally turned a poem on it's side and said it had clearly been written such that the ends formed the shape of waves (it was about the sea). That's a bit extreme but yeah the more ridiculous what you write the more they'll mark it as you've "thought about it deeply"...
In the end its about reading questions carefully and making relevant intelligent comment on the linked key themes of important literary works. Panic that you are missing something big is neither true nor a good approach to an exam the next day. It does sound like you need to be asking some questions to the school afterwards about some aspects of the preparation assistance provided.
The good news is that Hannah has studied her stuff so if she gets a clear steer today about what is required she at least has the material to hand.
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