If you think (and secretly hope) that reading some novels and poems will be enough to pass the test on IGCSE or GCSE equivalent qualifications in English literature, we have to disappoint you – no, it won’t. This certificate proves that you are a holder of a certain number of skills applicable not only in the sphere of English literature but in everyday life. Let’s find out what those skills are and what they mean.
So, to be fully prepared for the IGCSE or GCSE in English literature, you need to be able to:
Re-Tell the Narrative or Story
This is the basic skill that presupposes you are recalling and narrating the story without difficulties.
You have to be capable of naming the main points of the novel or short story. It is a basic but challenging task because, if you get an assignment to write an essay-summary, sticking purely to summing up will not earn you a good grade.
Tell the Story in Your Own Words
Paraphrasing is the ability that is necessary not only on the English literature exam (being sometimes even harmful if abused) but in business correspondence, writing, communication, etc.
Spot the Best Evidence to Support Your Argument
If you don’t enforce your point with an example or important detail from the analyzed text, it will not be counted as a fully-featured argument. The examiner will call it an unsubstantiated assertion and take away some scores.
Tell apart the Viewpoints
Train to understand the difference of viewpoints of various characters from literature works.
Determine and Analyse the Theme
What is main character’s motivation to behave like this, and not the other way around? What is the main theme? As long as you can detect these two things, you are on the safe side.
Speak up Regarding the Plot and Analyse It
What do you usually understand after reading a piece of literature writing? How do the events influence the characters’ fates? How does the author build up a plot and does it matter when it comes to the final result?
Identify and Discuss the Writer’s Methods Used in Literature Works
Try to find out on your own how the author so brightly depicts the scene: is it the language? Or maybe rhetoric devices? Make sure you interpret the methods correctly.
Read between the Lines
It is very important to be able to dig deeper and make sense of what you find there. You must connect the dots and analyse those connections.
Give Your Opinion
Learn to form your own, original viewpoint on the basis of what you have read because during the exam you’ll have to state it as well as support it with quotes or relevant material.
Pheeeww … That’s quite a list. That’s what they teach you to do during training courses because such kind of skills you can’t just read about and acquire. You have to gain them in practice. So, try hard because English literature GCSE is not the easiest subject to pass (if there is such at all).