This is part of an OCR English blog series rounding up practical insights and ideas from markers, teachers and the OCR English subject team to support you and your students with exam preparation.
We’ve rounded up practical advice and tips ahead of this summer’s GCSE English Literature exams to support both teachers and students.
These have been broken down into 4 categories:
Take a look at the series of 4 blogs previously published by OCR to support students with last minute exam revision. Well worth re-visiting for last minute practical tips and activities.
Here’s a new OUP blog which makes getting hold of quotes accessible and achievable for closed text exams - One quote fits all: Shakespeare.
There is no silver bullet in terms of how best to support your students with revision tools and approaches for exams, but you might find these websites/blogs particularly useful:
BBC Bitesize Smart Revision Advice is also worth a look – you can cherry pick elements most useful for your students, particularly to help with breaking down large tasks into manageable activities and helping quell pre-exam nerves.
Poetry revision can present a particular challenge, given that students need to be confident about their studied 15 poems as well as ready to tackle unseen poems in the exam.
OCR’s free online digital poetry anthology has a Revision section that takes student through the specific demands of the poetry exam question. This includes practical activities such as having a go at marking a sample candidate response and choosing a studied poem and writing about it from memory.
OCR’s Summer 2017 Examiner Report yielded a wealth of practical insights into areas where students were more successful and where they would benefit from additional support and some reflection.
Points of advice for future exams:
There is a wealth of online student bloggers and instagrammers out there only too willing to share their own personal revision journey. Take a look at Mili's blog. She has shared some thoughtful and practical reflections on her experience as a Year 11 student counting down to exams this summer and considered more widely the learning effects.
Also worth looking at this YouTube video on tips and techniques to help manage test anxiety. We may live in times of high stakes and linear exams, but there’s plenty of support out there to help prepare students ahead of the big day.
Kate Newton, OCR English Subject Advisor
Kate has worked at OCR for 4 years and is a member of the English subject team with particular responsibility for GCSE English Literature and AS/A Level English Language and Literature (EMC).
She previously worked for a number of national public sector education organisations, including the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) and the General Teaching Council (GTC), primarily on new policy initiatives. Prior to that, after graduating with a BA Joint Hons in English and Education from Cardiff University, Kate started her professional career with a competitor Awarding Body (mentioning no names!). She loves to cook and eat out as well as exercise regularly, which includes running around after her two young children.