‘How Should I Revise Shakespeare for GCSE English?’.
This is a question we often get asked. We know that Shakespeare can be a topic students often struggle with. However, the GCSE English Literature reading list has numerous plays on it and some exam boards even have a whole exam dedicated to Shakespeare’s works. Certainly, it’s important you have some effective revision tips to help you succeed!
Not to mention the fact that this week is also Shakespeare week!
So, in order to support your Shakespeare studies we caught up with one of our expert GCSE English tutors, Heather Holmes. Heather is a fantastic tutor, having been a teacher of English for almost 11 years, she is also an examiner for GCSE English Literature.
Here are Heather’s best tips and tricks for revising this famous author’s plays:
1. Use revision cards to help you coordinate your revision.
Each revision card could contain quotes/key events for a single character or for a theme that runs within the text.
2. Use mindmaps to help you revise using old exam paper questions.
You can just plan an answer in detail or plan an answer without your revision notes in front of you, to test your memory/knowledge and then go back to your revision notes and add more detail to gradually build up your learning.
3. Re-read the essays you’ve written in class.
You might want to practice these essays again by re-writing them based on the feedback from your teacher. Ask your teacher to mark them to gain further feedback.
4. Make sure you know the story inside out.
Re-read the texts again, and if there is a good film version, watch that too.
5. Make sure you can spell all the characters’ names correctly.
This is a simple but important one!
6. Create a timeline for each of your texts.
This will help you to understand exactly what order everything happens in. Could you make this more detailed by adding in key quotes to it to help strengthen your knowledge?
7. Write quotes on post-it notes and stick them around your house.
By doing this you will see them everyday and begin to absorb them. This will make them easier to recall in an exam.
8. Investigate the context of the text, if it’s relevant to the question mark scheme.
This can be a great way to earn extra marks by demonstrating your understanding of the context. BUT, you MUST make sure it is relevant.
9. Ask your teacher for some example responses and read them- did the writer leave anything out?
Reading other responses and model answers will help highlight what else you could add to your answers and improve your own analytical skills.
You might have started off reading this blog thinking: How Should I Revise Shakespeare for GCSE English? But now, you have 9 new tips to incorporate into your revision process!
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