Explore the insights and strategies shared by Jasmina, our Year 13 student, to attain the highest grade in your exams.

I always thought that studying for English was unnecessary, however there were a few things I did to ensure I got the essay structure correct which is useful to keep your points organised without repeating yourself or rambling.

English Literature

Specifically for English literature what helped me was:

  • making sure I know, in-depth, the content and context of the text we were reading e.g. storyline, important characters, historical context etc.
  • practicing how to draft introductory thesis statements which include the general idea of your essay
  • practicing writing paragraph theses which introduce the individual point of each paragraph. This helps keep the essay structured with each paragraph covering one of the topics you want to talk about.


  • there are too many to memorise all the analysis therefore know your literary techniques so you can apply them to each poem even if you do not know all the analysis by heart. Also, check which poem has been on past exams and focus on the ones not examined yet. Make sure to include outside context to the poetry studied in class, it gets you extra points.
  • why? how? what? are the most important questions which you should answer throughout any essay or any text even if it seems repetitive. How does the writer portray this? Why does the writer do this? What is the effect on the reader/audience?
  • for unseen poetry analyse as much as possible. read the poem as many times as you need and if you still do not understand it analyse the language. Analysis can sound ridiculous and farfetched but if you have good reasoning and proof in the quotes, it cannot be wrong, it is subjective.