How To Get An “A” In A-Level English Literature

Are You Handling Your English Literature Essays, Prose or Unseen Papers, The Correct Way? 

Learn how to write an effective Award Winning Lit essay in less than 3 hours!

How to Get “A” For A Level English Literature Paper?

No one who is willing to work hard, studies and reads extensively for Literature should not get less than an “A” or “B” grade, this is a fact. 

Whilst most A Level Students may dislike this A-Level subject simply because there are a lot more of writing, notes taking and summary writing involved; it is not an excuse to skip taking the examinations all together. 

After all, Cambridge examiners are unlikely to cancel the annual papers because of these reasons. 

In any English Literature class there are some fundamentals to grab hold of:

(I) First, you will need to have the positive energy to look through the class syllabus proactively. 

Additionally, we also recommended that you browse through the reading lists. With that check against the EL-Lit list once you are done; research about the themes, critical theories or commentaries that you do not understand. This will serve well for your revision nearing to the finals.

Alternatively, you can speak to your professors or lecturers with regards to the sections of set texts or prose/unseen poetry that which you do not comprehend. 

Let your E-Lit teachers guide you and be open to listen to their perspectives or explanations to clarify your doubts. 

(II) Secondly, as you read your given set texts, highlight key quotes that you find are useful for the written essays. 

If you do not know which quotes to pick, try heading to the library. Look for study guide books that offer you suggestions then selectively choose quotes that you are likely to remember even if you do not understand the plot’s context.

When reading the set texts, annotate with a pencil. Jot down your questions and write down your responses, always think along the lines of “What does the author mean? Why did he or she use this phase or words in this paragraph or passage?” “What literary devices or language are adopted?” 

Reading is key to scoring Ace for your papers, do not procrastinate and do last minute cramming the night before your papers. IT WILL NOT WORK! 

(III) Making notes. 

  • Use colour-pens, highlighters and notebooks to create mind-maps, short summaries of each chapters once you have completed reading your set texts. 
  • Keep 2 books, one for notes taking in class. The other for self-reference while studying. 
  • Refer to universities journals or critical commentaries in study guides for new perspectives and insert these opinions in your essays whenever appropriate. 
  • Use technology (if necessary) to keep your notes organised. 

Reduce your burden of carrying around hardcopies to and fro from classrooms to your home.

  • Share your notes with a group of study buddies, exchange your ideas and contribute to the class by consolidating individual notes together when finals are near. 

(Who knows after graduation, you might even earn some quick buck or two just by selling these notes to your juniors?)

Some examples of study guides are: 


– Cliffs Notes

– No Fear Shakespeare

– Spark Notes


– J-Stor, University Library Access Portal


– Study


– Jiffy Notes


(IV) Form your own study groups.

This is optional, make sure that the people you study with are focused and not easily distracted. 

A small group of 5-7 people will do, preferably with a lecturer or professor so that you can ask for help when needed or stuck at a particular theme that concerns the whole lot of you. 

The main idea is to help each other understand, revise and keep each other motivated especially when stress factors are high and pressure is a temptation to steer away from your studies. 

(V) Ask questions.

People who often ask questions in Literature Classes are the “thinkers” they do not accept knowledge or facts when given the information at first thought. 

Rather, they delve deeper, by asking questions. You set the minds from becoming passive to more active by doing this. 

Thinking propels you to be critical and more appreciative of Literature as a subject and thus show the teacher you are learning not absorbing facts for the sake of clearing the exams.

Be consciously aware of what your teacher says. Too often, Literature Teachers are kind enough, they give you clues or hints as to what topics, themes or questions may be tested in your papers so listen attentively!

(VI) Watch plays and moives. 

This is a no-brainer, beware though that some plots and contexts may differ from the set texts so do not write these portions down in your exams as they not be accurate or accepted. 

Just relax and enjoy the show.

(VII) Know you Jargons and do research.

Go the extra mile, it is worth the effort. 

Language plays an important role in writing essays. Poor expression affects the overall impression your marker has on your work. 

Literary jargons are to be used appropriately and sparingly. 

(VII)  Lastly, prove and validate your points. 

Always write with textual evidence and give your personal response to ad that human touch in your papers. Remember you are not a robot, write and insert your thoughts that answers to the question directly as possible. 

Examiners are looking out for humans with a keen eye for details and sharp mind for intellectual debates. 

This will show how well you know your texts and maybe gain you extra marks ahead of your peers. 

Hence you can contact us at to start your literature revision now

Best of Luck, 

Happy Revision!

Best quote(s) of the day: “When I have money, I buy books. If I have any penny more left, I spent on clothes and food.” -Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus.

He who invest time on seeking knowledge, makes the best investments on none other than Himself. The greatest returns are often boundless as wealth of the riches are found not by what the eye can see, but what is unseen. -Anonymous 

(Wisdom is gained only when we realise that what we know of is comparatively little to what we do not.) 

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