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A Guide to OCR A2 F663 Drama and Poetry Pre-1800

Paul Merrell | Tuesday October 16, 2012

Categories: Drama, Hot Entries, Poetry, Shakespeare, Shakespeare's Plays, Writing, Analytical Writing, Drama Analysis, Literary Analysis, Poetry Analysis, OCR A Level English Literature, F663, KS5 Archive, OCR A Level


Guide Navigation

1. Introduction
2. Section A: Shakespeare
3. Section B: Drama and Poetry
4. Exemplars
5. Conclusion


I think it is important to acknowledge at the outset that this is not an especially easy examination for which to prepare students. In my experience, no matter how much work you do with them on your chosen texts, even the most diligent and able of your pupils are going to enter the exam room with somewhat of a sense of unease; indeed, I’ve found that the more hard-work the pupil puts in, the more ideas they have, the greater their range of quotations and critical viewpoints, the more likely they are to feel a little overwhelmed by the various demands of this paper. This guide has been written from long experience and I hope it proves useful to you.

When you break it down, over the course of the year (and this is ignoring the F664 coursework they will also be trying to produce at the same time), students will study three challenging texts – containing many difficult concepts, some archaic language and unfamiliar contextual factors. They will then be assessed on all this work by, in the space of two hours, being expected to select the two best questions from a wide range of provocative statements and produce thoughtful responses (without their texts) which fully explore the entire piece . . . whilst writing in an engaging and fluent way . . . interweaving the views of critics . . . making detailed reference to the author’s techniques . . . and the way these texts comment on the society of the time. And some people say A Levels are getting easier . . .

The idea behind this guide is to give you, as the teacher, some time-saving and stress-saving strategies that will enable your students to feel as comfortable as possible with what is a very demanding A level unit.

As suggested above, then, I would say that the single most useful thing that I have found to do with my own classes (with an ability...

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