How to prepare for a closed-book exam

The idea of a closed-book exam can be pretty daunting, but not having a text to rely on doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get the same quality out of an essay if you were to have the book right in front of you. The first and foremost, and probably best thing to do, is to know - no matter how simply - the content of the book. A simple summary, a paragraph in your revision notes, on what happens in the book and when (key events, key character arcs, etc) can come in handy because some of the best exam answers are able to draw from more than just one area of the book when answering a question (especially if this question involves thematics) and it makes it far easier for you to connect the points you make within your answer. Quotations are, oftentimes, at the forefront of a students mind when it comes to revising and memorising for an exam. The easiest way to do this is to identify the key themes in the play and selecting perhaps 4-5 quotes for each theme - especially if you can find quotes that overlap various themes (it’s far less to memorise in the long run) - and make sure they’re ones you can write plenty about no matter the question.

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