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How do I begin to analyse an unseen poem in exam conditions?

An unseen poem in exam conditions can be the source of much stress for students. It is crucial that when the time comes, you remain calm and collected, even if at first the poem appears difficult.

Read the poem at least twice before commencing any analysis. Reading the poem aloud in your mind will also allow you to discover rhytmic elements that may contribute meaning. 

Approach the poem chronologically, and use highlighters as you go to bookmark important literary devices. Remember that these devices don't function alone; they serve to generate meaning in the text. A strong understanding of these devices will send you on your way to understanding the key themes contained in the text, the cornerstone of a good mark.

Nicholas A. IB Economics tutor, GCSE Economics tutor, IB English tuto...

7 months ago

Answered by Nicholas, an IB English and World Literature tutor with MyTutor

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Elizabeth P.

Degree: English and Philosophy (Bachelors) - York University

Subjects offered: English and World Literature, English Literature+ 3 more

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“About Me I'm Kate, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, studying English Literature.  I'm passionate about all things literary, particularly poetry and the modern novel.  My not-so-secret love is children's literature - my u...”

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Degree: LLB Law (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered: English and World Literature, Law+ 3 more

English and World Literature
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“ABOUT ME: I am a Law student studying at the University of Bristol. With over three years of tutoring experience in English/Literature and History at various levels, I endeavour to offer the most valuable service possible! MY SESSI...”

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Nicholas A.

Degree: LLB Law (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered: English and World Literature, Law+ 3 more

English and World Literature
Law
History
English
.LNAT.

“ABOUT ME: I am a Law student studying at the University of Bristol. With over three years of tutoring experience in English/Literature and History at various levels, I endeavour to offer the most valuable service possible! MY SESSI...”

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