How should I choose my passages in the ELAT?

The key thing to remember with the ELAT is quality over quantity. They are not looking for you to fulfill any Assessment Objectives or for you to provide a typical response so really challenge yourself. Look for passages that interest you and lend themselves to a variety of interpretations. That being said, it should not be a random selection. Try to pinpoint texts that are ripe for comparison and cannot be reduced to a simple paraphrased meaning. The study of literature is not an exact science and at university level it is not about finding an absolute 'meaning' in the text or discovering the author's intention; it is also about embracing the tensions and variety of interpretations inherent within any text. Therefore with the ELAT don't just use texts that only agree with each other, but explore the areas in which they differ and conflict, and explore the tensions between them.

On a practical level, it is absolutley crucial that you read ALL the passages before you choose. Then highlight a few passages that interest you and read them again. Finally choose your final passage and read them again making notes as you go through. It is important to really get some good close analysis down on paper so take your time reading and analysing - these are the skills they are looking for you to demonstrate. Finally, the ELAT is not something you can 'revise' for so relax and be calm; that is the only way you can let your analytical ability shine through  

George B. GCSE History tutor, GCSE English tutor, A Level English tut...

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