MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

971 views

What's the best way to memorise quotes for a closed-book exam?

Learning quotes for a closed-book exam can seem like a very daunting task, especially when you've studied a text in detail for an entire year. But it is an essential task as examiners are looking for good understanding and reference to the text. 

Quotes to remember should be short, multi-significant and, unsurprisingly, memorable.

Short: a good essay integrates quotes and ensures the quote doesn't digress from the point you're making. Short quotes are also a lot easier to remember, so no more than a sentence ideally.

Multi-significant: you can memorise lots of different quotes or a few which you can pull apart and apply to several different questions and themes. A good example is colour symbolism - red can symbolise love, death or sexuality.

Memorable: there's no point choosing a long-winded quote you can't remember. When you're under pressure in an exam you want a quote you can pick off the top of your head. So if you're memorising shakespeare or poetry, choose a quote which rhymes. If you're studying the Gothic, choose a quote which is bloody and dark.

So you've chosen your 'killer quotes', as my teacher used to call them, now you need to memorise them. Everyone has a different preferred learning style but, as with learning a language, little and often is the key. My technique was to make flashcards with a prompt on the front and the full quote on the back with reasons why it was significant. Then I would go through them and leading up to the exam I did this a couple of times a day. It really worked and to this day I still remember the quote from Macbeth:

"Stars hide your fires, let not light see your black and deep desires." (Notice it rhymes and fire, light, dark and deep all have multi-layered meanings).

Another technique you can try is look at past exam questions and when brainstorming how you would approach the question, attach a quote(s) to each point. This is a great way to practice applying your memorised quotes.

I hope this explanation helped, and good luck!

Eleanor C. A Level English Literature tutor, GCSE English Literature ...

9 months ago

Answered by Eleanor, an A Level English Literature tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

91 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£24 /hr

Oliver W.

Degree: Philosophy (Bachelors) - Warwick University

Subjects offered:English Literature, Philosophy and Ethics+ 4 more

English Literature
Philosophy and Ethics
English Language
-Personal Statements-

“Hi, I'm Oli! Language, literature, and philosophy are at the forefront of my interests, and essay writing advice is my speciality. I hope to see you soon!”

£24 /hr

Isobel B.

Degree: English Literature (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered:English Literature, History+ 1 more

English Literature
History
English Language

“”

£22 /hr

Xenia K.

Degree: Law (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered:English Literature, English+ 2 more

English Literature
English
Economics
-Personal Statements-

“Hello :) My name is Xenia and I'm a law student at Durham University. Though I absolutely love my course I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Economics and Literature and can't wait to share that love with you.  My teaching ph...”

About the author

Eleanor C.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: English Literature (Bachelors) - York University

Subjects offered:English Literature, Psychology

English Literature
Psychology

“About me An enthusiastic and friendly individual hoping to become a teacher with expereince working with children of primary and secondary school age. A first year English Literature student at the University of York with a timetable ...”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Other A Level English Literature questions

To what extent is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley a condemnation of transgression?

How should I approach unseen poetry?

How do I get ideas for a great coursework essay?

How do I prepare quotes for a closed book exam?

View A Level English Literature tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok