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At first, this seems like something hard to do. However, when you think about it, you realise it's just the same as knowing which quotes to memorise in a closed book exam.
The easiest way to go about doing this is to, as the year goes on, collect different criticisms about the text you are reading from multiple sources, and write them all down, noting as well which theme(s) they relate to. When it comes to revising for the exam, look in your collection for the quotes which can be applied to as many different themes (or characters!) as possible, and some other really strong ones. (For example, if you have one on Great Expectations that is strictly about parenting, but it's a really great, detailed criticism that you know you can really expand on, you may want to memorise this as well just in case it comes up and you need to use it).
In the exam, you just have to remember that you have to use RELEVANT criticisms, and not just put one in for the sake of using a critic, when in fact it has no connection whatsoever to your thesis.see more
Besides doing past papers, which is the obvious answer, there are a couple of things you could do that I found useful.
1. Doing other exam boards' past papers, including the official DELE ones. In many cases, you will find these harder as you are not used to how they are structured, so it will really challenge your listening and exam skills.
2. Watching Spanish TV programmes with Spanish subtitles. This will challenge you to get really into the language, and as these are meant for native speakers, they will be speaking really fast in different accents, which will be great practice for when the exam board tries to trick you!
3. Reading. This may seem strange as it is a listening exam, but reading things such as newspaper articles will help you learn more vocabulary, which could pop up in your exam! I found that it was useful for me to search news articles about topics we studied in class and could come up in the exam (like health and fitness, etc.), so that I was actually learning useful and relevant vocabulary!see more
This is usually what everybody worries about, as everyone can write a great essay if they have 6 hours available, but when it comes to writing an essay that you are completely proud of in 2 hours or less, it becomes slightly more challenging.
Something I found really helpful was starting to handwrite my essays in timed conditions from the beginning of the school year. However, I would do this in a particular way. First, I would take as much time as I needed to write a detailed plan, including quotes (as I could not take my books in for my exams) and small summaries of my point sentences. Then, I would turn on the timer and write my essay in the exact timed conditions. If the time ran out before I finished, I would mark where I got to, and try to beat that the next time I wrote an essay. As the exam got closer, (i.e. 4-5 months before the exam), I began to actually plan while writing. In the exam, I had exactly 1 hour for each essay, so I would spend 15 minutes reading the extract (if there was one) and planning, which would leave me with 5 minutes for an introduction, 10 minutes for each paragraph (considering I wrote 3 paragraphs), 5 minutes for my conclusion, and 5 minutes to read over my essay at the end. I found that with this practice, I was actually able to write 4 paragraphs in the exam because I had been practicing how to use the time given wisely for quite a while.see more