Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

English A1 HL

Recommended Posts

Hi I am currently taking the first year of HL English. We just fnished with IOP's. I know we have World Lit Papers too, but I am confused as to what the exam at the end of the senior year will be composed of. Will we need to define literature terms or will it just be composed of essays (and how many?). Which books will the exam cover? Only books we read senior year or books from both junior AND senior year? Thanks so much!

P.S.- this is the first year my school does IB which is why im confused about everything :X

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first paper will be passage analysis. You'll be presented with 2 options..one is a poem and the other is generally a short passage, and you have to analyze it in essay form.

The second paper will be a comparitive essay..you'll have many options to choose from, make sure you only choose from a section in which you have studied the works for (eg. if you haven't studied dramas, don't choose a question from the drama section). Your school should have a book list that tells you which ones will be on your exam, but it should be from both junior and senior year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, you're pretty much screwed. You ned to learn quotes, and sparknotes is bound to leave out stuff that you would otherwise pick up on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, you're pretty much screwed. You ned to learn quotes, and sparknotes is bound to leave out stuff that you would otherwise pick up on.

perfect! cant i just skim the books before the exam and learn a few quotes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can breathe a sigh of relief: the only works you'll need to know well for the senior year exam are the four from Part 3 of the syllabus. That's the one linked by genre.

As for the other works, some of them will be assessed through the Oral Commentary, so know those works well also!

Edited by Mr. Shiver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spark notes will give you what you need to get a 3 or 4 in an A1 HL course. Skim the book and if you're really bright you might be able to squeeze a five. Anything higher requires an in depth understanding of all the works that can only be gained by multiple readings and in depth discussion of the material. You need to become familiar with references, philosophy, and the effects of literary terms and style in order to make an assertion on what the author does with the work. If you can identify a symbol or two, you're limiting your understanding and the quality of your work. If you can figure out what each symbol means in reference to a relevant philosophy and other relevant literary effects, and use that to extract a greater meaning or sense of direction to the passage, then you can get good marks. Spark notes won't get you that, a good TOK and Enlgish A1 teacher will.

Edited by SharkSpider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The order in which you do the works totally depends on the school and teacher. At my school, the course usually starts with the Group 4 works where we can familiarise ourselves with the whole literary analysis thing and which allows us to complete the Oral Presentation assessment in IB1 (junior year, I guess). After that we do the World Literature group (I think it's Group 2, but it could be Group 1...) and start working on the WL essays over the summer holidays. Following the summer holidays we did one play for the Oral Commentary, and then one novel in Group 3. Since then we've done two more works for Oral Commentary (I'm not sure if that's Group 1 or 2 either), and we'll do the last two or three Group 3 novels next term. (The number depends on if you do HL or SL - we're a mixed group.)

It is quite likely that most schools place the Group 3 works in IB2, since they want you to have them fresh in your mind when you do your exams. But honestly? It'll be so much easier to work with those if you've really paid attention and learnt how to analyse literature before you come to the crucial works. Sparknotes will never give you all you need here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly? I would have initially replied, "Yep. You're screwed." But that's a bit unhelpful, huh?

Those who have mentioned that you will be limited to a 3 or 4 are completely right. English A1 HL isn't the hardest HL course, but it's probably more difficult for those people that didn't put the effort in. For the English Oral Commentary that you'll most likely do in IBH2, you would have a lot of trouble getting a 6 or 7 -- or even a 5 -- if you got a passage from a book that you didn't read, and had to analyse it in twenty minutes and then give a ten to twelve minute coherent commentary on it. You'll usually have to recognise where the passage is from, and you should have already read it and hopefully have studied it.

Sparknotes touches on many of the themes, motifs, symbols, etc. within a book, but at HL you're expected to go a little more in-depth than Sparknotes does, at least I believe so. There's no problem if you read the book and then go to Sparknotes for some starting points with analysis, or read essays online about others who have analysed it, but don't forget that one whole strand of the IB criteria for English commentaries or orals is "personal interpretation".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i am definitely planning on reading all the books next year because i know i will need them for my oral commentary and exam. my only concern was the fact that i didn't read them this year and i guess the only problem i would have next year is that i wouldn't be so good as analyzing, right? but honestly, i could care less about getting a 5 or 7 on the exam or whatever the overachievers go for. i just want the minimal score that will get me the diploma.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.