Despite being notoriously difficult to achieve, the right approach can see students of all capabilities achieving an A in English. Here, we’re going to consider just a few of the crucial habits that could help you to get the English grades you’ve always believed to be out of your grasp.
Habit 1 – Research
Research is essential for any examination. But what is especially fundamental in English exams is your ability to retain information about specific novels/passages and understand the English language usage. While aspects of English research revolve around specifics like memorizing Shakespeare and researching Dickens’, spending time reading can help with your turn of phrase, understanding, and overall success. As such, English research is far easier and more manageable to get right than many other subjects. You have to be willing to put the time in and develop a decent schedule.
Habit 2 – Organization
One misworded quote in an essay could damage your chances of getting an A, so it’s especially essential to get organized. Prepare for an essay or exam by highlighting key passages that you plan to come back to, making sure to note their citations at every stage. This way, you’re far better poised to make convincing arguments with the fact-based backing necessary to boost your grades.
Habit 3 – Discipline
Unlike maths exams, where areas of focus are evident and predetermined, the self-led nature of English means that it requires a certain level of discipline. It helps if you have the discipline to read all necessary novels and set texts with plenty of time to spare to revisit sections and generally flesh out your ideas. With essays, too, you need the discipline to sit down and complete them promptly so that you’re able to implement edits and adjustments before handing them in as final drafts.
Habit 4 – Planning
In English, more than most other subjects, there’s a real emphasis on planning, and it’s a habit that you really shouldn’t skip if you want to do well here. Specifically, in a subject where the language you use is just as important as the arguments you’re making, you need to plan comprehensive outlines. These plans help keep your points, and your narrative, on a straight track throughout. You should pay particular attention to the beginning, middle, and end outline. This outline sees that each paragraph starts with a topic sentence, forever bringing that point back to your overarching themes.
Habit 5 – A studious approach
In some respects, the habits already mentioned are essentials to ensure any pass at English grade. However, students looking to achieve an A could also benefit from a studious approach that sees them going beyond. While claims that an A in English is impossible to achieve are exaggerated, they do highlight the fact that only students willing to seek extra support from an English tutor or to read outside of set texts are likely to achieve top grades. Qualitative research considers not just texts but also authors themselves. Even the periods/locations in which they were writing can also be the secret to dotting the i’s for English exam success.
Habit 6 – Analysis
Success in the English subject rests almost solely on your ability to analyze texts and prove why you’ve reached those conclusions. Luckily, extensive reading and a qualitative focus at the research stage can be a huge help here. However, it’s also essential that you develop the ability to analyze passages in their own right. Highlighting word choice concerning overall themes, noticing repetitions in a text, and even picking up on unique word choices add the best possible gravity to your points. They will also prove an understanding of language that no amount of planning could compensate for otherwise.
Habit 7 – Self-belief
Lastly, you must believe in your English capabilities throughout your essay writing and exam periods. Self-doubt or perfectionism can make it incredibly difficult to get your word choices right. They lead to labored points and convoluted wording that will keep you from getting the A you desire, no matter how well-poised your arguments are. Although perfectionism can predict better achievement, the downside is that it can lead to psychological distress, stress and depression. Have faith in yourself, develop the habits listed in this article, and then let the words flow before you even consider self-editing and limiting your capabilities as a result.