With the last GCSE exam covering Hardy’s poems approaching on Monday morning, here is some advice for last-minute revision.
- Annotate blank copies. Try to see what you can remember about the poems without looking at your notes.
- Write or outline answers to past questions. You can find a list of past questions, both to practice and to see what the format is for inventing your own questions, on this page. It’s worth noting that both ‘Nobody Comes’ and ‘I Look Into my Glass’ have only had one previous question, so perhaps they are due to come up?
- Make a list of what’s important. Since the questions the exam board asks are very general, if you can memorise ten to twelve key things that Hardy does to achieve the overall effect of each poem, chances are you will be able to apply many of those things to whatever essay question arises. Attached is a word document you could use to fill in your own ideas, with two examples for each poem: Hardy ten things
The good news is that since you have a choice of two poems on which to answer, both of which will be printed in the exam, if there’s one poem you hate (‘The Pine Planters’, anyone?), you can choose one poem to completely ignore so long as you can answer with confidence on any of the others.
Which is the poem you like least, that you are hoping will not come up on the exam?