IB Prep

Published January 16, 2024

Everything You Need to Get a 7 on IB Language A: Language and Literature

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Sophie

High School Sophomore from West Virginia, Avid Classics Enthusiast, Marketing Intern and Blog Writer at Knowt :)

Hey there! This article is all about our tips for how to study for the IB Language A: Language and Literature exam to get a solid 7. I'll break down the tricks, and  IB Language A: Language and Literature test prep so with the right strategies and  IB Language A: Language and Literature resources, nailing the exam is totally doable!


Free IB Language A: Language and Literature Resources!

Hey, no worries if you're in a last-minute cramming session for IB Language A: Language and Literature! We totally get it, and trust me, we've all been there too! So, if you're wondering how to ace the IB Language A: Language and Literature exam when you're running out of time, here are some awesome resources and IB Language A: Language and Literature exam tips created by fellow students that will help you cram like a boss.

What do I Need to Memorize for the IB Language A: Language and Literature Exam?

The exam is broken down into FOUR components (THREE for SL) - here is a breakdown of what you’ll need to know and what to expect from each section:

For Paper 1 of the IB Language A: Language and Literature exam, typically, you'll be given 2 hours and 15 minutes to finish (1 hour and 15 minutes for SL). The paper includes a few unseen texts which are non-literary, like magazine articles, online blogs, advertisements, or other media forms. You will need to analyze these texts, focusing on their structure, content, and the techniques used by the authors to convey their message.

To do well on this section, start by quickly reading through all the texts to get a basic idea of each one. Then, carefully read each question before answering. Focus on understanding not just what the text says, but how it says it – look at the style, tone, and any images used. Write your answers clearly, making sure you explain your points well. Manage your time so you don't rush at the end. And remember, it's okay if you don't know every word; focus on the overall meaning of the texts.

The next portion of the IB Language A: Language and Literature Exam, you have a second paper. You'll spend about 2 hours (specifically 1 hour and 45 minutes for both HL and SL) analyzing and comparing literary texts you've studied in class. The paper usually asks you to write essays on topics or themes that are common across different texts. You'll need to compare and contrast these texts, focusing on their themes, characters, and styles. It's important to know your texts well and be able to discuss them in detail. Practice writing essays where you explore how different texts deal with similar ideas or themes.

For Paper 2 of exam, it's key to know your texts well. Focus on the main themes, characters, and how different texts compare to each other. Practice writing essays where you discuss these aspects. During the exam, read the questions carefully and plan your essays before writing. Make sure your arguments are clear and well-supported with examples from the texts. Manage your time so that you can cover all points without rushing. Stay focused on the question and avoid going off-topic.

If you’re in HL, lucky you! You'll write a 1,200-1,500 word essay on one of the texts you've studied in class. This essay is an independent, critical study where you analyze a specific aspect of the text. You won’t have to write it during an exam period, you will work on it during class. First, pick a topic that interests you, such as a theme, character, or stylistic feature, and explore it in detail. You should show a clear understanding of the text and support your analysis with detailed examples. This essay is your chance to dive deep into a text and present your own insights!

For the Higher Level Essay in IB Language A: Language and Literature, pick a part of a text you like and know well. Plan your essay by deciding what you'll write about and how. When writing, keep your ideas clear and use parts of the text to back up your points. Stay on the topic you've chosen. After writing, check your essay to make sure it's clear and doesn't have mistakes. This essay is a chance to show what you think about the text, so take time to explain your points well!

Finally, both HL and SL have to take an individual oral assessment. You'll have two parts to this: an analysis of a non-literary body of work and a comparison with a literary text. Each part is about 10 minutes long. You'll discuss themes, stylistic features, and how the texts convey their messages. Be prepared to talk about the texts in detail, showing your understanding and ability to analyze them. Practice speaking clearly and confidently about these texts, focusing on your analytical skills.

To crush this section, prepare well being an expert on your chosen texts. During the exam, speak clearly and confidently as well as share your insights about the texts, backing up your points with examples. Listen to any questions and answer them thoughtfully. And remember, stay calm! You’ve prepared thoroughly for this and nothing else is standing in your way!

How Should I Study for the IB Language A: Language and Literature Exam?

To be the best prepared for the IB Language A: Language and Literature exam, you will definitely need different strategies for each section. For Paper 1, focus on building up your skills in analyzing various non-literary texts. This involves practicing with a wide range of text types — from advertisements and opinion pieces to blog posts and articles — to understand their structure, language, and persuasive techniques. Develop a habit of critically picking apart these texts, paying attention to their context, audience, and purpose.

For Paper 2, your understanding of the literary texts you've studied in class is SO important. Dive deep into each text, exploring themes, character development, narrative techniques, and stylistic features and understand each part very well. Use your  comparative analysis skills, comparing and contrasting each text, and practice writing well-structured essays with a clear beginning, middle, and end, that showcase your insights and analytical abilities to your teacher. 

For the Higher Level Essay, select a text or aspect of a text that genuinely interests you. Conduct thorough research to deepen your understanding and develop a unique perspective. This essay is an opportunity to demonstrate your critical thinking and writing skills, so take the time. Make sure to go over the IB Language A: Language and Literature exam review and your IB Language A: Language and Literature online IB notes to ensure success. 

You also need to use different strategies forliterary and non-literary texts. For literary texts, read them through carefully and understand the themes, characters, and author’s method extremely well! For non-literary texts, practice analyzing various media, such as articles or advertisements, focusing on how they convey messages. 

For the oral assessment, choose texts you can discuss confidently, something you are passionate about, and then practice speaking about them. Confidence and understanding is key!


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