IB Prep

Published January 16, 2024

Everything You Need to Get a 7 on IB Language A: 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: Literature exam to get a solid 7. I'll break down the tricks, and  IB Language A: Literature test prep so with the right strategies and  IB Language A: Literature resources, nailing the exam is totally doable!

Free IB Language A: Literature Resources!

Hey, no worries if you're in a last-minute cramming session for IB Language A: 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: Literature exam when you're running out of time, here are some awesome resources and IB Language A: 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:  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: Literature exam, you'll analyze unseen texts in a limited time, 2 hours and 15 minutes for HL and 1 hour and 15 minutes for SL students. The paper includes a few texts of different genres, and you will need to write a commentary on one or more of these texts. The exam tests your ability to understand and analyze language, style, and thematic elements. It's important to practice analyzing various types of texts to prepare for the different styles and content you might encounter in the exam.

To ace paper 1, of the IB Language A: Literature exam, you should start by quickly reading all the texts to choose the one you understand best; one that you can explain in detail super easily. Focus on the main themes and how the text uses  structure to prove its point. Then, you should organize your essay with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. In your analysis, support your points with examples from the text. Manage your time to finish without rushing, and make sure to be clear and to the point so you don’t run out of time! 

Then, for paper 2 of the IB Language A: Literature exam, you'll write essays comparing texts you've studied. This paper typically lasts 2 hours (1 hour and 45 minutes exactly for both HL and SL students). You'll be asked to write essays comparing and contrasting themes, characters, or other aspects shared between the texts. It's key to know your studied texts well and understand their themes and literary techniques. 

But don’t sweat; you can ace this if you follow these steps: Start by carefully reading the questions and choose the one you can answer best. Plan your essay, focusing on a clear comparison between the texts. You also need to use specific examples from the texts to support your points, what good is an essay without any evidence? Make sure to  write clearly and organize your essay with a good structure, with a clear beginning, middle, and end. It is also SUPER important to keep an eye on the time to ensure you complete your essay without rushing. 

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: 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 complete an oral assessment about your analysis of a literary work in relation to a global issue. The assessment lasts about 15 minutes, including a 10-minute presentation and a 5-minute Q ‘n A with your teacher. You'll choose a specific extract from the literary work and connect it to a global issue, showing how the text addresses this issue. It's important to select an extract that allows for a deep analysis and to be clear about how it relates to the global issue, otherwise, you’ll be grasping at straws. 

It may seem like a lot, but you can easily ace this section! First, practice discussing your chosen text and global issue clearly, making sure that you are within the time limit each time. During the assessment, be clear and focused in your presentation. You spent so much time researching this topic; you know what you are doing! Listen to any questions from your teacher and answer them thoughtfully, showing off your knowledge. Stay calm and confident, and you’ve got this in the bag!

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

Stary by thoroughly understanding the course requirements and syllabus, so you know what texts you'll be studying and what the exam will cover. As you read the assigned texts, make sure to actively engage with them by underlining or highlighting important quotes, themes, and literary devices. Take detailed notes on characters, settings, and plot developments to aid your analysis later on.

Next, focus on analyzing the themes and literary devices used in the texts. Look for symbolism, motifs, and imagery and consider how these elements contribute to the overall meaning of the text. This deep understanding will be crucial for your essays.

Practice writing essays that analyze the texts. Structure your essays using the PEE (Point, Evidence, Explanation) or PEEL (Point, Evidence, Explanation, Link) format for each paragraph. Ensure your arguments are clear and well-organized, and practice writing under timed conditions to improve your time management skills.

Then, set aside specific time limits for each section of the exam during your practice to get accustomed to the exam's format and pace. Review past exam papers to understand the types of questions that may be asked. Seek feedback from your teacher or peers to refine your writing and analysis skills. Make sure to go over the  IB Language A: Literature exam review and your  IB Language A: Literature online IB notes to ensure success. 

Prior to the exam, revise your notes and key concepts, making sure you can recall important quotes and examples from the texts. Also, work on your language skills by practicing grammar, vocabulary, and writing style to ensure your responses are clear and well-articulated.


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