In this chapter you will: learn about what is required of you when comparing two unseen poems in the exam apply and practise your skills in order to respond to the exam question effectively.
Making your skills count in the exam: comparing two unseen poems
omparison of texts is a requirement for all GCSE English Literature students. Most boards cover comparison in examination questions on set texts, usually poems from a prescribed anthology, prepared with students by teachers in class. However, sometimes comparison comes in the form of an Unseen poetry comparative question. This section of the book is aimed speciﬁcally at students doing the latter, but should provide invaluable support for students answering comparative questions on set anthology poems. Equally, students preparing for comparative Unseen questions would beneﬁt from studying the advice given on answering a question on a single poem in Chapter 7, and from doing the suggested activities: it makes sense to practise writing about one poem before attempting to write about two.
Chapter 8 Making your skills count in the exam: comparing two unseen poems
Sometimes you will be given some brief background information about the poems, and sometimes explanations of difﬁcult vocabulary. Usually you will be given some bullet points to help you direct your answer, such as the following: You may wish to include some or all of these points: the content of the poems – what they are about the ideas the poet may have wanted us to think about the mood or atmosphere of the poems how they are written – words and phrases you ﬁnd interesting, the way they are organised your responses to the poems. As explained in the ‘What you need to know’ section in Chapter 7, you are basically being asked to comment on what the poems are about in terms of situation, events and ideas, and on how the poets use language and poetic techniques to communicate the content effectively. To meet AO3, however, you will...