8 exam preparation topics on a book

8 exam preparation topics on a book

An exam is coming up and you are organising your notes but it feels like the amount you need to learn is a lot less than usual. Do not think “ah well, I guess it’s fine since that’s all we did in class”!

Because it isn’t fine.

If you are at a loose end, these are the things you should do to research/prepare in additional to what you did at school.

  1. The life of the author (Social standing? A crisis? Family conflicts? Political activity? Etc.)
  2. Think of why the author would write that book. Similarities between him and a character? Political reasons? Entertainment? Was there a main message he could relay through writing the book?
  3. Genre of the book, characteristics of that genre, how much of it applies to your book.
  4. Literary epoch, characteristics of the epoch, how much applies to your book.
  5. Historic background of the epoch as well as the time the story is set in
  6. Narrative techniques, style of language
  7. Structure of the work
  8. Themes, topics, leitmotifs (if there are any)

Some of this you will have spoken about in class. Others will help you write essays with more detail and background information. This is also a basic list of the things you need to summarise and take notes of in preparation for the final exams. Particularly because in most school systems, the questions for the final exams are not made by your own teacher.


Whatever you study, write down or research, always try and imagine in which situations you would use this information. Imagine tasks you may be given which could relate to that topic and how you would formulate what you are currently learning.

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