Tips to Study English Literature for SPM

Upper secondary students in Malaysian schools are having a lot of worries in their minds especially those sitting for SPM at the end of this year, and one of the reasons is the literature component which they have to learn during their English lessons in form 4 and form 5. The syllabus covers different genres from poems, short stories, plays to novels. These poor students are expected to understand all these literary works written in a language which for many students is not their second but sometimes third or fourth. However, like it or not, they will have to answer questions on literature in their SPM English 1119.

Fortunately, regardless of the so many items that they have to study in class, they would only be tested on the poems (learned in form 4 and form 5) and the novels. As there is not much time left, students need to be smart and think of the most practical approach to study the literature components so that the valuable marks would not be wasted unnecessarily.

I believe that most students have already understood the content of the poems and the novels. If one hasn't finished or not even planning to finish reading the novels, they could still understand the storyline by reading the synopsis or the summary. However, do bear in mind that exam questions will never ask you to write a synopsis. It will be more analytical, where you need to be able to analyze and discuss certain aspects of the novel such as the characters and their characteristics, the themes, the moral values and so on.

I would try to give further elaboration and discussion on these aspects in my future posts, with the hope that I could at least help these worried students all over Malaysia to prepare for their SPM. InsyaAllah.

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