My first tip is that as you are reading the passages in your first 30 minutes, you should actually be thinking about that theme all the way through.
<p>Hello. I'm Sam. I'm going to be talking to you about the English literature admissions test (ELAT). I have been an examiner on the ELAT and I also took it when I applied to study English at Oxford. So what I have to say is informed by both of those experiences. I hope that you find it helpful. So what actually is the ELAT? Well, the ELAT is an exam you have to take to study English at the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge. You take it before your interviews and your mark on your ELAT determines whether or not you get an interview. It's actually one of several processes determined to get to know you as a candidate.</p><p><br> </p><p>There are your personal statements. There are your references from your teachers. They're your marks in your exams. And then there's the ELAT. So, it's one of several things. And really, the way to look at these, I would suggest, is that there are all different opportunities to show yourself off in the best possible light. Now, let's dive into the exam. When you open up your ELAT reading paper, you will see around six passages of text. These passages will have been written over a range of historical periods, and they will be arranged in chronological order.</p><p><br> </p><p>Now, you will be encouraged to spend 30 minutes of your overall 90 minutes exam time reading and taking notes on these six passages. And I would really encourage you to take that time to read and to plan. There will also be an exam rubric which will provide a thematic link between all of the passages. So previous themes include the theme of the sea. The theme of parting or saying farewell or separating. And the theme of fathers. So as you can see, all different concepts which link together the passages and the rubric from the exam will also invite you to select two of the six passages, which you will compare and contrast in ways that seem interesting to you. Paying particular attention to distinctive features of structure, language, and style. </p><p><br> </p><p>So now on to my tips. My first tip is that as you are reading the passages in your first 30 minutes, you should actually be thinking about that theme all the way through. So I'm reading extract A. I'm thinking, What does this say about fathers I'm reading extract B I'm thinking, What does this say about fathers? And so on and so on. Sounds obvious, but some candidates use the ELAT as an opportunity to recall, and almost download thoughts that they've gained from their courses at their schools and colleges before applying to Oxford and Cambridge. And then they try to put in that research from outside the exam into the exam. That is often a bit of a waste of time. Don't try to crowbar in references to things that you studied in other exams. Use your actual exams to mention what you studied for those exams and in the ELAT. Pay close attention to what's right in front of you in the paper and try to write about that. </p><p><br> </p><p>Tip two, as you are reading the passages and thinking about that theme, you should also be paying attention to which two passages seems to you most interesting. If they were to be placed side by side, it could be, for example, that you think that all these two passages seem to have very contrasting perspectives on the theme of, say, fathers. And it could be that these contrasting content give you a lot to write about. Or it could be that two passages involve very different forms of writing. For example, you might pick one passage, which is a poem, one passage, which is a letter, and you could use your essay to think about how fatherhood in a poem differs from fatherhood in a letter.</p><p><br> </p><p>OK, and finally for my third and final tip. Whether you are comparing and contrasting form or content or both, imagine that you are curating a gallery on the theme given in the rubric of the paper and that you are trying to pick the two most interesting passages to hang side by side like paintings in that gallery for people to then talk about so that when you write your essay, you are constantly curious about how is it possible that these two passages both exist side by side under the same theme. You might find that by looking at them side by side, your understanding of the theme becomes more flexible and more complex. </p><p><br> </p><p>So to summarize, the light is just one way you'll be assessed by the admissions team. It's important, but it's part of a rewarding admissions package designed to give you maximum opportunities to show off your skills.</p><p><br> </p><p>Tip one: Actually use your 30 minutes reading time to pay attention to how the passages comment on the theme </p><p>Tip two: when picking your two passages to discuss. Look for the most exciting comparisons and contrasts in terms of content and or form And tip three: Imagine that you've arranged a room in a gallery. Why have you placed these passages side by side? What are they doing to your understanding of the theme? </p>