Literature Oral Exam

Students need to read 8 literary novels in two years. These will be tested in an oral exam which takes about 15 minutes. Four novels can be absolved early by properly completing projects. Reducing the number of tested novel by four.

During the exam, five minutes will be spent on a monologue in which they compare two novels. Ten minutes will be used for questions on the four to eight novels. Not all novels will be discussed, but students don’t know which novels they will be asked about.

  • One novel must be a recent prize winner (Man Booker, Costa or Pulitzer), this includes the short and long list. “Recent” means ten years or less.
  • For the other novels students can any novel, either from a project list or a so-called ‘open option’.
  • Every orange labeled novel needs to be ‘compensated’ by a blue or purple novel.
  • Some novels count as ½, see this website for details.
  • Young adult novels (The Fault in Our Stars, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Hobbit, etc) are not allowed as these do not meet the required level of VWO.
  • Students are not allowed to read more novels by the same author to make sure they explore a variety of styles.
  • All novels need to be originally written in English, so that means novels from the United Kingdom, the United States, Ireland, South-Africa, Australia, Jamaica, etc.

The reading list should show sophistication, variety and a personal touch.

The Exam

Students get two marks for the exam. One for their comparison, one for the questions. Both marks count as 1 (add both marks, divided by two), weight 3 in PTA.

If students miss their oral exam, they will lose a re-sit. Literature tests, just like any other test, can be re-sit.

Oral literature tests will be recorded to use for a second opinion if needed. There is only one interlocutor/assessor: their English teacher.

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