When you learn literature you are able to explore the fun of reading literature texts. You can also experience the different periods and cultures from the literary texts from way before 16th centuries to the current time and go beyond to futuristic. 

You will learn how to appreciate literature. As you know, literature exists all around you, from the TV series or movies you binge-watch to the songs you listen to on the radio or on your playlists. 

Besides, when you take a literature course, you are able to learn how to use English language effectively where there is a lot of versatility in the tone and expression. In time, you’ll develop the ability to enhance critical thinking and be a creative thinker.

There are a lot of creative works that can be produced by learning literature. Some of them are:

  • Portfolio
  • Poetry Recitation
  • Drama Performance
  • Role-Play
  • Multimedia Presentation
  • Blogs
  • Tik-Tok creative content

Prose is mainly a continuous piece of fiction writing. The longer writing is one of the prose components which we call a novel. The writer uses creative language to express the issue and human interest. Students will need to engage with the texts by learning the values and find out the lessons through the story. 

Learning literature will allow students to understand themselves and all living and nonliving things around them.

You might want to check out some tips on answering SPM English Literature Short Stories questions.

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What is The Novel Question Format?

In SPM English Literature, you’ll find novel questions at the prose Section A. You can choose either to answer novels or short stories that you’ve learnt. Answer only one of the 2 questions. Each question will have 2 parts A and B

Part A : 20 marks

Part B : 15 marks 

The total weightage is 35%. 

Here is the Performance Levels for Prose in the Standard Document for Curriculum and Assessment drafted by the Examination Boards of Malaysia. 

PERFORMANCE LEVEL
PERFORMANCE STANDARDS GUIDE DESCRIPTORS (PROSE)
1Pupils can:


· identify setting, plot, themes and characters in texts.
· state positive or negative response to text.
· produce creative works with full guidance.
2· identify setting, basic plot development, themes and messages in texts.
· identify and describe some character traits.
· identify some literary devices.
· communicate a personal response with hardly any reference to texts.
· produce creative works with some guidance.
3· identify the significance of setting, plot development, themes, messages and universal issues in texts.
· describe the roles of characters.
· identify and explain the use of some literary devices.
· provide a relevant personal response with some reference to texts.
· produce creative works with limited textual evidence.
4· respond with clear understanding of the setting, plot, themes, messages and universal issues in texts.
· describe the use of language, style and tone in prose.
· describe and analyse character development.
· provide a reasonably developed personal response with reference to texts.
· produce creative works with sufficient textual evidence.
5· show critical understanding of the setting, plot, themes, messages and universal issues in texts.
· analyse the use of language, style and tone in prose.
· analyse and evaluate character development.
· communicate a perceptive personal response with reference to texts.
· produce creative works with relevant textual evidence.
6· show in-depth understanding of the setting, plot, character, themes, messages and universal issues in texts.
· analyse and evaluate the use of language, style and tone in prose.
· show individuality and insight through a perceptive personal response with reference to texts.
· produce well -planned creative works independently with precise textual evidence.

(Source: Malaysian Ministry of Education, MOE)

Don’t forget to check out SPM English Literature Drama tips.

What is the Novel That Will Come Out in SPM 2021?   

novels stacked into a tower
There are 2 novels options that are taught for SPM English Literature that you should be familiar with by now. (Source: Unsplash)

In English Literature, there are 2 novels that may come out in the SPM examination. 

  • The Clay Marble by Minfong Ho
  • The Lost King by Scot Gardner

You’ll learn only one novel in Form 4 depending on the schools’ choice. However, some schools might teach both novels too. You can read both novels and understand the elements in English Literature that will be the essence of literary questions that might come out in the examination. 

You can read more on the elements in English Literature and know more on What You Should Know About Drama Questions in SPM English Literature 2021.

The setting of Clay Marble is during the time of civil war in Cambodia. The excerpt below is one of the evidence of the setting set at war. 

“ I saw these refugees for what they really were, not the victims of the war but its victors. They were the people who had, against all odds, survived, determined to start their lives over again.” 

The beginning of the synopsis of the novel starts when Dara and her family travel to the Thai border to get rations. At Nong Chan, they become friends with Jantu and her family. Due to the fighting, it forces the families to flee, which causes Dara and Jantu to be separated from their family. Since then, Dara had been searching for the family that led her on a journey of self-discovery.

You can see that the story started with the introduction of the characters. It will then go to the rising actions and reach a climax before resolution. You’ll see more on what type of novel questions and how to answer them in the next section. 

Learn more about the format of SPM English Literature Poetry.

What are SPM Novel Sample Questions?   

cheering at laptop’s content
A cheer for yourself is needed when you finally found a sample question for a paper on the internet. (Source:Unsplash)

These are the parts that are most sought after by students. You must have been digging the net to get a hand on sample questions available. 

Here are the actual SPM questions that can be a reference for you. 

Minfong Ho: The Clay Marble

  1. Jantu teaches Dara many values of life. Explain any one value that Dara learns from her. [8 marks]
  2. Everybody longs for a home and a family. Discuss this statement with close reference to the text. [12 marks]
  3. Describe life at Nong Chan before and after the shelling. [8 marks]
  4. Courage gives us the will to carry on despite being afraid. Discuss this statement with close reference to the text. [12 marks]

Scot Gardner: The Lost King

  1. Describe one life-threatening incident in the story. What is the outcome of this event? [8 marks]
  2. The golden rule when you get lost is to stay put. Do you agree with the statement above? Support your answer with close reference to the text. [12 marks]
  3. How does the setting contribute to the suspense in this story? Explain with reference to any two events. [8 marks]
  4. Teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common goal. Discuss this statement with close reference to the text. [12 marks]

In addition, you can also find out where to get SPM English Literature Resource Materials.

How to Answer Novel Questions?

a woman reading in the library
(Source: Unsplash)

“ Things that can break… are not worth taking… It’s only what you can bring inside that really matters.”

-The Clay Marble by Minfong Ho (Chapter 7, page 57)

There are 6 basic literary elements and language used; Plot, Settings, Characters, Literary or poetic devices, Themes and Values, and Point of view.

For all the questions, you should always give an example to where it stated or showed the answer that you’ve analysed and interpreted. 

There are 5 learning outcomes on learning prose, which are a student's ability to… 

  • identify, describe and analyse the setting, plot and characters
  • analyse, interpret and discuss themes, messages and issues
  • communicate an informed personal response with reference to texts
  • identify, describe and explain the effects of using literary devices
  • plan and produce creative works in response to texts

All the questions are based on Cambridge IGCSE English (literature) 0486 and K1 curriculum standard. As shown above, the marks will be given on performance based level 1-6. 

Let us see how to construct a good answering sheet for your novel answer. 

  1. The first part is always an introduction. Be wary to state a brief intro to the scenario given. 
  2. Then you should write the contents. Here you should provide evidence to support your points. Each answer should have at least 2 main points. Remember the answering format, 
    1. Main Point
    2. Elaboration & Analysis – give at least 3 elaborations
    3. Evidences – give at least 3 evidences
  3. Write a conclusion to wrap up your points. 

These answering techniques can be used in all of the literary questions. Make sure to always connect each sentence to link your answer in the most sensible ways. Remember, time is ticking, so you should write fast and always re-check your answer sheet for any grammatical errors or anything you wrote that suddenly doesn't make any sense.

Well, English Literature isn’t that hard right? 

It is almost similar to English Writing paper. However, for deeper understanding and getting more knowledge on literature, it is best if you can find an experienced tutor to teach you from the core to the top. 

Superprof is one of the best education platforms that have thousands of tutors available at your service. Why don't you check it out and look around for our excellent tutors either in your neighbourhood for any one-to-one tutoring session or look for global Superprof tutors for online sessions that you can learn at the comfort of your couch. 

Remember, in everything you do, do your best and always be proud of your achievements. You can check out the Complete Guide for SPM English Literature 2021.

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Alia

Alia Jamaludin is known as a passionate environmentalist and animal lover. By being both educator and writer, she can reach out her positive thought to almost every being on this planet.