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Ch 12: SAT Subject Test Literature: Periods in English Literature

About This Chapter

Explore the many different periods in English literature to prepare for the SAT literature subject test. Video lessons and self-assessment quizzes provide a simple, clear way of learning about English literary movements through the centuries.

SAT Subject Test Literature: Periods in English Literature - Chapter Summary

Receive an introduction to the various periods and movements in English literature, from the Renaissance to the Victorian period. Through our online review lessons, you'll learn the English literary concepts you need to successfully take the SAT subject test. Lessons cover the following topics:

  • Medieval literature
  • Renaissance literature
  • 17th- and 18th-century literature
  • Romantic prose and poetry
  • Victorian literature
  • Literary modernism

The lessons in this chapter include practice problems and self-assessment quizzes, so you can gauge your learning. Concise and easy-to-understand video lessons break the material down and prepare you for the actual SAT subject test. You can also access lesson transcripts and key terms.

SAT Subject Test Literature: Periods in English Literature Objectives

The SAT literature subject test is a college-entry exam that seeks to assess your skills in reading and interpreting passages from different literary genres and periods. Questions on English literature account for approximately 40-50% of the test. About 30% of the test is devoted to Renaissance and 17th-century literature, while another approximate 30% of the test focuses on 18th- and 19th-century literature. About 40% of the exam covers 20th-century literature. Some objectives of the lessons are:

  • Receiving an overview of Britain's main literary movements
  • Naming key writers from different English literary periods
  • Understanding the historical context of various English literary periods

The SAT literature subject exam is composed of about 60 multiple-choice questions, which must be completed in one hour. The entire test is worth 200-800 points. During the test, you'll read 6-8 literary passages and answer a set of questions focused on each text.

8 Lessons in Chapter 12: SAT Subject Test Literature: Periods in English Literature
Overview of Literary Periods and Movements: A Historical Crash Course

1. Overview of Literary Periods and Movements: A Historical Crash Course

When it comes to studying literature, there's about 1500 years of it to take in - and that's just in the English language! Fortunately, you can check out our crash course of key literary movements to see how the art form has developed over time.

Introduction to Medieval Literature: Old English, Middle English, and Historical Context

2. Introduction to Medieval Literature: Old English, Middle English, and Historical Context

We'll go over some quick medieval history to situate some of the major literary works of the time period. We're going from Caedmon and Beowulf, writing in Old English, all the way up to Sir Thomas Malory's collections of the Arthur myths in late Middle English.

Introduction to Renaissance Literature: Characterizing Authors and Works

3. Introduction to Renaissance Literature: Characterizing Authors and Works

Chances are, you've heard of the term 'Renaissance' before, but do you know what it means? Watch this video to learn about how this artistic movement forever altered England and the way we look at literature.

Introduction to 17th- and 18th-Century Literature: Major Authors and Works

4. Introduction to 17th- and 18th-Century Literature: Major Authors and Works

A lot can happen in 200 years, as you'll see on our lesson that introduces you to British literature of the 17th and 18th centuries. Go from Shakespeare to the invention of the novel to the introduction of a prominent dictionary in our video below!

Introduction to Romantic Prose: Overview of Authors and Works

5. Introduction to Romantic Prose: Overview of Authors and Works

Romantic prose exists in novels, short stories and essays written during the Romantic period, specifically in England. The Romantic period lasted from about 1800 to 1840.

Introduction to Romantic Poetry: Overview of Authors and Works

6. Introduction to Romantic Poetry: Overview of Authors and Works

Like the French Revolution that helped inspire it, the Romantic poetry movement signaled massive, controversial changes with ramifications that are still being felt today. Watch this video lesson for an introduction to Romantic poetry, including descriptions of the major authors and significant works.

Introduction to Victorian Literature: Overview of Themes, Style, and Authors

7. Introduction to Victorian Literature: Overview of Themes, Style, and Authors

Victorian literature is literature written in England during the reign of Queen Victoria, or roughly from 1837 -1901. It is largely characterized by the struggle of working people and the triumph of right over wrong.

Overview of Literary Modernism: Authors, Context, and Style

8. Overview of Literary Modernism: Authors, Context, and Style

This video provides an introduction to the literary movement known as Modernism. Encompassing such writers as James Joyce, T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf, Modernism developed out of a sense that the art forms of the late nineteenth-century were inadequate to describe the condition of Europe after World War I.

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