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Study Skills

Study required

Students are expected to do significant work outside classes, and are advised that they should reckon on spending at least 2 hours in private study between each class, and will also need to spend some time during vacations to consolidate the new material.

Study will typically be divided between:

  • working on vocabulary
  • revising and refining accidence (endings) and syntax (sentence construction)
  • preparing text for the next class
  • post-paring text of previous class

We employ two methods of reading the set texts. At first, we go through the text carefully in class together and the student’s task is to go over and ensure that you have a good understanding of the meaning and content and learn the vocabulary in context. When students have had some experience of the style of their author, they prepare by annotating a copy of the text but not write out translations in full. The class will consist of checking students’ understanding of the Latin and discussion of grammatical content and style. Students will need to go over the text again immediately after each class to consolidate their work.

Advice on studying for this module
  • At the start of the year, identify gaps in your knowledge and sort them out, quickly. Some loss is to be expected. An important part of learning a language is how you manage your consolidation.
  • Make a habit of looking at vocabulary every day – both new vocabulary and revision of vocabulary previously learned. Have a vocabulary book or list and carry it around for odd moments (bus?) that you can usefully fill.
  • Get comfortable with the terminology for the various constructions – purpose, clause, result clause etc. Be able to explain how they work at any time.
  • Get used to using a proper dictionary.
  • Use published translations with circumspection.
  • Team up on a regular basis with someone else: both for language and set text work. You both learn from each other, and it’s double the fun.


The purpose of set books is to enable the student to get to grips with idiomatic Latin. While translations cane be helpful in getting to understand trickier phrases, lifting sentences wholesale is not acceptable, whether in class or in exams.