Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey! Sign in to get help with your study questionsNew here? Join for free to post

How difficult is Higher French?

Announcements Posted on
    • Thread Starter
    • 20 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    ...
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I hated Higher French, but then, I had a teacher who was pretty rubbish. Lovely woman, but rubbish teacher. And also, my class was really big for a Higher French class, so yeah... Plus I didn't really enjoy Standard Grade French, so maybe taking it at Higher was a bad idea for me :P

    The NABs are fairly easy. The Reading ones are so simple, you just need a good dictionary. And you need to memorise a pre-written essay for the Writing NAB, but you can have a sheet with 40 words from your essay in front of you, to help you. Listening's a wee bit difficult, though my French teacher advised you to write notes during it on what the people are saying, and answer the questions during the two minutes at the end of the excerpt. And as far as I can remember, there isn't a Speaking NAB.

    It's important you make sure you have all your essays you've written over the year thoroughly memorised, as any of the topics in them could come up in the exam.

    The Speaking part of the exam is 25% of your final mark, though I don't know what the others are.

    And we didn't get a folio of work, like in Standard Grade.

    I'd recommend buying the Leckie Higher French course notes book, though your school library might have it. It's really good, and it has lots of phrases and stuff for each topic, and little exercises throughout to help you memorise stuff. And it also has a Directed Writing section and a section on preparing for the final exam. There's also a book with tonnes of Directed Writing exercises and useful phrases to use in them, but I can't remember the name of it.
    • Thread Starter
    • 20 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by iscah)
    I hated Higher French, but then, I had a teacher who was pretty rubbish. Lovely woman, but rubbish teacher. And also, my class was really big for a Higher French class, so yeah... Plus I didn't really enjoy Standard Grade French, so maybe taking it at Higher was a bad idea for me :P

    The NABs are fairly easy. The Reading ones are so simple, you just need a good dictionary. And you need to memorise a pre-written essay for the Writing NAB, but you can have a sheet with 40 words from your essay in front of you, to help you. Listening's a wee bit difficult, though my French teacher advised you to write notes during it on what the people are saying, and answer the questions during the two minutes at the end of the excerpt. And as far as I can remember, there isn't a Speaking NAB.

    It's important you make sure you have all your essays you've written over the year thoroughly memorised, as any of the topics in them could come up in the exam.

    The Speaking part of the exam is 25% of your final mark, though I don't know what the others are.

    And we didn't get a folio of work, like in Standard Grade.

    I'd recommend buying the Leckie Higher French course notes book, though your school library might have it. It's really good, and it has lots of phrases and stuff for each topic, and little exercises throughout to help you memorise stuff. And it also has a Directed Writing section and a section on preparing for the final exam. There's also a book with tonnes of Directed Writing exercises and useful phrases to use in them, but I can't remember the name of it.
    Thank you very much! That's cleared a lot of things up!
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I don't understand what you mean by NAB's and standard grade .
    But i do Edexcel a-level French and man.
    It's **** hard.
    But as long as you're dedicated and are capable you should be alright.
    I'm doing my second year of college and my exam is a translation (you get so many ridiculous paragraphs to translate. I've done a load of practise one's), a 250 word essay and then a 250 word essay/book review on a 20th century French novel we've been reading :|.

    I'm really nervous actually .
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by LoveDuck)
    I don't understand what you mean by NAB's and standard grade .
    But i do Edexcel a-level French and man.
    It's **** hard.
    But as long as you're dedicated and are capable you should be alright.
    I'm doing my second year of college and my exam is a translation (you get so many ridiculous paragraphs to translate. I've done a load of practise one's), a 250 word essay and then a 250 word essay/book review on a 20th century French novel we've been reading :|.

    I'm really nervous actually .
    This is the Scottish Qualifications forum.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Aw don't worry, practically every Higher looks near impossible at first glance, but by the end of the year things usually fall into place. The essays at the end of the listening aren't as hard as they seem and are only worth 10 marks. Throughout the year you will write essays on different topics and learn phrases that can be used to answer various questions, but at the end of the day it really comes down to how good your teacher is.

    The listening and speaking do both seem daunting at first, but it really just takes practice. Do as many listenings as you can so you become familiar with the pronunciation of different words - this will also help you for your speaking test. If your teacher allows you to, practice your speaking test as often as you can with them - they are more likely to ask you questions on areas they know you are confident about, or at least my teacher was anyway!

    You don't have a folio, but the writing NAB is similar to one. As iscah said, the reading and translation isn't too bad. French can be irritating at the best of times, but if you stick with the subject it will be worthwhile in the end. Bon chance!
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Higher French was by far my favourite subject last year (:

    The NABs are all fairly straight forward. Speaking is a little bit scary but you prepare (memorise) an essay on something then your teacher asks you 'random' questions. But most likely you will have a rough idea what topic these questions will be on, holidays, school etc.

    The final exam is okay! Reading is similar to standard grade I guess and directed writing is really fine once you become good at the past tense. You will do like a 1000 practices in class and learn 'good to know/opinion phrases'.

    I really enjoyed higher French and have gone on to advanced higher this year.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Kelz_26)
    I have finally decided which subjects to take! I am now taking Higher French. Is it really difficult? I have always wanted to do Higher French but in S5 I changed my mind after looking at a past paper and realising that you have to write essays in the final exam! It looks so difficult. In Standard Grade it was bad enough writing the essay at home and then getting it marked and all you had to do was learn it and copy it out in class! But you don't even know what the directed writing will be about! I think I will be fine with the reading, it doesn't look too difficult. But my main worries are the speaking and listening. I hated speaking so much at Standard Grade. It seems scary that the teacher asks you questions and you have to answer them off hand whereas in Standard Grade, you just had to memorise it and say it. And the listening... how are you supposed to remember what the tape said to answer the questions because it plays it all at once? At Standard Grade they did it in little chunks so you could write each question as it went along!

    Can anyone tell me a bit about the course? What are the NAB's like? Are there speaking, listening, writing and reading NAB's? What are the units made up of and what percentage is each part of your final? Do you have to write essays and learn them for the final, or do you just make it up on the day? And do you have a folio?

    Sorry for asking so many questions!
    Let me start by saying good choice, you should enjoy it . It's not too difficult, just be prepared to work throughout the year( just like any other higher really). You do have an idea what the DW will be about as it is almost always about you going on holiday/school trip and asking you similar questions about it, so you can learn basic phrases and adapt them for specific essays.

    Speaking takes A LOT of work, it is what I hated most about the course as I put a lot of work into it and was really stressed but the good thing is it is 25% of your overall grade so do well in it and you will be going into the exam about halfway to a C! Listening is tricky but you definetely get the hang of them, I think I said in another thread, but I found them alright at Higher, you just write down notes when the tape is playing and expand on them afterwards.

    Nabs, well the speaking is the hardest, but prepare and you will be fine. Reading NAB is fairly straight forward and by the time you do it you will have had plenty practice. Listening NAB was very easy, a lot easier than normal listenings and the other NAB you do is basically writing a small essay on a book you have to read in French. I expected this part of the course to be near impossible but the book is very simple, not a complicated novel or anything and your teacher should help you a fair bit.

    You can't really make up essays for the exam but youcan definetely learn core phrases which will make things so much easier, and no you don't have a folio.

    Hope that helps somewhat.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by iscah)
    I hated Higher French, but then, I had a teacher who was pretty rubbish. Lovely woman, but rubbish teacher. And also, my class was really big for a Higher French class, so yeah... Plus I didn't really enjoy Standard Grade French, so maybe taking it at Higher was a bad idea for me :P

    The NABs are fairly easy. The Reading ones are so simple, you just need a good dictionary. And you need to memorise a pre-written essay for the Writing NAB, but you can have a sheet with 40 words from your essay in front of you, to help you. Listening's a wee bit difficult, though my French teacher advised you to write notes during it on what the people are saying, and answer the questions during the two minutes at the end of the excerpt. And as far as I can remember, there isn't a Speaking NAB.

    It's important you make sure you have all your essays you've written over the year thoroughly memorised, as any of the topics in them could come up in the exam.

    The Speaking part of the exam is 25% of your final mark, though I don't know what the others are.

    And we didn't get a folio of work, like in Standard Grade.

    I'd recommend buying the Leckie Higher French course notes book, though your school library might have it. It's really good, and it has lots of phrases and stuff for each topic, and little exercises throughout to help you memorise stuff. And it also has a Directed Writing section and a section on preparing for the final exam. There's also a book with tonnes of Directed Writing exercises and useful phrases to use in them, but I can't remember the name of it.
    Just to make a few comments: we didn't get a help sheet with 40 words for that NAB. Nothing else contributes towards your grade besides the speaking and the final exam. There is a speaking NAB, it is the same as the speaking which makes up 25% of your grade, the NAB is just being able to get over 13/25, which almost everyone gets. Yeah, just be prepared to use a lot more grammar than in SG. Teachers are not so forgiving and you have to learn a lot about the tenses etc.

    I know this sounds a lot but it is an enjoyable course and it satisfying to know you have managed to get a decent grade in it.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I loveloveloved Higher French
    • 6 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Yeah it was really good. I enjoyed it. Despite my teacher being kinda... weird.
    Saw one of my other French teachers today and she looked kinda disappointed that I didn't take it at uni, lol. Kinda wish I had now...
    Ah well. Anyways, yep. It's good! Quite easy to predict what essays aren't gonna come up, just like most exams. I'd say the hardest bit was the Speaking (and that was dead easy really, I just didn't study enough for it because I had a history essay due.)

    Anyways. I think I'll end my life story now.
    • Thread Starter
    • 20 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dan-Scotland)
    Let me start by saying good choice, you should enjoy it . It's not too difficult, just be prepared to work throughout the year( just like any other higher really). You do have an idea what the DW will be about as it is almost always about you going on holiday/school trip and asking you similar questions about it, so you can learn basic phrases and adapt them for specific essays.

    Speaking takes A LOT of work, it is what I hated most about the course as I put a lot of work into it and was really stressed but the good thing is it is 25% of your overall grade so do well in it and you will be going into the exam about halfway to a C! Listening is tricky but you definetely get the hang of them, I think I said in another thread, but I found them alright at Higher, you just write down notes when the tape is playing and expand on them afterwards.

    Nabs, well the speaking is the hardest, but prepare and you will be fine. Reading NAB is fairly straight forward and by the time you do it you will have had plenty practice. Listening NAB was very easy, a lot easier than normal listenings and the other NAB you do is basically writing a small essay on a book you have to read in French. I expected this part of the course to be near impossible but the book is very simple, not a complicated novel or anything and your teacher should help you a fair bit.

    You can't really make up essays for the exam but youcan definetely learn core phrases which will make things so much easier, and no you don't have a folio.

    Hope that helps somewhat.
    Thank you, that does help!
    • Thread Starter
    • 20 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by eilidhx)
    Higher French was by far my favourite subject last year (:

    The NABs are all fairly straight forward. Speaking is a little bit scary but you prepare (memorise) an essay on something then your teacher asks you 'random' questions. But most likely you will have a rough idea what topic these questions will be on, holidays, school etc.

    The final exam is okay! Reading is similar to standard grade I guess and directed writing is really fine once you become good at the past tense. You will do like a 1000 practices in class and learn 'good to know/opinion phrases'.

    I really enjoyed higher French and have gone on to advanced higher this year.
    Thanks, good luck with AH!

    (Original post by mellow_yellow)
    Do as many listenings as you can so you become familiar with the pronunciation of different words - this will also help you for your speaking test.
    Yeah, but the school doesn't usually let people take listening CD's/ tapes home, so where would I find some?

    (Original post by Dan-Scotland)
    The good thing is it is 25% of your overall grade
    Ermm.. that's a bad thing!

    (Original post by Dan-Scotland)
    There is a speaking NAB, it is the same as the speaking which makes up 25% of your grade
    So basically if you fail your NAB, you've lost 25% of your final? Is it the exact same, so you only have to do one speaking in the whole year?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Kelz_26)
    Thanks, good luck with AH!


    Yeah, but the school doesn't usually let people take listening CD's/ tapes home, so where would I find some?


    Ermm.. that's a bad thing!


    So basically if you fail your NAB, you've lost 25% of your final? Is it the exact same, so you only have to do one speaking in the whole year?
    It's not a bad thing because like I said; put a lot of work into it, and since its out of 25, if you get 22/25 that =22% of your final, so you can go into your exam knowing you've got that behind you and you would only need about 50% of the exam marks for an A! NAB wise, you need to get atleast 13/25 to pass.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I really loved Higher French last year which was a shock because I only took it as a column filler, but its not as hard as it first looks, we had a really great teacher and since the class was small we often went out for coffee and chatted in french all morning which was really fun. As for the listening CD's if you buy the leckie-leckie course notes book it has a cd in the front which is quite good or you can download the listening pastpapers from the sqa website. Good luck with it I'm sure you'll love it
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    hey so ur finally taking french eh??? well dnt worry its gd!!! its a lot of work though! i would of suggested doin it straight from standard grade into s5 cuz it would be easier to remember stuff.....its now a year later and i cnt remember hardly anything now!
    i would suggest from nowish start to learn and MASTER most of the grammar cuz it a godsend towards the end of the year near exams!
    BEWARE! the listening is SOOO hard i failed 4 listening nabs until i finally mastered it!! lol
    • Thread Starter
    • 20 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Law92)
    hey so ur finally taking french eh??? well dnt worry its gd!!! its a lot of work though! i would of suggested doin it straight from standard grade into s5 cuz it would be easier to remember stuff.....its now a year later and i cnt remember hardly anything now!
    i would suggest from nowish start to learn and MASTER most of the grammar cuz it a godsend towards the end of the year near exams!
    BEWARE! the listening is SOOO hard i failed 4 listening nabs until i finally mastered it!! lol
    Yeah, I expected that to be the case! I even found SG listening difficult. I thought you were only allowed three chances at NAB's?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Kelz_26)


    Yeah, but the school doesn't usually let people take listening CD's/ tapes home, so where would I find some?
    You can find some listening audio files on the SQA website and the Leckie and Leckie course notes book has a really good cd for different topics.
    • 8 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I started Higher French, but dropped out after about 2 months. Hated it. We did practice directed writing as homework, but I always used Babelfish translator. My teacher thought it was great.. :o: Took me a few attempts to pass first NAB (first thing I've ever bloody failed!), and I failed the second NAB twice and decided to drop it right before the oral assessment was due to happen, thank God. I got a 1 at standard grade, and was only meant to be doing Intermediate 2 level French at college to fill up my timetable, but my teacher suggested I do higher. What a mistake. :ahee:
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    well i they gave me the benefit of the doubt lol
    aslo i see ur doin an open uni course 2!!! iur school introduced that last year but nearly 3/4 of pupils dropped it! due it to being too demanding with their subjects aswell! i did the law one.... well gd luck its a very gd though

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: June 15, 2010
New on TSR

GCSE English mock revision

Revise together & check out past papers

Article updates
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.