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Getting an A in both my English GCSEs

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Why bother with a post grad course - waste of time? 17-10-2016
    • Thread Starter

    I really need help.
    Next year, I am doing my GCSEs and I am terrible at English. At the moment I am working at a level 4 standard,C, and my target, the school has set me is level 6, B, but I really want an A. I will do whatever to get an A.

    Can you please give my any tips to reach an A.

    Thank you


    Hey, I got two A*s at GCSE so I'll do my best to help you.

    English is the subject in which I excel and it means EVERYTHING to me, I didn't want to risk not having the knowledge to analyse any text given so I bought the texts we were studying on amazon.

    I then read through the texts and used different highlighters for different characters and themes. It's easy to panic in the exam and forget where quotes are, so I did this just before to help jog my memory.

    However, in the year leading up to it:

    Read the books and poems. Read them, understand them and continue to reread them. If you want to get the As you have to not only understand the text, but know it so well that you can list all the main events that happen in each chapter/act of the book and play you're studying.
    Annotate your anthology. Pay attention in class, if someone says an idea you think is good, write it down. Write down all the ideas your teacher comes up with. Write down any ideas you have. It doesn't matter if not all the ideas are to the same standard, your anthology is not being graded, it is for your eyes only. Make use of all the space you have in it.
    As well as paying attention to the ideas of others in class, look online. BBC Bitesize does some (pretty basic) analysis' for all the texts and poems on the gcse syllabus. There are also youtube accounts dedicated to helping you out with the exam questions, as well as providing you with information about specific texts.

    It'd help if you said what specifically you find hard, as well as the poems/books you're studying. You might be doing the ones I did, in which case I can probably find my notes for you.
    • Thread Starter

    thank you

    (Original post by 12115)
    thank you
    You're welcome! What poems/books are you studying?

    It will come down to your essay technique in the end.*

    Avoid phrases like this:

    "It draws the reader in" - unless you're literally describing a hook and a line attached to the book with a pulley system at the end of it, this is not an answer. It's generic and horrible and the examiners hate it.

    *quote* followed by "This shows that..." – *what aspect of the quotation shows that? This is rarely the sign of a good answer. There's no analysis or labelling of the quotation, just an assertion of meaning. You need to infer meaning. Saying that something shows something is not enough.*

    Identifying a feature and then saying that this shows that – same problem as above really. You need to demonstrate a relationship between the feature and the meaning. It's kind of like an equation in maths. You have to make sure it all works logically in order to equate to the meaning you're after.*

    You also need to watch your AO4 and AO1. The quality of your verbal expressions and your argument comprises quite a hefty chunk of the available marks. If you are following a PEE structure, just stating something like, "the writer uses an oxymoron to express his ideas about conflict: *quote*. This shows that...", then you are going to be marked down.*

    First, you need to clarify what the idea is. Don't talk about techniques in your opening sentence. They're usually asking about ideas. Second, you need to integrate the quotation into a sentence, maybe using something along the lines of "this is evident in line 4 when the narrator says, *quote*". You need to clarify who is speaking etc. and provide a bit of context for the quotation. It needs to make sense to whomever is reading it. Finally, you need to unpack the meaning of the quotation and look for multiple techniques, consider the external context and comment on language, structure and form. I generally get people to do dynamic analysis and they may end up introducing multiple pieces of evidence. To seal the Higher grades, you must comment on what the reader ultimately takes away from it, possibly referring to multiple interpretations. *

    Hope that helps. *
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