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How to move from 'A' to 'A*' in GCSE English watch

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    OK, so basically I'm doing my GCSE English exams this May, I'm on WJEC board & have most of my coursework at a solid 'A' Grade. I'm just wondering if anyone can give me any tips on how to move up a grade.

    EDIT: Thanks for all the help everyone, a few more tips for writing sections (especially descriptive) would be really helpful.
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    do you use PEEL?
    meaning point, evidence, explain, link?
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    Probably cheat. Either that or know the mindset of the person marking your work.
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    Grab and squeeze the examiner's testicles until he starts to cry.
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    write from the heart, make it as if you were moved by the story/poem
    or threaten the marker
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    historical context???
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    I'm in the same boat as you, except I'm on AQA.
    I'm not sure, but depending on the percentages of coursework to exam, it may not be possible for you to get an A* even if you get 100%. It's unlikely, but you should have a word with your teacher if you're not sure about how the percentages are.

    One thing that every teacher has told me that is needed to get an A* in English is passion. You need to be able to portray to the examiner that you actually give a damn about what the hell you have to talk about. It doesn't matter if you're talking about vegetables going mouldy because of faulty fridges, you must do your utmost to show the examiner that you care... Even if you don't.
    There's also the obvious things like being original and writing with flair... tbh though, flair isn't something you can develop. you either have it or you don't...
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    (Original post by hoolymay)
    do you use PEEL?
    meaning point, evidence, explain, link?
    Definitely best advice!
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    I tried but never made it for English Language. That A ruined my dream of a clean sweep.
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    lol got to love the neg rep
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    If anything poems are what will make me fail English Literature. So far, I've got close to full marks in all of my coursework, but last time I did a mock exam, I got 19/36 on the poetry section :/..
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    High level vocabulary, use technical analytical terms. Be as concise as possible. Also, if you have neater handwriting, the examiner automatically looks at your script more favourably after struggling through difficult to read scripts. Speaking from experience here.
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    (Original post by Evangelica)
    High level vocabulary, use technical analytical terms. Be as concise as possible. Also, if you have neater handwriting, the examiner automatically looks at your script more favourably after struggling through difficult to read scripts. Speaking from experience here.
    are you an examiner?
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    This PEEL nonsense is extremely rigid, you need to consider other perspectives, analytical terms, the fact that there's no set interpretation, the significance of metaphors; poetry as a metaphor, the background of the poet and what could have inspired their literature.

    Comment also on structure and what that can tell us in conjunction with language, form and theme. Integrate quotations rather than following a structure which fails to take account of creativity and ingenuity.
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    I've always thought that some of the main differences between A and A* candidates aren't necessarily things that can be taught... Things like passion, as somebody already mentioned, certainly helps, and I also think a certain degree of flair in your writing helps.

    Try to think more creatively in your analysis, and say things that others won't have said? It doesn't really matter if it's a bit far-fetched, as long as you explain yourself well and back it up with quotes.
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    PEEL will save your grades!
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    (Original post by narusku)
    PEEL will save your grades!
    My teacher taught us SPEEDEL for getting A*

    S; show you know the question
    P: point
    E: evidence
    E: explian
    D: different interpretations, expand upon first opinion
    E: Evaluate e.g "why you think this"
    L: link

    This helps me to get A*'s, good luck
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    (Original post by Extricated)
    are you an examiner?
    Lol no, a few of my teachers are and my mum is. Anyway, that's what I do and it works for me
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    What I do, and I have yet to drop from the magical garden of A*/A land in english literature and language essays is to basically SCREW YOUR NOTES

    Seriously, do not even consider refering to notes you have copied down in class, because everybody will pull that tripe in the exam and you wont look special.

    Try and develop your own interpretations of the poems, even if they sound beserk - I wrote that heaney in 'midterm break' was advocating a transdimensional war! But I backed it up with evidence and got the high mark

    Also, constantly practice with timed essays. I've been doing two a week and my writing has improvied from low A to solid A* in year 11. All beause I took onboard my teacher's (who is a very strict marker) advice.

    Also, because I do alot of reading in my day, I have a large bank of vocab to cover my essays with, which gets you into the 'solid A yard', bonus marks if vocab is appropiate to theme and poem

    Moreover, LINK. If a line in a poem reminds you of something, SAY SO. But only if it relates to the theme, as it will impress the examiner since you can draw from knowledge and link to poem

    Top tips from me:

    - BE ORIGINAL, or else you will not enter A* land
    - Use complex vocab
    - Have an opinion, say what YOU think
    - LINK to things outside poetry

    And believe you me, after having been taught by the most rigged marker in the whole of english, you'll A*

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    rip then
 
 
 
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