Qwerty08
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What is included in the GCSE English exams and what are the best ways to revise for them?
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Veronica_3004
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(Original post by Qwerty08)
What is included in the GCSE English exams and what are the best ways to revise for them?
It depends what board you are doing and whether it is English lit or English language
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Lovinlife2
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GCSE English consists of English Literature and English Language. I am assuming you are doing AQA GCSE English!

English Literature

UNIT 1: SECTION A
- (Advised to spend 45 minutes)

Preparation before the exam


> Requires you to study 15 poems from a cluster of poems based on a particular theme (e.g. - Character and Voice, Relationships, Conflict and Place.)

> You have to study all poems in detail and will analyse over and over in class till the day of the exam. You will have time to practice exam technique as well as go through past paper questions too.

On the day of the exam

> You will be given 2 questions to choose from on your desired topic of poems that you studied. You have to choose ONE out of the 2 questions.

> This section of the paper is worth 35 marks in total

> You will be given an Anthology book which will contain all the poems from all the clusters of poems that people study - you just have to choose the appropriate poems to analyse.

NOTE: You cannot take in your pre-analysed poems into the exam, so you are provided with clean versions of the poems you have worked on which are in the Anthology book.

SECTION B - (Advised to spend 45 minutes)

Preparation before the exam

>You will need to learn the novel up well as well as being able to analyse characters, themes and main aspects in the book that you'll learn.

> You'll be given the chance to take a look at different extracts from past papers that have come up in the previous years and you will be able to use the techniques you've learnt in English to analyse the extract given in the novel.

HINT: Re-read the novel a few times before you come to the exam so that you know the book really well!

On the day of the exam

> Concentrate hard on what the meaning of the extract is and try and pick out techniques that the author has used.

> Answer the question given about the extract and suit the techniques used in the part of the novel to your answer.

> Spend 5-10 minutes going through the extract and planning your essay.

> Needless to say, always use the PEE/PQC method when analysing poems and extracts in a novel!

NOTE: If you run out of time to write a full detailed explanation to the question asked in the paper, then you can still gain marks by writing a plan or diagram of what you would have included in the paper. It helps if you point out the technique shown followed by quoting the appropriate line in the poem/section of the novel so that the examiner understands which technique correlates to what.


Need help in English? They have lots of useful advice for these exams!

English Language

UNIT 1: SECTION A - READING
- (Advised to spend at an hour on this section)

Preparation before the exam

> You will analyse newspaper articles, web pages, adverts, pictures given in ads and also blogs or pieces of writing in essay form.

> Past papers will also give you an idea as to what you'll expect in the exam.

> Keep up to date with the current news as examiners may pop in a question, say, about Scotland wanting independence.

On the day of the exam

> You'll be given an insert along with the question paper that will give you the 3 sources that you need to analyse.

> Read the question before reading the source as this will give you exactly what you're looking for under timed conditions.

UNIT 2: WRITING
- (Advised to spend an hour on this section. Consists of 2 questions both of which are compulsory to answer).

Preparation before the exam

> Writing articles, blogs, letters will all be done in class to help you write appropriately for the targeted audience.

> Choose appropriate language when writing in a certain way.

On the day of the exam

> Re-read the question(s) several times making sure to underline the purpose, audience and form in the given question

E.g. -
There is evidence that many young people are not eating, exercising or spending their leisure time properly and that this is damaging their health and life chances.

Write an article for Living Today magazine which persuades young people to improve
their diet and lifestyle. (24 marks)
You would make sure that you're writing an article for a MAGAZINE which means that you can include colloquial slang and write relatively informally. It is aimed for young people, so don't use too much of fancy vocabulary. Also, you need to write an article to PERSUADE, use repetition, rhetorical questions and perhaps capital letters to capture your audience. Keep to the topic - diet and lifestyle!

UNIT 2: SPEAKING AND LISTENING

> Essentially regarded as coursework and is done at school.

> Consists of group speaking about a particular part in a book.

> Presentation work either as a group or individually on a particular issue.

> Role-play (Not sure if this is still there now but check just in case!)

> Watching a film and writing a review on it.

English Language and Literature help:

AQA ENGLISH LANGUAGE PAST PAPERS AND MARKSCHEMES
AQA ENGLISH LANGUAGE SPECIFICATION (FROM 2014 ONWARDS)

AQA ENGLISH LITERATURE PAST PAPERS AND MARKSCHEMES
AQA ENGLISH LITERATURE SPECIFICATION (FROM 2014 ONWARDS)

Need help generally?

BBC BITESIZE ENGLISH
BBC BITESIZE ENGLISH LITERATURE

Don't hesitate to give me a shout if you need help in English! Always here to help Hope this helps you out a bit and good luck!
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