CatusStarbright
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
I am taking French at A2 this year, and I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how I can really aim for the top grades.

I got a B at AS (1 mark from an A!), but I really need to get an A in my A Level to get into the unis I'm applying for (except my ABB insurance choice).

All advice appreciated
1
reply
Anna Schoon
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#2
Report 4 years ago
#2
(Original post by CatusStarbright)
I am taking French at A2 this year, and I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how I can really aim for the top grades.

I got a B at AS (1 mark from an A!), but I really need to get an A in my A Level to get into the unis I'm applying for (except my ABB insurance choice).

All advice appreciated
For a top grade at A level you need to demonstrate a good grasp of grammar and a wide range of vocabulary.

Grammar:

Use a wide range of tenses in all your work (oral and written) - particularly tenses where the use in English and French is different such as:
- si clauses
- tenses with depuis
- tenses in reported speech
- the subjunctive
- the "hidden" future (after expressions of time)

Also:
- use the more advanced pronouns correctly. These include the personal pronouns y and en; relative pronouns like ce qui / ce que; dont; demonstrative pronouns celui/celle/ceux/celles.

- use negative structures with your verbs - not just ne...pas , but particularly using rien, jamais, personne, aucun as these are trickier.

- use the more difficult adjectives and adverbs like meilleur / mieux; mauvais / mal.- try and use inversions correctly - either ask rhetorical questions, or use conjunctions like à peine which trigger an inversion.

- use the passive voice.

And try and make your work as accurate as you can: check your agreements of adjectives and past participles (watch out for preceding direct objects); check your verb conjugations; make sure you've got your use of gender for any one noun at least consistent throughout your essay; use du, de la, des and de correctly; make sure you do your reflexive verbs right.

For grammar practice I always recommend this book which has really good explanations and a huge amount of exercises. The answer section is particularly good as it has further explanations and links back to the main text so that, if you've made a mistake, you can work out whereyou went wrong.http://www.amazon.co.uk/French-Gramm.../dp/095706120X

Vocabulary:

Make sure you know your topic-related specialist vocabulary, that is really important.

On top of that, you need to use a range of connectives (eg tout d'abord, par conséquent, etc.) to link your ideas together. Try not to repeat the same expressions all the time (things like il y a; c'est une bonne/mauvaise idée; un grand problème). Examiners are also looking for good idiomatic use of the language so you need to a good lot of idiomatic expressions to use appropriately for the context you're in.

Best book for this: Mot à mot: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mot-Fifth-A.../dp/1444110004

Other general comments

Your oral exam is important and you need to get as much practice speaking French as you possibly can. If your school has a French assistant, use him/her! It's a great help if you can organise a daily session with classmates by, for example, agreeing you will speak only French together over lunch every day. Even at 15 minutes a day, that's over an hour a week extra practice!

Try to get as much "contact time" with the language as you can. French films are wonderful for this; but you can also switch your social media language settings to French, watch lots of French YouTube videos, make a cake from a French cookery book, etc. The possibilities are pretty endless and the internet is a fantastic resource.

Bon courage! and let us know how you get on.
6
reply
CatusStarbright
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#3
(Original post by Anna Schoon)
For a top grade at A level you need to demonstrate a good grasp of grammar and a wide range of vocabulary.

Grammar:

Use a wide range of tenses in all your work (oral and written) - particularly tenses where the use in English and French is different such as:
- si clauses
- tenses with depuis
- tenses in reported speech
- the subjunctive
- the "hidden" future (after expressions of time)

Also:
- use the more advanced pronouns correctly. These include the personal pronouns y and en; relative pronouns like ce qui / ce que; dont; demonstrative pronouns celui/celle/ceux/celles.

- use negative structures with your verbs - not just ne...pas , but particularly using rien, jamais, personne, aucun as these are trickier.

- use the more difficult adjectives and adverbs like meilleur / mieux; mauvais / mal.- try and use inversions correctly - either ask rhetorical questions, or use conjunctions like à peine which trigger an inversion.

- use the passive voice.

And try and make your work as accurate as you can: check your agreements of adjectives and past participles (watch out for preceding direct objects); check your verb conjugations; make sure you've got your use of gender for any one noun at least consistent throughout your essay; use du, de la, des and de correctly; make sure you do your reflexive verbs right.

For grammar practice I always recommend this book which has really good explanations and a huge amount of exercises. The answer section is particularly good as it has further explanations and links back to the main text so that, if you've made a mistake, you can work out whereyou went wrong.http://www.amazon.co.uk/French-Gramm.../dp/095706120X

Vocabulary:

Make sure you know your topic-related specialist vocabulary, that is really important.

On top of that, you need to use a range of connectives (eg tout d'abord, par conséquent, etc.) to link your ideas together. Try not to repeat the same expressions all the time (things like il y a; c'est une bonne/mauvaise idée; un grand problème). Examiners are also looking for good idiomatic use of the language so you need to a good lot of idiomatic expressions to use appropriately for the context you're in.

Best book for this: Mot à mot: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mot-Fifth-A.../dp/1444110004

Other general comments

Your oral exam is important and you need to get as much practice speaking French as you possibly can. If your school has a French assistant, use him/her! It's a great help if you can organise a daily session with classmates by, for example, agreeing you will speak only French together over lunch every day. Even at 15 minutes a day, that's over an hour a week extra practice!

Try to get as much "contact time" with the language as you can. French films are wonderful for this; but you can also switch your social media language settings to French, watch lots of French YouTube videos, make a cake from a French cookery book, etc. The possibilities are pretty endless and the internet is a fantastic resource.

Bon courage! and let us know how you get on.
Thank you very much for the comprehensive advice!
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Should there be a new university admissions system that ditches predicted grades?

No, I think predicted grades should still be used to make offers (554)
33.95%
Yes, I like the idea of applying to uni after I received my grades (PQA) (674)
41.3%
Yes, I like the idea of receiving offers only after I receive my grades (PQO) (330)
20.22%
I think there is a better option than the ones suggested (let us know in the thread!) (74)
4.53%

Watched Threads

View All