Anyone else find RS GCSE difficult?

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ethistu7
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#1
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#1
Okay, so if I cause any offence I apologise in advance.
I'm coming towards the end of my religious studies GCSE with Edexcel, we're doing Christianity and one other religion. I love debating and discussions about controversial matters, like abortion and genetic engineering. It's been a two year course so I started it in year nine. I absolutely loved it, I got on really well with my teachers and the pacing of the lessons was appropriate for us all.

My old RS teachers both left in the summer and we've got two new ones this year to do Unit 2 with us. One of them is quite old but new to the teaching profession - and goes extremely slow, almost with such a laid back attitude that none of us really know what we're doing. The other one stresses me out - they're a harsh marker, they race through the content and seem only bothered about the actual exam, and not about helping us understand the content.

I know RS has a stigma for being a soft subject. My targets last year were A* and now I'm getting Cs and Bs and I don't understand why. Without meaning to offend, the students with additional needs in my class are managing to sail through and get As. They are improving and I'm going down! All my other subject targets are As and A*.

For whatever reason, although I'm competent at English, I just can't seem to word my answers and retain all the religious points. I don't know whether I'm trying too hard to remember them or what really. The timings also seem ridiculous - getting 20 marks in 20 minutes feels really hard to me where it doesn't for others. Should this be a concern and does anyone have any similar experience/words of reassurance? Thanks!
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VioletPhillippo
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#2
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#2
(Original post by ethistu7)
Okay, so if I cause any offence I apologise in advance.
I'm coming towards the end of my religious studies GCSE with Edexcel, we're doing Christianity and one other religion. I love debating and discussions about controversial matters, like abortion and genetic engineering. It's been a two year course so I started it in year nine. I absolutely loved it, I got on really well with my teachers and the pacing of the lessons was appropriate for us all.

My old RS teachers both left in the summer and we've got two new ones this year to do Unit 2 with us. One of them is quite old but new to the teaching profession - and goes extremely slow, almost with such a laid back attitude that none of us really know what we're doing. The other one stresses me out - they're a harsh marker, they race through the content and seem only bothered about the actual exam, and not about helping us understand the content.

I know RS has a stigma for being a soft subject. My targets last year were A* and now I'm getting Cs and Bs and I don't understand why. Without meaning to offend, the students with additional needs in my class are managing to sail through and get As. They are improving and I'm going down! All my other subject targets are As and A*.

For whatever reason, although I'm competent at English, I just can't seem to word my answers and retain all the religious points. I don't know whether I'm trying too hard to remember them or what really. The timings also seem ridiculous - getting 20 marks in 20 minutes feels really hard to me where it doesn't for others. Should this be a concern and does anyone have any similar experience/words of reassurance? Thanks!
Hiya,

Don't worry you've got plenty of time and unit 2 is definitely harder. Exam technique and timing will come with practice. I would learn the key words really well (I used notecards) and also learn the points for and against each topic e.g. euthanasia until they come to mind really quickly. I would also learn how to structure each question to get full marks in the quickest time.
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Anonymous1226
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#3
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Look at past papers and make notes on the mark schemes questions ALWAYS repeat foe edexcel rs that was my way of revsing and managed to go from a E to an A*. E in mock to A* in real exam.


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ethistu7
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(Original post by Anonymous1226)
Look at past papers and make notes on the mark schemes questions ALWAYS repeat foe edexcel rs that was my way of revsing and managed to go from a E to an A*. E in mock to A* in real exam.


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That's definitely an interesting observation - I'll have to try that, thanks. Just checking, you mean like the same questions often come up again? Because we've been told to do the opposite and revise what hasn't already come up?
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Username1502
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#5
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I didn't take GCSE R.S. but I know someone who did.

He started at an E at the beginning of Year 11. He got an A* on results day by absolutely hammering the Edexcel website's past papers page.
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mez_merising
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#6
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#6
Hey I'm currently doing the same board as you (although I'm in year 9) but I'm doing different units. Which ones are you doing?
Also my teacher is making us do exam papers but only giving us the time limit of one mark per minute so we don't do it for the full time allowed, so in the actual exam we have enough time to check. I'm predicted A*, just hammer the past papers on the website and you can see that some of the q's are repeated so it's worth a look. Make sure you know the terms x
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charl0ttem
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#7
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hey chill its ok, in the test right before my actual exam I got an F and had been achieving around that for most of the year and in the end I got a A*. you said you did't know how to word the questions, this is important as for the c and d questions you won't get full marks without it, I think the structure is in the book. but right this moment you don't need to be major big panicking about revision cuz its ages away. right no focus on getting the structure of questions right, learn the key words and focus on finishing he course. once it gets closer to the time use mr mcmillain
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username1986099
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#8
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(Original post by ethistu7)
Okay, so if I cause any offence I apologise in advance.
I'm coming towards the end of my religious studies GCSE with Edexcel, we're doing Christianity and one other religion. I love debating and discussions about controversial matters, like abortion and genetic engineering. It's been a two year course so I started it in year nine. I absolutely loved it, I got on really well with my teachers and the pacing of the lessons was appropriate for us all.

My old RS teachers both left in the summer and we've got two new ones this year to do Unit 2 with us. One of them is quite old but new to the teaching profession - and goes extremely slow, almost with such a laid back attitude that none of us really know what we're doing. The other one stresses me out - they're a harsh marker, they race through the content and seem only bothered about the actual exam, and not about helping us understand the content.

I know RS has a stigma for being a soft subject. My targets last year were A* and now I'm getting Cs and Bs and I don't understand why. Without meaning to offend, the students with additional needs in my class are managing to sail through and get As. They are improving and I'm going down! All my other subject targets are As and A*.

For whatever reason, although I'm competent at English, I just can't seem to word my answers and retain all the religious points. I don't know whether I'm trying too hard to remember them or what really. The timings also seem ridiculous - getting 20 marks in 20 minutes feels really hard to me where it doesn't for others. Should this be a concern and does anyone have any similar experience/words of reassurance? Thanks!
You're probably writing too much: make sure for an 8 marker, you only make 4 points, and 4 marker, you only make 2. You should not be using extra paper in the exam. But, if this is not the case, it's probably your timing and the ridiculously high grade boundaries.

This gets 2 marks on an 8 marker:
Firstly, a religious upbringing might lead to belief in God because Christian parents would take their child to Church, where they would pray. Therefore, this would lead to belief in God because people wouldn't waste their time in praying to someone that doesn't exist, and so God must be real.

Straightforward point with a simple explanation, without being overly long.

Try and get religious quotations in as that gets you some marks, like:

Firstly, I do think that females should have equal rights in society because it says "male nor female, you are all one in Christ" and therefore because we were all created in God's image, why would somebody not be treated equally?

Make sure you follow the structures:
(a) Keyword is........
(b)
Firstly, I think that .............because .............................................. Therefore, ......................................
Moreover, I think that .............because .............................................. Therefore, ......................................

(c)
Firstly, .............................................. Therefore, ......................................
Secondly................................. Therefore,
Moreover........................................ Therefore...........................................
Finally,.................................... Therefore..............................
s
(d)
Firstly, I agree/disagree with the statement because............................. Therefore,......................................
Moreover, I agree/disagree with the statement because............................. Therefore,......................................
Finally, I agree/disagree with the statement because............................. Therefore,......................................

Someone may disagree with me because........................... Therefore
Also, someone may disagree with me because........................... Therefore
Finally, , someone may disagree with me because........................... Therefore

The RE isn't difficult, just the constant writing for the 1 hour 30 minutes is very stressful because you begin worrying you'll not finish. Make sure you write enough to get the marks, but not too much that it's a waste.
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sulaimanali
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#9
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#9
Sat AQA RS Spec B this year in my GCSEs...piss easy! loved it...my only A* tho. 100% in my unit 6 paper.
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mez_merising
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#10
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#10
base your choices on the 8 marker.
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Anonymous1226
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#11
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(Original post by ethistu7)
That's definitely an interesting observation - I'll have to try that, thanks. Just checking, you mean like the same questions often come up again? Because we've been told to do the opposite and revise what hasn't already come up?
They ALWAYS rpeat exacf qiestion and sometimes slightly change wording around 6 of the quesyions which camemup in my real exam i had aldready done in the past papers and made notes on therefore knew exactly what to write as i had aldready looked ag the markscheme a few were slightky miss worded but asking same thing


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BBS_
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#12
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I got an A, god knows how.

Wrote a load of BS and mentioned Jesus a few times.
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will'o'wisp
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#13
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(Original post by ethistu7)
Okay, so if I cause any offence I apologise in advance.
I'm coming towards the end of my religious studies GCSE with Edexcel, we're doing Christianity and one other religion. I love debating and discussions about controversial matters, like abortion and genetic engineering. It's been a two year course so I started it in year nine. I absolutely loved it, I got on really well with my teachers and the pacing of the lessons was appropriate for us all.

My old RS teachers both left in the summer and we've got two new ones this year to do Unit 2 with us. One of them is quite old but new to the teaching profession - and goes extremely slow, almost with such a laid back attitude that none of us really know what we're doing. The other one stresses me out - they're a harsh marker, they race through the content and seem only bothered about the actual exam, and not about helping us understand the content.

I know RS has a stigma for being a soft subject. My targets last year were A* and now I'm getting Cs and Bs and I don't understand why. Without meaning to offend, the students with additional needs in my class are managing to sail through and get As. They are improving and I'm going down! All my other subject targets are As and A*.

For whatever reason, although I'm competent at English, I just can't seem to word my answers and retain all the religious points. I don't know whether I'm trying too hard to remember them or what really. The timings also seem ridiculous - getting 20 marks in 20 minutes feels really hard to me where it doesn't for others. Should this be a concern and does anyone have any similar experience/words of reassurance? Thanks!
2 different kinds of religious teachings in your 6 markers maybe include some in your 4 and 5 markers
I'd recommend Christianity and Buddhism, why buddhism? Well it's easy remember the precepts and the circle of (something i forgot what it's called) and you'll be good to go

It's essentially summarising what people think.
So like someone above suggested

X people think this
in contrast
Y people think this
In conclusion X/Y is right because whatever right?

Remember the content and you'll be scoring highly on most of the question.

However make sure you do past papers. I remember for mine i did a past paper and answered an abortion and genetics section. When it came to the real thing there was 1 question from either section which i practised which were exactly the same.
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ethistu7
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#14
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#14
Thanks everyone for the help! It's really genuinely appreciated. We're doing Christianity and Islam, I'm good with key words but my teacher keeps saying I need 'specific examples' for the C questions. I put in about love thy neighbour, and parable of the talents etc but apparently I need dates and things??

I don't know whether they're being a bit excessive by telling me that... I feel like I'm not particularly liked in their class anyway haha. I suppose at the end of the day examiners are impartial and that's all that really matters, the final ones x
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Lauren-x-
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Okay, this sounds super weird but what I did was make flashcards with a couple of bible quotes/definitions on for each topic and then walked around my garden reciting them...PRAISE THE LORDD (no offence to anyone lol)

I did past exam questions and got used to setting them out in a certain structure & made sure I used quotes when appropriate (though don't just throw a quote in - link it to your argument).

I did OCR philosophy and ethics, so it was 4 papers ew. I just remember writing constantly throughout the exam and getting into multiple rants? I also mentioned ISIS and got into another rant

I think as long as what you say can be linked to the question, then you'll get the marks. Good luck - you will improve!
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JShxppard
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#16
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#16
(Original post by ethistu7)
Okay, so if I cause any offence I apologise in advance.
I'm coming towards the end of my religious studies GCSE with Edexcel, we're doing Christianity and one other religion. I love debating and discussions about controversial matters, like abortion and genetic engineering. It's been a two year course so I started it in year nine. I absolutely loved it, I got on really well with my teachers and the pacing of the lessons was appropriate for us all.

My old RS teachers both left in the summer and we've got two new ones this year to do Unit 2 with us. One of them is quite old but new to the teaching profession - and goes extremely slow, almost with such a laid back attitude that none of us really know what we're doing. The other one stresses me out - they're a harsh marker, they race through the content and seem only bothered about the actual exam, and not about helping us understand the content.

I know RS has a stigma for being a soft subject. My targets last year were A* and now I'm getting Cs and Bs and I don't understand why. Without meaning to offend, the students with additional needs in my class are managing to sail through and get As. They are improving and I'm going down! All my other subject targets are As and A*.

For whatever reason, although I'm competent at English, I just can't seem to word my answers and retain all the religious points. I don't know whether I'm trying too hard to remember them or what really. The timings also seem ridiculous - getting 20 marks in 20 minutes feels really hard to me where it doesn't for others. Should this be a concern and does anyone have any similar experience/words of reassurance? Thanks!

honestly,don't panic! i was stuck in a similar situation, throughout year 8,9 and we had an older lady who taught RS, we basically learned no content throughout the whole 3 years and we were constantly asked to write the catholic response for the problem of evil,with the answer written blatantly in a textbook. i sat my RE gcse in year 10 with a lack of subject knowledge and we had to learn the entire two units in around 9 months, i managed to get an A.

some tips my teacher told me were: never write 'Some catholics" as there is only one type, also if your answer is religious then you must give a religious response i know this is self explanatory but refer to catholics, or the other chosen religion. and were possible if uou are unsure whether you have given enough points you can always throw in 'love thy neighbour'.

I agree that the exam is quite bad for timing,but with enough practise you will get used to it! Just forget about presentation but ensure your handwriting is readable aha!! there is also tonnes of revision resources on youtube too!

i am sure you'll be fine, you seem determined to do well, so good luck!!
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mez_merising
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#17
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do some outside research about quotes and case studies, but mainly use those given in text books and revision guides
it really depends on how lenient your examiner is
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Totallydaria
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#18
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Ikr. Too many quotes to learn and I'm getting so dizzy
. Ps. There are lots of podcasts that does RE GCSE revision. I think Mr Bruff on YouTube as well does it
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ethistu7
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#19
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#19
Thanks so much everyone! Really appreciate all this, it's good to know others have experience dealing with similar situations. Does anyone know, by any chance, if you can answer with two very well developed points for the C questions instead of 4 brief ones? It's just I've looked at the past paper mark schemes, and they seem to say 4 brief, or 2 developed, or 1 extremely comprehensive can get 8 marks? I didn't think this was the way? (I'll be glad if it is though)
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