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    Subjects:
    Music (predicted A, want A*)
    English [linear] (predicted A)
    Spanish (predicted A/A*)
    French (attained an A)

    [+ Grade 8 theory, want merit/distinction]

    Grades:
    GCSE: N/A (inner city high school US, B in maths taken in 4 months)
    AS Level: AABBB (incl. Biology)

    Degree Choice:
    Music

    UCAS:
    Oxford - ???
    Durham - offer (AAB)
    Birmingham - offer (ABB)
    KCL - offer (AAB)
    Southampton - offer (BBB)
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    Winter Revision
    *note that I practice for the performance portion of the module every day and so this is assumed

    27/12/16
    - Finished reviewing/reading Dr Faustus
    - Counterpoint practice
    - Piano practice [Pp]

    28/12/16
    - Reviewed Poems of the decade [POTD] (1/2 done)
    - Did Grade 8 theory practice
    - Pp

    29/12/16
    - Pp + chords
    - Teoria work
    - Grade 8 theory practice
    - Finish reading/reviewing POTD

    30/12/16
    - Pp + chords
    - Teoria work
    - Fill out a listening sheet for comp
    - Essay practice: Dramatic Presentation of Religion in Dr Faustus

    31/12/16
    - rest day

    1/01/17
    - Pp
    - Composition work + wider listening
    - Noted some ideas for Chopin variation + stylistic elements
    - Grade 8 theory practice
    - Essay plan: El Internet y Los Padres

    2/01/17
    - Miscellaneous work in car (long journey no internet )
    - Maybe read Othello?

    3/01/17
    - Pp + chords
    - Teoria work
    - Unseen poetry practice 1hr essay for English
    - Counterpoint & SATB practice

    4/01/17
    - Pp
    - Teoria work: Melodic Dictation, Harmonic Progressions, Intervals
    - Read Othello
    - 1 Listening sheet
    - Grade 8 theory practice + counterpoint practice

    5/01/17
    - Pp
    - Quick review of Las Bicicletas [LB]
    - Pieces review
    - Teoria work
    - Counterpoint & SATB practice
    - Finish reading Act 3 Othello

    6/01/17
    - Pp
    - Teoria work
    - 1 Listening sheet
    - Write up for features of Harold in Italy movt 3

    7/01/17
    - Pp
    - One paragraph of Disturbing + Unsettling Frankenstein + THT done
    - SATB/Counterpoint AND/OR Grade 8 theory practice

    8/01/17
    - rest day (possibly 7th will be rest day)

    9/01/17
    - back to school :|
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    Update: 6/01/17
    I'm starting an Update portion to keep the thread moving and not just a big static to-do list.

    To-do tasks:
    - Pp
    - Teoria work (melodic dictation, intervals)
    - 1 Listening sheet (10 Variations in F major by Schubert)
    - Review notes on Frankenstein + Handmaid's Tale

    Current mood: Unmotivated, pretty depressed. But mixed with anxious, for the Oxford admission result on 11th.

    Progress:
    - Performance is going well. I'm doing 6 pieces for a total of 12 minutes. Hopefully, I can reach my January deadline although the absolute deadline for performance is March. What I tend to do is go through each piece in the same order so I can get used to doing all of them in one go and in the right order (they're chronological in terms of time). If I notice any noticeable issues I'll try and go through the passage slowly - although it's hard to resist the temptation to just plow through with practice! One of my best teachers would go through every note of every bar checking rhythm, intonation, dynamic, articulation etc. At the moment I've reached a very comfortable level of solid knowledge, now I have to go through everything with a fine-toothed comb.

    - I've found a really useful website called Teoria and it's where I do all of my aural practice. My written exam has an aural portion which involves analysing chords and melodic + rhythmic dictation. Teoria has exercises for all of these so I do a little every day, getting increasingly harder as I go on.

    - Composition is a bit "??" at the moment. I don't want to go ahead without my teacher's guidance but I do want to be able to have time to write up the sleeve note bit. So I've been doing listening sheets, filling out useful things I can (steal) borrow from composers. Last year composition messed up my grade so I'm determined not to let it get the best of me.

    - For English revision I find it best to first re-read the texts (just skimming). Then I might do some association games or write down key themes and ideas on a visual map. I try and combine this with writing essays under timed conditions (I usually set the timer at about 1hr 20). I've been sending these by email to my teacher but he hasn't replied. xD
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    Hi I found your gyg blog in the gyg thread
    I also do English literature (ocr)! I was wondering what you do to revise English
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    (Original post by Shaaayxp)
    Hi I found your gyg blog in the gyg thread
    I also do English literature (ocr)! I was wondering what you do to revise English
    hiya! I do Edexcel board, not OCR, but hopefully what I say can help!

    I'm assuming you have a coursework portion, two set prose texts for a comparison type essay on a theme, two drama texts and a poetry anthology. I did Frankenstein + Handmaids tale and a poetry anthology question and studied Dr Faustus at AS. I've also done the coursework for Who's Afraid and Streetcar Named Desire (American Dream/post-war American drama). Now I'm studying Othello and Wife of Bath and revising AS stuff.

    What I tend to do for revision:
    - Re-read key parts of the text- Re-read key parts of the text - eg for Frankenstein the creation of the monster, for Othello his suicide, for The Handmaid's Tale details of Particution etc.

    - Past paper titles. Use their structure and use them for your texts. Eg the main theme of Frankenstein + THT is science and society, so I'd make up a question saying 'Compare and contrast the ways that the authors present a conflict between science and society.' I'd use some past paper questions as well, like the ones on gender and society. Each set of texts has its own sort of 'main theme' which is in the specification (at least for Edexcel). But overall, just practice writing timed essays to specific essay questions.

    - Mind maps with key themes and branching out to subthemes (eg gender, society, class, past vs present, war/conflict, appearance vs reality). These can serve as themes for essays.

    - Quiz on just events and what happens because although essays test deeper knowledge knowing the basics is important too. You can also test yourself on key quotations you want to remember.

    - Writing down key quotations and critics views (important for AO5 which for us is different interpretations).

    - For me I know this sounds naff but sometimes I'll explain concepts to inanimate objects as if they didn't know anything about the texts (I do this when my family don't want to talk about English haha).

    For coursework I can't stress the importance of doing lots of research enough. The essay itself is only 2500-3000 words for us and so it's much better to have well-researched, in-depth points.

    I can give some more tips about essay writing from my teachers/past experience, if you like.
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    (Original post by auburnstar)
    Subjects:
    Music (predicted A, want A*)
    English [linear] (predicted A)
    Spanish (predicted A/A*)
    French (attained an A)

    [+ Grade 8 theory, want merit/distinction]

    Grades:
    GCSE: N/A (inner city high school US, B in maths taken in 4 months)
    AS Level: AABBB (incl. Biology)

    Degree Choice:
    Music

    UCAS:
    Oxford - interview, awaiting result
    Durham - offer (AAB)
    Birmingham - offer (ABB)
    KCL - offer (AAB)
    Southampton - offer (BBB)
    Best of luck! Can I ask have you done all the Grades for theory? How did you find them and how long did they take you to do (i.e. one each each year or?)

    I'm watching your thread so I can keep up to date with your studies
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    (Original post by brainzistheword)
    Best of luck! Can I ask have you done all the Grades for theory? How did you find them and how long did they take you to do (i.e. one each each year or?)

    I'm watching your thread so I can keep up to date with your studies
    I haven't done all the grades for theory. I did Grade 5 theory which I taught myself in a couple weeks of intense cramming lol (I don't recommend doing this). That was almost a year and a half ago, so my memory has faded. Although, I did get 2 marks off Distinction. xD

    For Theory it depends where you're starting from eg if you've just learned what notes are and how chords work, 5-6 months of proper studying can get you quite far. I find that theory is a nice discipline because everything builds on what you already know so once you have the basics it's quite logical. Grade 5 theory is a prerequisite for practical Grade 6 which is why most people only take Grade 5.

    I can say I'm finding Grade 8 really helpful for counterpoint and quite straightforward. The benchmark is pretty low (66 for pass) so I'm aiming for Merit (80). Obviously, the main focus is A level Music, but theory is just something I do on the side (dare I say for fun).

    And thanks for following!
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    (Original post by auburnstar)
    hiya! I do Edexcel board, not OCR, but hopefully what I say can help!

    I'm assuming you have a coursework portion, two set prose texts for a comparison type essay on a theme, two drama texts and a poetry anthology. I did Frankenstein + Handmaids tale and a poetry anthology question and studied Dr Faustus at AS. I've also done the coursework for Who's Afraid and Streetcar Named Desire (American Dream/post-war American drama). Now I'm studying Othello and Wife of Bath and revising AS stuff.

    What I tend to do for revision:
    - Re-read key parts of the text- Re-read key parts of the text - eg for Frankenstein the creation of the monster, for Othello his suicide, for The Handmaid's Tale details of Particution etc.

    - Past paper titles. Use their structure and use them for your texts. Eg the main theme of Frankenstein + THT is science and society, so I'd make up a question saying 'Compare and contrast the ways that the authors present a conflict between science and society.' I'd use some past paper questions as well, like the ones on gender and society. Each set of texts has its own sort of 'main theme' which is in the specification (at least for Edexcel). But overall, just practice writing timed essays to specific essay questions.

    - Mind maps with key themes and branching out to subthemes (eg gender, society, class, past vs present, war/conflict, appearance vs reality). These can serve as themes for essays.

    - Quiz on just events and what happens because although essays test deeper knowledge knowing the basics is important too. You can also test yourself on key quotations you want to remember.

    - Writing down key quotations and critics views (important for AO5 which for us is different interpretations).

    - For me I know this sounds naff but sometimes I'll explain concepts to inanimate objects as if they didn't know anything about the texts (I do this when my family don't want to talk about English haha).

    For coursework I can't stress the importance of doing lots of research enough. The essay itself is only 2500-3000 words for us and so it's much better to have well-researched, in-depth points.

    I can give some more tips about essay writing from my teachers/past experience, if you like.
    Thank you for this detailed reply! Edexcel seems a bit different to OCR. We have two exams- one for pre 1900 and one for post 1900. The pre 1900 one consists pf a shakespeare play (the tempest), and a comparision between a drama (The Duchess of Malfi) and poetry (The Merchant's Tale). The post 1900 one is beased on themes (the gothic) consists of an unseen extract of an (gothic) extract and a comparision between to two prose text (dracula, and the bloody chamber and other stories). I've already done my coursework. I think your advise about themes is useful because the main way I am being assessed is with comparison so the questions would have to be thematic. Thank you ! OH YEAH AND ESSAY WRITING IS THE BANE OF MY EXISTANCE ESPECIALLY AS CONTEXT HAS MORE WIEGHT THIS YEAR
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    (Original post by Shaaayxp)
    Thank you for this detailed reply! Edexcel seems a bit different to OCR. We have two exams- one for pre 1900 and one for post 1900. The pre 1900 one consists pf a shakespeare play (the tempest), and a comparision between a drama (The Duchess of Malfi) and poetry (The Merchant's Tale). The post 1900 one is beased on themes (the gothic) consists of an unseen extract of an (gothic) extract and a comparision between to two prose text (dracula, and the bloody chamber and other stories). I've already done my coursework. I think your advise about themes is useful because the main way I am being assessed is with comparison so the questions would have to be thematic. Thank you ! OH YEAH AND ESSAY WRITING IS THE BANE OF MY EXISTANCE ESPECIALLY AS CONTEXT HAS MORE WIEGHT THIS YEAR
    Ah yea that does sound quite different! Interesting that they have you compare drama and poetry, given how the two forms can be pretty distinct.

    And yes, essay writing is the worst. I find AO2 (writers' methods) and AO5 (different interpretations) harder than context personally because context usually involves a few key things (eg for Wife of Bath the importance of religion, religious beliefs of the time, Chaucer's own life...) but there are loads of possible interpretations.

    Tips for essay writing (courtesy of my teacher):

    1. Remember the Assessment Objectives (AOs).
    AO1 = write well, use key terms.
    AO2 = writers' methods and how they have an effect on the reader.
    AO3 = social/personal/political/religious context.
    AO4 = comparison eg in contrast, similarly, dissimilarly...
    AO5 = different interpretations (including views of critics).

    2. Backbone of a good essay is opening sentences which introduce what you say in the paragraph.

    3. Embed quotations so they make sense in the sentence and are not tacked on.

    4. Do not use 'in conclusion' -> conclusion should be a natural resolution.

    5. Every sentence should move the argument forward. Never repeat something you've said before.

    6. Argue through detail.

    7. Have good spelling, punctuation and grammar.

    8. Identify key words in the title.

    9. Don't make your introduction too long.

    10. Have an independent voice.
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    (Original post by auburnstar)
    I haven't done all the grades for theory. I did Grade 5 theory which I taught myself in a couple weeks of intense cramming lol (I don't recommend doing this). That was almost a year and a half ago, so my memory has faded. Although, I did get 2 marks off Distinction. xD

    For Theory it depends where you're starting from eg if you've just learned what notes are and how chords work, 5-6 months of proper studying can get you quite far. I find that theory is a nice discipline because everything builds on what you already know so once you have the basics it's quite logical. Grade 5 theory is a prerequisite for practical Grade 6 which is why most people only take Grade 5.

    I can say I'm finding Grade 8 really helpful for counterpoint and quite straightforward. The benchmark is pretty low (66 for pass) so I'm aiming for Merit (80). Obviously, the main focus is A level Music, but theory is just something I do on the side (dare I say for fun).

    And thanks for following!
    Ah, well done then! I've done Grades 1 and 2 Piano you see, and I've been looking at doing Theory, but I have very little idea how to go about it

    And no problem
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    (Original post by brainzistheword)
    Ah, well done then! I've done Grades 1 and 2 Piano you see, and I've been looking at doing Theory, but I have very little idea how to go about it

    And no problem
    If you have a piano teacher I suggest talking to them about incorporating a bit of theory into lessons. At Grade 3 you should have the fundamental basics eg chords, notes, most major scales - as well as of course being able to read music.

    As for self-teaching, Musictheory.net and Teoria are very useful online platforms for learning theory and have some nice tutorials. Same with Youtube. You could always buy a second-hand copy of a Grade 3 Theory book (or Grade 4 if you are ambitious) and then when you don't understand something look up tutorials on Youtube related to say chords or inversions or melodic minor scales.
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    (Original post by auburnstar)
    Ah yea that does sound quite different! Interesting that they have you compare drama and poetry, given how the two forms can be pretty distinct.

    And yes, essay writing is the worst. I find AO2 (writers' methods) and AO5 (different interpretations) harder than context personally because context usually involves a few key things (eg for Wife of Bath the importance of religion, religious beliefs of the time, Chaucer's own life...) but there are loads of possible interpretations.
    That's so weird because I actually don't mind because I can make up points for A02 and A05 (but obviously not critics stuff just different ways of interpreting the text) on the spot but when I am writing context in then my essay doesn't flow well. For example, 50% of the marks are for context for the essay comparing the merchant's tale and the duchess of malfi, however my writing just ends up sounding like a history essay... :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by auburnstar)
    If you have a piano teacher I suggest talking to them about incorporating a bit of theory into lessons. At Grade 3 you should have the fundamental basics eg chords, notes, most major scales - as well as of course being able to read music.

    As for self-teaching, Musictheory.net and Teoria are very useful online platforms for learning theory and have some nice tutorials. Same with Youtube. You could always buy a second-hand copy of a Grade 3 Theory book (or Grade 4 if you are ambitious) and then when you don't understand something look up tutorials on Youtube related to say chords or inversions or melodic minor scales.
    I don't have a teacher at the minute, as I've had quite a break from music during GCSEs, so I'm sort of picking everything up again. I'm going to be getting a teacher in a month or two though, so I'll mention it.

    Thank you for the websites - I'll have a look at them and I'll also buy some books and see how far I get
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    (Original post by Shaaayxp)
    That's so weird because I actually don't mind because I can make up points for A02 and A05 (but obviously not critics stuff just different ways of interpreting the text) on the spot but when I am writing context in then my essay doesn't flow well. For example, 50% of the marks are for context for the essay comparing the merchant's tale and the duchess of malfi, however my writing just ends up sounding like a history essay... :rolleyes:
    Ah yea I get that problem, it comes up a lot in our English class. I think the idea is that the context informs what you're saying. Eg In a time of staunch Catholicism, the crude sexual humour of the Wife of Bath is striking. Or whatever it is. But yea, it definitely is hard not to veer off into a historical tangent. Luckily history was never my thing so I tend not to do that. xP
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    (Original post by auburnstar)
    Ah yea I get that problem, it comes up a lot in our English class. I think the idea is that the context informs what you're saying. Eg In a time of staunch Catholicism, the crude sexual humour of the Wife of Bath is striking. Or whatever it is. But yea, it definitely is hard not to veer off into a historical tangent. Luckily history was never my thing so I tend not to do that. xP
    Yeah I think I may ask my teacher to recommend example essays so I can get a feel of how it's supposed to be. I have an english mock on Monday so I guess I should plan ot my revision for that! I'm honestly not sure where to start but I am going to try and incoporate some of your tips!

    Spoiler:
    Show

    By the way, I also have a gyg thread if you want to check that out
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    Update: 10/01/17

    To-do tasks:
    - Get performance so that you can do a perfect run through
    - Do essay on Morse on the Case, how it's based on the 'evolution of small cells (of melodic ideas)'
    - Essay on Dramatic Presentation of Manipulation in Othello, consult Critical Anthology (esp presentation of Iago)
    - Finish the stylistic table for the instrumental works (this is a long-term project)
    - Table with possible essay titles and bullet points for musical works in context (ibid)

    Current mood: Pretty good (and nervous)!

    Progress:
    - Performance is coming along well! It's nice to have a good piano again. Need to work on being able to play through all the pieces in one go with no mistakes. Overall the pieces are sounding good and they're great after a bit of practice but the little mistakes when doing a longer programme need to be ironed out.
    - Although my teacher is a prick Othello is very interesting. I read until Act 4 over the winter break and it's really helped because now I actually understand what is going on (it didn't really register in my brain before - perhaps an effect of his monotonous voice sapping the drama out of it).
    - Almost forgot to do Spanish oral prep for the millionth time. I swear I have to keep reminding myself every week. I've found a really interesting article on gun rights that lays out a lot of concepts that are relatively unexamined in the media (eg the social and historical importance of guns and how they've become a corrupted symbol of freedom etc) although I think the author takes a bit of a weak stance.
    - Instrumental and context pieces good and essay writing is good. Nothing much to say. I'm enjoying writing up the tables and putting it all in one place - going to be very helpful for revision!!
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    Hehe long time no see, took a bit of a hiatus for revision and it worked! I got A*A*AA.
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    (Original post by auburnstar)
    Hehe long time no see, took a bit of a hiatus for revision and it worked! I got A*A*AA.
    Congrats reapplying?

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    (Original post by wolfmoon88)
    Congrats reapplying?
    Definitely considering it!
    Like your new avatar btw!
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    (Original post by auburnstar)
    Definitely considering it!
    Like your new avatar btw!
    Thank you

    Hahaha let me know how it goes
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