Hey! I was literally feeling exactly the same as you are now last year. Got my GCSEs in 4/5 months time too, and here are my tips:
Firstly, don't feel concerned about using the teacher's template. They give this to you as an exemplary one, which will probably help you achieve really good grades, so if I were you, stick with it! However, don't worry about noting down and memorising useful phrases, even though it is tempting. The best way to learn these is simply to use them in your own homework assignments and revision essays/paragraphs. Little by little, you'll begin to notice that they become part of your natural style of writing, meaning it will come to you more easily in the exams. On top of that, try finding A* essays online and keep reading through them and imitate that particular student/teacher's style of writing when you can. I highly recommend this video ( https://youtu.be/XB40-KM14RA
), as it goes through how to write an A* English Literature essay.
Are you exams open or closed book? Either way, the best revision you could do at home is to create quote banks for each character and put some basic analysis (just key words and ideas) around them for now, and make mind-maps about the context and themes. Keep memorising these quotes by adding more in depth analysis each time you go back to them: keep adding analysis with more and more details to the extent you are linking in context, themes and alternative perceptions/arguments, as well as the language devices and their affects on the reader and the reasons for the author's choices etc.
It is best to organise these quotes into sections (topic sentences) for each character. To find key topic ideas, find a good revision guide and use the ones they give you, which is very important as they will provide you with the main ideas the examiners will be looking for, as well as some analysis. I strongly recommend the Phillip Allen Literature Guides for GCSE. CGP or York Notes can be okay for getting started but don't really provide you with enough detail, or revise solely from revision guides.
Then obviously nearer the time start doing past papers and practice essay questions in timed conditions without your notes. You'll soon notice the questions all follow a similar format so you'll be able to make up your own to complete. For now, start re-reading all your set texts as the better you know them, the easier they are to write about.
I know I spoke mostly about Lit but for Language it is just a case of practice makes perfect; so I'm afraid it's just a case of past papers and practice questions. Even though it may seem trivial, making synonym banks for common adjectives and verbs is actually really useful and also try to read as many non-fiction texts you can. Finally I recommend Mr Bruff on YouTube.
(Original post by mangekyoumusa)
I've got 4-5ish months till gcses, all other subjects seem to be all under control and under constant revision, but english is really my worst subject.
In class, i feel like sleeping, i don't understand anything the teacher talks about, can't think of unique ways to start paragraphs so I am basically always using the teachers template etc...
In other subjects, I am more motivated and it is quite the opposite.
Also, what revision should I do at home? I started today by looking and writing down useful phrases to remember. But i need a to do list to keep my english revision going. Please help, will be much appreciated.
If you are doing gcses, i also dont mind giving help wherever i can.
Thank you for reading.