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    (Original post by Racsoix)
    Hey, I'm Thomas. This is my first post on TSR and I wanted to ask a few questions about the (new) Japanese GCSE. I realise I may be at a bit of a disadvantage because of the new GCSE and the changes they are making but I was still wondering a few things. I'll quickly drop this link here for reference--

    http://qualifications.pearson.com/en...nese-2017.html

    Firstly, I was wondering about when the actual exam would take place. I'm currently in year 9 and would preferably like to take it a year early as I feel personally I would be ready if I revised enough. I've been self studying for a few months but only seriously started this half term, doing around 2 hours-ish of learning per day. Also, it would mean that I wouldn't have all my exams around the same time in 2019, meaning I would have one less thing to revise for. So my question is after looking at the new GCSE on the website it says "GCSE Japanese from 2017 (first assessment from 2019)". If I did it next year I would be sitting in 2018. Would I be able to do this? Or would the earliest possible time be in 2019?

    Next about Kanji (everyone's favourite \o/). In previous years there has been a Kanji list for GCSE (and AS level) and I was wondering with the GCSE changing does anyone have or know of a new Kanji list? It may be the same as before but I don't want to miss out on things I should be learning. Learning Kanji, at the last at the moment, is quite fun. I just want to know if there is a new specification I should be looking at.

    Finally (I think this is it :P) does anyone have any general tips for self study? Do you lot think I'll be ready judging by past papers? If I continue to study for a least 1 hour/hour 1/2 per day do you think I'll be capable of doing decently come 2018? Or should I just sit next year out and do it with all my other ones? To be honest I'm a bit clueless about multiple things regarding the GCSE so any help whatsoever about people who have sat it/are sitting it would be greatly appreciated. Cheers.
    Languages apart from French, German and Spanish only have exams from June 2019 onwards, so if you wanted to do it in June 2018 you'd have to do the old spec (A*-G). That might be an advantage as there are more resources, but you'd get an A*-G rather than a 9-1.
    In terms of study:
    - do you have a textbook? If yes USE IT, if not go through the spec topic by topic practising reading, listening, writing and speaking along the way
    - from about a year before the exam, do a set of past papers, mark them, and use that as a baseline for things you need to work on. do another set at christmas, and then as often as you want - they are great preparation.
    - both the old and the new spec have spontaneous conversation, for that just talk to people in japanese A LOT, and also write a list of set phrases which you can say whilst you're thinking
    On both specifications, there is a kanji list at the end. Go to the link you have above and click 'download' on the specification and go to the end.
    Hope i can help
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    (Original post by labrador716)
    Languages apart from French, German and Spanish only have exams from June 2019 onwards, so if you wanted to do it in June 2018 you'd have to do the old spec (A*-G). That might be an advantage as there are more resources, but you'd get an A*-G rather than a 9-1.
    In terms of study:
    - do you have a textbook? If yes USE IT, if not go through the spec topic by topic practising reading, listening, writing and speaking along the way
    - from about a year before the exam, do a set of past papers, mark them, and use that as a baseline for things you need to work on. do another set at christmas, and then as often as you want - they are great preparation.
    - both the old and the new spec have spontaneous conversation, for that just talk to people in japanese A LOT, and also write a list of set phrases which you can say whilst you're thinking
    On both specifications, there is a kanji list at the end. Go to the link you have above and click 'download' on the specification and go to the end.
    Hope i can help
    Wow, thanks so much! Didn't know if anyone would actually reply to me so thanks a lot for that! As of now I don't have a textbook, though soon I will most likely be investing in some self-study resources. Thanks as well for the tips, I'll definitely be doing lots of past papers in preparation! Do you have any tips for conversation partners? Any apps? Or perhaps I should pay for a tutor? I understand I'll need to pay to get one in for the speaking exam as well. I already know about the Kanji which I'm working on. I also understand one of the big challenges will be the writing exam, and so I was thinking in investing in a cheap-ish whiteboard for home use so as I can practice forming the Kanji and getting the stroke order down.

    Just curious, have you done the GCSE before? You seem to have a lot of tips so I was just wondering. Also thanks for filling me in on the grading system. I was debating whether to do it next year or not and I was wondering if I would be able to with the new GCSE syllabus being implemented. Probably will take it next year if I'm ready, though I'll probably get annoyed by the fact that I'll have (hopefully) all 9's and 8's on my other subjects and one in Japanese from A*-G :3 Oh well, got to make some sacrifices in life. Cheers for the information.
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    (Original post by Racsoix)
    Wow, thanks so much! Didn't know if anyone would actually reply to me so thanks a lot for that! As of now I don't have a textbook, though soon I will most likely be investing in some self-study resources. Thanks as well for the tips, I'll definitely be doing lots of past papers in preparation! Do you have any tips for conversation partners? Any apps? Or perhaps I should pay for a tutor? I understand I'll need to pay to get one in for the speaking exam as well. I already know about the Kanji which I'm working on. I also understand one of the big challenges will be the writing exam, and so I was thinking in investing in a cheap-ish whiteboard for home use so as I can practice forming the Kanji and getting the stroke order down.

    Just curious, have you done the GCSE before? You seem to have a lot of tips so I was just wondering. Also thanks for filling me in on the grading system. I was debating whether to do it next year or not and I was wondering if I would be able to with the new GCSE syllabus being implemented. Probably will take it next year if I'm ready, though I'll probably get annoyed by the fact that I'll have (hopefully) all 9's and 8's on my other subjects and one in Japanese from A*-G :3 Oh well, got to make some sacrifices in life. Cheers for the information.
    Hi there,
    No problem, glad to help! I'm also in yr9 but I'm self teaching ish GCSE German this summer, and also doing some Chinese hopefully looking at gcse either 2018 or 19 (it's in a pretty similar place to Japanese so that's where I got it from).
    For practising either hellotalk (free) or italki (cost money, but you talk to qualified teachers of Japanese) or you could see if there are any Japanese students in your area who could practice with you?
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    (Original post by labrador716)
    Hi there,
    No problem, glad to help! I'm also in yr9 but I'm self teaching ish GCSE German this summer, and also doing some Chinese hopefully looking at gcse either 2018 or 19 (it's in a pretty similar place to Japanese so that's where I got it from).
    For practising either hellotalk (free) or italki (cost money, but you talk to qualified teachers of Japanese) or you could see if there are any Japanese students in your area who could practice with you?
    Thanks again! Yeah, I've heard of those apps and will hopefully try them out (especially HelloTalk seeing as it's free). Good luck with your German and Chinese exams, never studied either but I'm sure you'll do fine
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    Took GCSE Japanese last summer, mostly self-studied, and got an A* - if you can sit it under the old spec, please do so, as you can use an electronic dictionary during the exam and the examiner reports basically tell you how to answer questions!

    So, top tips:
    - learn (to write) kanji via learning radicals. There are sites that will help you with this - I use wanikani (not free, but I had a 50% off code and am now in my second (and last) year of using it). This allows you to break kanji down and can be especially helpful with pronunciation, as you'll notice that kanji with certain radicals are almost always pronounced the same way.
    - around 2 months before the exam, get a tutor and just make them mark as many papers as you can do. 3/4s of a GCSE is just knowing how to answer the exam paper with good style. Until then, use lang-8 to have native speakers correct your grammar - practice this as soon as you know enough to form basic sentences, and make sure you learn all of the GCSE grammar + some impressive "set phrases" that are a little above GCSE, e.g. と言われています (it is said that). A good free grammar guide is Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese Grammar - should have all the GCSE stuff.
    - try and sound as "Japanese" as possible when you speak! It's small things like using Japanese fillers instead of English ones (etou/ano instead of um), and practising your accent until you can sound similar to a native - youtube is really useful for this.
    - Whilst the GCSE Japanese listening is possibly the easiest of the exams, don't entirely neglect it either. Listen to anime or readings of Japanese kids books on youtube, or mock exams for JLPT N5 (in fact, learning the vocab for N5/N4 is what I did for GCSE and there wasn't a single word I couldn't understand on any of the papers).

    Most importantly of all - stay passionate and hardworking. Japanese is one of those languages where you start by breaking through huge boundaries and then stagnate for a while - but don't get discouraged and keep steadily working away. You'll get there!
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    (Original post by roarchika)
    Took GCSE Japanese last summer, mostly self-studied, and got an A* - if you can sit it under the old spec, please do so, as you can use an electronic dictionary during the exam and the examiner reports basically tell you how to answer questions!

    So, top tips:
    - learn (to write) kanji via learning radicals. There are sites that will help you with this - I use wanikani (not free, but I had a 50% off code and am now in my second (and last) year of using it). This allows you to break kanji down and can be especially helpful with pronunciation, as you'll notice that kanji with certain radicals are almost always pronounced the same way.
    - around 2 months before the exam, get a tutor and just make them mark as many papers as you can do. 3/4s of a GCSE is just knowing how to answer the exam paper with good style. Until then, use lang-8 to have native speakers correct your grammar - practice this as soon as you know enough to form basic sentences, and make sure you learn all of the GCSE grammar + some impressive "set phrases" that are a little above GCSE, e.g. と言われています (it is said that). A good free grammar guide is Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese Grammar - should have all the GCSE stuff.
    - try and sound as "Japanese" as possible when you speak! It's small things like using Japanese fillers instead of English ones (etou/ano instead of um), and practising your accent until you can sound similar to a native - youtube is really useful for this.
    - Whilst the GCSE Japanese listening is possibly the easiest of the exams, don't entirely neglect it either. Listen to anime or readings of Japanese kids books on youtube, or mock exams for JLPT N5 (in fact, learning the vocab for N5/N4 is what I did for GCSE and there wasn't a single word I couldn't understand on any of the papers).

    Most importantly of all - stay passionate and hardworking. Japanese is one of those languages where you start by breaking through huge boundaries and then stagnate for a while - but don't get discouraged and keep steadily working away. You'll get there!
    Hey! Seen you on quite a few threads, thanks a lot for the reply! I'm currently working on getting some basic grammar and sentence stuctures down, then I'm headed off for Lang-8. Out of curiosity, what year are you in? And how long did you study before you felt confident enough to take it? But yes, I will try to take it next year because, if the person above me is correct, I will get to do the old spec. Well done on your A*, are you doing an A level in Japanese or not? Bit annoying, because it will be my only GCSE graded A*-G as opposed to 9-1 but nevermind. Thanks again!
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    (Original post by Racsoix)
    Hey! Seen you on quite a few threads, thanks a lot for the reply! I'm currently working on getting some basic grammar and sentence stuctures down, then I'm headed off for Lang-8. Out of curiosity, what year are you in? And how long did you study before you felt confident enough to take it? But yes, I will try to take it next year because, if the person above me is correct, I will get to do the old spec. Well done on your A*, are you doing an A level in Japanese or not? Bit annoying, because it will be my only GCSE graded A*-G as opposed to 9-1 but nevermind. Thanks again!
    No problemo! That sounds like a good plan. I'd also recommend getting to grips with anki or a similar SRS system - I've never met someone who studies Japanese and doesn't use one (whether that's a good thing or a sign of stagnation within the community, who knows! :P) I'm currently a Year 13 student, so I'll be headed to university next year. I took JLPT N5 in the winter of Year 11, ignored Japanese for about 6 months to sit my GCSEs, and then did very lazy studying throughout Year 12 (basically just had to learn to write the 200 kanji needed - I was also learning the N3 content since I intended to sit the exam in winter of 2016, though I don't think any N3 stuff came up apart from a few grammar points. I definitely used a couple of N3/4 grammar points in my essays, since they're not on the spec and therefore look impressive!) So I ended up with a year and a half of study, of which only the first and last 6 months were any kind of serious, before I took the GCSE being thoroughly overqualified. You definitely have plenty of time to get an A* if you start now!

    Yep, I'm taking Japanese AS and A2 this year and absolutely loving it. I'm using the same tutor I had for GCSE, so I'm still operating on an hour of lessons a week, supplemented with daily self-study. It's tough, but 100% possible. Yeah, it's pretty unfortunate that you guys end up having a half-reformed program to work with :/ but hey, it'll make your applications in the future look.... more unique? Also employers are way more used to the A*-G system they grew up with, so it may actually be an advantage!
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    (Original post by roarchika)
    No problemo! That sounds like a good plan. I'd also recommend getting to grips with anki or a similar SRS system - I've never met someone who studies Japanese and doesn't use one (whether that's a good thing or a sign of stagnation within the community, who knows! :P) I'm currently a Year 13 student, so I'll be headed to university next year. I took JLPT N5 in the winter of Year 11, ignored Japanese for about 6 months to sit my GCSEs, and then did very lazy studying throughout Year 12 (basically just had to learn to write the 200 kanji needed - I was also learning the N3 content since I intended to sit the exam in winter of 2016, though I don't think any N3 stuff came up apart from a few grammar points. I definitely used a couple of N3/4 grammar points in my essays, since they're not on the spec and therefore look impressive!) So I ended up with a year and a half of study, of which only the first and last 6 months were any kind of serious, before I took the GCSE being thoroughly overqualified. You definitely have plenty of time to get an A* if you start now!

    Yep, I'm taking Japanese AS and A2 this year and absolutely loving it. I'm using the same tutor I had for GCSE, so I'm still operating on an hour of lessons a week, supplemented with daily self-study. It's tough, but 100% possible. Yeah, it's pretty unfortunate that you guys end up having a half-reformed program to work with :/ but hey, it'll make your applications in the future look.... more unique? Also employers are way more used to the A*-G system they grew up with, so it may actually be an advantage!
    Hah yeah, definitely more "unique". Thanks for the information about your GCSE studying by the way, hopefully I'll be ready to take it next year. Good luck on your AS and A2 as well, one of my brother's is in sixth form revising for his and the other is in his first year of Uni doing Computer Science. Any ideas on what you want to do at Uni? Also, correct me if I'm wrong here, but are Edexcel reforming the Japanese A level as well? I heard on their site they were re-doing both the GCSE and A level though I'm not 100%. Also, isn't AS level Japanese (and maybe other languages) being removed altogether from their board? Would be interested to here your thoughts.

    Thanks a bunch though, you've been a massive help
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    (Original post by Racsoix)
    Hah yeah, definitely more "unique". Thanks for the information about your GCSE studying by the way, hopefully I'll be ready to take it next year. Good luck on your AS and A2 as well, one of my brother's is in sixth form revising for his and the other is in his first year of Uni doing Computer Science. Any ideas on what you want to do at Uni? Also, correct me if I'm wrong here, but are Edexcel reforming the Japanese A level as well? I heard on their site they were re-doing both the GCSE and A level though I'm not 100%. Also, isn't AS level Japanese (and maybe other languages) being removed altogether from their board? Would be interested to here your thoughts.

    Thanks a bunch though, you've been a massive help
    I've got an offer to study law at my first choice uni, so I guess that's what I'll be doing! What about you, are you considering some sort of languages/linguistics course? Edexcel are reforming A Level Japanese, for first teaching in 2018, so if you did the A Level it would be the reformed one. All AS levels are being removed from the education system - they're essentially becoming a two year completely linear course. In some subjects, like languages, this isn't too annoying, since the skills you used at AS were the same at A2, just improved. For subjects like History, this is intensely annoying, since before you only had to take an exam on 2 units every year, and therefore memorise 2 units of content, but now you're examined on all 4 units in Year 13, which is exhausting. But hey, there's nothing that can be done about it for now, and universities are being quite understanding about it, so....
    Honestly, I feel bad for you guys taking reformed GCSEs. At least the A Level grading system hasn't changed!
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    (Original post by roarchika)
    I've got an offer to study law at my first choice uni, so I guess that's what I'll be doing! What about you, are you considering some sort of languages/linguistics course? Edexcel are reforming A Level Japanese, for first teaching in 2018, so if you did the A Level it would be the reformed one. All AS levels are being removed from the education system - they're essentially becoming a two year completely linear course. In some subjects, like languages, this isn't too annoying, since the skills you used at AS were the same at A2, just improved. For subjects like History, this is intensely annoying, since before you only had to take an exam on 2 units every year, and therefore memorise 2 units of content, but now you're examined on all 4 units in Year 13, which is exhausting. But hey, there's nothing that can be done about it for now, and universities are being quite understanding about it, so....
    Honestly, I feel bad for you guys taking reformed GCSEs. At least the A Level grading system hasn't changed!
    Congratulations on your offer To be honest I haven't thought much about my A levels in too much detail yet. I only just picked my GCSE options a few weeks ago :P A level Japanese is definitely something to consider, but I think I'll look at it more in depth after I've taken the GCSE and decide if it's something I actually want to go further into. Is Japanese something you're just going to study on the side of your course at uni? Or or you going to take some sort of classes there? Do you want to live/work in Japan one day? Would be interesting to know

    Cheers for the answer about A/AS levels. I did see on the Edexcel website they were reforming and removing a few things though I did want some clarification on what they were so thanks for that I'm pretty sure AS levels just don't count towards your final A level right? Bit annoying, because I really like History too and if it's something I did at A level it would be more difficult like you said. Also one last question (sorry :P), do you know where I would be sitting the GCSE Japanese exam? I did look on a website this morning on the places you could sit GCSE's privately though I only briefly skimmed through before school so wasn't 100%. Can I just ask to sit at my current school, or do you think I would have to go somewhere like a college in order to do them? What happened when you did it?

    Thanks for your help!
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    (Original post by Racsoix)
    Congratulations on your offer To be honest I haven't thought much about my A levels in too much detail yet. I only just picked my GCSE options a few weeks ago :P A level Japanese is definitely something to consider, but I think I'll look at it more in depth after I've taken the GCSE and decide if it's something I actually want to go further into. Is Japanese something you're just going to study on the side of your course at uni? Or or you going to take some sort of classes there? Do you want to live/work in Japan one day? Would be interesting to know

    Cheers for the answer about A/AS levels. I did see on the Edexcel website they were reforming and removing a few things though I did want some clarification on what they were so thanks for that I'm pretty sure AS levels just don't count towards your final A level right? Bit annoying, because I really like History too and if it's something I did at A level it would be more difficult like you said. Also one last question (sorry :P), do you know where I would be sitting the GCSE Japanese exam? I did look on a website this morning on the places you could sit GCSE's privately though I only briefly skimmed through before school so wasn't 100%. Can I just ask to sit at my current school, or do you think I would have to go somewhere like a college in order to do them? What happened when you did it?

    Thanks for your help!
    Oh right, I totally forgot! Sorry about that :P I just kinda assume that every GCSE student is in Year 11 for some reason.

    I plan to join the Japanese Society at uni and hopefully to travel to Japan to help at camps or something over the summer, but it'll still be the self-study I'm used to, I think. It's very tricky for English lawyers to qualify in Japan, so the short answer is that I will probably never work or live in Japan, but I'm trying to position myself in such a way that I'll be able to offer assistance to lots of Japanese firms looking to trade under English law. But hey, that's a long way off! I basically started learning Japanese to be able to watch anime and play Japanese video games, and I'm getting closer by the day to attaining that goal.

    You're welcome! And yup, AS levels used to be 50% of the entire A Level, but now they're worth 40% - and only count towards the full one if taken the same year as the A2 exams, as far as I know. Don't worry about asking questions! Um, I sat it at my school as a private candidate - had to pay about £40 and supply my own speaking exam invigilator (my tutor) - talk to your exams officer about it! It was pretty funny, because I remember all these GCSE Geography students sat on one half of the room and then I was sat alone at the back with this super wide space around me, because the exam hall was set out by subject
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    (Original post by roarchika)
    Oh right, I totally forgot! Sorry about that :P I just kinda assume that every GCSE student is in Year 11 for some reason.

    I plan to join the Japanese Society at uni and hopefully to travel to Japan to help at camps or something over the summer, but it'll still be the self-study I'm used to, I think. It's very tricky for English lawyers to qualify in Japan, so the short answer is that I will probably never work or live in Japan, but I'm trying to position myself in such a way that I'll be able to offer assistance to lots of Japanese firms looking to trade under English law. But hey, that's a long way off! I basically started learning Japanese to be able to watch anime and play Japanese video games, and I'm getting closer by the day to attaining that goal.

    You're welcome! And yup, AS levels used to be 50% of the entire A Level, but now they're worth 40% - and only count towards the full one if taken the same year as the A2 exams, as far as I know. Don't worry about asking questions! Um, I sat it at my school as a private candidate - had to pay about £40 and supply my own speaking exam invigilator (my tutor) - talk to your exams officer about it! It was pretty funny, because I remember all these GCSE Geography students sat on one half of the room and then I was sat alone at the back with this super wide space around me, because the exam hall was set out by subject
    Good luck on your Law course at uni! One of my brothers is there doing Computer Science and he started last September I think (at Warwick). He seems to be enjoyed it so far so I'm sure you'll do just fine What Uni are you going to be going to?

    Wow, £40 is pretty steep :P I think it's similar to the JLPT if I'm not mistaken. What JLPT levels have you completed? (if you've taken any that is). Don't think my parents will mind the cost though- they're always encouraging to try/do new things :P Haha, I can imagine it would have been pretty funny. I assume the listening was conducted in a seperate room!
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    im taking the exam in 2018 and it is A*-G so
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    (Original post by JapanNet)
    im taking the exam in 2018 and it is A*-G so
    really? i thought the 9-1 teaching for japanese begin september 2017?? i have been told that my year is the last one to sit the A*-G exams...
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    English and maths are the first to 9-1, first exams 2017
    Then French, German and Spanish (and most mainstream subjects) are first teaching 2016 first exams 2018
    Everything else (including Japanese) are first teaching in 2017, and first exams in 2019, so 2018 is still A*-G (but 9-1 for most other subjects)
    Hope this helps
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    (Original post by labrador716)
    English and maths are the first to 9-1, first exams 2017
    Then French, German and Spanish (and most mainstream subjects) are first teaching 2016 first exams 2018
    Everything else (including Japanese) are first teaching in 2017, and first exams in 2019, so 2018 is still A*-G (but 9-1 for most other subjects)
    Hope this helps

    ah, i understand now, thanks
 
 
 
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