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How to get a Grade 8 or Grade 9 in English or Maths GCSE? Watch

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    If you got a Grade 8 or 9 in either Maths or English, could you please provide some good tips for exams.
    Also for English, is the P.E.E structure good to follow?
    Thanks.
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    Maths: Understand every topic before moving on. Much of the earlier stuff will be foundation building. If you can't get those right, you'll struggle come later topics. Don't rote learn in maths, but instead verify that what the teacher is telling you is true. When you see a new formula, ask yourself where it comes from. It's a good habit to get into and you'll become a better mathematician.

    English: Not my strongest subject but came away with an A*. I didn't really motivate myself throughout the year and just read a ton of revision guides at the end of Year 11. Those who scored full marks in my school actually really enjoyed english and read books frequently. Also read quality newspaper articles to develop your functional writing skills.
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    (Original post by HannahA2745)
    If you got a Grade 8 or 9 in either Maths or English, could you please provide some good tips for exams.
    Also for English, is the P.E.E structure good to follow?
    Thanks.
    Maths: For this, as another person has said, you need to make sure you understand everything you are taught. You don't need to be able to prove it or anything like that, but by understanding where things have come from, it will make it easier to apply them to questions, especially now that the exams are more problem based. You also need to practise as much as you can. I used the CGP books and they worked really well for me as they had hundreds of exam style questions. If you can't solve something, don't just look at the answer. Leave the question and do another one and come back to the question later once you've got a fresh head. You can't cram for maths so try to do little and often throughout the year. Maybe do two questions a day on things that you find difficult (not things that you can do with your eyes shut) so that you steadily see an improvement. If you don't mind me asking, what are you currently getting?

    English Language: Reading often will really help. It doesn't even need to be novels - just reading the news counts. This will help extend your vocabulary and help you read faster whilst extracting the necessary information. Also, make sure that you understand exactly what you need to do for each question. I found Mr Bruff really helpful for this (much more so than my teachers) so check him out! Make sure that your spelling, punctuation and grammar is top notch too - 25% of your marks come from this in English language so having good spelling and knowing how to use a semicolon will really help to boost your grade. Proofread your work in the exam too to check for silly mistakes like using the wrong their/there/they're. Under exam pressure, it's so easily done and it can cost you quite a lot of marks. Finally, for the creative writing, PLAN YOUR ANSWERS!!! I didn't in my actual exam then my story didn't answer the question so I panicked and gave it a really bad, rushed ending that probably cost me my level 9 (I was 2 marks off but oh well). Your teachers probably say that and you probably ignore them but in hindsight, I really should have planned it better. With regards to the PEE structure, I'd say that it works to a certain extent but to get the top marks, you should probably move away from that. What I'd do is make a point, find evidence, explain it and link it to another piece of evidence if you can and explain that, especially in the longer questions. A PEE structure is probably alright for the shorter 8 mark "how does the writer use language" questions, but more evidence is never a bad thing (especially since the AQA mark scheme references a "judicious range of evidence"). For the longer questions, you should definitely try to do more evaluation and include extra evidence if you have the time and what you're doing answers the question.

    Hope this helps
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    Hi, I got 9 in Maths, 8 in English Literature and 7 in English Language. For maths throughout year 11 I'd got middle level 8s and was never one of the really clever ones at maths, and it didn't help that my teacher was awful. But I'd really recommend reading the whole revision guide it really helped me, I got the CGP ones and I made brief notes on each topic, particularly the ones I didn't understand. Apart from that and making sure you understand everything past papers are your best friend. To begin with, as we didn't have very many new spec ones I did loads of old spec (which made you feel quite good because you could get pretty high marks on them as they're a lot easier) which really helped to boost my confidence in maths and think that maybe I could aim for a 9. After that just do the new spec ones and they should now be a little easier (but the ones we got for mocks were loads harder than the real thing in my opinion...It was a bit weird), but don't street yourself out about it too much.
    Hope you get the grades you want
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    (Original post by HannahA2745)
    If you got a Grade 8 or 9 in either Maths or English, could you please provide some good tips for exams.
    Also for English, is the P.E.E structure good to follow?
    Thanks.
    MathsGenie.
    Got me from a 3 -> 6 (1 mark from a 7)
    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
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    Firstly, maths and English Lang are subjects which need practical training from your brain (there's little cramming material) so spend most of your time on them early on. I recommend youtube (Mr Bruff, Hegarthymaths). I don't have many tips for literature other than learn the quotes and practice writing as many essays as you can. For English Language, I wrote a creative writing for each possible scenario I could think of. Just make sure you have some clever synonyms/metaphors/personifications/vocabulary in your head - it worked for me as the vehicle one came up and I got a 9.

    Here's my list: Dystopian/tension, Sunset, Mountains, Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer, Forest, Old monument/building/house, Vehicle journey, river/lake/waterfall, restaurant, Desert, Beach, Drowning, Night, Haunted/abandoned (hospital, school, fairground), sadness, happiness/excitement.

    For maths, if there's one little thing you don't understand, make a note of it and ask a teacher/research it later. You could make a folder with factfiles and practice ALL the past papers - even from different boards if you have the time.
 
 
 
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