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I can’t write fast enough for the English exams Watch

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    I am worried that I will not finish the English exams (GCSE) because I can’t write fast enough.

    Any tips how to write neat but fast?
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    Get a piece of paper and practice. Write anything and everything on that piece of paper as fast as you can but practice making it look neat.
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    Do you write in cursive? If you don't, now's a good time to try and start practising. Writing cursive is a lot quicker than writing in print, and also helps with spelling too, as you remember the shape of the word.
    If you do write in cursive, I really wouldn't worry about it being neat. My handwriting's not the best as it is, but under exam conditions, it's pretty awful. That's because I always choose speed over neatness. No one else will probably see your paper apart from the examiner, and if you're worried about legibility, they've probably seen a lot worse. If your teacher can read your writing (i.e. if it looks like words, rather than hieroglyphics), you'll be fine.
    Another thing I found out about handwriting by watching a Mr Salles Teaches English video was that an examiner is more likely to think your paper is worthy of a high grade if your writing is a bit messy before they've even marked it, because they naturally associate messier handwriting with intelligence and the ability to think faster than you can write. idk know if that's any help, but fun fact, I guess.
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    You didn't mention which board you take, but generally, quality is far more important than quantity. If you look at the mark scheme it is all based on skills, not length. If you hit those skills once, you get the marks. Hit them again and you still get the same marks.
    There are some areas where more depth is needed, for example a Lit essay where you need to look at several examples from different parts of a text, but on the whole you can get a good grade by only using half the pages in the answer book. If you take the AQA syllabus I can give an example.
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    (Original post by Lit teacher)
    You didn't mention which board you take, but generally, quality is far more important than quantity. If you look at the mark scheme it is all based on skills, not length. If you hit those skills once, you get the marks. Hit them again and you still get the same marks.
    There are some areas where more depth is needed, for example a Lit essay where you need to look at several examples from different parts of a text, but on the whole you can get a good grade by only using half the pages in the answer book. If you take the AQA syllabus I can give an example.

    Yes I am with AQA . Sure ok
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    (Original post by troubletracking)
    Do you write in cursive? If you don't, now's a good time to try and start practising. Writing cursive is a lot quicker than writing in print, and also helps with spelling too, as you remember the shape of the word.
    If you do write in cursive, I really wouldn't worry about it being neat. My handwriting's not the best as it is, but under exam conditions, it's pretty awful. That's because I always choose speed over neatness. No one else will probably see your paper apart from the examiner, and if you're worried about legibility, they've probably seen a lot worse. If your teacher can read your writing (i.e. if it looks like words, rather than hieroglyphics), you'll be fine.
    Another thing I found out about handwriting by watching a Mr Salles Teaches English video was that an examiner is more likely to think your paper is worthy of a high grade if your writing is a bit messy before they've even marked it, because they naturally associate messier handwriting with intelligence and the ability to think faster than you can write. idk know if that's any help, but fun fact, I guess.
    How very interesting. That’s something I never knew. If only GCSE art was the same! Haha
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    (Original post by NatKH)
    Get a piece of paper and practice. Write anything and everything on that piece of paper as fast as you can but practice making it look neat.
    I’ll try. Have mock on Monday
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    Ask for a dyslexia test, if you are writing very slowly it can be a sign of that. You may get about 20 minutes extra time. It is worth asking, even if you don't get it.

    As for speed, slant the paper and write joined up. Do exercises of waves, circles all joined up, and relax all the arm as you write.
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    Practice. Also, see if you're eligible for extra time or a word processor. You never know - this could help you massively.
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    Try speaking to your teachers about typing - I type almost all my exams
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    I gave up on being neat in my exams. It stressed me out because I was focusing too much time on making all my words the same size etc. In the end I decided to just get my thoughts down and paragraphs written. I got an A in my English GCSEs. My writing was even worse in my A-Level Psychology paper (2 hours to write 6 essays) and I came out with an A*. Don't worry too much about it.
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    OK, paper 1 Q5, which is half of the marks.
    The mark scheme for 19-21 marks out of 24 says:
    Content
    Register is convincingly matched to audience
    Convincingly matched to purpose
    Extensive vocabulary with conscious crafting of linguistic devices
    Organisation
    Varied and effective structural features
    Writing is highly engaging with a range of developed complex ideas
    Consistently coherent use of paragraphs with integrated discourse markers

    Imagine the question is "Write a descriptive piece based on this picture of a festival" You could write 5 pages of description such as
    'There were large crowds of happy people waving and dancing. I could hear loud music playing in the background. Behind me there were some people eating hotdogs which made me feel hungry so I went to get one. Then I saw someone who looked ill. She was struggling to stand up. As fast as a cheetah I went to see if she was OK. When I got there she was sitting down in the mud so I tried to make her stand up, but she didn't want to.
    Then one of my favourite songs came on and I started to dance. Around me there were lots of people having a good time...'
    However many more pages it goes on for, it will barely scrape 7 or 8 out of 24.

    In the same space you could write:

    Boom. As the noise reached a crescendo she stepped back without looking.
    That was her first mistake.
    Amongst the crowd of dazed and exhausted party-goers, celebrating the end of a wild night of music and dance, one figure stood alone. His face cold. His eyes staring. His teeth clenched. His mind racing. And now, a stabbing pain in his foot brought his gaze round to the woman facing him, hot, tired, laughing. Laughing. Laughing like a maniac.
    That was her second mistake.

    This is not enough for a mark in the 20's yet, but a page and a half of similar quality, with a plot that reaches a clear conclusion, would get you there.
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    use a liquid pen rather than a biro
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    if you can type faster than you can write there's no harm in contacting your school regarding possible arrangements for that. It's worth a go, at least.
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    (Original post by _gcx)
    if you can type faster than you can write there's no harm in contacting your school regarding possible arrangements for that. It's worth a go, at least.
    I never knew you could actually do this?
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    (Original post by Camila22)
    I never knew you could actually do this?
    You are only allowed a word processor in exams if you have a good reason for needing it (writing very slowly could count) and it's your normal way of working, i.e. you use a word processor for all extended writing tasks in lessons, for homework and for internal exams - you can't just decide a week before your GCSEs start that you want a word processor in the exams. If there's going to be time to qualify you would need to start using one asap.
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    Hold the pen properly. The way schools allow students to hold the pen these days is a disgrace. They clearly don't teach this any more. The correct grip is like this:
    Name:  pen1.jpg
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    When you hold the pen like this it feels so much better. The grip is relaxed and it's a pleasure to write. It doesn't put any stress on the hand and you can write more neatly and faster.
    There are all sorts of horrendous grips going on out there. My personal favourite is the "Wiggler", where the pen sits at the base of the thumb, so the thumb wiggles as you write. It makes and adult look like a child.
    I couldn't find any pictures, but I noticed that Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) in Game of Thrones held a pen beautifully. Examples of horrific grips include Paige Jennings in The Americans, and Angela Valdez in Power. Keep an eye out for actors' grips - most of them seem to be terrible!
 
 
 
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