English Langauge Exam Advice Needed (AQA)

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-Kestrel-
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
Hi all!

I'm new here, and I need a little bit of help with my GCSEs. I'm in Year 10, and our school has decided to put our whole year forward to do our English Language early, this June. We've been studying it since September, and although my teachers have been very helpful, I was hoping to get some revision advice from the kind people on here.

I am aiming to get a top grade (7/8/9) but I am really struggling with time management.
We have done a handful of mocks (but we are doing our first actual PPE next week) and I have been getting all 8s, which although I am happy with, they have been only just got into the grade boundary. Of course, I would be very grateful and happy with a 7, but as English is something I have always enjoyed, I would love to get a strong 8.

The main reason I loose marks is because I spend way to much time on section A, so I rush section B and mess up my SPAG/Technical Accuracy. So I was wondering if anyone has done the new English Language spec (I think it started last year, and the exams are 1 hour 45 mins, not 2hours 15 mins like they were before) and came out with an 8/9, and if they could give me any advice? Especially when it comes to time management, or good ways to impress the examiner. Just general advice really.

I was also considering if doing Section B (the writing, 40 marks) before Section A (reading) would be a better way to approach the exam.Has anyone done this?

Thanks in advance for the help. I'll also tell my friends at school your advice. We will all be very grateful!
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Vanilla Twilight
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#2
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#2
Hi, I got a strong 8 in English Language last year on the new course. For me it was mainly a case of learning a bunch of literary devices that I had written on flashcards and practising picking them out of texts. Creative writing was always one of my strongest points but if you struggle with the timing of that I'd definitely recommend doing that section first and then coming back to section A.

In terms of time management the most I can advise is keeping your eye on the clock. Remember to bring a watch with you into the exam hall so that you can keep glancing at it every paragraph or so that you write. Time always goes slowly when you clock-watch and I remember the way I kept on time with my sections was simply by giving myself an allocated time for how ever many marks an essay was worth e.g. 40 minutes for a 40 mark essay.

For the reading section, pick out as many devices, language and structure, as you can and always quote the text too. Also maybe do a paper of two and get your teacher to mark them for you?

Best of luck for your exam!
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lydiarutharnold
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#3
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(Original post by Vanilla Twilight)
Hi, I got a strong 8 in English Language last year on the new course. For me it was mainly a case of learning a bunch of literary devices that I had written on flashcards and practising picking them out of texts. Creative writing was always one of my strongest points but if you struggle with the timing of that I'd definitely recommend doing that section first and then coming back to section A.

In terms of time management the most I can advise is keeping your eye on the clock. Remember to bring a watch with you into the exam hall so that you can keep glancing at it every paragraph or so that you write. Time always goes slowly when you clock-watch and I remember the way I kept on time with my sections was simply by giving myself an allocated time for how ever many marks an essay was worth e.g. 40 minutes for a 40 mark essay.

For the reading section, pick out as many devices, language and structure, as you can and always quote the text too. Also maybe do a paper of two and get your teacher to mark them for you?

Best of luck for your exam!
just a note- you’re not allowed watches in exam halls, you have to put them on the tables and if you even glance at them it’s considered cheating (jcq). your school should have a clock somewhere in the hall tho.
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Vanilla Twilight
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#4
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(Original post by lydiarutharnold)
just a note- you’re not allowed watches in exam halls, you have to put them on the tables and if you even glance at them it’s considered cheating (jcq). your school should have a clock somewhere in the hall tho.
You are allowed standard watches. However you aren't allowed electrical/smart watches. I had mine on my desk for all of my GCSE exams last year and would definitely recommend it over using the clocks in the exam halls.
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lydiarutharnold
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#5
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(Original post by Vanilla Twilight)
You are allowed standard watches. However you aren't allowed electrical/smart watches. I had mine on my desk for all of my GCSE exams last year and would definitely recommend it over using the clocks in the exam halls.
they've banned them now, apparently it gives people more opportunity to cheat, you have to have them on the table but you're not even allowed to look at them
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Vanilla Twilight
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#6
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#6
(Original post by lydiarutharnold)
they've banned them now, apparently it gives people more opportunity to cheat, you have to have them on the table but you're not even allowed to look at them
What's the point in allowing students to bring in watches and then telling them they can't use them?
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lydiarutharnold
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#7
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(Original post by Vanilla Twilight)
What's the point in allowing students to bring in watches and then telling them they can't use them?
they don’t really allow it, it’s if people have forgotten the rule i think idk
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-Kestrel-
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Vanilla Twilight)
Hi, I got a strong 8 in English Language last year on the new course. For me it was mainly a case of learning a bunch of literary devices that I had written on flashcards and practising picking them out of texts. Creative writing was always one of my strongest points but if you struggle with the timing of that I'd definitely recommend doing that section first and then coming back to section A.

In terms of time management the most I can advise is keeping your eye on the clock. Remember to bring a watch with you into the exam hall so that you can keep glancing at it every paragraph or so that you write. Time always goes slowly when you clock-watch and I remember the way I kept on time with my sections was simply by giving myself an allocated time for how ever many marks an essay was worth e.g. 40 minutes for a 40 mark essay.

For the reading section, pick out as many devices, language and structure, as you can and always quote the text too. Also maybe do a paper of two and get your teacher to mark them for you?

Best of luck for your exam!
Thanks for this advice! It's very healpful. Also we are allowed watches in the exam, as long as they are not smart ones. Good luck for any exams or courses you have coming up yourself
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Vanilla Twilight
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#9
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#9
(Original post by -Kestrel-)
Thanks for this advice! It's very healpful. Also we are allowed watches in the exam, as long as they are not smart ones. Good luck for any exams or courses you have coming up yourself
Glad it helped and thank you!
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tbendall2001
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#10
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#10
(Original post by lydiarutharnold)
they've banned them now, apparently it gives people more opportunity to cheat, you have to have them on the table but you're not even allowed to look at them
I'm sitting my exams this year and in my school, we MUST hand them in. We aren't even allowed watches on our tables, it doesn't matter if it it's electrical, digital, smart or standard. We just are not allowed them.
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