The Student Room Group

How to get a grade 9 in English Language??

any useful advice or tips.
Reply 1
It's been over a year since I took my GCSEs so I'm not entirely certain it's the same paper but my answers are fairly generalised. I was in the year group when the specification was first changed and the grades changed to numbers rather than letters. I managed to get a 9 and I'm now taking lit and language at A-level. My tips are:

Practise!! Even if you don't write essays, finding text samples and annotating them will help you firstly get faster at it (so that you're better at spotting features, saving you precious time in the exam), and secondly will help you get used to various types of prose. And it'd be good to find random images online and try writing short, timed pieces if creative writing on them.

I'd recommend saving the past papers until later in the year in case your teachers want to use them as mock papers, so that you get an accurate idea of what your grade is and where to improve. That being said, the material you use to revise with doesn't have to be from past papers. You can search for online extracts from fiction/non-fiction and (if this is part of the spec?) articles and do the same.

Be sure to read plenty (whenever you can) and a good variety of types of texts and levels (less to more academic). This'll mean that you're accustomed to writing styles and will really help you on any creative writing tasks, as well as boosting your vocabulary for the whole paper.

Know which features are higher level, to pick out of texts and to use in creative writing. This is usually structural things such as narrative perspective (is it in 1st/2nd/3rd person, why, do we trust the narrator, what kind of tone is put forward, how, etc) as well as overall textual structure (repeated phrases/concepts/imagery, do we change location or perspective, what is the text focused on and what does it move to, etc) and more complex grammatical features (subordinate clauses, semi colons, etc). In creative writing, vary your sentence/paragraph lengths for effect. Essentially (and sadly), creative writing at GCSE can be a box-ticking activity to show you know how to use features. At my school (and most others) we used an acronym to remember all the features we needed to include. I would write it at the top of my page and tick things off as I went. BUT the higher marks come from making it seem effortless, not like you're trying too hard (which is where the practise comes in).

This is where your teachers will be very useful, you could even ask around the English faculty to see if any of them mark for the exam board, as these teachers will have a much greater insight of what makes a good answer. If any do, what you want to find out from them is A) what gets higher marks and B) what tends to let students down.

When analysing, embed your quotations. So rather than saying (for example)
'The writer uses verbs. This is shown in the quotation "Katie kicked the ball"'
use the quote as part of the sentence, like
'Judicious use of verbs is evident when "Katie kicked the ball"'.
Essentially, don't set up your quotations, blend them in.

Utilise your lessons. Honestly, I had a right laugh in English in year 10/11, I loved it, was regularly distracted, and sat next to a girl who's since become one of my best friends (English was our origin story). I don't recommend that at all, but if you're going to do that, pay attention at the right parts. Engage in class discussions, find out what other people in the class think about texts, recognise who in your class seems to have the best ideas and pay specific attention to them. Putting that extra bit of effort in when you're in lesson saves you a bit of time outside it.

If you don't already, watch Mr Bruff on YouTube. He's a saint!

Lastly, don't worry too much. The fact that you're looking into how to get a 9 shows that you're doing well and working hard, you seem to have the right attitude. In the end, if you're stressed, it may mean you sleep less or struggle concentrating and don't retain enough information, which is the last thing you want. So, obviously, work hard. But not to breaking point.
Best of luck!! You've got this :smile:
(edited 5 years ago)
Original post by Eve Rose
It's been over a year since I took my GCSEs so I'm not entirely certain it's the same paper but my answers are fairly generalised. I was in the year group when the specification was first changed and the grades changed to numbers rather than letters. I managed to get a 9 and I'm now taking lit and language at A-level. My tips are:

Practise!! Even if you don't write essays, finding text samples and annotating them will help you firstly get faster at it (so that you're better at spotting features, saving you precious time in the exam), and secondly will help you get used to various types of prose. And it'd be good to find random images online and try writing short, timed pieces if creative writing on them.

I'd recommend saving the past papers until later in the year in case your teachers want to use them as mock papers, so that you get an accurate idea of what your grade is and where to improve. That being said, the material you use to revise with doesn't have to be from past papers. You can search for online extracts from fiction/non-fiction and (if this is part of the spec?) articles and do the same.

Be sure to read plenty (whenever you can) and a good variety of types of texts and levels (less to more academic). This'll mean that you're accustomed to writing styles and will really help you on any creative writing tasks, as well as boosting your vocabulary for the whole paper.

Know which features are higher level, to pick out of texts and to use in creative writing. This is usually structural things such as narrative perspective (is it in 1st/2nd/3rd person, why, do we trust the narrator, what kind of tone is put forward, how, etc) as well as overall textual structure (repeated phrases/concepts/imagery, do we change location or perspective, what is the text focused on and what does it move to, etc) and more complex grammatical features (subordinate clauses, semi colons, etc). In creative writing, vary your sentence/paragraph lengths for effect. Essentially (and sadly), creative writing at GCSE can be a box-ticking activity to show you know how to use features. At my school (and most others) we used an acronym to remember all the features we needed to include. I would write it at the top of my page and tick things off as I went. BUT the higher marks come from making it seem effortless, not like you're trying too hard (which is where the practise comes in).

This is where your teachers will be very useful, you could even ask around the English faculty to see if any of them mark for the exam board, as these teachers will have a much greater insight of what makes a good answer. If any do, what you want to find out from them is A) what gets higher marks and B) what tends to let students down.

When analysing, embed your quotations. So rather than saying (for example)
'The writer uses verbs. This is shown in the quotation "Katie kicked the ball"'
use the quote as part of the sentence, like
'Judicious use of verbs is evident when "Katie kicked the ball"'.
Essentially, don't set up your quotations, blend them in.

Utilise your lessons. Honestly, I had a right laugh in English in year 10/11, I loved it, was regularly distracted, and sat next to a girl who's since become one of my best friends (English was our origin story). I don't recommend that at all, but if you're going to do that, pay attention at the right parts. Engage in class discussions, find out what other people in the class think about texts, recognise who in your class seems to have the best ideas and pay specific attention to them. Putting that extra bit of effort in when you're in lesson saves you a bit of time outside it.

If you don't already, watch Mr Bruff on YouTube. He's a saint!

Lastly, don't worry too much. The fact that you're looking into how to get a 9 shows that you're doing well and working hard, you seem to have the right attitude. In the end, if you're stressed, it may mean you sleep less or struggle concentrating and don't retain enough information, which is the last thing you want. So, obviously, work hard. But not to breaking point.
Best of luck!! You've got this :smile:


OMGG! Thank u sooooo much.. words cannot convey my gratitude n appreciations towards you...
Reply 3
Original post by x.nesu
OMGG! Thank u sooooo much.. words cannot convey my gratitude n appreciations towards you...


No problem!! English Language is one of the hardest ones to get your head around haha, so I'm happy to help
I got a 3 in paper 1 language and a 9 in paper 2 language ...
Not relevant but just thought id say that xD
I got a 7 overall
Original post by Switch01
I got a 3 in paper 1 language and a 9 in paper 2 language ...
Not relevant but just thought id say that xD
I got a 7 overall


wow.. unno wht i wouldnt mind that as long as i get a 7 or above overall
moved to english :smile:
Reply 7
Original post by Eve Rose
It's been over a year since I took my GCSEs so I'm not entirely certain it's the same paper but my answers are fairly generalised. I was in the year group when the specification was first changed and the grades changed to numbers rather than letters. I managed to get a 9 and I'm now taking lit and language at A-level. My tips are:

Practise!! Even if you don't write essays, finding text samples and annotating them will help you firstly get faster at it (so that you're better at spotting features, saving you precious time in the exam), and secondly will help you get used to various types of prose. And it'd be good to find random images online and try writing short, timed pieces if creative writing on them.

I'd recommend saving the past papers until later in the year in case your teachers want to use them as mock papers, so that you get an accurate idea of what your grade is and where to improve. That being said, the material you use to revise with doesn't have to be from past papers. You can search for online extracts from fiction/non-fiction and (if this is part of the spec?) articles and do the same.

Be sure to read plenty (whenever you can) and a good variety of types of texts and levels (less to more academic). This'll mean that you're accustomed to writing styles and will really help you on any creative writing tasks, as well as boosting your vocabulary for the whole paper.

Know which features are higher level, to pick out of texts and to use in creative writing. This is usually structural things such as narrative perspective (is it in 1st/2nd/3rd person, why, do we trust the narrator, what kind of tone is put forward, how, etc) as well as overall textual structure (repeated phrases/concepts/imagery, do we change location or perspective, what is the text focused on and what does it move to, etc) and more complex grammatical features (subordinate clauses, semi colons, etc). In creative writing, vary your sentence/paragraph lengths for effect. Essentially (and sadly), creative writing at GCSE can be a box-ticking activity to show you know how to use features. At my school (and most others) we used an acronym to remember all the features we needed to include. I would write it at the top of my page and tick things off as I went. BUT the higher marks come from making it seem effortless, not like you're trying too hard (which is where the practise comes in).

This is where your teachers will be very useful, you could even ask around the English faculty to see if any of them mark for the exam board, as these teachers will have a much greater insight of what makes a good answer. If any do, what you want to find out from them is A) what gets higher marks and B) what tends to let students down.

When analysing, embed your quotations. So rather than saying (for example)
'The writer uses verbs. This is shown in the quotation "Katie kicked the ball"'
use the quote as part of the sentence, like
'Judicious use of verbs is evident when "Katie kicked the ball"'.
Essentially, don't set up your quotations, blend them in.

Utilise your lessons. Honestly, I had a right laugh in English in year 10/11, I loved it, was regularly distracted, and sat next to a girl who's since become one of my best friends (English was our origin story). I don't recommend that at all, but if you're going to do that, pay attention at the right parts. Engage in class discussions, find out what other people in the class think about texts, recognise who in your class seems to have the best ideas and pay specific attention to them. Putting that extra bit of effort in when you're in lesson saves you a bit of time outside it.

If you don't already, watch Mr Bruff on YouTube. He's a saint!

Lastly, don't worry too much. The fact that you're looking into how to get a 9 shows that you're doing well and working hard, you seem to have the right attitude. In the end, if you're stressed, it may mean you sleep less or struggle concentrating and don't retain enough information, which is the last thing you want. So, obviously, work hard. But not to breaking point.
Best of luck!! You've got this :smile:


Hi!

I’m in year 8 and (although in set 1) I think I’m bad at English Paper mocks. I got 49/80 for my year 7 mock and 43/80 for yr 8. Are these okay considering that English is my 2nd Lang and I only moved to UK 4 yrs. Long painful journey to learn English🤧🤧
Reply 8
Noooo don't worry! Not only are you years away from the real exams (I don't think my school even did mocks until year 9 haha), but also that's not bad. Even if you were in year 11 right now, that wouldn't be bad, because the amount of progress you end up making right until the last week before your GCSE is huge. You have nothing to worry about. At some point it'll click into place in your head and the marks will go up, but in the meantime that's definitely an okay place to be. Considering that English is your second language, that's an amazing achievement! Just keep going :smile:
Reply 9
Original post by Eve Rose
Noooo don't worry! Not only are you years away from the real exams (I don't think my school even did mocks until year 9 haha), but also that's not bad. Even if you were in year 11 right now, that wouldn't be bad, because the amount of progress you end up making right until the last week before your GCSE is huge. You have nothing to worry about. At some point it'll click into place in your head and the marks will go up, but in the meantime that's definitely an okay place to be. Considering that English is your second language, that's an amazing achievement! Just keep going :smile:


Wow thank you so much for your reply! Really appreciate your help!
Original post by LN05
Hi!

I’m in year 8 and (although in set 1) I think I’m bad at English Paper mocks. I got 49/80 for my year 7 mock and 43/80 for yr 8. Are these okay considering that English is my 2nd Lang and I only moved to UK 4 yrs. Long painful journey to learn English🤧🤧


thats absolutely fine considering your in yr 8 and uve just moved to the UK a few yrs ago; uve still got 3 yrs to go to switch things around... dont stress too much about it..
(edited 5 years ago)
Original post by Eve Rose
In creative writing, vary your sentence/paragraph lengths for effect. Essentially (and sadly), creative writing at GCSE can be a box-ticking activity to show you know how to use features. At my school (and most others) we used an acronym to remember all the features we needed to include. I would write it at the top of my page and tick things off as I went. BUT the higher marks come from making it seem effortless, not like you're trying too hard (which is where the practise comes in).


Damn. I would have hated creative writing if that's how I did it. I agree that there are mechanics to the answers, but that just seems way too contrived for me.

I concur with the rest of this thorough response though.
Reply 12
Original post by Tolgarda
Damn. I would have hated creative writing if that's how I did it. I agree that there are mechanics to the answers, but that just seems way too contrived for me.

I concur with the rest of this thorough response though.

Hi!

I am struggling with the structure of the text. Can you explain to me what it is and the structural techniques please? Also, I would like to know what the effects of these techniques are. Thanks
Original post by LN05
Hi!

I am struggling with the structure of the text. Can you explain to me what it is and the structural techniques please? Also, I would like to know what the effects of these techniques are. Thanks


Wait. Why are you asking me out of all people? Lmao. Your teacher is more qualified and experienced than I am. Ask her. :smile:



I'm not going to lie, but the examiner's report was one of the last things I looked at during the revision period before the exams. Could you explain how this helps? Knowing the pitfalls of the questions is good, but the report never really tells you how to structure your answer in any real depth.
(edited 5 years ago)
Reply 15
Original post by Tolgarda
I'm not going to lie, but the examiner's report was one of the last things I looked at during the revision period before the exams. Could you explain how this helps? Knowing the pitfalls of the questions is good, but the report never really tells you how to structure your answer in any real depth.


Ok thanks. Although they didn’t really explain structure in depth.

The reason why I asked you because I recognised you from a while about asking whether an 8 was an A*.
Original post by LN05
Ok thanks. Although they didn’t really explain structure in depth.

The reason why I asked you because I recognised you from a while about asking whether an 8 was an A*.


Fair enough. I think you should ask your teacher though.
Original post by Tolgash
Wait. Why are you asking me out of all people? Lmao. Your teacher is more qualified and experienced than I am. Ask her. :smile:



I'm not going to lie, but the examiner's report was one of the last things I looked at during the revision period before the exams. Could you explain how this helps? Knowing the pitfalls of the questions is good, but the report never really tells you how to structure your answer in any real depth.


y u bare rude for cuh

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