Stardom245
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Hello,I am (sadly) in desperate need of assistance with my French Writing exam. I was unaware that I was going to be doing the higher paper for French Writing, and I regret it immensely. My story is quite long, but I would appreciate any help that I could possibly get from anybody (please, please help!) Thank you, and here is my story:For the past couple of months, my normal French teacher has had to give up our class so that a teacher in training could see what teaching is actually like. Big mistake. She was... let's just say she was really, REALLY bad... (literally, I forgot about 3 years worth of learning within a week, she was awful. We didn't learn vocabulary properly, tenses etc. and she was so confusing?) Anyway, she suddenly announced that we would have a French Writing assessment and that some of us would be doing the higher paper, which was not good. I revised for HOURS and thought (hoped lol) that I was ready. Writing is my strongest point in French, and last term, when I did my speaking test (which, btw is my weakest point, I cannot pronounce French TO SAVE MY LIFE!) , I received a grade 9 (I was so surprised that I cried, I didn't think I deserved it at all) , so I wanted at least a grade 7-9 in writing. Now, I am thinking and praying that I get a grade 5 as a bare minimum. When I was sitting the actual exam, my mind went blank for about 5 minutes because the time pressure was horrible, it was the worst thing ever. Our lesson only lasts for 1 hour, and the higher writing exam is usually 1 hours and 15 minutes, so I was really panicking. When I had calmed down a bit, I began Question 3- the translation task- first because it is the quickest and if you are strong at translation, then it is a good way to pick up 12 marks. Even if you are weak at translation, then get it out of the way first so that you do not forget about it and can concentrate on the other tasks (just some advice for anybody doing GCSE French :P). I spent 10 minutes on it because it wasn't too difficult and I am relying on those marks to at least get me near a grade 5. I was not very wise after that; I spent all of my time on the 90 word task and wrote too much (about 150-200 words, and I would really appreciate it if somebody could tell me whether all of it will be marked or not ?) and for the 150 task, I wrote about 40 words because I ran out of time . The thing is, my teacher told me that he is giving the higher students an extra 15 minutes tomorrow to finish off, and I have to try and write 110 words in 15 minutes... I have practiced it, and I managed to write 200 words in 15 minutes on a subject that I didn't prepare for, but I am unsure if it made sense or not and if it would have got me good marks. I was thinking, perhaps I could write for 10/12 minutes and then spend the 5/3 minutes checking over everything and ensuring that I have covered all of the content. But, it's going to be very challenging as I also have to check over Question 1...Does anybody have any suggestions about what I could do for the Writing exam urgently? Also, what do I have to include in my writing to make sure that I get some decent marks for what I write? This is very important for me as French is my fav. subject and I have a passion for it, so i do not want to fail . Please give any advice possible.Thanks in advance!P.S: Sorry this is such a long post, but you need details. My exam board is AQA.
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RazzzBerries
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Hi, I'm also sitting GCSE AQA French exams .

You will not forget 3 years' worth of learning in a week. Some? Debatable. Not all though. You need to keep going through tenses (ending for -ER, -IR and -RE in past, present, future, conditional and imperfect). Go through MR + MRS VANDERTRAMP and try and memorise them somehow. Writing stuff out again and again helps. Don't put your trust into the school or expect much from them (trust me, I had a similar situation and it caused last minute panics which weren't necessary).

As for your writing exam situation, I don't know how your teacher marks, but I know that for the real exam, the examiner will mark up to 110-ish words max, regardless of whether you have talked about all four points. Don't make that mistake again, it could be costly and time-consuming. For the 150 word, you're kind of lucky that you get to go over into next lesson. Tonight, plan exactly what you'll write. If you can't remember everything, remember key phrases you want to put it. Make sure you get in at least 4 tenses, negatives, opinions, reflexives and some star phrases that are versatile. If you remember a generic phrase you can put in to everything (e.g Si j'avais l'argent...), it will be a good Pokeball to release come your exams :lol:.
It's kind of unfortunate that you only have 15 minutes to cram everything in, but do the best you can with what you have and you should be fine. At the end of the day, it's not the real thing and you've learned what not to do.

For future reference, plan out your time in the exam for each question. You're right about starting with the translation question, it get's you in the french zone. Maybe do something like:
10 mins - Translation
15-20 mins - 90 Word
30 mins - 150 Word
5 mins - Check over your work

Also, I'd recommend looking up French material and having a listen to accents to help you out with your speaking issue. Check out some of the links below:

Sara'h Officiel - This is a YouTube channel where this girl called Sara'h cover English pop songs in French. Even if you've got it on in the background while you're studying for other subjects, it could help you mimic her accent.

Cyprien - This link is to a French YouTuber who make videos. He speaks in French, but you can add English subtitles.

Bonne chance!
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Heyarnoldd
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Hello,
Very much like you i share a great interest for french (doing it at A-level btw) and i try each day to extend my french vernacular from looking at the AQA specification. I highly would recommend this to you because, firstly it shows all of the words in french and the translations of them in english that may/ may not come up in the french GCSE. Furthermore, this will also help you during your french reading exam where you will be familiar to all of the words which you will see. To answer your question holistically, basically all of the writing that you have wrote will be marked and the '90 words' is just a small guide for those who are not sure how much/ little they should write, so not to fear. However, in the writing exam, if it gives you a theme to write about such as a family vacation. It will give you around four bullet points on what to write about. So for example it may say to write about the people you met, when you went, the weather and where you went; this is all an example so please don't take this literally. Therefore, during the exam as it is out of 16 marks for this question it will be divided up into how much you have wrote about each subtopic- meaning if you have wrote a lot all about one subtopic and theres 4 different ones to write about most likely you will only be getting an extremely low band of around 3/4 marks depending on how well you did. Also, if you do have any fear doing the higher tier French paper, i do beg you to not worry. As an individual who's first language is not English, it has been extremely difficult for me to translate the french words into my home language (Spanish) then back into english, and i believe that if i did French at foundation level that it is actually harder because the grade boundaries are so high to just get a 5. Trust me, aim for that 9 and if you don't get it, or don't think that you will then make it a personal target for yourself to get an 8 at the lowest. And if you do want my advice to get a level 9, just go over the vocabulary daily and it will eventually stick, watch movies in french or the radio stations with english subtitles. I hope that this has answered your question and i'm very sorry that i have wrote so much- Good luck (Bonne chance!) And remember your only limit is yourself!!!
(Original post by Stardom245)
Hello,I am (sadly) in desperate need of assistance with my French Writing exam. I was unaware that I was going to be doing the higher paper for French Writing, and I regret it immensely. My story is quite long, but I would appreciate any help that I could possibly get from anybody (please, please help!) Thank you, and here is my story:For the past couple of months, my normal French teacher has had to give up our class so that a teacher in training could see what teaching is actually like. Big mistake. She was... let's just say she was really, REALLY bad... (literally, I forgot about 3 years worth of learning within a week, she was awful. We didn't learn vocabulary properly, tenses etc. and she was so confusing?) Anyway, she suddenly announced that we would have a French Writing assessment and that some of us would be doing the higher paper, which was not good. I revised for HOURS and thought (hoped lol) that I was ready. Writing is my strongest point in French, and last term, when I did my speaking test (which, btw is my weakest point, I cannot pronounce French TO SAVE MY LIFE!) , I received a grade 9 (I was so surprised that I cried, I didn't think I deserved it at all) , so I wanted at least a grade 7-9 in writing. Now, I am thinking and praying that I get a grade 5 as a bare minimum. When I was sitting the actual exam, my mind went blank for about 5 minutes because the time pressure was horrible, it was the worst thing ever. Our lesson only lasts for 1 hour, and the higher writing exam is usually 1 hours and 15 minutes, so I was really panicking. When I had calmed down a bit, I began Question 3- the translation task- first because it is the quickest and if you are strong at translation, then it is a good way to pick up 12 marks. Even if you are weak at translation, then get it out of the way first so that you do not forget about it and can concentrate on the other tasks (just some advice for anybody doing GCSE French :P). I spent 10 minutes on it because it wasn't too difficult and I am relying on those marks to at least get me near a grade 5. I was not very wise after that; I spent all of my time on the 90 word task and wrote too much (about 150-200 words, and I would really appreciate it if somebody could tell me whether all of it will be marked or not ?) and for the 150 task, I wrote about 40 words because I ran out of time . The thing is, my teacher told me that he is giving the higher students an extra 15 minutes tomorrow to finish off, and I have to try and write 110 words in 15 minutes... I have practiced it, and I managed to write 200 words in 15 minutes on a subject that I didn't prepare for, but I am unsure if it made sense or not and if it would have got me good marks. I was thinking, perhaps I could write for 10/12 minutes and then spend the 5/3 minutes checking over everything and ensuring that I have covered all of the content. But, it's going to be very challenging as I also have to check over Question 1...Does anybody have any suggestions about what I could do for the Writing exam urgently? Also, what do I have to include in my writing to make sure that I get some decent marks for what I write? This is very important for me as French is my fav. subject and I have a passion for it, so i do not want to fail . Please give any advice possible.Thanks in advance!P.S: Sorry this is such a long post, but you need details. My exam board is AQA.
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pseudo123
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(Original post by Stardom245)
Hello,I am (sadly) in desperate need of assistance with my French Writing exam. I was unaware that I was going to be doing the higher paper for French Writing, and I regret it immensely. My story is quite long, but I would appreciate any help that I could possibly get from anybody (please, please help!) Thank you, and here is my story:For the past couple of months, my normal French teacher has had to give up our class so that a teacher in training could see what teaching is actually like. Big mistake. She was... let's just say she was really, REALLY bad... (literally, I forgot about 3 years worth of learning within a week, she was awful. We didn't learn vocabulary properly, tenses etc. and she was so confusing?) Anyway, she suddenly announced that we would have a French Writing assessment and that some of us would be doing the higher paper, which was not good. I revised for HOURS and thought (hoped lol) that I was ready. Writing is my strongest point in French, and last term, when I did my speaking test (which, btw is my weakest point, I cannot pronounce French TO SAVE MY LIFE!) , I received a grade 9 (I was so surprised that I cried, I didn't think I deserved it at all) , so I wanted at least a grade 7-9 in writing. Now, I am thinking and praying that I get a grade 5 as a bare minimum. When I was sitting the actual exam, my mind went blank for about 5 minutes because the time pressure was horrible, it was the worst thing ever. Our lesson only lasts for 1 hour, and the higher writing exam is usually 1 hours and 15 minutes, so I was really panicking. When I had calmed down a bit, I began Question 3- the translation task- first because it is the quickest and if you are strong at translation, then it is a good way to pick up 12 marks. Even if you are weak at translation, then get it out of the way first so that you do not forget about it and can concentrate on the other tasks (just some advice for anybody doing GCSE French :P). I spent 10 minutes on it because it wasn't too difficult and I am relying on those marks to at least get me near a grade 5. I was not very wise after that; I spent all of my time on the 90 word task and wrote too much (about 150-200 words, and I would really appreciate it if somebody could tell me whether all of it will be marked or not ?) and for the 150 task, I wrote about 40 words because I ran out of time . The thing is, my teacher told me that he is giving the higher students an extra 15 minutes tomorrow to finish off, and I have to try and write 110 words in 15 minutes... I have practiced it, and I managed to write 200 words in 15 minutes on a subject that I didn't prepare for, but I am unsure if it made sense or not and if it would have got me good marks. I was thinking, perhaps I could write for 10/12 minutes and then spend the 5/3 minutes checking over everything and ensuring that I have covered all of the content. But, it's going to be very challenging as I also have to check over Question 1...Does anybody have any suggestions about what I could do for the Writing exam urgently? Also, what do I have to include in my writing to make sure that I get some decent marks for what I write? This is very important for me as French is my fav. subject and I have a passion for it, so i do not want to fail . Please give any advice possible.Thanks in advance!P.S: Sorry this is such a long post, but you need details. My exam board is AQA.
I did AQA french 2 years ago and let me tell you I thought I absolutely failed that exam but came out (very surprisingly) with an A* and full UMS. Obviously the course has drastically changed now and it is much harder to do well, but honestly it's all about going over things again and again. The good thing about GCSE french is that they can only really ask you so much, and after you've done enough practice you'll probably be able to predict what sort of questions you'll be asked. I'm not too sure what the writing tasks are like now but I know when I did it it was all coursework so we had some time to prepare our answers during school. Try and use this time to figure out which revision technique works best for you. I found this gcse vocab list off the AQA website and printed that thing out (it was like 30 pages) and just read EVERYTHING. And after I read and re-read all those words, I'd cover the french translation and translate the words myself. Then I'd do the same again except cover the english words. With any words I got wrong, I'd just go over those ones until I've basically memorised all the words.



I also think doing 2 practice essays a day on different topics could expose you to a plethora of topics available that they could ask you about, and through that you probably will have completely covered every topic on your spec that they'd be able to ask you. Since we didn't have any translation back when I did my GCSE, I'm not too sure about what you could do for that, but I used to watch french news and change the language setting to french when I watched any movies, and I'd try and read french literature (mostly kids books though haha). But it really helped me understand the language better and really helped in my reading and listening exams! In terms of learning vocab and tenses and stuff use an app like memrise or duolingo, both are very good and very helpful.



I know this advice is pretty vague since I don't know anything about the new spec, but I hope it helped! Just try and immerse yourself in the language when you revise and you should come out fine II think whenever you do something 'french' related don't think you're revising. I didn't sit at my books for ages but I would do fun reading and watching around the topic, so it didn't feel like revision at all. Good luck with your exams!
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Stardom245
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Thank you to everybody who replied!I did the exam today... And I have to say, it wasn't as bad as I first thought... (probably still failed lol). I managed to do the 110 words in 10 minutes (I still don't know how- it just came flooding in under the fear of:
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