How to get grade 8/9 in English language and English Literature?!

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Jennifer_6
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I’m currently in year 10 (doing my GCSEs in 2021) and wanted to start making my analysis grade 8/9 level so I was wondering how I can achieve top grades in both English language and literature.

I’m doing English lit AQA studying :
Christmas Carol
Inspector calls
Romeo and Juliet
I’m doing power & conflict cluster of poems.
If anyone has any grade 8/9 pieces of writing they have and how they got there I would love the advice.
Thanks
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The Real Me
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i am in yr 10 too but in my mocks i have got like 6 and 7s so i suggest just learnin quotes and anylising them
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Mona123456
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(Original post by Jennifer_6)
I’m currently in year 10 (doing my GCSEs in 2021) and wanted to start making my analysis grade 8/9 level so I was wondering how I can achieve top grades in both English language and literature.

I’m doing English lit AQA studying :
Christmas Carol
Inspector calls
Romeo and Juliet
I’m doing power & conflict cluster of poems.
If anyone has any grade 8/9 pieces of writing they have and how they got there I would love the advice.
Thanks
Hi there - I’ve answered this question before so will copy and paste my responses below, if you have any other specific questions just let me know



Specific English Lit advice

(Question was about how to revise Macbeth but this advice and the YouTubers I mention also cover other texts and English Language help too):

1. Make sure you’ve fully read through Macbeth and understand the key characters and events/plot. This is common sense but there are some difficult/irrelevant scenes (such as the Ross/Old Man scene and the Macduff/Malcolm scene) so ensure you have at least a vague idea of what’s happening in each scene.

2. Learn quotes for specific characters and themes separately - if a question requires both a theme and character you should already have covered it by doing theme and characters separately. If you haven’t, grade boundaries will be pretty low if it’s that difficult. Try and aim for 6-10 quotes for the main characters and main themes; I recommend Mr Bruff, Mr Salles and Stacey Reay videos to help with higher level quote analysis.

3. Pick the hardest scenes, or the scenes you like the least, then pick the biggest theme/character and invent your own question, and plan a response. If you have a go at devising your own questions and thinking like an examiner it will help you to appreciate the bigger themes and threads in the play.

4. Try and read through the play as many times as you can. Try and read even just a chapter a night - if you can try and absorb as much as possible, hopefully you’ll subconsciously memorise more quotes than you think.



Poetry advice:

So for poems, I made a condensed page of notes (just a single A4 side) on every poem. I’d put top level analysis (Mr Bruff is good for structure analysis and Stacey Reay is good for language analysis), plus contextual points. I’d try and analyse at least 5-6 quotes for each poem minimum, and I’d also make a note of bigger themes and symbolism so it was easier to see links between poems. Then I just kept reading through the notes a few times, and did lots of practice essays to think about which poems compare well.




General essay advice

(Question was about tips for English and History):

1. Be concise! In both English and in History, quality is more important than quantity! For longer essays it’s vital to plan for a few minutes and have a clear, logical structure. For English Lit I used to do three points (in each point there’d be quotes from an extract than a link to elsewhere, or references to two contrasting characters) and usually two would be language points and one may be a more structure based point (especially for poetry essays). For History, I usually did three clear points that were different and used statistics and specific evidence/references to back them up.

2. As I’ve just touched on - use evidence! For English Lit this is quotes, for History dates, names, quotes or references to specific events. You can’t get a grade 7-9 without using lots of evidence in your answers as this shows factual knowledge and is also helpful in focussing your answers.

3. It’s good practice to have an introduction and conclusion, with the introduction outlining your main point/argument or eg to what extent you agree with the question. For English Lit essays introductions should be a small paragraph (3-4 lines) and include context; History introductions just need to be 1-2 sentences for the longer essays. Both English and History require more detailed conclusions though - ideally a good 5-6 lines.

4. A bit of advice for English Language now - for the reading questions, the YouTubers in my first response are great and cover everything you need. For the writing tasks, here are a few more tips:

- Make sure you know the different forms eg article, leaflet, letter and the features of those to get structure marks.

- Look back over past writing tasks and make a list of words you use often. Then google synonyms for them and create a word bank to learn, so eg instead of saying ‘blue’ you say ‘azure.’ This can improve the overall quality of your writing.

- The main thing, is just to do as many practice tasks as you can, go through them with your teacher and learn from feedback to keep improving. Practice does make perfect and is so vital. In my real Paper 1 exam, I was freaking out and had no clue what to do for the creative writing, but because I’d done so many practices I remodelled what I’d written in my mocks and it worked out fine. So be prepared for anything and practice a wide variety of photo prompts.


- Don’t try and look for patterns or guess the question and rely on it coming up, because they might throw you a curveball like they did for my year!



That’s everything - hope this advice is helpful!
Last edited by Mona123456; 5 months ago
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Andromeda019
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So I found the poetry side of English literature really hard when we analysed them a few months ago, but I recently found this new YouTube channel called ‘EnglishWithSim’ and I seriously couldn’t recommend her enough. Her language analysis and social-historical background knowledge will def guarantee us grade 9’s next year. Honestly check her out, I just watched her video on Tissue (the poem I find hardest) and it’s really changed my perception !!!!!! She explains unique ideas in such a clear way
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Jennifer_6
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(Original post by firdouss)
i am in yr 10 too but in my mocks i have got like 6 and 7s so i suggest just learnin quotes and anylising them
Simple but effective - thanks
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Jennifer_6
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(Original post by Mona123456)
Hi there - I’ve answered this question before so will copy and paste my responses below, if you have any other specific questions just let me know



Specific English Lit advice

(Question was about how to revise Macbeth but this advice and the YouTubers I mention also cover other texts and English Language help too):

1. Make sure you’ve fully read through Macbeth and understand the key characters and events/plot. This is common sense but there are some difficult/irrelevant scenes (such as the Ross/Old Man scene and the Macduff/Malcolm scene) so ensure you have at least a vague idea of what’s happening in each scene.

2. Learn quotes for specific characters and themes separately - if a question requires both a theme and character you should already have covered it by doing theme and characters separately. If you haven’t, grade boundaries will be pretty low if it’s that difficult. Try and aim for 6-10 quotes for the main characters and main themes; I recommend Mr Bruff, Mr Salles and Stacey Reay videos to help with higher level quote analysis.

3. Pick the hardest scenes, or the scenes you like the least, then pick the biggest theme/character and invent your own question, and plan a response. If you have a go at devising your own questions and thinking like an examiner it will help you to appreciate the bigger themes and threads in the play.

4. Try and read through the play as many times as you can. Try and read even just a chapter a night - if you can try and absorb as much as possible, hopefully you’ll subconsciously memorise more quotes than you think.



Poetry advice:

So for poems, I made a condensed page of notes (just a single A4 side) on every poem. I’d put top level analysis (Mr Bruff is good for structure analysis and Stacey Reay is good for language analysis), plus contextual points. I’d try and analyse at least 5-6 quotes for each poem minimum, and I’d also make a note of bigger themes and symbolism so it was easier to see links between poems. Then I just kept reading through the notes a few times, and did lots of practice essays to think about which poems compare well.




General essay advice

(Question was about tips for English and History):

1. Be concise! In both English and in History, quality is more important than quantity! For longer essays it’s vital to plan for a few minutes and have a clear, logical structure. For English Lit I used to do three points (in each point there’d be quotes from an extract than a link to elsewhere, or references to two contrasting characters) and usually two would be language points and one may be a more structure based point (especially for poetry essays). For History, I usually did three clear points that were different and used statistics and specific evidence/references to back them up.

2. As I’ve just touched on - use evidence! For English Lit this is quotes, for History dates, names, quotes or references to specific events. You can’t get a grade 7-9 without using lots of evidence in your answers as this shows factual knowledge and is also helpful in focussing your answers.

3. It’s good practice to have an introduction and conclusion, with the introduction outlining your main point/argument or eg to what extent you agree with the question. For English Lit essays introductions should be a small paragraph (3-4 lines) and include context; History introductions just need to be 1-2 sentences for the longer essays. Both English and History require more detailed conclusions though - ideally a good 5-6 lines.

4. A bit of advice for English Language now - for the reading questions, the YouTubers in my first response are great and cover everything you need. For the writing tasks, here are a few more tips:

- Make sure you know the different forms eg article, leaflet, letter and the features of those to get structure marks.

- Look back over past writing tasks and make a list of words you use often. Then google synonyms for them and create a word bank to learn, so eg instead of saying ‘blue’ you say ‘azure.’ This can improve the overall quality of your writing.

- The main thing, is just to do as many practice tasks as you can, go through them with your teacher and learn from feedback to keep improving. Practice does make perfect and is so vital. In my real Paper 1 exam, I was freaking out and had no clue what to do for the creative writing, but because I’d done so many practices I remodelled what I’d written in my mocks and it worked out fine. So be prepared for anything and practice a wide variety of photo prompts.


- Don’t try and look for patterns or guess the question and rely on it coming up, because they might throw you a curveball like they did for my year!



That’s everything - hope this advice is helpful!
Thank you so much - I’ll try these YouTubers so I can get different perspectives. I’m going to try to practice/plan questions so I become more strong in my analysis. Using more sophisticated writing will really help boost my writing .

Do/did you do history gcse?
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Jennifer_6
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(Original post by Andromeda019)
So I found the poetry side of English literature really hard when we analysed them a few months ago, but I recently found this new YouTube channel called ‘EnglishWithSim’ and I seriously couldn’t recommend her enough. Her language analysis and social-historical background knowledge will def guarantee us grade 9’s next year. Honestly check her out, I just watched her video on Tissue (the poem I find hardest) and it’s really changed my perception !!!!!! She explains unique ideas in such a clear way
Thank you I’ll check her out and see what she’s like.
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Jennifer_6
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Oh that would be great,thank you!
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Mona123456
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(Original post by Jennifer_6)
Thank you so much - I’ll try these YouTubers so I can get different perspectives. I’m going to try to practice/plan questions so I become more strong in my analysis. Using more sophisticated writing will really help boost my writing .

Do/did you do history gcse?
You’re welcome. Stacey Reay is especially good (and she has some videos aimed particularly for grade 7-9 students too).

Yes, I did History GCSE, but didn’t take it for A Level (I’m in Year 13).
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ToryLanez
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I second englishwithsim- found her on here. She's only got 3 vids on yt right now but they're amazing
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