csmlady
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Okay so I'm in year 9 and I've chosen French, Geography and Triple Science for my GCSEs next year. I've sent the form in, and I'm sure I want to do Geography and Triple Science but I'm a bit worried about French, although there wasn't really anything else I considered doing instead of it, although I did consider History, but before that I was going to do Computer Science but felt that it was too hard and it wasn't in the options field, because I'd have to do it instead of Geography which I would never do because I love geography. (sorry for my bad punctuation haha I'm typing this super fast at midnight!😬) I'm just worried that I've made the wrong decision, but also I feel that history would be useless (history was the only thing I liked that I could choose instead of French) because geography has history in it, and science, which is why I did it (I'm really into natural science). I think french is a nice language but I wasn't doing so good at it in year 7 and 8 so I was really worried this year, but I've gotten quite better (had a new teacher who was so much more supportive). next year the teacher will be leaving and I'll have either the new teacher or my old teacher (she's okay but doesn't care about people's problems even though she was my head of year, so she kind of puts me off if that makes sense). I guess I'm just ranting and hoping that I'll do better next year. I'm set 1 in science if it helps, so I'm not worried about that. geography I could be okay in too (idk if they set us, do they??) so can anyone give me advice (oh also we get our predicted grades in the first week of year 10 I think, and can also change our subjects if the time table allows it so I could do history if I changed my mind, but I'd have to catch up alot as history has a lot of content tbh). does anyone know how I can get better at french/geography, but mainly French. and also where can I buy WJEC GCSE books?? please. thank you. also I've been worried about my English and maths (set 1 in both) any tips on getting better. I'm set 2 for Welsh but I'm not too worried about that as my dad is Welsh but can't speak it, and my mother is foreign but is fluent (weird ik lol but she got tutoring for it) so I'm just lucky I can speak it as it is tbh
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spacingoutagainx
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heyy, i’ve just finished y11 so hopefully what i say is helpful for you

you seem like you really enjoy geography and triple science and if that is true, definitely take them. i didnt do either of those topics (i did history, computer science and imedia - as well as french but that was compulsory for me), so i cant really tell you what it would be like but i know from my friends that for aqa geography, you need to have good timings with your questions. for triple science (aqa), personally i would just say to really understand content that everyone does (in triple science it’s content everyone does - with more depth i think tho - plus other topics that only triple science covers) because then you would have a really good basic understanding too.

oh also, you aren’t put into sets for any of your options other than french - that’s what my school was like at least.

for science, youtube is really good - you might have heard of freesciencelessons but he covers everything for most exam boards.

as someone who did history, history isn’t useless😂history helps with the way you analyse things and your understanding of it too. when i did history - i could see links in the eras with what i was doing in history and what i was doing in english literature (i then used the links as context in eng lit). history also helps with extended writing, for me the highest marked question was a twenty marker and in order to plan that we got many different things that you’ll find useful as you get to apply them anywhere you can.

from doing computer science, i would say only do it if you know the teacher will teach you the content properly and you like the type of stuff that is covered in the course.

i struggled with french but near the end of it, i was getting better at the grammar and vocab but still had to work on the writing part of it. for me the easiest was reading because i just searched for key words and phrases in the texts. writing was good if you could think about different things for the bullet points in the questions. listening is usually always the hardest for people since in the audios, people talk quite fast. if you like and are better at history than french, definitely pick french but if you are still unsure - use duolingo to help with french (it slowly helps you learn vocab and grammar through repetition).

cgp books are really good but i would also say overrated, once you can go out - go to whsmith or somewhere and look at the different revision guides there are available. in general, wjec gcse books should be available everywhere as far as i know.

for english - i would say to go over things like viewpoint and perspective writing by being up to date on the news and what is happening around the world (just basic knowledge on it). for eng lang paper 1 i would say to look at sources and just spot out techniques and the effect on the reader + the writers intentions and then for q5 look at pictures from different themes/genres and write just simple sentences about it including different techniques then at the end try putting them together to make an actual answer.

for maths, maths genie was literally my lifesaver - i really like maths and have always been good at it too and didn’t feel the need to go over everything so i only used maths genie. it has videos and/or notes on all topics based on their grade, questions about the topics, exam style questions and past papers too.

for welsh, get as much help as you can from your mum - it will really help you, you could figure out what your weakest area is (writing/speaking/listening/reading) and focus on that.

overall, i would say to find your revision techniques and what works best for you. it would also really help you get a better understanding if you know what exam boards you are doing and what okays/books you are studying (for english lit), you will also need to know time periods for history.

just know - you want to go in knowing what your doing is stuff you like and will enjoy, you also only want general knowledge in stuff before going in, in september (learning everything know will make it harder to understand more detail).
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csmlady
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(Original post by spacingoutagainx)
heyy, i’ve just finished y11 so hopefully what i say is helpful for you

you seem like you really enjoy geography and triple science and if that is true, definitely take them. i didnt do either of those topics (i did history, computer science and imedia - as well as french but that was compulsory for me), so i cant really tell you what it would be like but i know from my friends that for aqa geography, you need to have good timings with your questions. for triple science (aqa), personally i would just say to really understand content that everyone does (in triple science it’s content everyone does - with more depth i think tho - plus other topics that only triple science covers) because then you would have a really good basic understanding too.

oh also, you aren’t put into sets for any of your options other than french - that’s what my school was like at least.

for science, youtube is really good - you might have heard of freesciencelessons but he covers everything for most exam boards.

as someone who did history, history isn’t useless😂history helps with the way you analyse things and your understanding of it too. when i did history - i could see links in the eras with what i was doing in history and what i was doing in english literature (i then used the links as context in eng lit). history also helps with extended writing, for me the highest marked question was a twenty marker and in order to plan that we got many different things that you’ll find useful as you get to apply them anywhere you can.

from doing computer science, i would say only do it if you know the teacher will teach you the content properly and you like the type of stuff that is covered in the course.

i struggled with french but near the end of it, i was getting better at the grammar and vocab but still had to work on the writing part of it. for me the easiest was reading because i just searched for key words and phrases in the texts. writing was good if you could think about different things for the bullet points in the questions. listening is usually always the hardest for people since in the audios, people talk quite fast. if you like and are better at history than french, definitely pick french but if you are still unsure - use duolingo to help with french (it slowly helps you learn vocab and grammar through repetition).

cgp books are really good but i would also say overrated, once you can go out - go to whsmith or somewhere and look at the different revision guides there are available. in general, wjec gcse books should be available everywhere as far as i know.

for english - i would say to go over things like viewpoint and perspective writing by being up to date on the news and what is happening around the world (just basic knowledge on it). for eng lang paper 1 i would say to look at sources and just spot out techniques and the effect on the reader + the writers intentions and then for q5 look at pictures from different themes/genres and write just simple sentences about it including different techniques then at the end try putting them together to make an actual answer.

for maths, maths genie was literally my lifesaver - i really like maths and have always been good at it too and didn’t feel the need to go over everything so i only used maths genie. it has videos and/or notes on all topics based on their grade, questions about the topics, exam style questions and past papers too.

for welsh, get as much help as you can from your mum - it will really help you, you could figure out what your weakest area is (writing/speaking/listening/reading) and focus on that.

overall, i would say to find your revision techniques and what works best for you. it would also really help you get a better understanding if you know what exam boards you are doing and what okays/books you are studying (for english lit), you will also need to know time periods for history.

just know - you want to go in knowing what your doing is stuff you like and will enjoy, you also only want general knowledge in stuff before going in, in september (learning everything know will make it harder to understand more detail).
that helps so much omg thank you!! I think I'm going to stick with french tbh. thank you so much!!
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spacingoutagainx
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(Original post by csmlady)
that helps so much omg thank you!! I think I'm going to stick with french tbh. thank you so much!!
im glad that it’s helped you decide, your welcome!
if you ever need any help in french, i can always give you some tips
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InspiredPleb
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Hello! Year 11 , upcoming Y12 here, so (somewhat) qualified to answer this. These are all my experiences , and factoring in what my friends have said about subjects I didn't take. I'll put in my exam boards here as they can change how hard the course is sometimes. Have a look at other opinions of the courses if your exam board is different , heck check other reviews out even if all our exam boards are the same!

French (AQA) : My most disliked subject.
I actually really enjoy learning foreign languages, which is why I was one of the few in our school that didn't dislike it from the beginning even though I had to take it along with my options. The writing is very easy - remember vocab and a few grammar rules, use the same formula in the exam and you will get the grades. Remembering vocab is the key to doing well in the reading aspect : smash that and you will smash the test.

But the listening and the speaking exam really made me dislike the subject - and they made up half the grade! I really struggled with the listening exam - the french speakers did not speak clearly or slowly in my opinion, and some of the answers being multiple choice didn't lessen the difficulty (looking at the average marks for the test, seems that other people experienced the same haha)! For the speaking exam I had to attempt to remember 30 paragraph long responses off my head and recite 15 of them to a random examiner perfectly, having no say in what 15 questions were asked. That was such a frightening experience to be in.... I loved French in Year 7 - 8 (I chose options in Y8) but after that we were taught the language not to build fluency (which I wanted to learn, as I enjoy language learning) but learning formulas to get the best marks. If you think your passion for French will carry you through, then do take it, but it won't be easy.

As for getting better in French, a lovely tutor was crucial for me to even pass well in it. I was Set 1, good academically but the highest grade I ever got was a 6 as my speaking was very poor, Listening not great either. A bad tutor shouldn't be the end all be all though.

Computer Science (OCR) : Deceptively a really easy GCSE for me.
If you don't mind revising a decent bit to go over quite a lot of material, it's a breeze and one you can definitely get an 8/9 in if you put into effort. That being said, I'm not fantastic in programming and the only serious programming you had to do was in non marked coursework so I do imagine my course would be harder if my exam board included this as a marked thing (you had to write very simple code for one written exam, but it was really simple ). However, if it's not something you're interested in don't feel pressured to take it. Always choose things you're interested in.

Triple Science (AQA) : Really good if you do well in Science, and enjoy it !
Never was too mathematically minded, but a lot of my friends took it. There's not too much added content from standard AQA science, and if you enjoy your timetable being filled with Science, you'll love it. There's a lot more practicals too.

Geography (Edexcel) vs History (AQA) : We were set randomly haha. Like History, this has A LOT of content. The trade off between this and History is that History has harder questions and more detailed information to absorb but less content, and Geography has a limited number of questions and even more content. Revise a decent amount, focusing on your 'case studies', which a certain amount of will definitely appear on your exam as 8 markers, will guarantee you good marks. That you're passionate about it too will let you do well, I think . A tip to not get overwhelmed though : make case study revision notes for each topic as quick as possible, so come Y11 mock and exam times you're not going over all your books trying to quickly find case studies to revise from. It's much easier test wise than History, as long as you remember your stuff. To get better, just revise content and if you're struggling with exam technique, it's simple enough that if you go through with it with your teacher / do a practice exam you'll get it completely after a few times

So overall : have a think about French, doing Geography and Triple Science sounds great for you, History is a really engaging GCSE from what I've heard but hard test wise, and CS is a solid choice but as with any GCSE you should be interested in it. To get better in Maths and English - with both you need to do practice tests to get good grades, even more so than any other subjects. I did Eduqas English and EdExcel Maths, but from what I've heard all exam boards require you to have amazing exam technique to do well. Dig up past papers from your exam boards website for English, use Hegarty Maths for maths if you can ( I know we all dislike it but it is useful!).

Also, if you do happen to do any of the subjects with the same exam board as I did, or even if you just need revision resources for GCSE in general, I have quite a few. There's more similarities in exam boards that you might think !

Jeez this was a long post. Regardless, good luck in choosing GCSEs. I still need to figure out my A Levels haha !!
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InspiredPleb
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(Original post by spacingoutagainx)
heyy, i’ve just finished y11 so hopefully what i say is helpful for you

you seem like you really enjoy geography and triple science and if that is true, definitely take them. i didnt do either of those topics (i did history, computer science and imedia - as well as french but that was compulsory for me), so i cant really tell you what it would be like but i know from my friends that for aqa geography, you need to have good timings with your questions. for triple science (aqa), personally i would just say to really understand content that everyone does (in triple science it’s content everyone does - with more depth i think tho - plus other topics that only triple science covers) because then you would have a really good basic understanding too.

oh also, you aren’t put into sets for any of your options other than french - that’s what my school was like at least.

for science, youtube is really good - you might have heard of freesciencelessons but he covers everything for most exam boards.

as someone who did history, history isn’t useless😂history helps with the way you analyse things and your understanding of it too. when i did history - i could see links in the eras with what i was doing in history and what i was doing in english literature (i then used the links as context in eng lit). history also helps with extended writing, for me the highest marked question was a twenty marker and in order to plan that we got many different things that you’ll find useful as you get to apply them anywhere you can.

from doing computer science, i would say only do it if you know the teacher will teach you the content properly and you like the type of stuff that is covered in the course.

i struggled with french but near the end of it, i was getting better at the grammar and vocab but still had to work on the writing part of it. for me the easiest was reading because i just searched for key words and phrases in the texts. writing was good if you could think about different things for the bullet points in the questions. listening is usually always the hardest for people since in the audios, people talk quite fast. if you like and are better at history than french, definitely pick french but if you are still unsure - use duolingo to help with french (it slowly helps you learn vocab and grammar through repetition).

cgp books are really good but i would also say overrated, once you can go out - go to whsmith or somewhere and look at the different revision guides there are available. in general, wjec gcse books should be available everywhere as far as i know.

for english - i would say to go over things like viewpoint and perspective writing by being up to date on the news and what is happening around the world (just basic knowledge on it). for eng lang paper 1 i would say to look at sources and just spot out techniques and the effect on the reader + the writers intentions and then for q5 look at pictures from different themes/genres and write just simple sentences about it including different techniques then at the end try putting them together to make an actual answer.

for maths, maths genie was literally my lifesaver - i really like maths and have always been good at it too and didn’t feel the need to go over everything so i only used maths genie. it has videos and/or notes on all topics based on their grade, questions about the topics, exam style questions and past papers too.

for welsh, get as much help as you can from your mum - it will really help you, you could figure out what your weakest area is (writing/speaking/listening/reading) and focus on that.

overall, i would say to find your revision techniques and what works best for you. it would also really help you get a better understanding if you know what exam boards you are doing and what okays/books you are studying (for english lit), you will also need to know time periods for history.

just know - you want to go in knowing what your doing is stuff you like and will enjoy, you also only want general knowledge in stuff before going in, in september (learning everything know will make it harder to understand more detail).
Agree with pretty much everything said here - only thing I would advise differently on is Duolingo. It does help teach vocabulary, but often this is vocab that is pretty elementary and examiners often gave top grades to those who used distinctive quantifiers / adjectives etc. Quizlet, while being less pretty can teach better vocab if you find a good card deck (I can make some recommendations if needed)! Duolingo isn't bad for just starting out though - as they say, general knowledge is best for now, but you'll want to start using Quizlet or an alternative when you start your GCSE course. CGP books are certainly overrated, but they were a godsend for me in Computer Science and Maths.
Last edited by InspiredPleb; 5 months ago
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spacingoutagainx
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(Original post by InspiredPleb)
Agree with pretty much everything said here - only thing I would advise differently on is Duolingo. It does help teach vocabulary, but often this is vocab that is pretty elementary and examiners often gave top grades to those who used distinctive quantifiers / adjectives etc. Quizlet, while being less pretty can teach better vocab if you find a good card deck (I can make some recommendations if needed)! Duolingo isn't bad for just starting out though - as they say, general knowledge is best for now, but you'll want to start using Quizlet or an alternative when you start your GCSE course. CGP books are certainly overrated, but they were a godsend for me in Computer Science and Maths.
i honestly forgot about quizlet but i used that a lot too - it was really helpful.

and i agree with you on duolingo only teaching elementary vocab because once i started to get better at vocab, i realised that duolingo isn’t what i need for the level i am at now.
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