Mustafa2021
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Hey, do you think it is possible to get from a grade 5 to a grade 7 in french in just one year? I have my GCSE’s next year and my current grade in french is a 5 but I am predicted a 7. I am really worried about this so I decided to make revision cards on all the grammar topics however I am still very unsure for the vocabulary part. I have tried all the apps and they don’t seem to help me. It would be very helpful if I can get some advise on this. As I am extremely scared.

Thanks.
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alulaaustralis
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yes! i went from a 7 in year 10 to a 9 in my final gcses this year. i got 9s across reading, writing, listening and speaking for my most recent mocks and the same for mocks before. the jump was two grades - which is what you're aiming for so read on-->

-the secret is in making lots of quizlet sets. go through the set vocab after each lesson - my teacher gave us weekly vocab tests to ensure this so our year got pretty good french grades overall this year.

-also- make physical flashcards for grammar- as you already have. i don't recommend making physical flashcards for vocab - only digital because theres something like 10,000 words (you probably already know around of a 1/3 of these - just basic ones so don't panic lol) you probably need to know and then some, so it's a LOT to write out and a waste of time. i made detailed bullet pointed grammar flashcards for everything we need to know for french higher (i did edexcel 9-1) and went over all 6 tenses/ sentence structures/ voices and whatever other stuff there is (i've forgotten everything now lmao) before every exam and aced it.

-for speaking exams, just memorise answers to questions you could be asked. the questions i was asked in the exam were always a simple variation/slight change from the ones i memorised answers for - so as long as you understand questions in the moment, you can recall the answer you memorised. it was a pain to memorise answers since i had A LOT but it works and my speaking grades were always 95% or above.

-for reading, use the context. we naturally have language intuition- follow your gut if you can't make out more than 20% of what the words in the sentence mean. i did and usually got it right- more people need to guess and follow their gut in the exam instead of leaving it blank - there's no negative marking so why not!

-for writing, reading practice is very helpful. don't rest in class until you understand everything. i think writing is the only one where revising all other skills is really the only revision i did. e.g. i used some of my speaking answers i memorised in writing exercises- they do not care if you do. ofc answer ALL bullet points and don't deviate as you have a word count to write under & won't gain marks for writing outside the bullet points but be creative with what you learnt for your speaking! & memorise 'complex' lexical terms that use hard grammar. this means you don't have to make things up in the exam, and just write from memory. ik it sounds like more of a memory game than actually learning the ins and outs of a language but thats what 9-1 left us with.

-listening was the bane of my existance so i did little of it because i was lazy and unmotivated but use practice listening exams religiously! start on old spec ones bc they're easier for you at the start of y11 when you haven't covered all content and then move on to new spec ones (there's not that many so be careful). also - inner french on YT makes good french podcasts that gcse students can acc understand so listen! and read subtitles ofc

i hope this helps! you've shown you take initiative while your peers will probably start taking that around december/jan time anyways so well done!
Last edited by alulaaustralis; 3 months ago
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average_human
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H

(Original post by Mustafa2021)
Hey, do you think it is possible to get from a grade 5 to a grade 7 in french in just one year? I have my GCSE’s next year and my current grade in french is a 5 but I am predicted a 7. I am really worried about this so I decided to make revision cards on all the grammar topics however I am still very unsure for the vocabulary part. I have tried all the apps and they don’t seem to help me. It would be very helpful if I can get some advise on this. As I am extremely scared.

Thanks.
-Hi, I definitely think it's possible to get from a Grade 5 to a Grade 7. I too have my GCSEs next year and I am aiming for a 7/8 in French. For vocab, personally, I use Quizlet. I just search GCSE French, the exam board, and then the topic you want to practice. There are many sets on there that people have already made. I know you said the apps don't seem to work but maybe if you try and practice for just 10 minutes a day you might see a difference?? Also, you could try putting up post-it notes around your room with bits of vocab on-I find these an extremely effective way of remembering vocab.
-For reading and listening, I would just recommend doing lots of practice papers and annotating the transcripts.
-I will also attach a sheet on here that I hope will help with writing. It has key verb conjugations for each tense and some good phrases to improve your writing.

The fact that you've posted on here shows me that you obviously care about doing well. I have no doubt that you will smash it!
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Mustafa2021
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(Original post by alulaaustralis)
yes! not the best person to ask here since my grades in french were never below a 7 (sounds like a horrible humble brag but i worked hard on it) i went from a 7 in year 10 to a 9 in my final gcses this year. i got 9s across reading, writing, listening and speaking for my most recent mocks and the same for mocks before.
-the secret is in making lots of quizlet sets. go through the set vocab after each lesson - my teacher gave us weekly vocab tests to ensure this so our year got pretty good french grades overall this year.
-also- make physical flashcards for grammar- as you already have. i don't recommend making physical flashcards for vocab - only digital because theres something like 10,000 words (you probably already know around of a 1/3 of these - just basic ones so don't panic lol) you probably need to know and then some, so it's a LOT to write out and a waste of time. i made detailed bullet pointed grammar flashcards for everything we need to know for french higher (i did edexcel 9-1) and went over all 6 tenses/ sentence structures/ voices and whatever other stuff there is (i've forgotten everything now lmao) before every exam and aced it.
-for speaking exams, just memorise answers to questions you could be asked. the questions i was asked in the exam were always a simple variation/slight change from the ones i memorised answers for - so as long as you understand questions in the moment, you can recall the answer you memorised. it was a pain to memorise answers since i had A LOT but it works and my speaking grades were always 95% or above.
-for reading, use the context. we naturally have language intuition- follow your gut if you can't make out more than 20% of what the words in the sentence mean. i did and usually got it right- more people need to guess and follow their gut in the exam instead of leaving it blank - there's no negative marking so why not!
-for writing, reading practice is very helpful. don't rest in class until you understand everything. i think writing is the only one where revising all other skills is really the only revision i did. e.g. i used some of my speaking answers i memorised in writing exercises- they do not care if you do. ofc answer ALL bullet points and don't deviate as you have a word count to write under & won't gain marks for writing outside the bullet points but be creative with what you learnt for your speaking! & memorise 'complex' lexical terms that use hard grammar. this means you don't have to make things up in the exam, and just write from memory. ik it sounds like more of a memory game than actually learning the ins and outs of a language but thats what 9-1 left us with. i hope this helps!
Thanks so much for your help.
I now have a good idea for what to do and feel much more confident. So thanks.

Just one question. There has been a change to my GCSE and the speaking has been removed. (We will still do it but it won’t count towards the exam and will come up as pass merit or distinction on the result). Any way you could let me know where I could find questions and answers to the speaking so that I could also memorise. I also do edexcel gcse french.

Once again thank you for your advice it has truly helped.
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average_human
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(Original post by average_human)
H


-Hi, I definitely think it's possible to get from a Grade 5 to a Grade 7. I too have my GCSEs next year and I am aiming for a 7/8 in French. For vocab, personally, I use Quizlet. I just search GCSE French, the exam board, and then the topic you want to practice. There are many sets on there that people have already made. I know you said the apps don't seem to work but maybe if you try and practice for just 10 minutes a day you might see a difference?? Also, you could try putting up post-it notes around your room with bits of vocab on-I find these an extremely effective way of remembering vocab.
-For reading and listening, I would just recommend doing lots of practice papers and annotating the transcripts.
-I will also attach a sheet on here that I hope will help with writing. It has key verb conjugations for each tense and some good phrases to improve your writing.

The fact that you've posted on here shows me that you obviously care about doing well. I have no doubt that you will smash it!
here you go
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alulaaustralis
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(Original post by Mustafa2021)
Thanks so much for your help.
I now have a good idea for what to do and feel much more confident. So thanks.

Just one question. There has been a change to my GCSE and the speaking has been removed. (We will still do it but it won’t count towards the exam and will come up as pass merit or distinction on the result). Any way you could let me know where I could find questions and answers to the speaking so that I could also memorise. I also do edexcel gcse french.

Once again thank you for your advice it has truly helped.
i acc deleted my quizlet sets for speaking (stupid ik) because there was like 600 sets on my account and it was making it hard for me to find stuff so all GCSE french content is gone. i'd personally recommend using questions from the textbook/revision guide you have or searching 'french speaking exam questions' on google and writing your own answers- this acts as multi revision - on vocab, grammar and writing so there you go!
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bluebeetle
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(Original post by Mustafa2021)
Hey, do you think it is possible to get from a grade 5 to a grade 7 in french in just one year? I have my GCSE’s next year and my current grade in french is a 5 but I am predicted a 7. I am really worried about this so I decided to make revision cards on all the grammar topics however I am still very unsure for the vocabulary part. I have tried all the apps and they don’t seem to help me. It would be very helpful if I can get some advise on this. As I am extremely scared.

Thanks.
There are a few things you can do to make it easier for your brain to remember vocabulary.

1) Spaced practice. Your brain finds it easier to remember things in the long-term if you constantly let yourself almost forget it.
An example of how you could use this would be to create sets of vocab flashcards. For each set, first review it. Then wait a day before you review it again. Then, wait 3 days before you review it again. Then, wait a week before you review it again. Then, wait two weeks. This should help the vocabulary stay in your head better. As you're doing this, you can obviously cycle through different sets of flashcards, so you don't just go two weeks doing no French, you just don't do that specific flashcard set in that period.

2) Set up situations where you need the vocabulary. Your brain is more inclined to remember things it requires.
The best way I know to do this is to speak more and write more outside of your lessons. See if you can persuade your friends to speak with you. Try to write a daily diary entry in French. You'll end up needing common words very often, and the more times you have to remind yourself of the word when you need it, the better you'll learn it.

3) Listen to the French versions of songs you already know
I used to listen to the French versions of Disney songs. The lyrics aren't direct translations, but I swear I always remembered vocabulary better if it featured in one of those songs I listened to. Obviously, listen actively. Make sure you know the lyrics and their translations. A variation of this is - if you play video games - switch the language on the video game to French and make sure subtitles are on. Works best if you're already familiar with the video game and the dialogue and stuff.

4) Make it fun!
Pick 10 random words in French from your flashcards. Even if you don't remember what they mean, try to write a few sentences that incorporate all of the words (doesn't matter how messy they are!). Then, afterwards, check what all of the words mean. Chances are, if you forgot a word, you've ended up with some nonsense or funny sentence, and if you associate a word with a funny memory, you're more likely to remember it. My friends and I used to play this game together.
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_Charlotte21
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(Original post by Mustafa2021)
Hey, do you think it is possible to get from a grade 5 to a grade 7 in french in just one year? I have my GCSE’s next year and my current grade in french is a 5 but I am predicted a 7. I am really worried about this so I decided to make revision cards on all the grammar topics however I am still very unsure for the vocabulary part. I have tried all the apps and they don’t seem to help me. It would be very helpful if I can get some advise on this. As I am extremely scared.

Thanks.
Absolutely and I'm speaking as someone who went 3 grades up in their A-level French exam. The main advice I would give you is really focus on the grammar. Hopefully, you have a teacher who really hones in on that as unfortunately, that was were I was let down and no amount of graft and hard work can help if the foundations in your understanding of the grammar are not there. The grammar is key to being able to structure any sentence and then you can add all the buzz phrases and impressive sentence starters that they look for at GCSE. With regards to your worries about the vocabulary, what is troubling you? Have you been given set topics that you know will be on the exam like environment, health? Something I always found useful was doing past exam papers because the topics from year-to-year were very similar and so you could almost preempt what would be on and what kind of vocabulary to expect. Don't be scared, you'll do fine and you sound like you're putting in all the work. Just make sure you focus on the basic grammar; masculine and feminine, know your tenses and you'll be fine.
Last edited by _Charlotte21; 3 months ago
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Ali12121
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absolutely, I went from a U to an A* in Spanish in less than a year so definitely possible
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Mustafa2021
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(Original post by average_human)
here you go
Thank you 🙏
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Mustafa2021
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(Original post by _Charlotte21)
Absolutely and I'm speaking as someone who went 3 grades up in their A-level French exam. The main advice I would give you is really focus on the grammar. Hopefully, you have a teacher who really hones in on that as unfortunately, that was were I was let down and no amount of graft and hard work can help if the foundations in your understanding of the grammar are not there. The grammar is key to being able to structure any sentence and then you can add all the buzz phrases and impressive sentence starters that they look for at GCSE. With regards to your worries about the vocabulary, what is troubling you? Have you been given set topics that you know will be on the exam like environment, health? Something I always found useful was doing past exam papers because the topics from year-to-year were very similar and so you could almost preempt what would be on and what kind of vocabulary to expect. Don't be scared, you'll do fine and you sound like you're putting in all the work. Just make sure you focus on the basic grammar; masculine and feminine, know your tenses and you'll be fine.
Thanks for the advice will definitely take into account
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