Unicorn786
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HI everyone, I am in year 8 now about to choose my gcse subjects in a few days. I want to choose computer science, geography, French (I have to choose a language) Religious Studies (I have to because school) and P.E (I have to because school) and hopefully triple science if I get chosen in year 10. In year 9 I'm going to start the course and I am just a bit curious what I will be learning in my subjects for example I have no idea what's the difference between english language and literature. I want to get mostly 9s so do I have to be in set 1 and make sure to understand the topics, revise for end of unit test and make flashcards about the basics in Year 9. Thanks because I'm not sure I'll probably email my school for extra info but any knowledge from people in the years above is really appreciated!
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Mkm5
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English literature is where you have your set texts and you have to learn the themes, context and characters and analyse language whereas language is all unseen, you pick things out of a random text you are given and then you have to write either a piece of fiction or non-fiction x
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Unicorn786
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(Original post by Mkm5)
English literature is where you have your set texts and you have to learn the themes, context and characters and analyse language whereas language is all unseen, you pick things out of a random text you are given and then you have to write either a piece of fiction or non-fiction x
Thank you so much that was very helpful too!
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dani_05
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(Original post by Unicorn786)
HI everyone, I am in year 8 now about to choose my gcse subjects in a few days. I want to choose computer science, geography, French (I have to choose a language) Religious Studies (I have to because school) and P.E (I have to because school) and hopefully triple science if I get chosen in year 10. In year 9 I'm going to start the course and I am just a bit curious what I will be learning in my subjects for example I have no idea what's the difference between english language and literature. I want to get mostly 9s so do I have to be in set 1 and make sure to understand the topics, revise for end of unit test and make flashcards about the basics in Year 9. Thanks because I'm not sure I'll probably email my school for extra info but any knowledge from people in the years above is really appreciated!
Hi Unicorn786, your school seems a bit weird for making you choose GCSE subjects in year 8 (It's not unheard of but very uncommon). I personally am in year 11 and we chose our subjects in year 9 and started actually learning the GCSE content in year 10. We could also pick whatever subjects we wanted and there were no restrictions except we had to choose RE because it is a religious school. Are you sure GCSE PE is compulsory or do you mean core PE?

The only one I can really help you with is Geography which I am doing right now and predicted an 7-9 in. Our school follows the AQA syllabus (but it's pretty much the same with other exam boards) and it's split into three units, physical geography, human geography and geographical applications which is fieldwork. You do a paper on each unit so three papers in total.

Each unit has a couple of sections and there are also several sub-units. For example, unit 1 is called 'living with the physical environment and section 1 is called 'living with the physical environment' and the sub-units for section 1 include 'natural hazards, tectonic hazards, weather hazards, climate change. Section B is called 'the living world' and the sub-units includes 'ecosystems, tropical rainforests and hot deserts/cold environments.

There will be several sub-units that are optional meaning that your school gets to choose which one to do. For example, in paper 2, which is human geography, you need to know about an overview of food, water and energy in the UK but then your school gets to choose whether to do a global overview on either food, water or energy.

Paper 3 is evaluation and fieldwork and instead of revising and memorising things, it is more practical. Section A of paper 3 (issue evaluation) involves learning about a new issue which you will never have studied before. You'll get a resource booklet about 12 weeks before the exam consisting of maps, diagrams, photographs, sketches etc. The exam will assess your ability to make sense of the booklet and in those twelve weeks. you'll be able to read, understand and prepare for the exam. The issue could be anything bit will be linked to what you learnt in physical and human geography. For example, the topic of the issue evaluation could be 'The figure shows a tropical storm in Puerto Rico in Autumn 2017. How should Puerto Rico try to recover from the damage done?'

Section B of paper 3 is fieldwork. You need to revise two fieldwork topics which will be split into one physical topic, where you carried out an investigation into rivers, coasts, glaciated landscapes and processes. The other fieldwork topic will be a human topic, where you've investigated a rural or urban places e.g. your topic could be a housing estate in London. The questions will be about two types of fieldwork including fieldwork you yourself have carried out and unfamiliar fieldwork, where you apply what you have learned to new places.

To give you a short breakdown, paper 1 is physical geography which is very much science based e.g. weather, hazards and landscapes etc. Paper 2 is human geography and includes things like reasons for crime in cities, wealth, health, tourism, and UK economy e.g. the north-south divide etc. Paper 3 is issue evaluation and fieldwork which is more practical and involves utilising your geographical knowledge and skills.

Geography is a very content heavy subject but I find it quite interesting. The only reason I'm not doing it for A level is because I hate physical geography although I heard from my Geography teacher that you do watch Coronation Street.

With regards to english, literature is more analysing texts and poems looking at how a characters portrays a certain theme or how a theme is portrayed through the characters, e.g. in An Inspector Calls, how does the Inspector present social responsibility. You will have learnt the texts beforehand so you will have practice but you don't what theme or character they might ask you to analyse. In comparison, language is more to do with descriptive writing and short stories analysing things like structure and effect on reader. All the texts are unseen but the questions are always pretty much structured the same e.g. in Paper 1 Q5, you are always given a picture and asked to write a descriptive piece based on it. For more information, I would suggest looking at a past paper and then you will notice the difference between the two. Same with geography to look at the difference between physical and human. Hope this helps and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask me!
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Unicorn786
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(Original post by dani_05)
Hi Unicorn786, your school seems a bit weird for making you choose GCSE subjects in year 8 (It's not unheard of but very uncommon). I personally am in year 11 and we chose our subjects in year 9 and started actually learning the GCSE content in year 10. We could also pick whatever subjects we wanted and there were no restrictions except we had to choose RE because it is a religious school. Are you sure GCSE PE is compulsory or do you mean core PE?

The only one I can really help you with is Geography which I am doing right now and predicted an 7-9 in. Our school follows the AQA syllabus (but it's pretty much the same with other exam boards) and it's split into three units, physical geography, human geography and geographical applications which is fieldwork. You do a paper on each unit so three papers in total.

Each unit has a couple of sections and there are also several sub-units. For example, unit 1 is called 'living with the physical environment and section 1 is called 'living with the physical environment' and the sub-units for section 1 include 'natural hazards, tectonic hazards, weather hazards, climate change. Section B is called 'the living world' and the sub-units includes 'ecosystems, tropical rainforests and hot deserts/cold environments.

There will be several sub-units that are optional meaning that your school gets to choose which one to do. For example, in paper 2, which is human geography, you need to know about an overview of food, water and energy in the UK but then your school gets to choose whether to do a global overview on either food, water or energy.

Paper 3 is evaluation and fieldwork and instead of revising and memorising things, it is more practical. Section A of paper 3 (issue evaluation) involves learning about a new issue which you will never have studied before. You'll get a resource booklet about 12 weeks before the exam consisting of maps, diagrams, photographs, sketches etc. The exam will assess your ability to make sense of the booklet and in those twelve weeks. you'll be able to read, understand and prepare for the exam. The issue could be anything bit will be linked to what you learnt in physical and human geography. For example, the topic of the issue evaluation could be 'The figure shows a tropical storm in Puerto Rico in Autumn 2017. How should Puerto Rico try to recover from the damage done?'

Section B of paper 3 is fieldwork. You need to revise two fieldwork topics which will be split into one physical topic, where you carried out an investigation into rivers, coasts, glaciated landscapes and processes. The other fieldwork topic will be a human topic, where you've investigated a rural or urban places e.g. your topic could be a housing estate in London. The questions will be about two types of fieldwork including fieldwork you yourself have carried out and unfamiliar fieldwork, where you apply what you have learned to new places.

To give you a short breakdown, paper 1 is physical geography which is very much science based e.g. weather, hazards and landscapes etc. Paper 2 is human geography and includes things like reasons for crime in cities, wealth, health, tourism, and UK economy e.g. the north-south divide etc. Paper 3 is issue evaluation and fieldwork which is more practical and involves utilising your geographical knowledge and skills.

Geography is a very content heavy subject but I find it quite interesting. The only reason I'm not doing it for A level is because I hate physical geography although I heard from my Geography teacher that you do watch Coronation Street.

With regards to english, literature is more analysing texts and poems looking at how a characters portrays a certain theme or how a theme is portrayed through the characters, e.g. in An Inspector Calls, how does the Inspector present social responsibility. You will have learnt the texts beforehand so you will have practice but you don't what theme or character they might ask you to analyse. In comparison, language is more to do with descriptive writing and short stories analysing things like structure and effect on reader. All the texts are unseen but the questions are always pretty much structured the same e.g. in Paper 1 Q5, you are always given a picture and asked to write a descriptive piece based on it. For more information, I would suggest looking at a past paper and then you will notice the difference between the two. Same with geography to look at the difference between physical and human. Hope this helps and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask me!
Thank you so much I tried researching about geography and our specification is edexcel and your right it is so similar! Yes my school has to do P.E GCSE its compulsory, but I don't mind it that much since I like P.E but I wouldn't have chosen it as a GCSE subject if I had a chose. Thank you so much it cleared a lot about geography gcse which I wasn't that sure about and english literature! I just have one question if you wouldn't mind, do you know in english literature do you talk about the language of the text or mostly the structure and theme. In year 8 right now I am really good at english at least that's what my teachers think and we were comparing two poems using their language and structural techniques and their themes in our essays. My teacher said we would do that in gcse too, would you describe this as english literature or english language. Thanks again and sorry for the long question
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epm000
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I'm in year 11 and i WISH i had made flashcards and studied for end of year tests, so definitely do that. But remember you're a kid, have fun and don't stress about it, because getting all 9's IS NOT the most important thing - I'm getting 8's and 9's currently. If you don't understand something early on check with your teaches, because you will find it so much easier later on when you don't need to keep going over the basic principles when you could be studying more complex content. And I'll say it again - 9'S ARE NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER!!!! as long as you pass almost everything, Unis rarely care about your GCSE grades (except Oxford and Cambridge, but then again all 9's is not vital) Good luck, have fun, and don't stress!!
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Unicorn786
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(Original post by erinpipermit)
I'm in year 11 and i WISH i had made flashcards and studied for end of year tests, so definitely do that. But remember you're a kid, have fun and don't stress about it, because getting all 9's IS NOT the most important thing - I'm getting 8's and 9's currently. If you don't understand something early on check with your teaches, because you will find it so much easier later on when you don't need to keep going over the basic principles when you could be studying more complex content. And I'll say it again - 9'S ARE NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER!!!! as long as you pass almost everything, Unis rarely care about your GCSE grades (except Oxford and Cambridge, but then again all 9's is not vital) Good luck, have fun, and don't stress!!
Thank you so much, I won't focus on getting all 9s anymore and I will tell my teachers if I don't get anything! Thank you so much I'll enjoy being a kid whilst I can and just like you try and get 8s and 9s. All of you guys have been so useful thank you so much! Good luck in Year 11 your getting such high grades and giving such good advice
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epm000
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(Original post by Unicorn786)
Thank you so much, I won't focus on getting all 9s anymore and I will tell my teachers if I don't get anything! Thank you so much I'll enjoy being a kid whilst I can and just like you try and get 8s and 9s. All of you guys have been so useful thank you so much! Good luck in Year 11 your getting such high grades and giving such good advice
I'm so glad I could help! Obviously getting all 9's is amazing if you enjoy the subjects and are able to - talking to teachers will defo help! Enjoy secondary school!!!
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Unicorn786
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(Original post by erinpipermit)
I'm so glad I could help! Obviously getting all 9's is amazing if you enjoy the subjects and are able to - talking to teachers will defo help! Enjoy secondary school!!!
Thanks, I'll get all 9s if I can hopefully but like you said before I won't stress about getting them. Thanks so much!!!
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Kotrii10
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I didn't do French but I did Spanish and it's on the same lines I think, you'll learn all the basics and french grammar ofc. I had some lessons on Spanish culture so you'll probably do some lessons on French culture (such as festivals they have, food, music etc.)Plus you'll learn vocabulary on movies/tv/music, leisure activities, chores, school etc.

my biggest tip would be when it comes to speaking exams make sure to memorize your pre prepared answers (at least that's what we had to do at our school,could be different at yours) and you can later use them in your writing exam. Quizlet will be your best friend for languages! mark my words haha

your school should provide you with information on what you'll be learning specifically (if not just google your specification - exam board (AQA,EDEXCEL,OCR etc) + GCSE + subject)

also don't forget to enjoy yourself and spend time with friends too work hard in lessons and always complete homework and revise for mini tests but do not overwork yourself!! Do not lose yourself in trying to get that 9 that you forget your hobbies/friends this is the time to be carefree
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Unicorn786
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(Original post by Kotrii10)
I didn't do French but I did Spanish and it's on the same lines I think, you'll learn all the basics and french grammar ofc. I had some lessons on Spanish culture so you'll probably do some lessons on French culture (such as festivals they have, food, music etc.)Plus you'll learn vocabulary on movies/tv/music, leisure activities, chores, school etc.

my biggest tip would be when it comes to speaking exams make sure to memorize your pre prepared answers (at least that's what we had to do at our school,could be different at yours) and you can later use them in your writing exam. Quizlet will be your best friend for languages! mark my words haha

your school should provide you with information on what you'll be learning specifically (if not just google your specification - exam board (AQA,EDEXCEL,OCR etc) + GCSE + subject)

also don't forget to enjoy yourself and spend time with friends too work hard in lessons and always complete homework and revise for mini tests but do not overwork yourself!! Do not lose yourself in trying to get that 9 that you forget your hobbies/friends this is the time to be carefree
Thank you so much, my school provides me with the exam boards on their website so that's useful. I get french gcse better now, I guess it is kind of like our end of topic test where we memorise our writing for the writing exam and use it for the speaking exam, and yes I agree Quizlet is my best friend! I used it a few times for my vocab tests! Thanks I will try to be more carefree thank you again for your incredible advice !!!
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Nadz101
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(Original post by Unicorn786)
HI everyone, I am in year 8 now about to choose my gcse subjects in a few days. I want to choose computer science, geography, French (I have to choose a language) Religious Studies (I have to because school) and P.E (I have to because school) and hopefully triple science if I get chosen in year 10. In year 9 I'm going to start the course and I am just a bit curious what I will be learning in my subjects for example I have no idea what's the difference between english language and literature. I want to get mostly 9s so do I have to be in set 1 and make sure to understand the topics, revise for end of unit test and make flashcards about the basics in Year 9. Thanks because I'm not sure I'll probably email my school for extra info but any knowledge from people in the years above is really appreciated!
Hi
I' m in year 11 and in terms of triple science, there's not much of a difference between combined science apart from there being additional topics in triple science that you learn that is not in the combined science specification. Also I don't think you should be revising so intensely and I know that many people think that because they are starting their GCSE courses, that they should start revision as soon as possible. Personally I don't think this is a good idea as you could get burnt out so quickly and you may be less motivated to do revision when you really need to do it. I definitely think that you should revise for end of topic tests as it will come in handy when it comes to end of year tests but don't revise so intensely.

Another thing would be have as much fun as you can in year 8 and year 9 cuz those are definitely the best years where you don't have to worry about revising and GCSEs so make the most of it!!

Hope this helps
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dani_05
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(Original post by Unicorn786)
Thank you so much I tried researching about geography and our specification is edexcel and your right it is so similar! Yes my school has to do P.E GCSE its compulsory, but I don't mind it that much since I like P.E but I wouldn't have chosen it as a GCSE subject if I had a chose. Thank you so much it cleared a lot about geography gcse which I wasn't that sure about and english literature! I just have one question if you wouldn't mind, do you know in english literature do you talk about the language of the text or mostly the structure and theme. In year 8 right now I am really good at english at least that's what my teachers think and we were comparing two poems using their language and structural techniques and their themes in our essays. My teacher said we would do that in gcse too, would you describe this as english literature or english language. Thanks again and sorry for the long question
Hi Unicorn786, sorry for the late reply. In English literature, you learn mostly about texts e.g. novels and poems. These texts and poems have a lot of overarching themes e.g. in A Christmas Carol, themes include christmas, redemption and poverty etc. and you will have to analyse them to show how maybe a specific characters portrays a specific theme or how a specific theme is portrayed throughout the text or how a character changes etc.

I would say that in English literature, you're analysing themes and zooming in on specific phrases and languages, what they convey and then how they relate to theme.

I would say that comparing poems is definitely English Literature.

English Language is more looking at how language is formed and used in different ways e.g. how does the writer uses language for different effects. For example, one question might be in lines 1-15 of the extract, how has the writer structured the text to interest you as a reader. You will need to focus on any structural features for this question in particular, has the focus changed and quote short phrases to highlight your point.

Have a great day and if you need any more help, feel free to ask me!
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zoe2404
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(Original post by Unicorn786)
HI everyone, I am in year 8 now about to choose my gcse subjects in a few days. I want to choose computer science, geography, French (I have to choose a language) Religious Studies (I have to because school) and P.E (I have to because school) and hopefully triple science if I get chosen in year 10. In year 9 I'm going to start the course and I am just a bit curious what I will be learning in my subjects for example I have no idea what's the difference between english language and literature. I want to get mostly 9s so do I have to be in set 1 and make sure to understand the topics, revise for end of unit test and make flashcards about the basics in Year 9. Thanks because I'm not sure I'll probably email my school for extra info but any knowledge from people in the years above is really appreciated!
Hey! I'm in year 11 right now, and I chose computer science, geography, French and food tech (I also have to do RS and triple science) so very similar to what you're thinking of doing!

My honest opinions (I don't want to put you off!):
Computer Science (AQA) It's easy enough but I honestly find it quite boring. I feel like after my gcses I'll be leaving with not much knowledge of how computers actually work and only knowing basic python skills haha. But having said that it is a good GCSE to have because technology is the future!
Geography (Edexcel B) - Firstly, the textbook is SO heavy like the heaviest textbook I have to carry!! There are loads of case studies to remember as well, but if you find geography interesting you should be good as I know quite a few people in my class really enjoy it! Some of the topics aren't very interesting like the 'UK's evolving landscape...' and stuff about rocks but there is still some interesting stuff!
French (AQA) - For me French is definitely my weakest subject but it is really good to do a language even just for GCSE. Obviously there are lots of tenses to learn and stuff, but if you always remember the basics you should be ok!


For triple science, I think I prefer all the sciences more than my chosen GCSE choices lol (apart from food tech - it's so fun!!). I revised for my end of topic tests throughout the years but I don't use any notes that I wrote back then now. The AQA text books are literally so good & free science lessons on YouTube is also a lifesaver !!

In year 8/9 I literally hated RS and I was so annoyed my school forced us to do it, but now it's one of my fav subjects and I'm going to do an AS in it next year

Obviously I haven't got my grades yet, but I'm hoping for 8/9s in most subjects and hopefully at least a 7 in French (fingers crossed!!)

I hope you manage to make your decisions - and honestly don't worry too much about GCSEs, they're not the end of the world! and you're only in year 8 - so lucky!! Make the most of it ! xx
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