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GCSE ARABIC - or anyone who takes a LANGUAGE

I have concerns and questions, so could anyone who has taken/is taking GCSE (or maybe A-level) Arabic please help me out. Or anyone who takes a language.

I’m taking the GCSE arabic exam in June 2022 and I am very scared, I speak a DIALECT of arabic called darja but the exam is in the modern standard arabic dialect and they arent extremely similar, they have quite a few similarities but a lot of words are new to me. My mother speaks and understands modern standard arabic so im using her for help right now but Im finding independent revision/study very hard. I’m unsure on what to do, right now I’m going through the 1st section of the specification list and trying to learn the vocabulary but its ridiculous. Its about a thousand words and most of them I will NEVER use and I doubt they will come up in the exam. I feel as if it is pointless but I dont know what else to do. I’ve looked at a sample assessment material and it does look challenging,im worried about eading as i read VERY slow, like a child who just learnt how to read. So can anyone guide me in what I should do or give me tips.
Is revising the words on the specification effective or useful?(personally dont think it is and very time consuming)
What tips would you recommend?
Can you give me any reliable sources where I could learn arabic?
Please just anything would help, even the smallest bit of advice.
Original post by s.ghaz
I have concerns and questions, so could anyone who has taken/is taking GCSE (or maybe A-level) Arabic please help me out. Or anyone who takes a language.

I’m taking the GCSE arabic exam in June 2022 and I am very scared, I speak a DIALECT of arabic called darja but the exam is in the modern standard arabic dialect and they arent extremely similar, they have quite a few similarities but a lot of words are new to me. My mother speaks and understands modern standard arabic so im using her for help right now but Im finding independent revision/study very hard. I’m unsure on what to do, right now I’m going through the 1st section of the specification list and trying to learn the vocabulary but its ridiculous. Its about a thousand words and most of them I will NEVER use and I doubt they will come up in the exam. I feel as if it is pointless but I dont know what else to do. I’ve looked at a sample assessment material and it does look challenging,im worried about eading as i read VERY slow, like a child who just learnt how to read. So can anyone guide me in what I should do or give me tips.
Is revising the words on the specification effective or useful?(personally dont think it is and very time consuming)
What tips would you recommend?
Can you give me any reliable sources where I could learn arabic?
Please just anything would help, even the smallest bit of advice.

i don't speak arabic but i did Polish language at GCSE and got a 9. I found that preparing answers for potential speaking and writing questions really helped (write them on revision cards and practice speaking and writing them!). I struggled with reading too so i made sure to get good marks in the other sections to make up for this.
I also looked at the vocabulary list for my exam and honestly a lot of them are useless and unlikely to come up. What i did instead was look up example questions and student answers and found key words for each theme that popped up often and made sure i knew them.
Look up the AOs and make sure you know the structure required for the questions and you should do fine! if you have any other questions let me know :smile:
Reply 2
Original post by katarzynaxk
i don't speak arabic but i did Polish language at GCSE and got a 9. I found that preparing answers for potential speaking and writing questions really helped (write them on revision cards and practice speaking and writing them!). I struggled with reading too so i made sure to get good marks in the other sections to make up for this.
I also looked at the vocabulary list for my exam and honestly a lot of them are useless and unlikely to come up. What i did instead was look up example questions and student answers and found key words for each theme that popped up often and made sure i knew them.
Look up the AOs and make sure you know the structure required for the questions and you should do fine! if you have any other questions let me know :smile:

Thank you this really helped me. If I try really hard from now up until my exam next year do you think I can achieve a high grade like an 8 or 9?
(edited 2 years ago)
Reply 3
I did French and Spanish GCSE and our teachers told us that while yes, a lot of the vocab that we were learning would never be used in real world French/Spanish, it is VITAL that we learn it since one vocab word in the exam that we don't know could throw us off and effect our score. I found vocab learning very hard too, but I ended up using the website Quizlet which is also an app. You can make online flashcards which I used every day and slowly built up my knowledge. If you're struggling to learn vocab by just looking through the list, I would suggest doing past papers, and as you're marking it, take note of any vocab word, no matter how insignificant, that you didn't know and add it to your flashcards. For the speaking, our teachers encouraged us to talk to ourselves in our target language. I know it sounds crazy, but I got an A in both my speaking exams by making up questions for myself and seeing how long I could make my answers. Talking to yourself also takes the pressure off a bit because no one is listening to you. I hope this helped!
Original post by s.ghaz
Thank you this really helped me. If I try really hard from now up until my exam next year do you think I can achieve a high grade like an 8 or 9?


absolutely! like i said it's really important you understand the assessment objectives for each exam, as a lot of people lose marks by not understanding them. If you take french or spanish gcse too or have any friends that do it's marked in the same way.
Reply 5
Original post by katarzynaxk
absolutely! like i said it's really important you understand the assessment objectives for each exam, as a lot of people lose marks by not understanding them. If you take french or spanish gcse too or have any friends that do it's marked in the same way.

thank you! you’ve genuinely really helped me, and I do take french gcse aswell so I already know how we will be examined etc but I havent yet read the assessment objectives but I’ll do it since it’s beneficial. Ive also been reading everyday and Its improved the speed at which I’m able to read at by a bit! :smile:
Reply 6
Original post by leeloaf
I did French and Spanish GCSE and our teachers told us that while yes, a lot of the vocab that we were learning would never be used in real world French/Spanish, it is VITAL that we learn it since one vocab word in the exam that we don't know could throw us off and effect our score. I found vocab learning very hard too, but I ended up using the website Quizlet which is also an app. You can make online flashcards which I used every day and slowly built up my knowledge. If you're struggling to learn vocab by just looking through the list, I would suggest doing past papers, and as you're marking it, take note of any vocab word, no matter how insignificant, that you didn't know and add it to your flashcards. For the speaking, our teachers encouraged us to talk to ourselves in our target language. I know it sounds crazy, but I got an A in both my speaking exams by making up questions for myself and seeing how long I could make my answers. Talking to yourself also takes the pressure off a bit because no one is listening to you. I hope this helped!

The amount of vocab on the specification list is absolutely ridiculous, its 80+ pages of vocabulary that we have to learn, but what I’m doing first is learning the essential vocabulary needed for each topic, after that I will attempt to learn the rest of the vocabulary.
I’m not that worried for speaking as I feel that I will be able to do well at it, Im more worried about the reading and writing as I find those the hardest. Thank you for the advice!
Original post by s.ghaz
thank you! you’ve genuinely really helped me, and I do take french gcse aswell so I already know how we will be examined etc but I havent yet read the assessment objectives but I’ll do it since it’s beneficial. Ive also been reading everyday and Its improved the speed at which I’m able to read at by a bit! :smile:


glad to have helped! good luck!!
Reply 8
hi im doing the same exam as you and im not a native arab, my family is pakistani but my dad knows arabic. modern standard is harder (i have arab friends who usually talk in kuwaiti dialects/other countries) and the vocab list is ridiculous! im also taking it a year earlier (doing the gcse in year 10 rather than year 11) and its so stressful. prepare for possible speaking questions. listening is the hardest. if you have a languagenut account, use it to practise listening questions. visualise things by writing one word on a coloured card and sticking them all around your room (i learnt all of theme 5 - environment) this way. lmk how it goes x
p.s. writing questions can be the same as speaking
(edited 2 years ago)
Reply 9
Original post by s.ghaz
I have concerns and questions, so could anyone who has taken/is taking GCSE (or maybe A-level) Arabic please help me out. Or anyone who takes a language.

I’m taking the GCSE arabic exam in June 2022 and I am very scared, I speak a DIALECT of arabic called darja but the exam is in the modern standard arabic dialect and they arent extremely similar, they have quite a few similarities but a lot of words are new to me. My mother speaks and understands modern standard arabic so im using her for help right now but Im finding independent revision/study very hard. I’m unsure on what to do, right now I’m going through the 1st section of the specification list and trying to learn the vocabulary but its ridiculous. Its about a thousand words and most of them I will NEVER use and I doubt they will come up in the exam. I feel as if it is pointless but I dont know what else to do. I’ve looked at a sample assessment material and it does look challenging,im worried about eading as i read VERY slow, like a child who just learnt how to read. So can anyone guide me in what I should do or give me tips.
Is revising the words on the specification effective or useful?(personally dont think it is and very time consuming)
What tips would you recommend?
Can you give me any reliable sources where I could learn arabic?
Please just anything would help, even the smallest bit of advice.


Ok so I did my arabic GCSE a few years ago and I got an A* and my little sis did the 9-1 version and she got a 9. I never went through the whole vocab list personally but I speak Arabic in the yemeni dialect which is really close to the traditional Arabic language. I read a lot of different book like work books that were part of the Egyptian curriculum and I found that helped. I went through sm past papers (I did every single one) and prepared so many answers. For writing I had a set writing style that used all the time. I had a few friends that spoke darja that were doing it but they really struggled. You could try to do Arabic school- one that focuses on GCSE ect like King Fahad or get a tutor even if it’s for a few weeks that could help.
Reply 10
Original post by fm.xx
hi im doing the same exam as you and im not a native arab, my family is pakistani but my dad knows arabic. modern standard is harder (i have arab friends who usually talk in kuwaiti dialects/other countries) and the vocab list is ridiculous! im also taking it a year earlier (doing the gcse in year 10 rather than year 11) and its so stressful. prepare for possible speaking questions. listening is the hardest. if you have a languagenut account, use it to practise listening questions. visualise things by writing one word on a coloured card and sticking them all around your room (i learnt all of theme 5 - environment) this way. lmk how it goes x
p.s. writing questions can be the same as speaking

I hope we are both able to do well inshallah. Have u finished all 5 themes? I’ve only done 1/3rd of the first theme so far but the first theme is actually the longest.
Reply 11
Original post by lara147
Ok so I did my arabic GCSE a few years ago and I got an A* and my little sis did the 9-1 version and she got a 9. I never went through the whole vocab list personally but I speak Arabic in the yemeni dialect which is really close to the traditional Arabic language. I read a lot of different book like work books that were part of the Egyptian curriculum and I found that helped. I went through sm past papers (I did every single one) and prepared so many answers. For writing I had a set writing style that used all the time. I had a few friends that spoke darja that were doing it but they really struggled. You could try to do Arabic school- one that focuses on GCSE ect like King Fahad or get a tutor even if it’s for a few weeks that could help.

What year did your sister take the exam??? I’ve been trying to access past papers but I cant for some reason, they are all locked, including the earlier ones from 2018 and idk if the ones from 2017 and before would be helpful as the spec and exam layout has changed. Did you receive lessons/tutoring for the exam? Also if its okay can you tell me what your friends who spoke darja ended up getting in the actual exam??
Original post by s.ghaz
What year did your sister take the exam??? I’ve been trying to access past papers but I cant for some reason, they are all locked, including the earlier ones from 2018 and idk if the ones from 2017 and before would be helpful as the spec and exam layout has changed. Did you receive lessons/tutoring for the exam? Also if its okay can you tell me what your friends who spoke darja ended up getting in the actual exam??


My sister did the 2019 exam. I didn’t take lessons bc our exams were easier but 2 of my friends did and they both said it helped. One of them got a B and the other got an A
Reply 13
Original post by lara147
My sister did the 2019 exam. I didn’t take lessons bc our exams were easier but 2 of my friends did and they both said it helped. One of them got a B and the other got an A

I see thank you, when I go back to school I plan on finding a teacher. My school asked me last year if I want tuition and they told me to get back to them about it but I didnt end up doing so, so i dont know if its still available, if not my parents said they would be happy to take me to a saturday school or get me a tutor, alongside that I will be revising by myself. Really hope I can pull off a decent grade lol
Reply 14
Original post by lara147
Ok so I did my arabic GCSE a few years ago and I got an A* and my little sis did the 9-1 version and she got a 9. I never went through the whole vocab list personally but I speak Arabic in the yemeni dialect which is really close to the traditional Arabic language. I read a lot of different book like work books that were part of the Egyptian curriculum and I found that helped. I went through sm past papers (I did every single one) and prepared so many answers. For writing I had a set writing style that used all the time. I had a few friends that spoke darja that were doing it but they really struggled. You could try to do Arabic school- one that focuses on GCSE ect like King Fahad or get a tutor even if it’s for a few weeks that could help.
Hi..can you share your writing method at all please?
Reply 15
Original post by lara147
Ok so I did my arabic GCSE a few years ago and I got an A* and my little sis did the 9-1 version and she got a 9. I never went through the whole vocab list personally but I speak Arabic in the yemeni dialect which is really close to the traditional Arabic language. I read a lot of different book like work books that were part of the Egyptian curriculum and I found that helped. I went through sm past papers (I did every single one) and prepared so many answers. For writing I had a set writing style that used all the time. I had a few friends that spoke darja that were doing it but they really struggled. You could try to do Arabic school- one that focuses on GCSE ect like King Fahad or get a tutor even if it’s for a few weeks that could help.
Hi. Can you share your writing style at all please?

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