The Student Room Group

How do I revise French ??

my target is a grade 8 and I have not achieved that so I was wondering how to boost up my grade that I got now and what I can do for the summer to get that grade 8

the main issue, is that idk how to revise French so.. help me please
Original post by sarakardshian
my target is a grade 8 and I have not achieved that so I was wondering how to boost up my grade that I got now and what I can do for the summer to get that grade 8

the main issue, is that idk how to revise French so.. help me please


Hi there.

Reviewing and learning vocab is a very useful way to revise French. You can do this by covering up the English/French translations in your text book and translating. You may however prefer to use flashcards, quizlets or ask someone else to test you to make things more engaging.

You can also improve on your skills by listening and reading using un jour un actu which do almost daily 1-2 minute clips in french that also have a transcript beneath them. For speaking and writing try to include complex structures and words like en revanche (on the other hand) and malheuresement (unfortunately) and "apres avoir vu la carte je peux voir qu'il y a" (after seeing the photocard I can see that there is...) which is a a complex structure you could slot into your speaking.

@Meduse may have further advice and probably better advice. :smile:

Hope this somewhat helps. :smile:
Best wishes.
(edited 1 year ago)
thank you !
Original post by TriplexA
Hi there.

Reviewing and learning vocab is a very useful way to revise French. You can do this by covering up the English/French translations in your text book and translating. You may however prefer to use flashcards, quizlets or ask someone else to test you to make things more engaging.

You can also improve on your skills by listening and reading using un jour un actu which do almost daily 1-2 minute clips in french that also have a transcript beneath them. For speaking and writing try to include complex structures and words like en revanche (on the other hand) and malheuresement (unfortunately) and "apres avoir vu la carte je peux voir qu'il y a" (after seeing the photocard I can see that there is...) which is a a complex structure you could slot into your speaking.

@Meduse may have further advice and probably better advice. :smile:

Hope this somewhat helps. :smile:
Best wishes.
Reply 3
Bonsoir. I just saw your PM. For context, I got a grade 9 in Edexcel French back in 2018.

Have you had the chance to look back at your actual mock papers to see where you lost marks? Has your teacher given you any feedback regarding this?

You mentioned you are having some issues with grammar, I'd definitely recommend brushing up on those. Be specific and pick out which you are struggling with and find explanations/examples of them in practice. You can use a GCSE textbook for this as they have very good, concise explanations. You then need to practice writing these sentences out in order to memorise them and to get used to writing those sorts of structures.

Vocabulary is important. You said there are some that you don't know. Every time you see a word you don't know, and especially if it keeps cropping up in papers/exercises, you really should make note of it and its translation, and memorise it. You need to make consistent efforts to memorise your vocabulary, and as time draws closer to the exams, you should narrow your revision down to the words that you struggle with (instead of just recapping the easier terms that you know, which is counterproductive). Yes, Quizlet is definitely effective. Memrise is also a good one but I use Quizlet. See which you prefer. Both have apps that are downloadable on your phone and other devices, so you can revise both vocab and even grammar (e.g. verb conjugations according to tense) whilst travelling or in a café; wherever you feel like, really.


The CGP textbook is good. I didn't use it that much, but I did have one, and I remember that it was in a very concise format and gave good explanations of grammatical concepts. You can also find online exercises for GCSE French and past papers (Edexcel website) which you should find useful. Past papers are definitely important to do, but make sure you don't rush through all of them. You want to leave a few for when you are revising in Y11, a few months before the real exams.

When writing and speaking, do you have a vocab bank/list of certain phrases that you use? If so, could you please give a few examples. Sometimes these can be what are hindering your performance.

Do you find yourself struggling more in any particular areas? Reading/writing/listening/speaking? Try and be specific with what throws you off and I can try to tailor my advice a bit more.
thank you for the reply, the only kind of 'vocab list' I have are the quizlets that either my teacher sends for homework or ones I just find randomly. Depending on what module I am revising, I just go on a module on quizlet for example 'module 3' and I just revise over that.

Speaking is really hard for me as I dont know how to get as much marks on the presentation, and what kinds of phrases I can include to gain top marks. Also answering spontaneously on not planned questions is quite hard to revise as I dont know what I can do for that.

Writing is okay not that bad, but there are some problems such as writing coherently adding past tenses, time phrases - what kind of idioms should I include? And instead of using 'interessant' what other word could I use? Just things like that.

Listening - quite bad on thats asw not sure how to revise that

Reading - relatively okay I just use quizlet or my Pearson edexcel workbook
Original post by Meduse
Bonsoir. I just saw your PM. For context, I got a grade 9 in Edexcel French back in 2018.

Have you had the chance to look back at your actual mock papers to see where you lost marks? Has your teacher given you any feedback regarding this?

You mentioned you are having some issues with grammar, I'd definitely recommend brushing up on those. Be specific and pick out which you are struggling with and find explanations/examples of them in practice. You can use a GCSE textbook for this as they have very good, concise explanations. You then need to practice writing these sentences out in order to memorise them and to get used to writing those sorts of structures.

Vocabulary is important. You said there are some that you don't know. Every time you see a word you don't know, and especially if it keeps cropping up in papers/exercises, you really should make note of it and its translation, and memorise it. You need to make consistent efforts to memorise your vocabulary, and as time draws closer to the exams, you should narrow your revision down to the words that you struggle with (instead of just recapping the easier terms that you know, which is counterproductive). Yes, Quizlet is definitely effective. Memrise is also a good one but I use Quizlet. See which you prefer. Both have apps that are downloadable on your phone and other devices, so you can revise both vocab and even grammar (e.g. verb conjugations according to tense) whilst travelling or in a café; wherever you feel like, really.


The CGP textbook is good. I didn't use it that much, but I did have one, and I remember that it was in a very concise format and gave good explanations of grammatical concepts. You can also find online exercises for GCSE French and past papers (Edexcel website) which you should find useful. Past papers are definitely important to do, but make sure you don't rush through all of them. You want to leave a few for when you are revising in Y11, a few months before the real exams.

When writing and speaking, do you have a vocab bank/list of certain phrases that you use? If so, could you please give a few examples. Sometimes these can be what are hindering your performance.

Do you find yourself struggling more in any particular areas? Reading/writing/listening/speaking? Try and be specific with what throws you off and I can try to tailor my advice a bit more.
Reply 5
Original post by sarakardshian
thank you for the reply, the only kind of 'vocab list' I have are the quizlets that either my teacher sends for homework or ones I just find randomly. Depending on what module I am revising, I just go on a module on quizlet for example 'module 3' and I just revise over that.

Speaking is really hard for me as I dont know how to get as much marks on the presentation, and what kinds of phrases I can include to gain top marks. Also answering spontaneously on not planned questions is quite hard to revise as I dont know what I can do for that.

Writing is okay not that bad, but there are some problems such as writing coherently adding past tenses, time phrases - what kind of idioms should I include? And instead of using 'interessant' what other word could I use? Just things like that.

Listening - quite bad on thats asw not sure how to revise that

Reading - relatively okay I just use quizlet or my Pearson edexcel workbook

For vocabulary, I think you are doing all the right things. You may have already used/seen this material in class, but here is a link to the Edexcel website: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/french-2016.coursematerials.html#%2FfilterQuery=category:Pearson-UK:Category%2FTeaching-and-learning-materials . If you go to Teaching and Learning Materials > Additional Activities, you can then download the resource called 'GCSE MFL Vocabulary Practice Activities' which looks to be a good resource. Again, just remember to be consistent in your efforts and you should be fine.

For your speaking presentation, you need to justify any statements you make and ensure you use a wide range of tenses, vocabulary and complex grammatical structures. Make a draft paragraph, and then keep editing it and improving it. You don't need to write it all in one go. Take it to your teacher and ask for any feedback/corrections, and take them on board. By justification, I mean if you say something like 'X is important to me', you need to ensure you say why. These statements are always a great opportunity to use more niche vocabulary that revolves around the topic you are discussing, so wordreference is your best friend. You should use it to be imaginative and add in some words that are not on the provided vocabulary lists. It's not necessary all the time, but if you can add one/two words, it will show more diversity in your language knowledge which is refreshing and impressive to examiners. Answering spontaneously can be tricky, but the best thing to do here is to think of your own questions surrounding the topic (based on materials you have seen and used in class), and come up with answers to them on the spot. You can write them down, but you don't need to. The more you do this, the easier it'll get. If you can, ask your parents/family members to ask these questions and you can answer them in French. Repetition is key.

In terms of writing, you say you struggle to write coherently - how so? Adding past tenses can be quite simple if you memorise certain phrases such as 'hier soir', 'l'année dernière', etc. followed by either your perfect or imperfect verb conjugations, remembering that the imperfect implies a continuation of actions/events, whereas the perfect tense is about solitary actions that were completed once. Here is a good resource for time phrases: https://getrevising.co.uk/diagrams/time-phrases . TSR has a great section on French idioms you can memorise here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/revision/french/french-idioms .

For listening, the first thing you should prioritise is ensuring you read the question properly and identify what it is you need to be listening out for. From the question, you can gauge what sort of vocabulary may come up in the recording. The most important thing is to get used to spoken French and the accent/speed itself. For this, I'd recommend listening to some French podcasts. News in Slow French is a good one, and a good YouTube channel is Easy French (which has subtitles). Listen to these daily and try to think hard about what words they are using. Also, something that often tricks students during the listening paper is negatives. They often assume, for example, that someone said 'j'adore aller à la piscine', when they may have said something like 'je n'adore pas aller à la piscine'. Ne...guère, ne...assez, ne... rien, ne...aucun and ne... personne are more negative sentences that may trip people up, so always listen out for things like that.

For reading, I'd suggest reading French news articles. Le Monde is good for this. Reading tends not to be the most difficult skill for most, so if you feel fairly confident, you can just continue to do the standard GCSE comprehension exercises provided in textbooks and worksheets.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, just let me know.

Bonne chance pour tes examens !
(Good luck with your exams !)
merci!
Original post by Meduse
For vocabulary, I think you are doing all the right things. You may have already used/seen this material in class, but here is a link to the Edexcel website: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/french-2016.coursematerials.html#%2FfilterQuery=category:Pearson-UK:Category%2FTeaching-and-learning-materials . If you go to Teaching and Learning Materials > Additional Activities, you can then download the resource called 'GCSE MFL Vocabulary Practice Activities' which looks to be a good resource. Again, just remember to be consistent in your efforts and you should be fine.

For your speaking presentation, you need to justify any statements you make and ensure you use a wide range of tenses, vocabulary and complex grammatical structures. Make a draft paragraph, and then keep editing it and improving it. You don't need to write it all in one go. Take it to your teacher and ask for any feedback/corrections, and take them on board. By justification, I mean if you say something like 'X is important to me', you need to ensure you say why. These statements are always a great opportunity to use more niche vocabulary that revolves around the topic you are discussing, so wordreference is your best friend. You should use it to be imaginative and add in some words that are not on the provided vocabulary lists. It's not necessary all the time, but if you can add one/two words, it will show more diversity in your language knowledge which is refreshing and impressive to examiners. Answering spontaneously can be tricky, but the best thing to do here is to think of your own questions surrounding the topic (based on materials you have seen and used in class), and come up with answers to them on the spot. You can write them down, but you don't need to. The more you do this, the easier it'll get. If you can, ask your parents/family members to ask these questions and you can answer them in French. Repetition is key.

In terms of writing, you say you struggle to write coherently - how so? Adding past tenses can be quite simple if you memorise certain phrases such as 'hier soir', 'l'année dernière', etc. followed by either your perfect or imperfect verb conjugations, remembering that the imperfect implies a continuation of actions/events, whereas the perfect tense is about solitary actions that were completed once. Here is a good resource for time phrases: https://getrevising.co.uk/diagrams/time-phrases . TSR has a great section on French idioms you can memorise here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/revision/french/french-idioms .

For listening, the first thing you should prioritise is ensuring you read the question properly and identify what it is you need to be listening out for. From the question, you can gauge what sort of vocabulary may come up in the recording. The most important thing is to get used to spoken French and the accent/speed itself. For this, I'd recommend listening to some French podcasts. News in Slow French is a good one, and a good YouTube channel is Easy French (which has subtitles). Listen to these daily and try to think hard about what words they are using. Also, something that often tricks students during the listening paper is negatives. They often assume, for example, that someone said 'j'adore aller à la piscine', when they may have said something like 'je n'adore pas aller à la piscine'. Ne...guère, ne...assez, ne... rien, ne...aucun and ne... personne are more negative sentences that may trip people up, so always listen out for things like that.

For reading, I'd suggest reading French news articles. Le Monde is good for this. Reading tends not to be the most difficult skill for most, so if you feel fairly confident, you can just continue to do the standard GCSE comprehension exercises provided in textbooks and worksheets.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, just let me know.

Bonne chance pour tes examens !
(Good luck with your exams !)

Quick Reply

Latest