The Student Room Group

I need English help

Some info:
I'm heading into Year 11 and have already done my first official round of GCSE mocks. I theoretically know how to answer questions, but in reality, I struggle immensely: my answers are never as coherent, academic, or analytical as my peers, and I wrote better descriptions and stories at eight years old. I got a grade 2 in the English language and literature mocks.

The issue:
Normally, I wouldn't care: English isn't a subject I enjoy or necessarily need for the work I want to go into. However, I NEED at least a grade 5 in English language or literature in order to take my A levels at the school I want to go to: it's the only GCSE I'm not on target for, and without a high enough grade, I won't even be able to apply despite good results in all my other subjects.

I really want to do my A levels: does anyone have any study advice for how I can raise my grade?
English Lit is more about analysing a piece of text for literary devices (adjectives, verbs, metaphors etc) and you have to explain their purpose.

English Language is more about how a text can be interpreted - what sort of connotations or ideas does the text give you? It's more about the general idea of a text.

Try these to improve:
- Past papers (from multiple exam boards, so that you can have more questions to try with)
- Look at sample answers
- Reading in general
- watch tutorials on how to answer certain questions (you'll find these on youtube)
- Properly familiarise yourself with literary devices and practice trying to identify them in a piece of text
- For Literature make sure you familiarise yourself with the texts you're studying ( make a list of themes, quotes and anything else useful!) to revise a text to the maximum, watch movies on the text and watch summary videos
- For Literature also study the context for your texts - it's a good way to get marks!!
- For Language, if it's difficult to write stories then you could try practicing by looking at random images on google and writing a story about it - don't feel that you have to stick to a certain genre when writing a story, in my experience of gcse lang I'd always write horror stories about every image I saw, because that was my favourite genre.
- Make sure that your SPAG (spelling, punctuation and Grammar) is perfect - it's the easiest way to get marks
- Use a thesaurus to use for synonyms for words you frequently you use

e.g. instead of saying:

'Shakespeare shows that in the Tempest Caliban is bad because he uses mean words and it gives a bad idea '

say this:

'Throughout the Tempest, Shakespeare demonstrates that Caliban holds a poor character; due to his use of lexis which insinuate negative connotations'

It's the same thing, but fancier words and it can help you get more marks!
Good Luck! :smile:
Reply 2
Original post by Bean_cat
English Lit is more about analysing a piece of text for literary devices (adjectives, verbs, metaphors etc) and you have to explain their purpose.

English Language is more about how a text can be interpreted - what sort of connotations or ideas does the text give you? It's more about the general idea of a text.

Try these to improve:
- Past papers (from multiple exam boards, so that you can have more questions to try with)
- Look at sample answers
- Reading in general
- watch tutorials on how to answer certain questions (you'll find these on youtube)
- Properly familiarise yourself with literary devices and practice trying to identify them in a piece of text
- For Literature make sure you familiarise yourself with the texts you're studying ( make a list of themes, quotes and anything else useful!) to revise a text to the maximum, watch movies on the text and watch summary videos
- For Literature also study the context for your texts - it's a good way to get marks!!
- For Language, if it's difficult to write stories then you could try practicing by looking at random images on google and writing a story about it - don't feel that you have to stick to a certain genre when writing a story, in my experience of gcse lang I'd always write horror stories about every image I saw, because that was my favourite genre.
- Make sure that your SPAG (spelling, punctuation and Grammar) is perfect - it's the easiest way to get marks
- Use a thesaurus to use for synonyms for words you frequently you use

e.g. instead of saying:

'Shakespeare shows that in the Tempest Caliban is bad because he uses mean words and it gives a bad idea '

say this:

'Throughout the Tempest, Shakespeare demonstrates that Caliban holds a poor character; due to his use of lexis which insinuate negative connotations'

It's the same thing, but fancier words and it can help you get more marks!
Good Luck! :smile:

Thank you so much for this advice - I wasn't expecting a response so quickly! I'll definitely be trying some of these techniques to revise before my next mocks :smile:
Original post by emememi
Thank you so much for this advice - I wasn't expecting a response so quickly! I'll definitely be trying some of these techniques to revise before my next mocks :smile:


Good Luck! :smile:

PS - you should check out Mr Bruff on Youtube, he does a lot of content on the subject and analysis on a lot of texts. It also might be worth checking out the website 'Genius' for poetry analysis too (I'm assuming people still study poetry in eng lit gcse?)

Quick Reply

Latest