Revising effectively is a sure way to pass your English language GCSE exam. But as many students have found out, it is easier said than done. Getting an early start and remaining dedicated to the revision gives you the best chances of success.
But you need to know where to start. This guide provides you with everything you need to know on how to revise for your English language GCSE and some handy resources that could make your revision more effective.
Understand what the examiners are looking for
While revision is important, if you don’t know what the examiners are looking for, there is a good chance you might be prepared but not score as many marks as you expect. Understanding what examiners are looking for will make your revision tactics more effective and allow you to focus on what matters.
You should know how to structure your answer and tick on everything the examiner is looking for. Mark schemes are the best places to start your revision. They provide you with a blueprint of what your answers should be like.
Learn the vocabulary and how to structure your answers
During revision, make sure you familiarise yourself with the different forms of writing that you could be asked to write in the exam. You should know how each form of writing is structured and the approach.
Informing yourself of the different literary techniques you can use, like similes and metaphors, and the impression they have on the reader is critical.
You can revise these by creating flashcards with the different literary techniques and having someone test you. You can also use sticky notes around your room that will help you learn the different vocabularies and writing techniques.
Review your class notes
Of all the important resources you can access for revision, your class notes are the most important. You have to ensure you make comprehensive and effective notes. You can use this as your primary resource and then expand on them with more of your own ideas and other materials.
Make sure you review practice essays and any exams you have completed in class. These will allow you to see any suggestions your teacher made on how you can improve your answers. They will also help you spot areas where you made mistakes and how you can avoid similar mistakes in your GCSE exams.
Make sure you read and analyse as many different types of writing as you can get a hold of. These include newspapers and poems. Practice, Practice, Practice!
English language past papers
Most students don’t think you need to practice writing essays and answers for English exams. But, English language exams are just like any other. The more you prepare and practice, the better you get at it.
Past papers are extremely helpful in preparation for your GCSE exams. Some of the reasons why past papers are a critical resource for English language GCSE revision are:
- Past papers help you practice work within limited time constraints similar to an exam environment. They allow you to determine the ideal time allocations for each section of the paper so you can have everything done within the allocated time.
- Using past papers, you can also practice structuring your answers. Once you write the answers, use different coloured pens to underline where you have met the criteria set out in the mark scheme. Alternatively, you could also speak to our teacher to help you understand the different methods you can use to better structure your answers or, better yet, mark your past paper exams and highlight the areas you need to work on.
Hire an English language tutor
English GCSE tutors are extremely handy in helping you revise for your English language GCSE exams. The tutor can help you come up with a comprehensive revision schedule that will help you cover all the areas of the subject.
The tutor can also help you with the revision, keep you accountable and ensure you understand each aspect you’re revising. In most cases, English tutors have sat for similar exams and excelled. That means they know what it takes to get good grades, and they can share tips based on their experience that can prove valuable in the exam room and help you get as many marks as possible in every question.
The greatest mistake students make is not being consistent. Even with the best materials and resources, you can’t get results without consistency. The best approach is to use short revision bursts followed by breaks. This approach keeps you engaged and prevents exhaustion and fatigue.
Even with the best teachers, revision still makes a vital part of success. Using these tips, you can learn to practice independently or get your teacher or a tutor involved in the process. Just remember to stay consistent and constantly test yourself to assess your progress.