25 September 2017

How I went from a 5 to a 9 at GCSE + FREE GCSE gift // GCSE mock exams

Hey everyone!

Hope you're all doing well! A few of you out there (not many) may be starting to think about mock exams that may be happening in your school. If you are already thinking about this, you are probably the type of person who yearns for those high marks and may actually die if you don't get them. Don't worry, I'm that person too.

Being that person ended up paying off for me as in my GCSEs I got a grade 9 in English Language and a grade 8 in English Literature. Look no further, the expert is right here.

However, If you can't be bothered to watch this video, in summary...


1) Know what the examiners want

  • Learning objectives
  • Get teachers to mark your papers
  • Exemplar essays

2) Techniques and vocab

  • Go over important terms you have forgotten
  • Have a complete understanding of your basic vocabulary
  • Make sure you name that technique in your questions

3) Use techniques throughout

  • Show understanding of techniques by using them in your answers to questions
  • Also use these techniques in your question 5
  • As in, use ALL of techqniques
  • All the time
  • Have variation in your sentence length and language to show an abundance of skills

4) Surprise the examiner

  • Examiners are PEOPLE and they are really bored
  • Think outside the box 
  • In both your comprehension questions and your q5
  • Choose subtle things with lots of explanation e.g. structural features
  • Make them feel something, remember there's a person at the other end

5) Mr Bruff

  • Provides different interpretations
  • Can help you understand your texts and exams better
  • Goes into a lot of depth
  • Simplifies your learning

6) Focus on question 5 more

  • It is worth HALF the marks
  • Begin and end your q5 with a technique e.g. rhetorical question
  • Variation, variation, variation
  • Impressive vocabulary (learn some snazzy words)
  • Think of an interesting concept first BUT
  • Don't focus too much on the storyline, focus on the techniques
(tricks I love)
  • Throw in a reference to childhood
  • Throw in a one word paragraph
  • End on a rhetorical question

7) Time Management

  • 1.5 minutes per mark (at most)
  • Spend as little time as you can on 4-12 mark questions to allow yourself more time for the larger questions
  • Still do them well though
  • Spend more time than you are on q5, I spent 20-30 minutes on q5

8) Multiple interpretations

  • Gives you a way to surprise the examiner
  • Often forgotten
  • Either: a different meaning for the same technique in the sentence OR what a different technique in the sentence could mean

So, there you go! I really hope you do well in your exams this or next year, and if you've already done your exams, tell me what you think! Is there anything I could add to this?

// Jeani

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Thank you for commenting on my blog - I'm having trouble at the moment with replying to comments but I would like you to know that I really appreciate your comment and would love to have a discussion with you elsewhere about this blog post!

Thank you // Jeani