How To Pass English Language GCSE

by Anita Naik

GCSE English Language is all about showing that you understand English and how it's constructed. This means it's less about content and more about writing skills, analysis of different texts, good vocabulary and grammar, all of which means you need to practice, read and revise. Here's what will help you pass.

Read as much as you can

English language (at GCSE) will mostly call upon your ability to write informative texts like articles and essays. What helps here is to read a lot of structured articles to increase your knowledge of literary techniques. So read broadsheets like The Guardian, and The Times, and tabloid newspapers like the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail. At the same time, ensure you read a variety of fiction and non-fiction as this will also improve your writing, grammar skills and linguistic understanding.

Hire a tutor

The benefits of working one-to-one with an English tutor are immense. Before you begin tutoring, ask you're your English teacher what you can do to improve and what areas you need to do more workaround. An English tutor will know what you need to focus on to pass GCSE, but it's good to have the added input from your English teacher to help you optimise your exam marks.

Use an exam revision guide

English language revision isn't that different across exam boards, so any of the exam revision books out there will help you. All emphasise practice and information on writing narratives, annotating texts under timed conditions and SPAG.

Watch Mr Bruff on YouTube

Mr Bruff is an English teacher with YouTube videos on GCSE English that have been watched over 40 million times. StudyTubers recommend him, and also has a podcast that goes through various GCSE English questions and a whole wealth of videos from how to get full marks answers, to how to learn from GCSE English past papers. If you do just one thing for English, watch his videos.

Look for English revision resources

The resources at TeachIt will help you recap key terminology for GCSE English Language, a significant part of getting full marks in the exam. Check out their glossaries, keyword challenges, revision mats and more.

Sharpen your expression

Whichever examining board, you're studying for your writing ability will be tested. So one exact way to boost your marks in the written section of the paper is to show off a range of varied vocabulary! One of the benefits of reading more fiction and non-fiction is being able to get to grips with a variety of language. This, in turn, will help you to write more effectively and imaginatively with emotive and descriptive text.

Learn to annotate under times conditions

Annotating is a useful way to keep track of what you notice whilst you're reading the exam texts and is an excellent way to reference texts and manage your exam time. For example, if you are focusing on literary devices and voice, use different coloured highlighters to mark these on the texts. The trick is not to annotate too much but pick out the elements, which you want to refer back to when answering the use-of-language question or the structure question. This means practising how to annotate effectively in the run-up to your mocks and exams.

Improve your SPAG

Spelling, punctuation and grammar are all assessed in GCSE English language, so you also need to work on improving all three areas. Again this is another area where reading comes in handy but alongside this practice with past papers. There are 11 distinct types of punctuation that you will be expected to use in your writing. If you play safe with only the common ones, you won't get optimum marks.

Also, check out our blogs on How to become a better reader and How to revise for your English Literature GCSE

Tags: GCSEs English
Categories: How to revise GCSEs