Tutor Post·4 mins·17/02/22

How to pass GCSE English

GCSE English, comprised of both language and literature, is all about showing that you can understand English, how it’s constructed, how to make inferences and analyse texts- both fiction and non-fiction- and how to express yourself fluently. It requires that students sharpen their spelling punctuation and grammar and perfect their time management skills for the examination.

The following ideas will help you to become a master of the language.

  1. Read widely and consistently

No one can convince me otherwise. Developing a daily reading habit is one of the best things you can do in your school years. Not only will it set you up for success during exam season but it will form a strong foundation for building other habits into your adult life, not to mention likely helping in your future career.

Studies show that reading promotes better memory, greater empathy and reduces stress. In fact, a study by the University of Sussex has determined that reading for only six minutes a day can reduce stress by 68%, its no surprise then that it’s one of the most effective ways of relaxing the mind, a vital component to passing your GSCE’s. If that wasn’t enough, reading has also been shown to promote memory capacity and to cultivate emotional intelligence through understanding events from others perspectives.

So where to start?

Reading widely.

By this, I mean reading as much as possible. Anything and everything. On the bus, in the bath, before bed. The content of what you’re reading won’t matter too much in all honesty, the key benefit of reading widely when it comes to GCSE English is that you will broaden your vocabulary and improve your comprehension.

If you already have a passion for page-turners, feed it. It was adventure and fantasy that captured me, and so I flew through different universes every night as the late evening spilt into early morn. If English doesn’t come naturally to you or you don’t have a penchant for fiction, try exploring other options. What subject do you have an affinity for? Read more on that! If you’re unsure of what to read, newspaper articles and autobiographies are a great place to start. Taking this a step further you could try discussing what you've been reading with family or friends, the value of doing this is unmatched as it improves both your comprehension and analytical skills.

2. Write daily

At GCSE, understanding the assessment objectives is vital. The fluency of your expression will be taken into consideration and so sharpening your use of the written word is paramount. This means regular practice and revision.

I have some good news for you. Similarly to reading widely, when it comes to getting into the practice of writing, the content doesn’t matter so much. For me, this is the beauty of writing. You have the freedom to start a sentence without knowing where it’s going to end, that’s up to you. You might not have fully formulated your ideas but somehow, putting pen to paper allows everything to fall into place. So what would you choose to do with this freedom? Keep a journal? Write tales of utopian adventure? Perhaps poetry is your forte? Whatever it might be, start now and carry on. Even 10 minutes a day can have a significant impact and contribute towards you becoming an impressive wordsmith.

3. Scoodle

You might be reading this article, struggling with English GCSE and thinking you’ve already exhausted all the options. Let me stop you there. Scoodle can help in two ways.

Firstly, Scoodle’s learning content includes hours of video lessons, hundreds of practice questions and pages of expert notes, and luckily for you, they are all free.

There are hoards of different resources online to help you when you’re stuck in a rut with revision. The difficult part is filtering through them and knowing which to trust. All of our resources are created by highly qualified tutors who are experts in their given subjects, so you know you can rely on them.

Furthermore, if you are worried about passing GCSE English or feel like there are a few concepts that you’re struggling to apply, it might be worth enquiring about private tuition. Every year, thousands of students seek help from private tutors and it can be extremely beneficial in boosting grades.

4. Revision and exam tips

Finally, when it comes to passing GCSE English you will need to work on perfecting your exam technique. For English Literature revision this means familiarising yourself with the given texts, understanding their context and memorising any quotations relevant to the overarching themes.

For English Language revision, you'll need to practise annotating unseen texts in timed conditions - past paper questions are perfect for this. While we’re on the topic, timing will be key in reaching success at GCSE. Ensure you give yourself ample time to thoroughly read the sources or texts and allow time to plan before diving straight in. This will do wonders for the structure and clarity of your answers.

It’s also beneficial to have a formula or set of steps so that you can rest assured you’ve covered all assessment objectives and can check them off in your plan as you go. Finally, as expected, you will also receive marks based on your spelling, punctuation and grammar so focus on these when you practise writing daily.

In summary, knowing how to pass GCSE English is no easy task but applying the techniques mentioned in this blog will only help in your endeavours. Try splitting your studies into English Literature revision and English Language revision and allow plenty of time to memorise the necessary content. Finally, remember that if you do find yourself struggling to overcome certain hurdles in GCSE English reach out to ask@scoodle.co.uk or browse our fantastic tutors and book a lesson.

Recommended for you:

How to pass GCSE English literature

How to pass your GCSE's

Journaling for beginners