Revising for your language GCSE

Posted on April 16th, 2013

Hi, GCSE language students!

With the exams now just around the corner I thought it would be useful to post a resumé or all the revision techniques we’ve talked about in our revision workshops.

Thanks to all of you who added your ideas … they’re great!

Remember, the key to a good grade in your language exam is “little and often”. Try to do quarter of an hour’s practice per day – that will give your brain time to process the information. Try “mixing it up” – do some listening one day, some activities from a website another, learn some vocabulary on the third day, etc.

And of course, make sure you do plenty of PAST PAPERS – the more, the better. You’ll come across the same words again and again, and as we discussed, you need to learn a fact three times and forget before you’ve retained it. After that, you know it for good!

So, here are the ideas we came up with for learning vocabulary …

Work through past papers and make a glossary of any new words you come across. is a useful online dictionary.
Type lists of new words and delete the English definitions you know until all the definitions are deleted.
Write lists of words on post-its (5 per post-it is a good number). Stick them round the house – every time you see them, translate the words. Once you know them, change the post-its.
Record lists of words on your phone, leaving a short gap so that you can say what they mean in English.
Go online! Here’s a list of useful websites. Some are specifically for GCSE students, some are for any learners, but they’re all good and have fun activities which will help you to learn.




Work with a friend – two heads are better than one! Make a pact that when you come across a new word you’ll text or tweet it to each other. Get together to revise the new words you’ve learned – you could play some of the memory games we played in our revision sessions, eg. Pass the bomb or Kim’s game.
If you get brain drain, watch a bit of TV, but in the language you’re studying. Put on a favourite film or box set but change the language to French, German or Spanish. You could put the subtitles on in French, German or Spanish – that way you’re practising reading as well as listening.

We really hope these techniques work for you.

Good luck in your exams! We’ll be thinking about you on exam day.

Katie, Chrissy, Ali and Michelle
Babble and Speak Ltd

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2 Responses to “Revising for your language GCSE”

  1. Shay says:

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation however I in finding this
    topic to be actually one thing that I believe I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and extremely extensive for me.
    I’m looking ahead on your subsequent post, I will attempt
    to get the cling of it!

    • Katharine Wellings says:

      Hi Shay
      Thanks for your comments. I guess it’s little and often. It seems so overwhelming, but if you break it down it will seem more manageable. Good luck!

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