In Search of Originality

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GCSE English By: Please log in to see tutor details
Subject: English » GCSE English
Last updated: 22/02/2017
Tags: advice (general), gcse english

In Search of Originality

In terms of progressing pupils to improve GCSE Examination standards it is important to write and work closely with the pupil - mostly on past papers. Many pupils I work with begin with only moderate writing skills because they haven’t been trained to think clearly both regarding the topic studied and the specific questions that they are required to address. Always anxious about “the levels” to be attained both parents and pupils obsess on expectations, be they realistic or not. The tutor however, should always be very clear concerning the ability of the pupil and communicate this when requested; honesty will engender respect from all parties involved and mitigate the embarrassment of poor results.

When progressing intensely an alchemical process can be initiated to raise standards in a short period of 2 – 3 months. My advice is mostly to “answer the question” and have a good deal of practice in doing so. With topic-based subjects it is necessary to work out clearly what you will write before sitting the examination. Theme spotting is vital and central to confidence and a good grade. As a technique it is not difficult to research, given the right help.

Finding and citing relevant works and authors not central to a topic – giving themes not usually cited to examiners is most valuable. It encourages originality. For example, a popular GCSE text is “Mice and Men”. Place Steinbeck in context with F. Scott Fitzgerald… never attempted in schools.

Stuart Riddle


Stuart Riddle 11+ exam Tutor (North London)

About The Author

I have a lot of experience in encouraging pupils to improve their performance in examinations, improving their anticipated grade. I have worked with pupils at all levels from Grade D to Grade A*.




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