Revise Your Revision Strategy for New 9-1 English

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GCSE English By: Please log in to see tutor details
Subject: English » GCSE English
Last updated: 27/05/2017
Tags: 9-1 english literature, english language revision, new 91 english literature gcse

“If we don’t teach students how to revise, then it’s an equal opportunities issue: those from supportive backgrounds will do better than those who have to fend for themselves” - Geoff Barton

The new English GCSE exams are assessed by exam only.  That means pupils need to show two years of knowledge in the exam hall.  

Many pupils struggle to revise for English, but there are many simple strategies pupils can use, and habits pupils should develop over the two year period to be successful and prepared for a terminal exam.

The latest research shows that learning over a long period of time is the most effective. The curve theory demonstrates that in order to retain knowledge you need to revisit it frequently.

Memorising set texts

1. Get a study buddy – devise mini ‘test your knowledge’ questions for set texts to memorise key moments, plot and sequence of events.
2. Who said what to who? Use flash cards to create quote banks and test your knowledge of key quotes and their significance
3. If the exam is testing theme, character or setting – look at past papers, or better still: create your own questions and create skeleton essay plans.

The personal response –Assessment Objective 1 (AO1)

To achieve a 7 or above in the numerical grading system pupils are required to develop secure knowledge of the texts. Higher level responses demonstrate a personal engagement with ideas, so that pupils can demonstrate interpretations that are based on critical thinking and forensic analysis of the text.  Depth of knowledge will allow pupils to have deeper connections with ideas presented in the set texts and in so doing, will allow pupils to develop more perceptive personal responses.

Revision strategies for deepening knowledge of set texts

1. Maximise your learning by using literature texts to develop your writing skills for your language exam.  Learning and memorising set texts can be useful for developing your writing skills. Deepen your knowledge of ideas and themes in the text by using events, moral themes or a writer’s message to write a speech from a character’s perspective, or an information leaflet or diary entry.

2. Listen to the audio version of the text whilst you are walking or sleeping.

3. Make sure your class notes are clear and logical – you will need them for revision.

4. Each week think back to what you’ve learnt in class – read over your notes. 10 minutes a week adds up to a lot of time without feeling intrusive. It will help you to retain that knowledge.

5. Do extra research – watch a video clip related to the topic that you are doing. Read a magazine article which gives you extra information. Read an academic paper – all of this information is available easily with an internet search.


Jessica Shillingford GCSE English Tutor (West London)

About The Author

Expert in preparing KS3/4 pupils for the new English 9-1 GCSE course. Free consultation to discuss how changes affect you and how to succeed.




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