Foreign language GCSE exams

Updated: Apr 23, 2019

Foreign language GCSEs can be very daunting. Planning and preparation are key to success. Here are a few tips to help you get a good grade:


Don’t just use the present tense

Show the examiners that you can switch between tenses present, past and future. This will sound more natural and show the examiners that you have acquired a range of grammatical structures. If you can squeeze in a present subjunctive you're onto a winner!


Expand your range

Spend your two years of GCSE to expand your vocabulary by reading and listening to authentic content. It is important that you show a range of vocabulary words and expressions in the speaking and writing exams. Try to find a few words and expressions that will impress the examiners.

Express yourself

Tell your opinion

It is important that you tell the examiners what your opinion is. However, only using 'I think that' or 'my opinion is' will quickly become repetitive. Find at least 3 different ways of saying 'I think' or 'in my opinion' in your target language. Also make sure you say what you liked and/or disliked about a particular topic and why you did. For example if you had a great holiday in France, was it because the weather was great or was the hotel lovely?

Keep on practising

Practice makes perfect

Find practice papers online or ask your teacher, but you have to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Make sure you time yourself every time you do a practice paper and read the questions carefully. The key words in the questions will help you find the answers in the listening or reading.

Don’t leave it last minute

Plan your revisions

You have two years to get ready for your foreign language GCSE, so use that time wisely. Make sure you know your verbs endings in all tenses. Learn vocabulary as you get it and use it actively in your writing homework and speaking practice. Use the practice papers to keep track of your progress.

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