Unsure whether or not you are likely to pass or fail your English Language GCSE? Read our checklist below to find out!

Do I Have the Knowledge?

Can you explain and use the following techniques?

  • Simile
  • Metaphor
  • Personification
  • Pathetic fallacy
  • Juxtaposition
  • Oxymoron
  • Onomatopoeia
  • Alliteration
  • Assonance
  • Consonance
  • Sibilance
  • Irony
  • Hyperbole
  • Litotes

You need this sort of knowledge to be able to talk about the features writers use to create different effects – and obviously the examiners will expect you to use these in your own writing, too!

Do I Have the Skills?

Do you know how to do all of the following things?

    • Find information in a text.
    • Compare two texts.
    • Summarise a text.
    • Paraphrase a writer’s words.
    • Analyse language.
    • Analyse structure.
    • Evaluate a text and its ideas.
    • Comment critically on a text.
    • Synthesise information.
    • Explain why writers have made certain choices.
    • Plan a written response.

It’s essential that you know what to do when confronted with questions that ask you to use any of these skills, otherwise you could waste valuable time or, worse still, completely miss the point of what the examiners are looking for.


Do I Know the Format?

Do you know the following information about your exam?

  • The name of the exam board.
  • The number of papers in the exam.
  • The date(s) of the paper(s).
  • The total number of marks available.
  • The total number of questions in the paper.
  • The marks available in each question.
  • The assessment objectives being assessed in each question.
  • The mark scheme for each question.
  • The total time you will be given to complete the exam.
  • The recommended time to spend on each question.
  • The examiners’ advice from previous years.

It’s extremely important that you know what will be involved in your exam and exactly how much time you should spend on each section. This is almost as important as your English knowledge and skills! Many students lose marks because they didn’t realise what each question was asking them or because they haven[‘t left enough time to answer every question. 

If the answer to any of the questions in this checklist is ‘no’, ‘not really’ or even ‘I think so’, then you may not be quite ready to pass your English Language GCSE with flying colours! The good news is that the Get My Grades platform has a whole page dedicated to teaching you each gap in your knowledge and each required skill. Sign up for a 7-day free trial now so that you can feel completely confident about your exam in no time!

Get My Grades is an online learning platform for students aged 11-16 (school years 7-11). It's got all of the course content and over 75,000 questions with an answer explanation for each, providing realistic revision or exam practice. We’ve even got an offer on our monthly and yearly subscriptions to help your child settle into the new school year – use code GMG-AUTUMN to get 10% off our monthly and yearly plans at checkout.

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