GCSE : a French writing exam – How to learn it quickly ?

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Here are a few things to know about this exam (AQA)

  • You are goignt to get a mark for the writing test and as well for your transcript skills, so you need to be able to translate from the English language to the French language.
  • The student is not going to know the subject of the speaking or writing test before doing it, so you are not going to have time to prepare it. You are going to have only 20 minutes just before the exam. If it is a speaking one, maybe you are going to listen to a talk, so the professor is going to ask you some questions, or it could be a image and you have to talk about it, you have to describe the picture, you are going to need to answer to some questions, or it could just be a variety of general questions.
  • During the reading test you are going to be asked questions in the French language, and you need to answer in the French language. You are going to have extracts, you have to understand and to answer questions about those extracts. It could be extracts from modern French novels , for your own level. You need to be carefull to learn a lot of French words with synonymes.

Here are some sentences for the test

J’habite dans la banlieue de Paris, malheureusement c’est petit, pollué et vraiement sale → I live in the suburbs of Paris, unfortunately it is small, polluted and really dirty.

La fumée des usines pollue beaucoup l’atmosphère, donc il fait toujours gris ici → Factory smoke pollutes the atmosphere a lot, so it’s always gray here.

J’habite aussi près d’une gare, ce qui est très buyant, on entend toujours le bruit des trains → I also live near a train station, which is very noisy, you can always hear the noise of the trains.

Here is an example 

The instructions
« Answer all questions. Write your answers in the spaces provided. Some questions must be answered with a cross in a box. If you change your mind about an answer, put a line through the box, and then mark your new answer with a cross »

First, you have to look at the title, for example : « Future plans » and the question. We are going to talk about what they are going to do in the future, in their life.

Future plans
What do they want to do in the future ?
You need to listen to the audio and to tick the correct box. 
A well-known
B to go around the world
C world champion
D to have an activity which is outside
E to go to school
F to have a professional activity that he (or she likes)
G helping people

 ABCDEFG
Example : Léa       
Maxime       
Estelle       
Benoît       
Marina       

Let us see the example with
A well-known : you need to look for specific words, if they talk about being famous it could be a word like la célébrité, or maybe they want to be des personnes connues.
B to go around the world : voyager
C world champion : champion, this is the same word in French. Maybe they are talking about a sport, maybe they are talking about judo, football, escalade,…
D to have an activity which is outside : the word travailler, maybe à l’extérieur, en dehors  
E to go to school : it could be the word université.  
F to have a professional activity that he (or she likes) : you should get the words j’aime or j’adore,…
G helping people : aider

Pay attention to the words you already know.

Student, if you are wondering about what it is going on for the next examinations (assessment), how could you prepare for it, I suggest you to ask your inspector. You can check online, there are so many websites to get informations about the examinations (assessment). You can make French words lists. It is very important that you do not panic ! And everything will go well if you know well your subject. If you revise you are going to have more confidence.

Here are some tips for the GCSE (AQA) listening exam

  • Tip 1 : I suggest you to taking notes : to write the key words  
  • Tip 2 : I suggest you to stay positive : take it easy. It is normal if you do not understand all the words your are listening to, and you are not supposed to understand everything. If some parts are too long or if people are speaking too fastly, you are going to probably hear several times the sames words. I suggest you to concentrate on what you do understand well. What you are going to listen to it could be difficult but the questions should be very easy.
  • Tip 3 : I suggest you to use the knowledge you have about the French grammar : use your knowledge of the  French grammar (a important part of your foundation in the French language). It is important to know if someone is talking about the past or the future, if someone is using a negative or a positive point of view, it is very important that you are looking at some specific words.
  • Tip 4 : I suggest you to use your knowledge about France, what you know about the French speaking country. For example, if you hear people talking about la N7 (which is a famous big road in France), it means that they are talking about roads.
  • Tip 5 : I suggest you to listen to the intonation of the voice :  do not just listen to what the person is saying, the intonation could help you a lot to understand their point of view or how they are feeling. So if he is feeling bad you are going to hear it in the intonation of his (or her) voice, even if you do not understand what he (or she) is saying. With the intonation of the voice as well you can get if they are asking a question or not.
  • Tip 6 : I suggest you to be clear : if you need to right an answer in the French language be the more clear you can, write a lot fo details.

In order to having a good preparation, have a look at a variety of resources (with transcript), to build up good foundation

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Teacher : best way to learn a French speaking exam in one day gcse
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Thank you for reading this article !
Thomas 😀

collège, collège, confidence, examiner, examiner, preparation, topics, vocab, vocab,