Top Tip 4

Use your entry to help with your school work

The specific syllabus you are following will depend upon what level you are at and which exam board your school or college chooses, but here are some tips that will be useful in all cases:

Vocabulary: Think about the vocabulary you use; have you chosen the best and most appropriate words in your descriptions and in your dialogue? For examples, check out Top Tips 5 & 7.

Spelling: Take extra care with spelling; don’t just rely on a spell-checker. Spell-checkers are useful but they don’t always get it right.

Punctuation: Go through your work carefully and make sure that it is punctuated properly.

Grammar: In course and exam work you risk losing marks for incorrect grammar so be sure to check your work thoroughly.

Two useful tips:
  1. Try reading your work aloud. You will often be surprised at the mistakes you have failed to notice.
  2. Get a work buddy and read each other’s work. It can be hard to spot ambiguities in your own work because you know what you meant to say. Someone else will spot these things more easily.

Clearly you cannot do either of these things in an exam, but if you make a habit of checking your work thoroughly using these and other techniques, you will be better armed to spot your own mistakes when you are in an exam.

How to structure a story to practice GCSE level techniques

For some specific practice at some of the things you might be asked to do at GCSE level, you could pick a scenario for your story where someone you know does something that they should not have done. In addition, take special care with the opening, the ending and the point of view.