Ten Tips to Approach the Spanish GCSE with Confidence
Revising for the Spanish GCSE can feel overwhelming. When learning a second language there is always new vocabulary that you can learn. How do you know when you have done enough to do well in the GCSE exams? These are my top tips for revising for the Spanish GCSE to make sure you use your time for maximum benefit.
1. Identify the Vocabulary You Will Need to Know
Make sure you get a copy of your exam board syllabus so you have a list of the expected vocabulary. You can see an example of this at the AQA website. This is a comprehensive list of the vocabulary you need to know. You don’t need to know other words for this exam so make sure you focus your efforts on this list. Old school methods like flashcards and post-its are great for learning. You could also take a look at Quizlet to create online flashcards. Take a look at my 10 tips for learning vocabulary for more ideas.
2. Practice Little and Often
Try to build learning Spanish into your everyday routine. You could try listening to a Spanish podcast while eating your breakfast like News in Slow Spanish. If you like music try a new translating new song each day with Lyrics Trainer. You could stick post-its on everyday objects with their Spanish names. Additionally, some of the language learning apps can be really great to use on the move. Just five minutes of Spanish practice regularly will reap more rewards than cramming just before the exam.
3. Focus on Accuracy Instead of Complexity
Getting simple phrases right is more important than using complicated grammar or sentence structures. Focus on making sure your adjectives match the gender of each word and ensure you are confident with conjugating your verbs in the present, past and future tenses. Getting the basics right will help you to achieve the grade you want.
4. Be an Expert on Spanish Numbers
Numbers will appear all over the assessment and it is handy to be able to recognise then written down and when listening to Spanish. Make it fun by playing card games in Spanish.
5. Make Sure You Are Confident With Question Words in Spanish
Being able to recognise the question words (what,why,how,when,who) will give you a head start in understanding questions that may be posed to you in Spanish. Avoid that panic of not understanding the question by knowing these words.
6. Practice with Past Papers
As you start to get closer to your exams, use the past papers available on the exam board website to practice. This is a great way to get familiar with the layout of the exams and the types of questions that could come up. It will also be a good way of identifying which areas you find the most difficult and where you should focus your revision time.
7. Listen to Spanish
Many students get familiar with seeing Spanish written down but find it difficult to recognise the words when they are spoken. Try to listen to Spanish as much as you can. You can use the listening past papers, Spanish podcasts or work with a tutor to get practice.
8. Get Practice Speaking
Converting all your knowledge of Spanish into a conversation can be daunting. That said, it is incredibly rewarding when you realise you are able to speak to someone else in a different language. Try to get as much practice as you can speaking about all the different GCSE topics. The more you speak the more fluent you will become. For more ideas take a look at my tips on mastering the GCSE photocard assessment.
9. Create Some Key Phrases for Each of the GCSE Spanish Topics and Learn Them
The Spanish GCSE is split into different topics. Write a paragraph about each topic. Try to include the different tenses you have learned. For instance, one of the GCSE topics on the AQA syllabus is Home, Town, Neighbourhood and Region. For this topic you could write some sentences about: what your town used to be like; what you did there last weekend; what you like or don’t like about your town; what your ideal town will be like; and how the town will change in the future. Once you know have a few sentences committed to memory for each topic you will be well prepared to answer many questions.
10. Be Opinionated
Consider each of the topics on the syllabus and think about what your opinion is. What do you think about marriage? How do you feel about climate change? Write some sentences in Spanish expressing these opinions and learn them. This will be incredibly helpful for your speaking assessment.
I hope these are helpful for you as you prepare for the GCSE Spanish assessments. What have you being doing to improve your Spanish? Let me know in the comments below.
Hi, I am Karen. I am a languages tutor and blogger. I offer online tuition for students across the UK. I live in Tonbridge, in Kent, with my husband and my son. For me learning Spanish has meant fun, adventure, friendship and fulfilling work. I love sharing all that I have learnt with my students and via my blog. If you would like to receive 10% off your first online lesson, as well as regular updates and tips for learning Spanish, subscribe here.