GCSE : Best ways to learn a French speaking exam

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Tips for the GCSE French Speaking Exam

Sometimes the French speaking exams they go well, sometimes they go not well. Here are a few examples. You are going to have between four and six minutes to fill in the conversation, so stay very focus on what you are listening to. Be sure that when you are speaking it is clear for the person who is listening to you. You need as well to be sure of the time and the location of your assessment. If you do not remember what you want to say, just stay calm, I suggest you to try to answer  with a silple sentence. Do whatever you are able to do to answer something whenever you can.

A Guide for the GCSE French Speaking Exam

Before doing the exam, you are going to get two cards and you are going to have 12 minutes to be ready, to prepare notes about these two cards. You need to do everything you can during those 12 minutes. There are no limits, feel free to make as many notes as you want.  

1 – The first thing you are going to do is the role play. You do not know in advanced what you are going to be asked, so you can use your cards to help you. (!) : this symbol means that you have to answer a question that you did not see during your preparation time. (?) : and this symbol means that you have to ask something to your professor.

2 – During the second part of the assessment you are going to use the photo card. The questions you are going to have are related to the picture. The first question is always the same question, it is :  Qu’est-ce qu’il y a sur la photo ?, it means « What is on the photo ? ». So make sure to prepare well for that, so to know some French sentences and French words to be able to describe it. Then you are going to answer to two more questions that are written on the card. Then, the professor is going to ask you more questions you are not prepared for.

3 –The last part of the test is a general conversation. You are going to be asked some questions not related to the photo. So you need to be prepared for that as well. For this part it is important that try to make a quite long answer, to make sentences instead of just French words. You are going to get a mark on if there is a variety in the way you speak, in your language, so for some things you need to know several ways to say the same thing. Pay attention as well to tenses you use, you need to handle them and be able to change from one tense to another : past tense, present tense, and future tense. Your accent is going to be marked as well, so practice a bit for that as well.

Writing, Lists of words, Listening and reading, Conversations


I introduce you here a few tips for the writing element. You are going to be asked to fill in the blank. For an exercise you are going to have to put a few words that they will give you, so I suggest you to tick them once you used them, so the examiner can see immediately that you used those words. You can have a lower mark if you forget to use one of those words even if the French grammar is correct, so pay attention to that. Pay attention to the fact that you need to use and include all the bullet points. You need as well to be good at knowing and seplling the French words, and for the writing, knowing a lot of French words is going to help you a lot. Some subjects you can have for the exam are :  technology, healthy, what do you like to eat, how your ideal home, how is your school life routine, how is your house, your future job,... So, I suggest you to create a file with some typical answers for each of those themes. Then, I suggest you to read them a lot of times especially the night before the exam. So, you are going to know before the exam what you are going to talk for each subject, so it is going to be much easier for you.  

Lists of words

Learning a lot of French words. It is going to help you for the previous part (writing) and for listening as well. It is going to help you for everything for the exam. I suggest you to ask to your professor what is the list of words you need to know to be prepared for the exam. He will give you several lists of French words that you are going to see maybe during your exam. Maybe you are going to listen to them, to read them. Some of the words you are going to see, you are  supposed to know them. I suggest you to go throug these lists of words everyday for at least 5 minutes, especially just before going to sleep.

Listening and reading

Knowing a lot of words is very important, and it is especially important for the listening  part. If you know the lists of French words it will be easier for you to recognize some of those French words and it will give to you more sense of what you are going to listen to or reading. You can have them online on the website, on the exam website part, you are going to find a lot of them from the previous years. And as well you are going to see what kind of answers they are looking for and what types of questions they ask. For the listening part, I suggest you to always write your answers, and then the second time the audio is playing I suggest you to go back to them to finalize your answers. At the end the examiners are going to give something like around 2 minutes to put the final touch. So, I suggest you to write quickly, in notes as the listening goes without stopping. The listening part is difficult for a lot of people.


Then, you are going to have a talk for 15 minutes. It is not possible to do all the previous things at the same time. So I suggest you to do your study on a regular basis, everyday. To improve your knowledge slowly but in a steady way. You can practice the oral with a friend or with a professor, with someone of your family.    

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Thomas 😀

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