Maximize Your French GCSE Reading Exam Grade: Top Tips

Maximize Your French GCSE Reading Exam Grade: Top Tips


Are you looking to maximize your French GCSE Reading Exam grade? Look no further! In this article, I will provide you with my top tips to help you get the best possible grade on your French GCSE Reading Exam. Read on to discover how to boost your French GCSE Reading Exam grade! 

Know Question Words in French

When revising for the French GCSE reading exam, it is important to familiarise yourself with question words in French. Being able to recognize and comprehend question words in French can make a big difference when it comes to achieving good grades. 

To begin with, it is important to understand the various types of question words in French.

how much
combien de
how many

Once you have familiarized yourself with the different question words in French, it is important to practise using them in context. This can be done by reading French books, newspapers and magazines, and attempting to answer the questions that are posed in the text. This will help to build your confidence in using the language and will also help you to understand the context in which each question word is used. 

Be Aware of Negative Words in French

It’s important for French GCSE students to be aware of negative words when preparing for the reading exam. 

  1. When the verb is made up of one word, you usually put “ne” and “pas” round the verb.

je joue au tennis → je ne joue pas au tennis 

  1. However, if the verb is made up of two words, you put “ne” and “pas” round the auxiliary (“avoir” or “être“).

j’ai joué au tennis → je n’ai pas joué au tennis 
je suis allé au parc  je ne suis pas allé au parc

  1. When using the negative, remember that if you have un /une/ des / du / de la / de l’ / des in your positive sentence, you will need to change those to “de” in the negative sentence. 

For example :  
j’ai un chien   je n’ai pas de chien 

  1. Here are some special negative expressions:

The following expressions do **not** use the word “pas” when expressing the negation.

ne + verb + jamais
ne + verb + personne
ne + verb + rien
no longer
ne + verb + plus
ne + verb + que
haven't yet / still haven't
ne + verb + pas encore

5. You will also find the following negative conjunctions useful: 

à l'exception de
without (pronounced like "100", cent)

By taking the time to understand and become familiar with negative words in French, you will be able to answer any questions related to negative words confidently in the reading exam. 

Boost Your Vocabulary

Achieving top grades in the French GCSE Reading Exam requires an expansive vocabulary.  The more vocabulary you know the better for you French reading exam, so how can you tackle this? Being faced with a huge list of vocabulary can be daunting. A good strategy is to divide up words into “families”, groups or topics. 

You can use a vocabulary app like Quizlet or Memrise to help you memorise French vocabulary. If paper flashcards work better for you, you can write out new words and phrases and test yourself or ask your parent to test you.  Reading extensively, listening to French music and watching French films will also help you increase your vocabulary range.  Use a dictionary app. Use a French dictionary app on your phone or tablet to look up words or phrases that you don’t understand.  You can use mnemonic devices. Create mnemonic devices such as rhymes, songs or stories to help you memorize new words and phrases. 

Keep learning. Never stop learning and expanding your vocabulary by looking up new words whenever you see them or hear them. By following these tips, you will be able to quickly and easily boost your French vocabulary and excel in the French GCSE Reading Exam. 

Be a Master of Time Phrases in French

Time phrases are essential in any language, and French is no exception. 

Having a good grasp of time expressions can help you communicate more effectively and accurately. With some practice, you can master the most common time phrases in French. 

Here are some common time phrases in French: 

from time to time
de temps en temps
parfois, quelquefois
next week
la semaine prochaine
last week
la semaine dernière
last weekend
le week-end dernier
this weekend
ce week-end

Time Management and Practice

Time management and practice are essential for achieving top grades in the French GCSE reading exam.  

  1. Make use of past papers. This will help you become familiar with the types of questions that are likely to come up in the exam.
  2. Practice reading French texts. Start with easy material and gradually move up to more complex texts.
  3. Stay organized. Have all your notes in one place so you can easily refer to them.
  4. Take regular breaks.Don’ttry to cram too much information into your head at once. 
  5. Get plenty of rest. Make sureyou’rewell-rested for the exam so you can perform at your best. 

Following these tips should help you to be well-prepared for the French GCSE reading exam. 


By following the steps listed above, you can maximize your French GCSE Reading Exam Grade. Learn the question words, be aware of the negative words, boost your vocabulary, become a master of time phrases in French, and practice with time management. 

If you need to practise regularly with an experienced tutor who will help you achieve the grade you deserve, please get in touch.

Would you like French Tuition for your child?

Please fill in the form below: