Preparing for GCSE:

Which GCSE‌?

Make sure you know which Welsh GCSE you are taking!

1.  Are you taking Full Course GCSE or Short Course GCSE‌?


2.  Are you taking Welsh second language GCSE or Welsh Second Language Applied GCSE‌?


If you’re not sure, ASK your Welsh teacher!!


GCSE Units

The Welsh second language GCSEs are divided into 4 units:

  • if you are taking Short Course GCSE you are only taking Units 1 and 2;
  • if you are taking Full Course GCSE you are taking Units 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Your school will choose when to enter you for the different units but many schools enter Full Course learners for Units 1 and 2 in Year 10 and Units 3 and 4 in Year 11.

The exam board for all Welsh second language exams is the WJEC.


Get organised!

Being organised when you’re studying for lots of different subjects is essential.  Here are a few ideas to help:

1.  Make a list of all the subjects you have exams in and for each subject list what you need to do.

E.g. Welsh:

(i) Unit 3 Group Oral

– Go over phrases I want to use

– Revise vocabulary per topic

– Practise talking about speech bubbles from past papers

– Meet up with group and practise.

(ii)  Unit 4 Paper

– Revise topics

– Revise ‘Perfect Paragraph’ content

– Test myself using vocab cards

– Time myself doing past papers.

2.  Make a calendar from the beginning of the Easter holidays until the last exam.

Write in the time of every exam paper for every subject.    Then write in any fixed events like family gatherings or if you have a part-time job.
Now write in the times of your work sessions for each day.  You can do more sessions in the holidays and on weekends than on school days.

Now work backwards from each exam and write in when you will do work for that subject.

Don’t be over ambitious, if you hate working after 8 o’clock at night don’t overload yourself at that time.  If you’re more awake in the mornings give yourself the tougher work to do then.

There may be parts of your revision which need special attention so timetable those in too.

For example, you will need to meet up with your Welsh Oral group to practise regularly.



3.  Share the calendar with the whole family.  Put a copy up in the kitchen so that everyone knows what you’re working on, what time you’ve got to start and what time you’ll be finished.  That way the whole family can help and get involved!  You never know, you may find yourself explaining Welsh soft mutations over tea one night!




Testing, testing!

Your family can be a huge help to you by testing you regularly on Welsh vocabulary.  Ask them to help you make sets of cards for key vocabulary with the Welsh on one side and the English meaning on the other.  Arrange times for them to test you on one set of cards at a time.

Here are some ideas for sets of cards:

– idioms

– connectives

– adjectives

– verbs

– question words

– present tense

– past tense

– opinions

– perfect paragraph content


Resources for GCSE Revision

· For Welsh second language GCSE:

GCSE Essentials – WJEC GCSE Welsh (2nd Language): Revision Guide

ISBN: 978-1-84419-688-3.

Price: £5.99

This Revision Guide is useful to GCSE students throughout the course.  The book is divided into two halves, Units 1 & 2 and Units 3 & 4.  The GCSE course is explained at the start and is followed by a section of useful Welsh words and phrases.

Each topic from the GCSE syllabus is covered in a double page, each ending with a Quick Test for revision.  Answers to all tests are provided at the back of the book.

Revision skills are covered for each unit and exemplar papers are provided for Units 1 and 4 (the Reading and Writing papers).


· For Welsh second language Applied GCSE:

‘Ar Waith’ by Non ap Emlyn and Glenys Hughes.  Publisher: CAA.

ISBN:  9781845214753

Price:  £7.50

Ar Waith is a course book for the Applied Welsh second language GCSE.  Each topic of the course is covered and there are lots of exercises for you to practise.   At the back of the book is a section on Important Language which is very useful for revision.


For Welsh second language GCSE try the GCSE Welsh 2nd Language Short Course Revision app.

On the app there are exercises you can have a go at to practise vocabulary and key sentence patterns.


Past Papers
Past Papers are essential for good GCSE preparation and revision.  You will be able to see the type of questions which come up regularly and have a go at answering them.  It is a good idea in the last couple of months before an exam to try to answer past paper questions in the correct time allowed as time management is an important skill in exam

Past papers will be available through your Welsh teacher or you can get them yourself from the WJEC.


The most useful dictionary at GCSE is The Welsh Leaner’s Dictionary (Y Lolfa £6.95) but you might also find the BBC Wales Online dictionary handy.  If you would like a dictionary as an app try ap Geiriaduron which you can download for free.