History & English Courses: A Student’s Perspective

From time to time, students provide us with insights on why they find our courses so helpful. For Miranda, she found the “exceptional and relevant knowledge of specific exam boards” and “intuitive guidance on how to write higher level analysis and evaluation” particularly valuable.

Read Miranda’s full article below …

“I am now studying Law at the University of Exeter, having achieved two A*s, an A and an A* in the EPQ at A-level.

Throughout sixth form, I attended numerous Justin Craig revision courses in both History and English. Prior to the courses, I was concerned that my written work wasn’t attaining the highest grades, in spite of hours of study and extra research. The courses offered the opportunity to work with current examiners who had exceptional and relevant knowledge of what the specific exam boards require. This was particularly helpful, as the teachers were excellent at explaining the mark scheme and ensuring that students understood how to access marks in the higher grade categories. In addition, the tutors were able to offer unique insight into how examiners read a student’s essay, what is considered impressive; and, in contrast, what students should avoid.

Improving exam technique was the key factor in making a difference to my History grade.

Before attending the course, I was achieving a mid-range ‘B’ grade in my work. However, after the four day course my marks were consistently hitting an ‘A’, with a few ‘A*’ marks in the following mock exams at school. The teachers at Justin Craig are able to recognise areas of weakness and then help implement different writing strategies to consistently and effectively overcome the ‘barriers’, which exams often present.

Justin Craig courses do not offer “sound bite” feedback which students often receive, but, instead provide intuitive guidance on how to write higher level analysis and evaluation which is essential to achieving top marks at the A-Level standard. Overall, the teachers at Justin Craig have a ‘going above and beyond attitude’ to helping their students. For example, one tutor gave all his revision handouts and tips which he used with his own students throughout sixth form – effectively I was given two years worth of revision resources to take home! An incomparable aspect of the course is that students are able to experiment with a wide range of alternative revision and writing techniques from top examiners.

Justin Craig’s approach enables students to get the most out their course

Justin Craig has a particularly efficient system which requires you to identify your areas of struggle prior to the course. The form is sent to the teachers in advance, who then proceed to contact you about the content areas which you would like to work on. For example, on the English course I attended, the teacher asked for the texts I was studying, in advance, and read all of them in order to be able to help on any page which I was struggling with. This dedication was particularly impressive, as each student in the class studied different texts and some were new additions to the English syllabus. Furthermore, contacting the teachers in advance was helpful, as class time was not wasted unnecessarily identifying the different needs of the students. This allows the teachers to cater the course to the student’s individual needs despite the group setting. Overall, having contact with the teachers, prior to the course, provided a comfortable atmosphere and allowed the group to settle into the lessons almost immediately.

The form asked for my predicted grade and the grade you were hoping to achieve. The members of my classes were high achievers and aiming for high grades like me. This provided a setting in which I could appreciate and learn from the other strengths which students had. The group setting at Justin Craig is entirely appropriate and beneficial for learning, and the course has carefully pre-empted problems with setting and size numbers of groups.

Tips for prospective Justin Craig students

What would I recommend to get the most out of your Justin Craig course? The more attempted exam questions you can bring, the better! The teachers are incredibly generous with their time and have offered to mark previous mock exams in the evenings to help identify structural and content issues. I also brought my revision books and any set work for the moments when the teacher was focusing on another student. Finally, if you are not satisfied with quality of the course, I advise speaking to a senior member of staff within the first two days. The course is highly focused on accommodating your individual needs and staff are happy to adapt the learning environment to best suit you.

Justin Craig has given me skills and techniques that I am still using now

Before the course, I could not envision analysing and writing with the confidence and fluency which the guidance and training Justin Craig has given. I have been able to apply the structural techniques to my first year Law essays which is a testament to the academic level the course is capable of catering to. I feel fully confident recommending Justin Craig as an excellent revision aid to A level studies, especially with the nuanced and often ambiguous style of exam technique required for the essay based subjects.”