GCSE English Literature



English Literature


Examination Subject:                                     English Literature

Examination Qualification:                             GCSE

Examination Board:                                        AQA

Tiers of Entry:                                    There are no tiers, all students sit the same exam

Note: this course is 100% exam, there is no controlled assessment or coursework. Students cannot take copies of the texts they have studied into the exam

Course Content:                             

You will read, discuss and explore a range of both contemporary and English literary heritage novels, plays, poetry. You will be encouraged to explore language and structure, characters, themes and ideas, and develop your own personal response to texts. You will learn to read closely, compare texts and explore writing in its context.

 Skills Taught


Summary of Assessment

Read, understand and respond to texts: maintain a critical style and develop an informed personal response; use textual references, including quotations, to support and illustrate interpretations.

Analyse the language, form and structure used by a writer to create meanings and effects, using relevant subject terminology where appropriate

Show understanding of the relationships between texts and the contexts in which they were written

Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation


Structure of Units & Examination Papers

100% Exam, no coursework, there are 2 exam papers

Paper 1

Shakespeare plays (one whole play studied in detail)

The 19th-century novel (one whole novel in detail)

How it's assessed

1 hour 45 minute written exam

40% of GCSE

Paper 2

Modern prose or drama texts

The poetry anthology

Unseen poetry

How it's assessed

2 hour 15 minute written exam

96 marks

60% of GCSE


Key Exam Dates.

All exams take place in the summer of year 11. There is no early entry.

Dates for 2019 are:

Lit 1 Wed 15 May

Lit 2 Thur 23 May

Progression from this examination:

Students move on to A/AS Level English Literature from this examination.

Careers Information:

Progression into teaching, journalism, law

The most prodigious Universities (Russell group, Oxbridge) favour advanced study of English Literature for many career paths.


Parents can get help with gcse english at the following sites:




Further Information:             See Mr McGregor