Find past papers and mark schemes, and specimen papers for new courses, on our website at aqa.org.uk/pastpapers
This specification is designed to be taken over two years with all assessments taken at the end of the course.
GCSE exams and certification for this specification are available for the first time in May/June 2017 and then every May/June and November for the life of the specification.
This is a linear qualification. In order to achieve the award, students must complete all exams in November or May/June in a single year. All assessments must be taken in the same series. November entries will only be available to students who were at least 16 on the previous 31 August. See Resits and shelf life in the General administration section for November entry restrictions. In designing and setting the assessments for this specification we have ensured that taken together, these assessments include questions or tasks which will allow students to:
The final reading question on each paper - Question 4 on Paper 1 and Question 4 on Paper 2 allows students to fulfill this requirement.
All materials are available in English only.
Courses based on this specification should encourage students to:
read fluently and write effectively. They should be able to demonstrate a confident control of Standard English and they should be able to write grammatically correct sentences, deploy figurative language and analyse texts.
Courses based on this specification should enable students to:
In addition, they must enable students to:
The Spoken Language endorsement will be reported on as part of the qualification, but it will not form part of the final mark and grade.
The aim of this paper is to engage students in a creative text and inspire them to write creatively themselves by:
The paper will assess in this sequence, AO1, AO2 and AO4 for reading, and AO5 and AO6 for writing. Section A will be allocated 40 marks, and Section B will be allocated 40 marks to give an equal weighting to the reading and writing tasks.
The source for the reading questions will be a literature fiction text. It will be drawn from either the 20th or 21st century. Its genre will be prose fiction. It will include extracts from novels and short stories and focus on openings, endings, narrative perspectives and points of view, narrative or descriptive passages, character, atmospheric descriptions and other appropriate narrative and descriptive approaches.
As a stimulus for students’ own writing, there will be a choice of scenario, written prompt or visual image that is related to the topic of the reading text in section A. The scenario sets out a context for writing with a designated audience, purpose and form that will differ to those specified on Paper 2.
The aim of this paper is to develop students’ insights into how writers have particular viewpoints and perspectives on issues or themes that are important to the way we think and live our lives. It will encourage students to demonstrate their skills by:
The paper will assess in this sequence, AO1, AO2 and AO3 for reading, and AO5 and AO6 for writing. Section A will be allocated 40 marks, and section B will be allocated 40 marks to give an equal weighting to the reading and writing tasks.
The sources for the reading questions will be non-fiction and literary non-fiction texts. They will be drawn from the 19th century, and either the 20th or 21st century depending on the time period assessed in Paper 1 in each particular series. The combination selected will always provide students with an opportunity to consider viewpoints and perspectives over time. Choice of genre will include high quality journalism, articles, reports, essays, travel writing, accounts, sketches, letters, diaries, autobiography and biographical passages or other appropriate non-fiction and literary non-fiction forms.
In section B, there will be a single writing task related to the theme of section A. It will specify audience, purpose and form, and will use a range of opinions, statements and writing scenarios to provoke a response.
The aim of the assessment is to allow students to demonstrate their speaking and listening skills by:
The assessment will be separately endorsed and will cover AO7, AO8 and AO9 for spoken language.
Students must undertake a prepared spoken presentation on a specific topic. The topic is at the discretion. As a guide, the duration should be no more than ten minutes. The key requirements are:
Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all GCSE English Language specifications and all exam boards.
The exams and Spoken Language endorsement will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives.
|Assessment objectives (AOs)||Component weightings (approx %)||Overall weighting (approx %)|
|Paper 1||Paper 2||Spoken Language NEA|
|Overall weighting of components||50||50||0||100|
The marks awarded on the papers will be scaled to meet the weighting of the components. Students’ final marks will be calculated by adding together the scaled marks for each component. Grade boundaries will be set using this total scaled mark. The scaling and total scaled marks are shown in the table below. Component Maximum raw mark Scaling factor Maximum scaled mark Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing 80 x1 80 Paper 2: Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives 80 x1 80 Total scaled mark:
Students will study one play from the list of six set texts. Students should study the whole text.
Choose one of:
Students will study one novel from the list of seven set texts. Students should study the whole text.
Choose one of:
Robert Louis Stevenson
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
A Christmas Carol
Pride and Prejudice Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Sign of Four
Students will study one from a choice of 12 set texts, which include post-1914 prose fiction and drama. Students should study the whole text.
Choose one of:
An Inspector Calls
The History Boys
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (play script)
A Taste of Honey
Lord of the Flies
Never Let Me Go
Anita and Me
Students will study one cluster of poems taken from the AQA poetry anthology, Poems Past and Present. There is a choice of two clusters, each containing 15 poems. The poems in each cluster are thematically linked and were written between 1789 and the present day.
The titles of the two clusters are:
Students should study all 15 poems in their chosen cluster and be prepared to write about any of them in the examination.
In preparing for the unseen poetry section of the examination students should experience a wide range of poetry in order to develop their ability to closely analyse unseen poems. They should be able to analyse and compare key features such as their content, theme, structure and use of language.
In studying the set texts students should have the opportunity to develop the following skills.
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