GCSE English Literature
All students take both English and English Literature at GCSE.

The pass rate for both at A*-C is usually 100% with high proportions of A*/A grades. A*-B grades in both GCSE’s are consistently 85%.

The New GCSE reforms have brought about new specifications for both GCSE English Language and English Literature. These will be assessed for the first time in 2017.

GCSE English Literature is taught in 4 lessons per week.

This subject is compulsory at GCSE.

2017 specification

GCSE English Literature 8702

The GCSE English Literature course takes a skills-based approach to the study of English literature that is consistent across the genres. It is entirely co-teachable with GCSE English Literature and offers excellent preparation for AS and A-level English Literature, as well as giving students a grounding in a wide variety of literature that will stay with them for life.

There are two components to GCSE English Literature:

  • Shakespeare and the 19th century novel

In this component you will study either Romeo and Juliet or The Merchant of Venice

  • Modern texts and poetry

In this component you will study An Inspector Calls, a selection of poems from the AQA Poetry Anthology and a range of other poetry.

Summary of the Course

Shakespeare & The 19th-century novel

How it’s assessed

  • written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 64 marks
  • 40% of GCSE

Questions

Section A Shakespeare: students will answer one question on their play of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole.

Section B The 19th-century novel: students will answer one question on their novel of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole.

Modern texts and Poetry

How it’s assessed

  • written exam: 2 hour 15 minutes
  • 96 marks
  • 60% of GCSE

Questions

Section A Modern texts: students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text.

Section B Poetry: students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster.

Section C Unseen poetry: Students will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.

English Literature GCSE

How is This Subject Assessed?

GCSE English Literature is assessed in two written exam papers at the end of the two year course.

All examinations are closed book: any stimulus materials required will be provided as part of the examination.

All examinations are compulsory.

English Literature GCSE