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English GCSE FAQs

Specification (Language)

Q: What are the main changes at GCSE English Language?

A:

  • 100% exam split between two exam papers
  • No tiered papers
  • Exam papers cover reading and writing across forms (i.e. includes literary texts as well as non-fiction and literary non-fiction)
  • Reading will cover a range of texts and forms from 19th, 20th and 21st century
  • No 'set texts' (i.e. all source materials and extracts in the exam will be unseen)
  • Writing likely to be a mixture of transactional and more creative tasks
  • SAPG increases to 20% of the overall marks

Specification (Literature)

Q: What are the main changes at GCSE English Literature?

A:

  • 100% exam split between two exam papers
  • No tiered papers
  • 100% closed book (including the poetry anthology)
  • Extracts from the set texts as well as unseen texts and extracts will appear in the exam(s)
  • An emphasis on older, more 'traditional' set-texts: X1 Shakespeare play, X1 C19th novel, X1 modern text (either a novel or a play), Poetry (a collection from Romantics onwards).

Grading system

Q: What is the main change to the grading system?

A: A*- G grades will be replaced by a new grading system. The new system will cover grades 1-9, with 9 being the highest and a U for Unclassified.

New exams

Q: When will students sit the new GCSE exams?

A: First teaching for the new qualifications started in September 2015 and the first exams will be in the summer of 2017.

New resources

Q: Are there new resources for the new GCSEs?

A: Yes. We have published a wide range of resources for the new English Language and English Literature specifications, so whichever board you choose to use we will have something for you. To help you see as a glance, we have put together a handy chart to show you all of the support available. Simply click on the images and you'll be taken straight to the relevant page to find out more.