For GCSE English Literature students study Shakespeare and nineteenth century fiction and as well as a post 1914 British play and poetry. They also prepare a talk for the speaking and listening assessment.

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel

How it’s assessed

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

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 write about the play as 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.

Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry

How it’s assessed

  • written exam: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • 60% of GCSE

Section A: Modern texts: students will answer one essay question from the 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.

Click here to see the full specification from the exam board.