English Language and Literature GCSE

Exam board


How Will I Be Assessed?

No controlled assessment – 100% exam.


English Language Paper 1

  • Explorations in creative reading and writing
  • 1 hour 45 mins
  • Section A: reading, Section B: writing
  • 80 marks, 50% of GCSE

English Language Paper 2

  • Writers’ view points and perspectives
  • 1 hour 45 mins
  • Section A: reading, Section B: writing
  • 80 marks, 50% of GCSE

English Literature Paper 1

  • Modern text and the 19th Century novel
  • 1 hour 20 mins
  • Section A: Modern text (An Inspector Calls, Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm) 30 marks
  • Section B: 19th Century novel (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, A Christmas Carol) 30 marks
  • 60 marks, 46% of GCSE

English Literature Paper 2

  • Shakespeare and unseen poetry
  • 1 hour 30 mins
  • Section A: Shakespeare (Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet) 34 marks
  • Section B: Unseen poetry 34 marks
  • Section C: Unseen Poetry 34 marks
  • 68 marks, 64% of GCSE

English Language

Reading skills: summary, comparison, language analysis, evaluate, infer, analyse structure, read for meaning. Students need to be familiar with grammatical terminology, parts of speech and literary terminology in order to analyse the texts closely.

Writing skills: writing to entertain and writing to present a point of view, in a particular genre. Students must have a clear understanding of these writing styles and use accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar.

English Literature

The exams are now ‘closed book’ – which means students will not have a copy of the play, poems or novel in the exam with them. They need to learn key quotes to use in their exam essays.

Students need to know the texts well, including their plot structure, key characters, themes, the historical context that they were written in and be able to analyse how they have been written. They need to know key literary terminology in order to analyse language of the texts successfully.

Revision resources

We run ‘walking mock’ exams, offering actual exam practice in timed conditions, whilst walking students through the paper, reminding them of the key points of the mark scheme and our top tips.

Download the following:

English Language Walking Mock Paper 1

Language Paper 2 Walking Mock

English Literature Homework Booklet – Macbeth

English Literature Homework Booklet – Romeo & Juliet

The Revision Leaflet

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