Exam Board Subject Leader
AQA Mr D Dwyer

More information about this page will be added in the coming weeks.



Paper One: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel

This written exam lasts for 1 hour and 45 minutes, and is worth a total of 64 marks. It is worth 40% of the GCSE and is split into two sections:

  • Part A: Shakespeare

    Students are assessed on their understanding of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Students are asked to answer one question for Part A. They are required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole.

  • Part B: 19th Century Novel

    Students are assessed on their understanding of Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Like Part A, Part B asks students to answer one question, writing in detail about an extract from the novel and then about the novel as a whole.


Paper Two: Modern Texts and Poetry

This written exam lasts for 2 hours and 15 minutes, and is worth a total of 96 marks. It is worth 60% of the GCSE and is split into three sections:

  • Part A: Modern Prose or Drama
    Students answer one question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text. The text studied at Campion is George Orwell's Animal Farm.

  • Part B: Poetry Anthology
    Students are asked to answer one comparative question on a named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster. The chosen cluster at Campion is ‘Power and Conflict’.

  • Part C: Unseen Poetry
    Students answer one question on an unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.


Assessment Objectives

Examiners are looking for different skills in different texts and examinations when they are marking your work. These skills are known as assessment objectives and they will vary between exams. English literature and English language have different assessment objectives. It is worth learning the different assessment objectives to be clear what you are going to be examined on. (Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across exam boards).

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives in English literature:

  • AO1: Read, understand and respond to texts. Students should be able to:
    • maintain a critical style and develop an informed personal response
    • use textual references, including quotations, to support and illustrate interpretations.
  • AO2: Analyse the language, form and structure used by a writer to create meanings and effects, using relevant subject terminology where appropriate.
  • AO3: Show understanding of the relationships between texts and the contexts in which they were written.
  • AO4: Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.


Progression and Complementary Studies

We currently offer English literature at A level. As a core subject, English is popular and highly regarded at A-Level and beyond. It  combines well with most subjects. Pupils can proceed not only to a degree in English but also in fields such as film or media studies. English provides an ideal springboard for a variety of careers such as law, publishing, journalism, advertising and teaching.