• hsctutoring

GCSE English Exam Information

Updated: Mar 26, 2019

Hello everyone,

Today I’d like to talk to you about one of the most important subjects GCSE exams: English Literature.

If you enjoy reading books at the age of 14 then you are 1-0 ahead. You will be a passionate reader for the rest of your life.

Being a passionate reader is not the only thing that will help you to succeed on this course though. If you like to express your views or if you have a creative imagination, then studying English can really enhance these skills.

For GCSE level you will neither be expected to read entire texts on your own, nor all at once. You may be assigned a few chapters to read at home, so that you can be prepared to answer questions about them and participate in discussions during lessons at school and with your tutors, but you will also be given time in class to do some quiet reading.

Strong candidates in English are typically good at noticing small details in writing and at constructing powerful responses to questions concerning their studied texts.

GCSE exams in English include questions that allow students to demonstrate their ability to: draw together their knowledge, skills and understanding from across the full course of study.

Here in Medway most of the secondary schools use AQA Examination Board for GCSE English exams.

There will be 2 different papers both for English Language and English Literature.

English Literature paper contexts are as following:

· Paper 1: Shakespeare & the 19th Century Novel is 40% of the total marks. The exam is 1 Hour and 45 Minutes and is 64 Marks.

· Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry is 60% of the total marks. The exam is 2 Hours and 15 Minutes and is 96 Marks and the course materials cover the Power and Conflict cluster of poems.

Paper 1:

Students will study one of Shakespeare’s plays from the list of six set texts. Students should study the whole text.

Choose one of:

· Macbeth

· Romeo and Juliet

· The Tempest

· The Merchant of Venice

· Much Ado About Nothing

· Julius Caesar.

Students will study one novel from the list of seven set texts. Students should study the whole text.

Choose one of

Robert Louis Stevenson - The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens - Great Expectations

Charlotte Brontë - Jane Eyre

Mary Shelley - Frankenstein

Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - The Sign of Four

Paper 2:

Students will study one from a choice of 12 set texts, which include post-1914 prose fiction and drama. Students should study the whole text.

Choose one of:


JB Priestley - An Inspector Calls

Willy Russell - Blood Brothers

Alan Bennett - The History Boys

Dennis Kelly - DNA

Simon Stephens - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (play script)

Shelagh Delaney - A Taste of Honey