What is on a gcse English test?

The English language gcse focuses more on developing students' reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. In comparison, English literature GCSE focuses more on the development of knowledge and comprehension of texts in prose, poetry and theater. Find all the information, support and resources you need to meet our specifications. The two English exams will be divided into a reading section and a writing section. For additional help and support, consider Spires Online English Language Tutors to help you prepare for the exams.

They will focus on texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and will require students to read and respond to unknown texts confidently and quickly, demonstrating their deduction and inference skills. Students should be able to explain their thoughts and ideas accurately under conditions of time. BBC Bitesize exam board content for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales. Choose the specification of the exam that matches the one you are studying.

All subjects completed in the fifth grade of the European Baccalaureate are generally equivalent to the subjects of the GCSE. There has been criticism of incorporating GCSE awards into school leaderboards and setting school-level goals above national average achievement levels. In addition, the proportion of candidates receiving high marks in the GCSE has been increasing for many years, which critics attribute to rating inflation. The three exam boards have two documents for the English language GCSE and also have a spoken language approval.

Under the conservative government of David Cameron, and Secretary of Education Michael Gove, several changes were made to GCSE ratings taken in England. A core subject leading to a compulsory GCSE, English will generally be taught in skill sets that are different from most other KS3 subjects. These ratings were initially set such that a GCSE grade C was equivalent to a level O grade C or a CSE grade 1, although changes in the rating criteria and limits over the years mean that this comparison is only approximate. Students generally take at least 5 GCSEs in Key Stage 4, in order to meet the primary measure of achieving 5 A*-C grades, including English, Math, and Science.

In the past, many GCSE scores used a modular system, in which some assessment (up to 60% according to the “terminal rule”) could be submitted before the final exam series. The international version of the GCSE is the IGCSE, which can be taken anywhere in the world and includes additional options related to the courses and the language in which the qualification is taken. The list of GCSE subjects currently available is much shorter than before the reforms, as the new grades in England have basic requirements set by the regulator, Ofqual, for each subject. In the past, they were available in a variety of subjects, including extended writing in English, science, business and foreign languages; practical assessment in science and technology subjects; and language speaking assessments.

From grading system to curriculum, GCSE's new mathematics program focuses more on mathematical thinking and problem solving. This allowed students to take some units of a GCSE before the final exam series and thus gave an indication of progress and ability at various stages, as well as allowing students to retake exams in which they did not score as high, to improve their grade, before receiving the rating. Many of those who fall below this standard will again take gcse English and mathematics to improve their grades. 

Dermot White
Dermot White

Dermot White is a professional GCSE English tutor with a passion for literature and language. He is committed to helping students excel in their English studies. Dermot holds a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Sheffield.