GCSE English Language and Literature 2022

*Edited with more up to date information from AQA

What will English exams look like this year? 

Today is the day that the examination boards have released further information and guidance about what the examinations are going to involve this year. The advance information for English is fairly limited, but there are some important changes for students to be aware of this year. I have included information for GCSE AQA, Edexcel and OCR and cover both English Language and Literature. 

AQA GCSE English Language 

No changes will be made to English Language this year. Students will sit the same the two papers:

Paper 1 – Fiction and Creative Writing

Paper 2 – Non-Fiction and Transactional Writing 

Advanced information has been released for Paper Two.

Section A

Source A – The article will be a twenty-first century autobiographical piece.

Source B – The article will be a nineteenth-century essay.

Section B

Students will be asked to write an article.

AQA GCSE English Literature 

Whilst there is no advanced information in terms of topics, there are some significant changes to the structure of the examinations this year. 

ALL students must be examined on a Shakespeare play AND unseen poetry. 

They then are examined on TWO of the following: 19th Century novel, poetry or modern prose/drama. 

These changes mean that schools will have less material to cover in class and students will be able to focus their revision on fewer texts. 

Edexcel GCSE English Language 

The format of the examinations will remain the same. 

Paper 1 – Nineteenth-Century fiction and creative writing 

Paper 2 – Non-fiction and transactional writing

Edexcel has released advance information for Paper 2. Students will be told the following: 

Section A – The first text will be a magazine article from the twentieth century. The second text will be a memoir from the twenty-first century. 

Section B – Students will choose between an article and a letter. 

Edexcel GCSE English Literature 

ALL students will be examined on Shakespeare and the post-1914 text. Schools will then choose between poetry or the 19th Century Novel. 

There is NO compulsory unseen poetry element for Edexcel. 

OCR GCSE English Language 

There is advance information for the Communicating Information and Ideas paper. 

Section A 

The first text will be a 19th Century travel writing extract. 

The second text will be a 21st Century autobiography. 

There is no advance information for the Exploring Effects and Impact paper. 

OCR GCSE English Literature 

ALL students will take the Shakespeare examination. Schools will then choose between the 19th Century novel, modern drama/prose and poetry. 

The modern prose/drama and poetry options will have an unseen section. 

Shakespeare and the 19th Century novel will be a choice between an extract question and a discursive essay question. 

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