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Course Specification available here

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th century novel

What’s assessed

  • Shakespeare plays
  • The 19th century novel

How it’s assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 64 marks
  • 40% of GCSE
  • Questions

Section A Shakespeare: students will answer one question on their play of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole.

Section B The 19th century novel: students will answer one question on their novel of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole.

Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry

  • Modern prose or drama texts
  • The poetry anthology
  • Unseen poetry

How it’s assessed

  • Written exam: 2 hour 15 minutes
  • 96 marks
  • 60% of GCSE

Questions
Section A Modern texts: students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text.

Section B Poetry: students will answer one comparative question on one names poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster.

Section C Unseen poetry: students will answer one question on unseen poem and one question comparing this poem  with a second unseen poem.

Steps to success

  1. Practise reading a text quickly but accurately, highlighting and annotating key points.
  2. Answer the question you have been asked, highlighting key words so that what you write is relevant to the question.
  3. Plan your answer very carefully, using the bullet points that are given to help you structure your response (10 minutes!).
  4. Use quotations as evidence to support the points that you make.
  5. Discuss the techniques which authors use and their effects.
  6. Remember to talk about the message of the text and its socio-historic context.
  7. When discussing poetry / prose remember C.S.T.T.R. (Content, Style, Tone, Theme and Response).
  8. Stick to your time limit for each question.
  9. Do not waste words in the examination - make your points clearly and concisely.
  10. Try to leave five minutes at the end of the examination to check your work and correct errors in your expression.

Useful websites:

http://www.englishbiz.co.uk/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english_literature/

http://www.universalteacher.org.uk/

http://revisionworld.co.uk/gcse-revision/english

http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/few/683

http://emergencyliterature.wikispaces.com/Sec+4+-+Unseen+Poetry

http://emergencyliterature.wikispaces.com/Sec+4+-+Macbeth+%28By+Mrs+Laura+Ng%29