New GCSE English 9-1

April 28, 2017 by Esme
Image When do the new style GCSE's grades come in?

The first of the new style GCSE's are maths, English literature and English language. Summer 2017 is the first year the 9-1 GCSE's will be sat by pupils in the UK.

This means a new grading system, exams style questions and curriculum.

Grading system and tiers 

One of the main changes for the new GCSE English 9-1 , and the one causing the most confusion,  is the new grading system.

A grade 4 now roughly equates to a  C. The Education Secretary Justine Greening has said that grade 4 is a "standard pass" where as and a grade five is a "strong pass". This suggests that the government and future employees will view grade 5 as the new standard of a good pass. Employees may be even make grade 5 a minimum requirement.

Another significant change for theGCSE English 9-1  is the removal of the tier system. Everyone will now sit the same paper with no foundation/ higher tier split for pupils of differing abilities.

Exam Structure and sample papers

Every student must sit two separate papers for GCSE English Literature.

Paper 1
Students are required to assess a selection of  Shakespeare Plays and 19th Century novels.

The written exam for this paper is 1 hour 45 minutes and it's worth 40% of the total GCSE for English Literature.

We have found the best way to revise is with sample papers.

Sample Question Paper 1
Sample Mark Scheme 1

Paper 2
The second paper contains Modern Prose or Drama texts, a poetry anthology and unseen poetry. The exam lasts 2 hour 15 minutes and is worth 60% of the GCSE.

Sample Question Paper 2
Sample Mark Scheme 2 

In terms of the texts,  pupils will study reading material not previously taught at GCSE level. The texts chosen contain more challenging, "tougher" content which will require a deeper analysis and broad read. Interestedly there is also a bigger emphasis on English authors.

Get further details here: What's on the new English Literature AQA syllabus?

The assessment style 

There will be a greater focus on SPaG (Spelling, punctuation and Grammar). The new GCSE English 9-1 will have more marks than ever allocated for spelling, punctuation and grammar.

There are no longer modules, coursework or controlled assessments during the year.  All exams will now be sat at the end of 2 years.

More long essay-style questions and less short answer questions.

For extra support with English, why not book a lesson with one of our experienced GCSE English tutor? With Tutorfair you can browse through a selection of great tutors to find the right one for you.

If you would like Rachael, the author of this fantastic resource,  as your tutor, please visit her Tutorfair profile. 


New English 9-1 GCSE

Rachael C is a Law LLB & Medical Anthropology MSc graduate who runs a small business called Afrocenchix. She is passionate about education and as well as tutoring students ranging from 5-47 years of age, she has been taught and mentored in private, specialist and state schools across the country.

She has also had the opportunity to teach in Ghana, Denmark, Nepal and Hong Kong and has been tutoring since 2007. Rachael specialises in English, Public Speaking and Biology.

Other useful resources:
New maths 9-1 GCSE
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