General administration

You can find information about all aspects of administration, as well as all the forms you need, at aqa.org.uk/examsadmin

Entries and codes

You only need to make one entry for each qualification – this will cover all the question papers, coursework and certification.

Every specification is given a national discount (classification) code by the Department for Education (DfE), which indicates its subject area.

If a student takes two specifications with the same discount code, Further and Higher Education providers are likely to take the view that they have only achieved one of the two qualifications. Please check this before your students start their course. Where two specifications have the same discount code, only one of them will be counted for the purpose of the School and College Performance tables – the DfE’s rules on ‘early entry’ will determine which one.

Qualification title AQA entry code DfE discount code
AQA GCSE in English Language 8700 FK2B

This specification complies with Ofqual’s:

  • General Conditions of Recognition that apply to all regulated qualifications
  • GCSE qualification conditions that apply to all GCSEs
  • GCSE English Language conditions that apply to all GCSEs in this subject.

The Ofqual qualification accreditation number (QAN) is 601/4292/3

Overlaps with other qualifications

This specification overlaps with the AQA Level 1/Level 2 Certificate in English Language.

Awarding grades and reporting results

The qualification will be graded on a nine-point scale: 1 to 9 – where 9 is the best grade.

Students who fail to reach the minimum standard for grade 1 will be recorded as U (unclassified) and will not receive a qualification certificate.

Re-sits and shelf life

Students can re-sit the qualification as many times as they wish, within the shelf life of the qualification. November entries will only be available to students who were at least 16 on the previous 31 August, as set out in Ofqual's GCSE subject level conditions and requirements for English Language, and we will make reasonable checks to ensure schools and colleges comply with this requirement.

Previous learning and prerequisites

There are no previous learning requirements. Candidates are not required to have taken any particular qualifications before taking this course. Any requirements for entry to a course based on this specification are at the discretion of schools and colleges.

However, as English Language is taught in progressively greater depth over the course of Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, GCSE outcomes may reflect or build upon subject content that is typically taught at Key Stage 3. There is no expectation that teaching of such content should be repeated during the GCSE course where it has already been taught effectively at an earlier stage.

Access to assessment: diversity and inclusion

General qualifications are designed to prepare students for a wide range of occupations and further study. Therefore our qualifications must assess a wide range of competences.

The subject criteria have been assessed to see if any of the skills or knowledge required present any possible difficulty to any students, whatever their ethnic background, religion, sex, age, disability or sexuality. If any difficulties were encountered, the criteria were reviewed again to make sure that tests of specific competences were only included if they were important to the subject.

As members of the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) we participate in the production of the JCQ document Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments: General and Vocational qualifications. We follow these guidelines when assessing the needs of individual students who may require an access arrangement or reasonable adjustment. This document is published on the JCQ website at jcq.org.uk

Students with special needs

We can make arrangements for students with special needs to help them access the assessments, as long as the competences being tested are not changed. These arrangements must be made before the exam. For example, we can agree to a reader for an individual student with learning difficulties. This would be classed as an access arrangement.

Students with disabilities

We can make reasonable adjustments for disabled students. For example, a Braille paper would be a reasonable adjustment for a Braille reader but not for a student who does not read Braille. We are required by the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to remove or lessen any disadvantage that affects a disabled student.

If you have students who need access arrangements or reasonable adjustments, you can apply using the Access arrangements online service at aqa.org.uk/eaqa

Special consideration

We can give special consideration to students who have been disadvantaged at the time of the exam through no fault of their own – for example a temporary illness, injury or serious problem such as the death of a relative. We can only do this after the exam.

Your exams officer should apply online for special consideration at aqa.org.uk/eaqa

For more information and advice about access arrangements, reasonable adjustments and special consideration please see aqa.org.uk/access or email accessarrangementsqueries@aqa.org.uk

Working with AQA for the first time

If your school or college has not previously offered any AQA specification, you need to register as an AQA centre to offer our exams to your students. Find out how at aqa.org.uk/becomeacentre

If your school or college is new to this specification, please let us know by completing an Intention to enter form. The easiest way to do this is via e-AQA at aqa.org.uk/eaqa

Private candidates

A private candidate is someone who enters for exams through an AQA-approved school or college but is not enrolled as a student there.

If you are a private candidate you may be self-taught, home-schooled or have private tuition, either with a tutor or through a distance learning organisation. You must be based in the UK.

If you have any queries as a private candidate, you can: