Specifications that use this resource:

Changes to assessment objectives

This resource compares the new assessment objectives to those of the current specification. The AOs are common to all Awarding Bodies and are provided by the Department for Education.

Implications for teaching and learning

Students should:

  • read a wide range of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, fluently and with good understanding, including literature and literary non-fiction as well as other writing such as essays, reviews and journalism
  • read and evaluate texts critically and make comparisons between texts
  • summarise and synthesise information or ideas from texts
  • use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
  • write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
  • use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately
  • acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • listen to and understand spoken language, and use spoken Standard English effectively.

AO1 Speaking and Listening

Communicate clearly, structure, sustain and adapt talk. Listen and respond to ideas and perspectives. Interact with others. Create and sustain roles.

Controlled Assessment: 0%

AO2 Spoken Language

Understand variations in spoken language; explain how language changes with context. Evaluate spoken language choices.

Controlled Assessment: 10%

AO3 Studying Written Language

Read and understand texts, select material appropriate to purpose, collate from different sources making comparisons/cross references where appropriate.

Develop and sustain interpretations of writers’ ideas and perspectives.

Explain and evaluate how writers use linguistic, grammatical, structural and presentational features to achieve effects and engage and influence the reader.

Exam: 30%

Controlled Assessment: 15%

AO4 Writing

Write to communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, using and adapting forms and selecting vocabulary appropriate to propose to engage the reader.

Organise information and ideas using structure, sequenced sentences, paragraphs using linguistic and structural features to support cohesion and coherence.

Use a range of sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate punctuation and spelling.

Exam: 30%

Controlled Assessment: 15%



Identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas.

Select and synthesise evidence from different texts.

Paper 1: 2.5%

Paper 2: 7.5%


Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology.

Paper 1: 10%

Paper 2: 7.5%


Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed across two or more texts.

Paper 1: N/A

Paper 2: 10%


Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references.

Paper 1: 12%

Paper 2: N/A



Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audience. Organise information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features to support coherence and cohesion and texts.

Paper 1: 15%

Paper 2: 15%


Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect with accurate spelling and punctuation (20%).

Paper 1: 10%

Paper 2: 10%

Spoken language


Present in a formal setting.

Endorsement: 0%


Listen and respond appropriately to spoken language.


Use spoken standard English appropriately.

  • Speaking and Listening is now referred to as Spoken Language. For assessment, students are required to give a presentation.
  • There is an increased emphasis on analysis and evaluation and on providing appropriate supporting textual reference.
  • Synthesis of information from different texts is now a requirement.
  • In writing, there is increased weighting and emphasis on technical accuracy.