Specifications that use this resource:

Planning to switch to AQA?

Switching to AQA from Edexcel

To save you time and help you compare our GCSE Chinese specification with the Edexcel specification, we’ve created some comparison tables.

These tables highlight the content and requirements side-by-side, so you can make the right choice for your students.

Let us know if you’d like to hear from us, we’ll send you everything you need to get started.

Assessment structure

Listening paper

Foundation

AQA – GCSE Chinese

Edexcel – GCSE Chinese

Foundation Paper 1 – listening

Foundation Paper 1 – listening and understanding

Written exam

Written exam

35 minutes (including 5 minutes reading time)

35 minutes (including 5 minutes reading time)

40 marks (25% of GCSE)

50 marks (25% of GCSE)

Questions and answers in English or non-verbal

The question paper contains 14 questions set in English. Question types comprise both multiple-response and short-answer open-response questions. The instructions to students are in English.

Higher

AQA – GCSE Chinese

Edexcel – GCSE Chinese

Higher Paper 1 - listening

Higher Paper 1 – Listening and understanding

Written exam

Written exam

45minutes (including 5 minutes’ reading time)

45 minutes (including 5 minutes reading time)

50 marks (25% of GCSE)

50 marks (25% of GCSE)

Questions and answers in English or non- verbal

The question paper contains 10 questions set in English. Question types comprise both multiple-response and short-answer open-response questions. The instructions to students are in English.

Speaking paper

Foundation

AQA – GCSE Chinese

Edexcel – GCSE Chinese

Foundation Paper 2 – speaking

Foundation Paper 2 – speaking

7–9 minutes (plus 12 minutes’ preparation time)

7–9 minutes (plus 12 minutes’ preparation time)

60 marks (25% of GCSE)

70 marks (25% of GCSE)

  • Role play: 2 minutes (15 marks)
  • Photo card: 2 minutes (15 marks)
  • Conversation: 3–5 minutes (30 marks)

Role-play

Photo card

Conversation

Higher

AQA – GCSE Chinese

Edexcel – GCSE Chinese

Higher Paper 2 – speaking

Higher Paper 2 – speaking

10–2 minutes (plus 12 minutes’ preparation time)

10–12 minutes (plus 12 minutes’ preparation time)

60 marks (25% of GCSE)

70 marks (25% of GCSE)

  • Role play: 2 minutes (15 marks)
  • Photo card: 3 minutes (15 marks)
  • Conversation: 5–7 minutes (30 marks)

Role-play

Photo card

Conversation

Reading paper

Foundation

AQA – GCSE Chinese

Edexcel – GCSE Chinese

Foundation Paper 3 – reading

Foundation Paper 3 – reading and understanding in Chinese

45 minutes

50 minutes

60 marks (25% of GCSE)

50 marks (25% of GCSE)

Section A:

Questions and answers in English or non-verbal

Section B:

Translation from Chinese into English (a minimum of 35 characters).

Section A:

Nine questions set in English. Question types comprise both multiple response and short-answer open response questions. The instructions to students are in English.

Section B:

Contains one translation passage from Chinese into English. The instructions to students are in English.

Higher

AQA – GCSE Chinese

Edexcel – GCSE Chinese

Higher Paper 3 – reading

Higher Paper 3 – reading and understanding in Chinese

1 hour

1 hour 5 minutes

60 marks (25% of GCSE)

50 marks (25% of GCSE)

Section A:

Questions and answers in English or non-verbal

Section B:

Translation from Chinese into English (a minimum of 50 characters)

Section A:

Nine questions set in English. Question types comprise both multiple response and short-answer open response questions. The instructions to students are in English.

Section B:

Contains one translation passage from Chinese into English. The instructions to students are in English.

Writing paper

Foundation

AQA – GCSE Chinese

Edexcel – GCSE Chinese

Foundation Paper 4 – writing

Foundation Paper 4 – writing in Chinese

1 hour

1 hour 15 minutes

50 marks (25% of GCSE)

60 marks (25% of GCSE)

  • Question 1 – write four sentences to describe a photo – 8 marks
  • Question 2 –write a response to four compulsory bullet points, approximately 30 characters in total) – 16 marks
  • Question 3 – translation of sentences from English into Chinese (minimum 25 words) – 10 marks
  • Question 4 – write a response to four compulsory bullet points, producing approximately 75 characters in total) – there is a choice from two questions – 16 marks
  • Question 1 assesses students on their ability to write to describe and to express opinions.
  • Question 2 assesses students on their ability to note down key points and convey information. Students must use the formal register, please see the definition in Marking guidance for Paper 4: Writing in Chinese.
  • Question 3 has two options from which students have to select one. This question assesses students on their ability to convey information, narrate, express opinions, interest, and convince the reader about a certain point. Students must use the informal register, please see the definition in Marking guidance for Paper 4: Writing in Chinese. This question is common to the Higher tier.
  • Question 4 is the translation question. Students are required to translate five sentences from English to Chinese. The sentences are ordered by increasing level of difficulty.

Higher

AQA – GCSE Chinese

Edexcel – GCSE Chinese

Higher Paper 4 – writing

Higher Paper 4 – writing

1 hour 15 minutes

1 hour 25 minutes

60 marks (25% of GCSE)

60 marks (25% of GCSE)

  • Question 1 – structured writing task (student responds to four compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 75 characters in total) – there is a choice from two questions – 16 marks
  • Question 2 – open-ended writing task (student responds to two compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 125 characters in total) – there is a choice from two questions – 32 marks
  • Question 3 – translation from English into Chinese (Mandarin) (minimum 40 words) – 12 marks
  • Question 1 has two options from which students have to select one. This question assesses students on their ability to convey information, narrate, express opinions, interest, and convince the reader about a certain point. Students must use the informal register, please see the definition in Marking guidance for Paper 4: Writing in Chinese. This question is common to the Foundation tier.
  • Question 2 has two options from which students have to select one. This question assesses students on their ability to convey information, narrate, express and justify ideas and opinions, and interest or convince the reader. Students must use the formal register, please see the definition in Marking guidance for Paper 4: Writing in Chinese.
  • Question 3 is the translation question. Students are required to translate a short paragraph from English into Chinese. The individual sentences are ordered by increasing level of difficulty.

Subject content

Core themes

AQA – GCSE Chinese

Edexcel – GCSE Chinese

Identity and culture

  • Me, my family and friends
  • Technology in everyday life
  • Free-time activities
  • Customs and festivals in Chinese-speaking countries/communities

Identity and culture

  • Who am I?
  • Daily life
  • Cultural life

Local, national, international and global areas of interest

  • Home, town, neighbourhood and region
  • Social issues
  • Global issues
  • Travel and tourism

Local area, holiday and travel

  • Holidays
  • Travel and tourist transactions
  • Town, region and country

Current and future study and employment

  • My studies
  • Life at school/college
  • Education post-16
  • Jobs, career choices and ambitions

School

  • What school is like
  • School activities

Future aspirations, study and work

  • Using languages beyond the classroom
  • Ambitions
  • Work

International and global dimension

  • Bringing the world together
  • Environmental issues

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