Changes for 2022

Because of the ongoing impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there are some changes to how GCSE English Literature will be assessed in 2022.

These changes apply to 2022 only.

What you need to know

  • Choice of subject content
  • Changes to exam structure
  • Total marks and total exam time reduced
  • No advance information on exams

Choice of subject content

For 2022, we're reducing the required subject content by giving more options.

All students will be assessed on a Shakespeare play.

Schools and colleges can then choose two of the following three areas:

  • Anthology of poetry
  • Modern text
  • 19th-century novel.

Changes to exam structure

Because of the new options, we've updated how the two exam papers will be structured.

Paper 1 (choose any two)

Paper 2 (compulsory)

Paper 1P
Anthology of poetry – 1 item
30 marks (AO1, AO2, AO3)

Section A
Shakespeare – 1 item
30 marks (AO1, AO2, AO3)
+ 4 marks (AO4)

Paper 1N
19th-century novel – 1 item
30 marks (AO1, AO2, AO3)

Section B
Part 1: unseen poem essay
24 marks (AO1, AO2) + 4 marks (AO4)

Part 2: unseen poetry comparison
8 marks (AO2)

Paper 1M
Modern prose/drama – 1 item
30 marks (AO1, AO2, AO3)


Total mark allocation reduced

We’re reducing the total exam marks available from 160 to 130.

Total exam time reduced

We’re reducing the total exam time for GCSE English Literature from 4 hours to 3 hours and 25 minutes.

This is because students will only answer two of the three areas explained above.

No advanced information on exams

There will be no advanced information on what exams will cover for GCSE English Literature.

Help and support

If you require further guidance please contact us.