A Level

A Level English Literature

Assessment Overview

Component 01: Drama and poetry pre-1900

There are two sections.

In Section 1: Shakespeare, students study one Shakespeare play from the following:

Coriolanus, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Richard III, The Tempest, Twelfth Night

In Section 2: Drama and poetry pre-1900, students study one pre-1900 drama text and one pre-1900 poetry text.

Drama texts:

Christopher Marlowe: Edward II, John Webster: The Duchess of Malfi, Oliver Goldsmith: She Stoops to Conquer, Henrik Ibsen: A Doll’s House, Oscar Wilde: An Ideal Husband

Poetry texts:

Geoffrey Chaucer: The Merchant’s Prologue and Tale, John Milton: Paradise Lost Books 9 & 10, Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Selected Poems, Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Maud, Christina Rossetti: Selected Poems

Component 02: Comparative and contextual study

There are five topic areas. Students choose one topic area and study at least two whole texts, one of which must be from the core set text list for their chosen topic area:

American Literature 1880—1940,

F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby, John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath

The Gothic

Angela Carter: The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, Bram Stoker: Dracula


Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale, George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four

Women in Literature

Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility, Virginia Woolf: Mrs Dalloway

The Immigrant Experience

Mohsin Hamid: The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Henry Roth: Call It Sleep

Component 03: Literature post-1900

This component encourages individual study, interest and enjoyment of modern literature. Students study three literary texts, which must include one prose text, one poetry text, and one drama text. All texts must have been first published or performed after 1900, and at least one must have been first published or performed after 2000. Texts in translation are not permitted.

There are two tasks:

Close reading or re-creative writing with commentary – both must be based on one literary text

Comparative essay – must be based on two literary texts.



Component Marks Duration Weighting
Exploring language (01) 80 2 hours 30 mins 40%
Dimensions of linguistic variation (02) 80 2 hours 30 mins 40%
Independent language research (03) 40 20%

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