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  Chris Hawkes

AQA AS and A-Level English Literature Specification A (2015-on)

AS (7706); A-level (7707)

 

AQA's AS and A-Level English Literature Specification A for teaching September 2015, with first examinations for AS May/June 2016, and for A-Level May/June 2017.

For details of the AS examinations click here; ; for details of the A-Level examinations click here.

For details of the Non-Examination Assessment (NEA - the new term for coursework) at A-Level for Specification A follow this link.

 

AQA offers two Literature specifications with two very different approaches. Specification A takes an historicist approach: students deal with texts in context, as is indicated by the title of the Non-Examination Assessment (NEA) section "Texts across Time". Specification B has genre study at the core, and students look at texts through a genre perspective: texts are informed by comparison within literary genres.

The two courses, AS and A-Level, are designed to be co-teachable, so teachers are free to focus one either AS or A-Level, or to aim students at the AS course as a stepping stone to the A-Level qualification. The path teachers choose will of course depend on the student profile, and perhaps the policy of the school.

It is worth noting that, for students who take both AS and A-Level in the same subject, Further Education institutions are likely only to consider the higher rated qualification when making offers.

In common with all boards, and in accordance with Ofqual regulations, AS and A-Level are now separate qualifications: performance in AS examination will have no bearing on marks awarded at A-Level.

As these qualifications are linear, all AS examinations must be taken at the end of the AS course, and all A-Level examinations must also be taken at the end of the A-Level course. Students may resit AS or A-Level, but must resit all examinations, again at the end of the course.

Also in accordance with Ofqual regulations, there is no coursework - Non-Examined Assessment (NEA) - at AS level.

Achievement will continue to be graded on the existing E-A system, with A* available at A-Level. Students who fail to reach the standard set for Grade E will be recorded as "U" - Unclassified.

 

AS English Literature Specification A (7711)

AS English Literature is assessed by two examinations, both of 1 hour 30 minutes, and each counting for 50% of the total AS marks. Paper 1 is closed text; paper 2 is open text (student may bring in clean, unannotated copies of their set texts for Paper 2 only.) Both examinations must be taken in the same year.

Paper 1:
Love through the Ages: Shakespeare and Poetry

50 marks: 50% of the total AS marks (Closed text)

Section A: Shakespeare Students will respond to an extract-based question on their chosen text that will ask them first to focus on the extract in detail and then to move to consider the issue raised by the extract in the light of the text as a whole.(25 marks)

Section B: Poetry Students will answer one question based on one poem (printed on the examination paper) from their chosen poetry anthology (AQA Anthology of Love Poetry through the Ages Pre-1900 or AQA Anthology of Love Poetry through the Ages Post-1900. (25 marks)

 

Paper 2:
Love through the Ages: Prose

50 marks: 50% of the total AS marks (Open text)

Section A: Unseen Prose

Students will answer one essay question on an unseen prose extract on the subject of love. (25 marks)

Section B: Comparing Prose Texts

Students will be asked to answer one question from a choice of two: the question will ask them to compare their chosen texts in the light of a critical view. (25 marks)

 

 

A-Level English Literature Specification A (7712)

A-Level English Literature Specification A is assessed by two examinations, Paper 1 of 3 hours, and Paper 2 of 2 hours 30 minutes, each counting for 40% of the total A-Level marks, and a personal critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written before 1900 - non-examination assessment (NEA) worth 20% of the total A-Level marks.

Paper 1:
Love through the Ages

75 marks: 40% of the total A-Level marks. Section C (only) is open text.

Section A: Shakespeare

Students will respond to an extract-based question on their chosen text that will ask them first to focus on the extract in detail and then to move to consider the issue raised by the extract in the light of the text as a whole. (25 marks)

Section B: Unseen Poetry

Students will compare and contrast the presentation of love in two unseen poems. (25 marks)

 

Section C: Comparing Texts

Students will compare the two texts, one prose text and one poetry text (one of which must have been written before 1900) that they have studied. (Open text response.) (25 marks)

 

Paper 2:
Texts in Shared Contexts

75 marks: 40% of the total A-Level marks

Students will have studied three texts, one prose, one poetry and one drama, one of which was written pre-1900, from one of the two AQA groupings, "WW1 and its Aftermath" or "Modern Times: Literature from 1945 to the Present Day". Section A: Set Texts

Students will write one essay from a choice of four on their set text (each text-type - prose, poetry, drama - will offer a choice of one of four questions.) (25 marks)

Section B: Contextual Linking

Students will respond to a question on an unseen extract. (25 marks) Students will then answer an essay question that links their remaining two texts - the question will arise from the ideas raised in the unseen passage. (25 marks)

 

Non-Examination Assessment (NEA):
Texts across Time

50 marks: 20% of the total A-Level marks

For the NEA component for this qualification, students produce a comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written before 1900. The extended essay should be around 2,500 words with a Bibliography (which is not included in the word-count.)

 

 

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