A Level Courses

In preparing for your A Level in English Literature, you will be following a specification from one of the examination boards. Their course pages are linked below:

OCR      Edexcel      AQA A      AQA B      WJEC

You will be able to download the specification and some past papers and mark schemes from those sites.

If you are studying an international A Level, you will probably be following the syllabus from one of the following examining boards:

Cambridge Assessment      Edexcel

All A Level examinations in English Literature in the UK share the same Assessment Objectives, though they are balanced across the papers in different ways.

Assessment Objectives for UK A Level
AO1 Articulate informed, personal and creative responses to literary texts, using associated concepts and terminology, and coherent, accurate written expression
AO2 Analyse ways in which meanings are shaped in literary texts
AO3 Demonstrate understanding of the significance and influence of the contexts in which literary texts are written and received
AO4 Explore connections across literary texts
AO5 Explore literary texts informed by different interpretations

The AOs have different weightings in different papers, so you will have to know which AOs are assessed in each and with what weighting.

Though Edexcel’s International A Level uses the UK Assessment Objectives, the Cambridge Assessment syllabus has devised its own suited to international study, though they are broadly comparable.

Assessment Objectives for Cambridge Assessment International AS and A Level
AO1 Knowledge and understanding
Respond with understanding to literary texts in a variety of forms, from different cultures; with an appreciation of relevant contexts that illuminate readings of the texts.
AO2 Analysis
Analyse ways in which writers’ choices of language, form and structure shape meanings and effects.
AO3 Personal response
Produce informed independent opinions and interpretations of literary texts.
AO4 Communication
Communicate a relevant, structured and supported response appropriate to literary study.
AO5 Evaluation of opinion
Discuss and evaluate varying opinions and interpretations of literary texts.