The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) is an educational charity company registered in England and Wales that assesses learners of all types based on British educational standards for a multitude of academic subjects. It grants the largest percentage of A-level and the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) awards in the U.K. If you're a high school English teacher, compare AQA English literature assessment objectives with American English language standards in secondary education.
British Educational System
Starting at age 15, British students study over a 2-year period of time for their GCSE exams. Once students successfully pass mandatory exams, they finish their secondary education and can go out into the workforce or attend college, according to Bellerbys College. Those wanting to attend a university usually attend college for two years for an A-level course. Providing they meet the requirements, they can then attend university to pursue a degree. These students can opt for a fast-track preparation course instead if they choose a specialisation course.
AQA is one of a number of organisations that provide both GCSE and A-level testing for core courses, such as math, English and computer studies, according to the AQA website. The company also administers exams for other courses, such as science, literature and business courses. Students receive a grade on individual subject exams, which in total determine whether or not they pass their GCSE or A-level assessment for certification or graduation. AQA also helps prepare students and teachers for specific exams, such as the GCSE exams in English and English literature.
English literature is a non-compulsory subject, according to Teachit.co.uk. By law, students are not required to take English literature courses or pass related exams, but they are required to study for and pass GSCE exams for English. Topics for English literature GCSE exams include English and multicultural literature, such as poetry and prose.
If students choose to study and test for English literature, they must show excellent competency in both English language skills and English literature. Assessment objectives include speaking and listening appraisals, such as clear and thoughtful communication, discussion and audience communique skills; reading evaluation, including insight and engagement, critical thinking and understanding of linguistic and structural presentations; writing assessment, including communication, organisation and structure skills; and evaluation for the ability to "relate texts to their social, cultural and historical contexts and literary traditions," according to More Learning.