English Language GCSE Equivalency Tests

GCSE support sessions - English hero

English Language GCSE is pre-requisite qualification if you want to train to teach any age range. If you have an offer for teacher training with us for September 2023 - or have been directed to us by a teacher training provider that you are due to start a course with this autumn - and have been advised to consider our online GCSE English Language Equivalency Test, here are some FAQs specifically about  English:

How will I access the online support sessions? 

All support sessions will take place online via MS Teams. Your tutor will send you the link once you are enrolled on the course.

When will the online support sessions take place? 

You are required to attend TWO online support sessions. These take place on EITHER Monday and Tuesday OR two consecutive Thursdays.

Will I be given a number or letter grade for this test? 

As these tests are equivalency tests, the grading is not comparable to GCSEs in that you will not receive either a number (4, 5 etc.) or a letter (C, D etc.) grade. Therefore, there is no Higher or Foundation Paper. The tests have been written by our academics and reflect exam board criteria.

You will receive either a pass or fail grade for the tests.

When will I find out about my result?

After your exam, University staff have 10 working days to mark papers and will then communicate to you by email whether you have passed or failed.

How many times can I take a test?

You are entitled to two attempts at the exam, a first attempt and one re-sit.

What topics will the online support sessions and test cover?

The four major areas covered in support sessions are:

  1. Reading - Fiction
  2. Reading - Non-fiction
  3. Creative Writing
  4. Non-fiction Writing

Paper 1 is the fiction paper. You will be required to read a piece of fiction and answer four questions based on what you have read. This should take around 45 minutes. You will need to use the remainder of your time to complete a piece of creative writing based on the image provided. This can be either descriptive writing or short story.

Paper 2 is similar in structure to Paper 1, but it is based on non-fiction. You will be required to read a piece of non-fiction and answer four questions based on what you have read. This should take around 45 minutes. You will need to use the remainder of your time to complete a piece of non-fiction (real life) writing.

What content do these topics include?

  • Non-fiction text types
  • Audience, purpose and form
  • Responding to fiction and non-fiction texts
  • Fiction text types
  • Fiction settings and themes
  • Characterisation and narrative voice
  • Attitude and tone
  • Language and structure
  • Planning and organising information and ideas
  • Writing fiction and non-fiction 

The papers are similar to GCSE English Language from AQA, Edexcel and other exam boards, except that there is one text only in Non-fiction Paper 2 and no text comparison question in our English Language Equivalency Exam.

How can I revise?

Revision materials and self-study videos are available on the GCSE English Teams site.

You will also be provided with subject-specific links to revision websites.

Books: Any GCSE English Language revision book, for example Letts GCSE Success English Language & Literature (includes practice papers)

Websites: www.revisionworld.com or any other revision website for past papers (recent ones with reading inserts) as well as BBC Bitesize (follow the menus to GCSE English Language; choose any examination board revision)

YouTube: Mr Bruff (GCSE English Language, Papers 1 and 2) and Mrs Whelan (GCSE English Language, Papers 1 and 2) are both useful sources.

How long is the online test?

You will need to sit two papers, each lasting 90 minutes (an hour and a half), giving a total of 3 hours.

What equipment will I need? 

You will not need any equipment as you will complete the test online.

What mark do I need to get in order to pass?

You will need to achieve a minimum of 50% averaged across the two papers in order to pass the test.

Back to FAQs for BCU offer holders 

Initial Teacher Training home