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Syllabus / Assessment



GCE ‘A’-Level Candidates for 2017—2018

H2 English Literature (Exam Code: 9509)  – Paper 1 & Paper 3

H1 English Literature (Exam Code: 8832)  – Paper 1 only


Paper 1: Reading Literature (3 hours - Open Book)

Paper 1 is a compulsory paper designed to give students a broad exposure to literary study. Candidates will answer one question from each of the three sections. All questions hold equal weight in the computing of marks for the paper (i.e. 33 1/3% each)

Section A: Poetry
Two questions will be set, primarily focusing on response and comparison skills.
H2: Each question will require the candidate to respond to and critically compare two unseen poems.
H1: Each question will require the candidate to respond to an unseen poem.
At least one of the questions will feature a Singaporean poem. The candidate will answer one question.

Section B: Prose
Two questions will be set, primarily focusing on analysis skills. One question will be an essay question, the other a passage-based question. The candidate will answer one question on one text. Anita Desai: Baumgartner’s Bombay.

Section C: Drama
Two questions will be set, primarily focusing on analysis skills. One question will be an essay question, the other a passage-based question. The candidate will answer one question on one text. George Bernard Shaw: Saint Joan

Paper 3: The Mind and Self in Literature (3 hours - Open Book)

In addition to Paper 1, H2 students offer Paper 3: The Mind and Self in Literature, a 3-hour open book paper.  This paper explores the relationship between the mind and self as represented in Literature. This involves examining the means by which writers offer insight into how consciousness is linked to identity, individuality and social contexts. The texts are literary explorations of how the interaction between the mind and self underscores various forms of revelation and discovery.

Candidates study the following three texts:
Sylvia Plath: Ariel
Pat Barker: Regeneration
William Shakespeare: Hamlet

Candidates will answer three questions in the elective paper they have chosen:

    • In Section A, they will answer one question from a choice of two on an unseen text extract from the period or topic that is the focus of the paper. This question will focus primarily on response and analysis skills.
    • In Section B, they will answer one Comparison question from a choice of two. The question will require them to compare two texts they have studied and will focus primarily on comparison and analysis skills.
    • In Section C, they will answer one question, primarily focusing on analysis skills from a choice of eighteen. The questions set for the topic-based papers will be related to some aspect of the topic studied. Questions on the period-based papers will deal with any aspect of the text studied. Two questions will be set on each of the texts below. Candidates must not use the same texts in Section B and Section C.

Candidates should be capable of commenting on the stylistic and literary features of the texts in their discussion of unseen extracts and texts studied. In other words, the ability to appreciate the text in and of its own right is assessed, alongside the ability to demonstrate knowledge of the literary context. Assessment comes in the form of writing critical essays relevant to the examination questions asked. These involve both a personal informed response through the use of various literary technical devices linked to the overall theme of the literary texts, as well as demonstration of critical understanding and insight into the literary epoch within which the selected texts are drawn from.