Exam Guidance: ENGLISH
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Exam Guidance: English
Learn how to best maximize your performance on the English exam.


Exam Duration: 1 hour & 30 minutes with an additional 10 minutes reading time.

The exam has 2 sections:

Section A: reading comprehension passage with accompanying questions and

Section B: a writing section

Both sections are weighted equally.


How long is the comprehension passage usually?

The passage in Section A is approximately 700 words and students are advised to read it carefully in the 10 minutes reading time that is allocated.

Can I answer questions in short?

Students are advised to answer the questions in full sentences.

How do I know how long my answer should be?

Some questions expect  paragraph answers and students can judge on the expected length of an answer by the space provided to answer the question and the marks allocated to each question.

What questions usually require longer answers?

Longer questions could be about the feelings of a character or what we learn about a character.

What do you mean by giving evidence?

If the question requires students to give evidence, they are expected to refer to the passage to support their answer.

For Section B, how many topics can I choose from?

A choice of 2-3 essay titles is given.

How long should my essay be?

Students are expected to write about 250-300 words.

What kind of essay titles might appear on Section B?

Titles might ask students to write a description on something or someone, or write about a story; the title/subject is usually given to guide the student. Students might also be asked to write about a time they did something or something happened.

What are you looking for in a good essay?

Students should aim for accuracy of English, correct punctuation, paragraphing, but also writing in a way that interests and engages the reader.

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