GCSE English Language Practice Papers

We have prepared these AQA-style exam practice papers to give you a helping hand – and to promote the Orwell Youth Prize (registered charity 1156494).  We are an educational charity which uses the inspiration of George Orwell to promote critical thinking and confidence in writing for young people aged 14-18, through a writing prize and workshops.

Please feel free to use these practice papers as you see fit.

We ask in return that you consider doing one of the following:

  • Tell students about the Orwell Youth Prize. The theme for 2017-18 is ‘Truth vs Lies’.
  • Encourage students to develop their written work so they can enter the Prize. One way of doing this would be to give them a chance to redraft the writing section of one or both exams, making that an entry for the Prize.
  • Develop the written work of students, either inside or outside lessons. They can write in ANY form for the Prize (maximum 1000 words for Years 9-11 and 1500 words for Years 12-13).
  • Host an Orwell Youth Prize workshop at your school or college. Find out more here or email

One word of advice.  The materials will be less familiar to students than a typical GCSE exam – and the content is certainly at the more demanding end -so it may be worthwhile giving students a very brief introduction to Orwell and some aspects of the Second World War period before setting the exam as practice.

We hope you find these materials useful – and we welcome feedback on them or any aspects of the Prize.

Good luck with your Year 11s this year!

Mick Callanan, Delivery Director