The Student Room Group

GCSE English literature should not be compulsory

I understand why English language is, as it teaches you to analyse things such as texts. It also teaches you SPaG, improves your vocabulary, and teaches you about different types of texts that you may come across or have to read in life.

Literature on the other hand....

The only skill you learn, is analysing. This is also taught in history, geography, English language and probably some other subjects.

Literature requires us to also remember loads of quotes from books and plays. You could say it also requires you to use your memory skills, but so does pretty much every other subject.

I am sure that it has it's uses in a variety of careers, maybe journalism or something similar.

English literature stresses out so many pupils, myself included. I'm sitting there, trying to remember quotes from Macbeth, when I could be learning something useful.

I have read a few articles across the internet, where people agree with me.

The only subjects that should be compulsory, are maths taught to a minimum of foundation tier, and English language.

Will my employer in the future seriously hand me a copy of An Inspector Calls, and then a week later say "explain the importance of Mr. Birling in the play". Lets be honest, they probably wouldn't.

English literature should still be a subject, just an optional one, for students wishing to have a career where it may be useful

WE HAVE ENOUGH ON OUR PLATES, WITHOUT HAVING TO REMEMBER USELESS QUOTES, STOP PUTTING US UNDER THIS UNNECESSARY STRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I agree
But things are the way the are, bloody government
Original post by Tom Hossain
I agree
Reply 3
It isn't compulsory, there is just an incentive to do it because the English score for Progress 8 and Attainment 8 only has double weighting with both literature and language. Any strong student will be able to pass both with high marks. Any decent student can remember a few quotes on top of ten other subjects. This is nothing compared to what students have to deal with in countries like China anyway, so be grateful, and don't be pathetically indolent.
(edited 5 years ago)
Oi mate bugger offf would you, some people, despite being otherwise exceptional students, do find it bloody well difficult
Original post by Tolgarda
It isn't compulsory, there is just an incentive to do it because the English score for Progress 8 and Attainment 8 only has double weighting with both literature and language. Any strong student will be able to pass both with high marks and not whinge like little babies.
Reply 5
Original post by Tom Hossain
Oi mate bugger offf would you, some people, despite being otherwise exceptional students, do find it bloody well difficult

Exceptional students do not, trust me. That is the reason they are 'exceptional' students and not average or poor students. I have seen most students handle it, so why can't a little minority? Hmm...
Some people can excel in most subjects but find one or two difficult due to the way their brain has developed. They are, in fact, “otherwise exceptional.” Emphasis on “otherwise”
Original post by Tolgarda
Exceptional students do not, trust me. That is the reason they are 'exceptional' students and not average or poor students. I have seen most students handle it, so why can't a little minority? Hmm...
Reply 7
Original post by Tom Hossain
Some people can excel in most subjects but find one or two difficult due to the way their brain has developed. They are, in fact, “otherwise exceptional.” Emphasis on “otherwise”

Ah, I didn't see the 'otherwise' there. Fair enough. Tough luck. I say move on and deal with it.
The UK is actually very unusual compared to other countries. Many require at least 8 subjects for their A-Level equivalent including a foreign language, native language and mathematics. More subjects for their GCSE equivalent. At least you can drop English Lit after GCSE. Besides I thought English Literature isn't compulsory, only Language?
Depends on the school, but most schools make it compulsory, and you cannot argue
Original post by SaxonSailor
The UK is actually very unusual compared to other countries. Many require at least 8 subjects for their A-Level equivalent including a foreign language, native language and mathematics. More subjects for their GCSE equivalent. At least you can drop English Lit after GCSE. Besides I thought English Literature isn't compulsory, only Language?
pretty sure Lit isn't compulsory?
Well it shouldn't be compulsory in ANY school
How is that even fair? Some students have to suffer and some don't.
To be fair I don't think anyone has looked at my GCSE result for English Literature since my GCSE results day
I wouldn't call having to take Lit 'suffering'
Original post by fish finger fan
How is that even fair? Some students have to suffer and some don't.
Sorry, I get very passionate when it comes to my hatred for English literature as a compulsory subject. Looking back on it, that was a slight exaggeration, thank you for pointing this out.
(edited 5 years ago)
lol, I understand. I was the same when it came to maths, but at the end of the day there's not much you can do to change it, so sadly you just have to get on with it. You'll feel great after your last exam though.
Original post by fish finger fan
Sorry, I get very passionate when it comes to my hatred for English literature. Looking back on it, that was a slight exaggeration, thank you for pointing this out.
Reply 17
English language is worse, it's just English literature but they don't tell you what book you're going to be analysing. Hence, you're not going to have people who do amazingly in one and then awfully in the other.

Memorising is the easy part, answering essays is not. You could know the entirety of each book, play and poem you study, word for word, but if you suck at writing essays, there go your marks.
Original post by fish finger fan

Will my employer in the future seriously hand me a copy of An Inspector Calls, and then a week later say "explain the importance of Mr. Birling in the play". Lets be honest, they probably wouldn't.


One day, though, your employer may hand you a policy document, or a piece of legislation, or a contract, and ask you to analyse how it affects your department and to explain the importance of such and such a topic.
Original post by Good bloke
One day, though, your employer may hand you a policy document, or a piece of legislation, or a contract, and ask you to analyse how it affects your department and to explain the importance of such and such a topic.

This certainly could happen, which is where the analysis skills from English language will come in handy. If I was in this situation, then I wouldn't need to use quotes from Shakespeare's plays. English literature, takes one element out of English Language, and combines it with learning quotes that are irrelevant to most people's lives.

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