We follow the AQA exam. Spanish, Spanish and German cover similar topics. The new spec started in September 2016 with the first AS exam in Summer 2017 and the first A Level exam was in Summer 2018. The new AS exam does not count towards the A Level qualification; many schools, like Harington, have therefore decided not to enter students for this. There will, however, be internal exams in June of Year 12.
The structure of the A Level exam is explained below. You will be assessed across three papers at the end of year 13.
Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Writing (50% of A Level)
This is listening, reading and translation all in one paper. You will have to manage your own time so that all questions are answered in the given time. You will have control over your listening tracks and can listen to them as many times as you want. In both the listening and reading sections, there are questions which require you to summarise information you have heard or read in Spanish in no more than 90 words. All questions are in Spanish and require an answer in Spanish, unless otherwise stated.
In detail, this is a 2 hours 30 minutes paper that is separated into two sections:
Section A – Listening and writing (30 marks)
In this section, you will have to listen to texts of various length and respond to questions in Spanish. You will have to write a summary of a recording in no more than 90 words.
Section B – Reading and writing (70 marks)
In this section, you will have to read texts from various sources and answer questions in Spanish. You will have to write a summary of a text in no more than 90 words. There are also two translation tasks of approximately 100 words; one from English into Spanish, and one from Spanish into English.
Paper 2: Writing (20% of A Level)
Throughout the course you study a film and a text in-depth, looking at characterisation, themes, historical context and symbolism among many other things which will prepare you to write an essay on each Spanish work in the exam. You will have a choice of question to answer on both the book and the film. The exam board recommend 300words in Spanish for each essay, however, there is no word limit.
Paper 3: Speaking (30% of A Level)
The speaking exam is separated into two parts:
Part 1 (5-6mins) Discussion of one sub-theme
As part of studying the 4 broad themes with your class teacher, you will also research, discuss and debate the sub-themes and other related issues in lessons. Upon entering the exam, you are given a choice of two stimulus cards (each from a different sub-theme) and you choose one of them. The cards contain a picture, a text and three questions. You will have 5 mins to prepare to answer the three questions and any follow-up questions on the same sub-theme. You will also be expected to as the examiner two questions arising from the material on the card.
Part 2 (2min presentation and 9-10min discussion)
You will have to choose a subject or key issue that is of particular interest to you and which relates to a country where Spanish is spoken. This will require you to research information from different sources both printed and on the internet in order to prepare a 2 min spoken presentation of your findings in Spanish followed by a 10 min discussion of the issue with the examiner.