Reading Exam

What will I have to do?


What’s assessed

Understanding and responding to different types of written language

Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

  • Section A – questions in English, to be answered in English or non-verbally
  • Section B – questions in French, to be answered in French or non-verbally
  • Section C – translation from French into English (a minimum of 35 words for Foundation Tier and 50 words for Higher Tier)
What types of questions will you have to answer?
Your answer should include: French / English / multiple choice and written answers
How long a translation will you need to complete?
Your answer should include: 35 words foundation / 50 words higher

How is it marked?


  • Written exam: 45 minutes (Foundation Tier), 1 hour (Higher Tier)
  • 60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)
  • 25% of GCSE

How can I revise?


  • You need to be precise with answers and avoid giving too much additional information.
  • Check your answers actually make sense in English.
  • Do not leave blanks, especially in multiple choice questions- no excuses!
  • Use the examples as models- do you need to include a verb? Do you need to include adjectives? Make sure your answers follow these models.
  • Manage your time carefully (about 20 mins per section)so you can complete all three sections of the paper.
  • In the translation be as precise as possible, make sure your pronouns (people) and tenses are clearly communicated.
  • Follow the original text as much as possible.
  • In section B look for key words from the questions in the texts to help you find your answers.
  • Quote from the texts but be as precise as possible in your answers.
  • Remember in both the reading and listening papers there are ‘peaks and troughs’, so just because you have found one question really hard it does not mean you will not be able to do the next question. Keep your head up and stay in the game!
  • Revise key vocab
  • Practice translating into English, especially different tenses
  • Practise papers- again, again and again!
How can you answer section B questions requiring written answers?
quote from the text