Cambridge English O level subject introduction

The Cambridge O Level English enables students to increase their creativity and to communicate accurately and properly. It also enables the pupils to understand and respond appropriately and imaginatively to what they read and experience.

Why English is an important subject in O level’s

English is a very important subject in o levels knowing that it increases your chances of getting higher education in your homeland as well as abroad. English is also one of the necessary languages used in international communication, the media, and internet resources are almost in English. Learning English is also very important for socializing and helps a lot in your professional life. Furthermore, English is the basic need of a person in today’s life.

O level English Language Past Papers

The Cambridge O Level English Language syllabus & paper make the students capable of accurately & effectively communicate, and to understand and respond appropriately and imaginatively to what they read and experience. They can use different forms of writing to suit a range of objectives and will present that they can understand the content and argument of given texts.

O Level English Preparation at CLA Lahore, PK

The CLA serves you the most thorough and unequivocal English preparation. This subject is especially served for the students who crave to enhance their O Level grade to A*. CLA teaching methodology aims to teach the language step by step in a practical way.

O Level English Syllabus


[as mentioned in Cambridge O Level English 1123 Syllabus]

The syllabus aims are set out below and describe the educational purposes of a course in O Level English Language. They are not listed in order of priority. 

A qualification in this syllabus demonstrates to universities and employers that candidates can communicate effectively in Standard English through: 

- Communicative competence: the ability to communicate with clarity, relevance, accuracy and variety 

- Creativity: the ability to use language, experience and imagination to respond to new situations, create original ideas and make a positive impact 

- Critical skills: the ability to scan, filter and analyse different forms of information 

- Cross-cultural awareness: the ability to engage with issues inside and outside own community, dealing with the familiar as well as the unfamiliar. (This is not an assessment objective but forms the context of writing tasks and reading passages.)


Reflecting the communication demands facing candidates in the real world, the syllabus distinguishes between task and language as the focus of Section 1 and Section 2 respectively in each paper:

Paper 1

The Task aspect of Paper 1 is Directed Writing, where communication of key information in a range of text types is required to achieve a specific purpose for a certain audience in a particular situation.

Task fulfilment and language are tested in Section 1 and are given equal weighting in terms of marks. Language (as well as content) is tested in the Composition section, where candidates have an opportunity to display their English language skills in order to express their opinion, experience or imagination in a range of discourse types: descriptive, argumentative or narrative. 

Paper 2

The Task aspect of Paper 2 is Reading for Ideas, where, for example, scanning for and summarising specific information is required to achieve and convey a global understanding of a text.

The focus of assessment for the summary is Task Fulfilment: the inclusion of only relevant ideas and the coherence of the writing. Language is tested in the Reading for Meaning section, where there is a greater demand for English language skills in order to demonstrate more in-depth understanding of a text, including literal and implied meaning, deducing meaning of vocabulary from context, and writer’s craft. In this way, it is hoped that candidates will develop strategies to be able to transfer these communication skills to other subjects and to their future careers/studies as they encounter a variety of texts and are required to make a positive impact through the written word.

English O Level Past Papers

You can download one or more papers for a previous session. Please note that these papers may or may not reflect the content of the current syllabus.

Cambridge O Level English Past Papers PDF Download.

English O Level Assessment overview: (paper 1 and 2)

Paper 1 - Writing:

1 hour 30 minutes

60 marks

Paper 1 includes directed writing. This paper has two sections.

Section 1: Directed Writing (30 marks)

- Candidates are conferred with one task, e.g. write a letter, speech, report, article, that defines and fits the purpose and relevant to the globe of study, work or the community.

- Candidates should write 200–300 words to tell or persuade a selected audience.

- A complete of 15 marks are allocated for task fulfillment and 15 marks for language.

 Section 1 tests the subsequent assessment objectives.

Section 2: Composition (30 marks)

- This is an essay, testing language and content combined.

- Candidates answer one question from a selection of five essay titles. Candidates will be presented with 1 descriptive, 2 argumentative and 2 narrative essay titles from which to choose.

- Candidates are suggested to write down the response of between 350 and 500 words.

Paper 2 - Reading:

1 hour 45 minutes

50 marks

Paper 2 requires ‘Reading for ideas.’ This paper has two sections and candidates answer on the question paper.

Section 1: Reading for Ideas (25 marks)

- Candidates scan a factual text (or texts) of roughly 700 words, e.g. report(s), article(s), advertisement(s), email(s), letter(s).

- Candidates identify and note down required information, e.g. similarities and differences, or causes and effects, or benefits and drawbacks, or issues and solutions, or actions and consequences.

Example content points are given as steerage to candidates.

- A total of 12 marks are allocated for content points.

- Candidates use their notes to write down an outline of between 150 and 180 words.

- A total of 10 marks are allocated for the summary based on relevance and coherence.

- Candidates then answer questions to identify examples of a function in the text, e.g. opinions, advice, criticism or warnings.

- These will be short answer questions worth 3 marks.

Section 2: Reading for Meaning (25 marks)

- Candidates read a narrative passage (e.g. report, article, story) of around 700 words.

- Candidates respond to short-answer and multiple-choice questions testing their capability to understand the language (both explicit and implicit meanings).

Cambridge O Level English Books

Resource 1:

Cambridge O Level English (Hodder Education)

Written by renowned expert authors, this resource enable the learner to effectively navigate through the content of the revised Cambridge O Level English syllabus (1123).

Recommended GCE Guide English O Level

Save My Exams English O Level

CLA is the top ranked institution delivering the best education of O and A Level. You can join only for the past paper session that lasts 30 days before the commencement of Cambridge exams.