Edexcel GCSE Modern GreekEdit

Exams from Summer 2019 Edit

Edexcel Modern Greek 1GK0 has its first exams in Summer 2019. The format of the exam looks broadly similar to the old specification, with four areas worth 25% each in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

Specification and teaching materials are on the Edexcel site.

Exams until Summer 2018 Edit

Edexcel GCSE Greek 2GK01 has no coursework, but does have speaking and listening assessments. This specification is changing; the last exams for the current spec are in summer 2018 and the new spec has first exams in summer 2019.

There is also a Short Course GCSE in Greek, where you take only the Reading and Writing papers.  The short course is a GCSE-level of difficulty but half the content.  It would demonstrate ability in a language but might not satisfy college requirements for a full GCSE. for the full GCSE.

The full GCSE has four papers:  

  1. Listening and Understanding
  2. Speaking
  3. Reading and Understanding
  4. Writing

Listening AssessmentEdit

Paper 1 (5GK01) Listening and Understanding in Greek. 45 minutes + 5 mins reading time

A recording is sent to the centre, available as a CD and a download. There is a written paper and students have 5 minutes to read the paper before the track starts. There are pre-recorded pauses and each section is played twice.

Source: Edexcel administrative information for centres

Speaking AssessmentEdit

Paper 2 (5GK02) Speaking in Greek

8-10 minutes – equally divided across both tasks

For the Speaking Assessment, a teacher or tutor who can speak the language is needed. They do not have to mark the assessment, but simply ask questions and have a conversation with the candidate, and record it. The recording is sent off to Edexcel for marking.

Edexcel administrative information for centres contains lots of information - the elements which are also of interest to the candidates are copied below, but do look at the original document if you want more guidance.

Extract from Edexcel Information for CentresEdit

Centres must conduct the tests between (eg) 07 March and 15 May 2014. (Dates for each year vary BUT LIKELY TO BE SIMILAR)

Centres are expected to timetable all speaking tests in any one language on the same day or where numbers are large on consecutive days.

All tests and registers are to be despatched to examiners no later than 15 May 2014.

Structure and Timing of Tests

Students must undertake two separate speaking tasks, each linked to one or more of the prescribed themes:

Media, travel and culture

Sport, leisure and work

Students must include both of the following task types:

Picture-based discussion OR presentation with follow up questions

Students must engage in a discussion related to a picture (or other visual) that they have chosen or give a presentation (1-2 minutes maximum). They then respond to a series of linked follow-up questions and answers. Teachers should ensure that they ask questions which are sufficiently challenging to maximise student performance. However, it is important that teachers do not inform students in advance about the specific questions that they intend to use in the live assessments and do not rehearse specific individual assessments.

General conversation This enables students to demonstrate they can present information and give opinions as well as interact effectively with another target language speaker. Students must be given an opportunity to respond to unpredictable language and it is, therefore, important that teachers do not prepare a specific list of questions with their students in advance.

Accommodation As quiet a room as possible is required for the tests.

Only one candidate is to be examined at a time. Normally, no other person other than the teacher conducting the test and the candidate should be present in the examination room.


  • Candidates may choose, if they wish, to give a brief introduction to

their chosen theme for the general conversation in order to make a confident start. However, candidates must demonstrate the ability to 13 interact with the examiner and should not merely deliver a pre-learnt monologue. The length of the introduction will depend on the ability of the students. However, in no circumstances should it exceed two minutes.

  • Candidates may bring into the examination room brief notes

(A5 sheet of paper with bulleted notes – 30 words maximum and up to five small drawings on an A5 sheet of paper) Any notes are a prompt only and should not be read out.

  • Candidates should be discouraged from preparing in advance lists of

question and answers in a predetermined order. Such cases are usually obvious to the examiner and may result in adverse marking.

  • Each task should last approximately 4-5 minutes. Teacher-examiners

should ensure that this timing is adhered to as the examiner will not credit anything after the 5 minute mark has passed.

  • If a question is not understood after one repetition/rephrasing move on

to another question - further attempts may just confuse or discourage the candidate. Try to link questions. Listen carefully to the candidate's answers and relate subsequent questions to the information acquired.

  • Never correct a candidate's language, however inaccurate, during a test.


Reading and Responding AssessmentEdit

Paper 3 (5GK03) Reading and Understanding in Greek

55 minutes

Use blue or black ink. No dictionaries are allowed in this exam.

Source: Edexcel administrative information for centres

Writing AssessmentEdit

Paper 4 (5GK04) Writing in Greek

1 hour

You are required to use blue or black ink.

Bilingual dictionaries are permitted.

Source: Edexcel administrative information for centres

How do I find an exam centre for the Speaking Assessment?Edit

Contact Edexcel, who may be able to help. They have a database of centres which accept external candidates online, but this doesn't tell you which ones will take candidates for Speaking Assessments specifically. However, Edexcel should hold this information as, when a school registers its own candidates for this exam, they ask it to specify if it will also accept private candidates.

Local adult education colleges may offer evening classes in Greek, and if so, may be willing to accept private candidates for exams.

If there are no schools or colleges near you which offer GCSE Greek and will accept you for the Speaking Assessment, you can bring in your own tutor to do the Speaking Assessment. This should not require too much effort on the part of the school but you are likely to need to do some persuading to get them to consider the idea.

Another exam centre option would be to travel to London, where Campbell Harris in Kensington or Pascal's College in Beckenham offer oral exams for GCSE foreign languages.  You would need to locate a Greek tutor who would go to the exam centre to do the speaking assessment.

Alternative Qualification: Greek Institute Diploma Edit

The Greek Institute offers diplomas - but sometimes it's worth doing a GCSE or IGCSE even if other qualifications are the same level, because many colleges / unis want to see a GCSE in a modern language and it would count towards the minimum you need to get on a course.  See .

They also offer correspondence courses with continuous assessment and oral exams.  Unfortunately they are £600! The course pages list some resources which may be useful however you study.


On the Edexcel GCSE Greek page, click on the Speaking and Learning Materials tab. Edexcel provide some very helpful things, including an 'Editable Scheme of Work', which is a course planner suggesting activities and materials to cover the whole course. There is also a vocabulary booklet.

Greek Schools in the UK lists Saturday and evening schools in Greek. It is likely that they will be able to advise you about opportunities to take the oral exams for GCSE Greek.

The only GCSE Greek textbook found at time of writing appears to be this:

A Textbook of Modern Greek: For Beginners Up to GCSE  by Kypros Tofallis 

Forum for people learning to speak Modern Greek: