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Syllabus Overview

The Cambridge O Level English Language Syllabus is intended for students to develop their Reading and Writing Skills. Particularly, students who are proficient in speaking English at home and at school will be able to get many advantages. Inference and the capacity to organize data and effectively communicate viewpoints are just a few of the more universal communication and analysis abilities that the Cambridge O Level English Language curriculum fosters.

Table of O Level Writing and Reading Papers

PapersPaper 1MarksPaper 2Marks
1.Section 1: Directed Writing30Section 1: Reading for Ideas25
2.Section 2: Composition30Section 2: Reading for Meaning25

Section 1: Directed Writing

The O Level English Language Syllabus 1123 (Cambridge) for exams in 2023 includes a Directed Writing section that tests a student’s ability to communicate effectively in writing. This section requires students to write a composition of approximately 350 to 500 words on a given topic. The topics usually relate to current affairs, social issues, or personal experiences. Students must demonstrate their ability to organize their ideas and express them clearly and coherently. They should also use appropriate vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation to convey their message effectively. The Directed Writing section assesses students’ ability to write in different genres, such as letters, speeches, reports, and articles. Students are expected to write with clarity, coherence, and fluency, and to demonstrate an understanding of the audience they are writing for. It is essential for students to prepare well for this section, as it carries a significant weightage in the overall exam score.

Section 1: Reading for Ideas

The O Level English Language Syllabus 1123 (Cambridge) for exams in 2023-2026 has a section dedicated to reading for ideas. This section is designed to assess a student’s ability to understand, interpret and analyze texts. Students are required to read and respond to a variety of texts, including fiction and non-fiction, and demonstrate their understanding of the ideas presented in these texts. The section is divided into two parts: part A and Part B. Part A requires students to read a text and answer a series of questions that test their comprehension and understanding of the text. Part B requires students to read a text and then write a summary or response to the ideas presented in the text. This section is an important part of the exam and requires students to have a strong grasp of the English language and the ability to critically analyze and interpret texts.

Section 2: Composition

Section 2 of the O Level English Language Syllabus 1123 (Cambridge) for exams in 2023-2026 focuses on composition, which includes various writing tasks such as narrative, descriptive, and argumentative writing. Students are expected to demonstrate their ability to write clearly, coherently, and accurately with a range of vocabulary and sentence structures. In order to excel in this section, students must practice writing on a regular basis and develop their skills in planning, drafting, and editing their work. They must also be able to understand the purpose and audience of their writing and tailor their language and style accordingly. Through this section, students can develop their creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills, which are essential not just for the exam, but for their future academic and professional endeavors.

Section 2: Reading for Meaning

The O Level English Language Syllabus 1123 (Cambridge) exams for the years 2023-2026 include a section on Reading for Meaning in Section 2. This section is designed to test the candidate’s ability to read and understand different types of texts, from fiction to non-fiction. The texts may be taken from a variety of sources, such as novels, magazines, newspapers, or online articles. The candidates are expected to demonstrate their ability to comprehend the text, understand the author’s purpose, and analyze the language used. This section will also require the candidate to identify and interpret literary devices such as theme, tone, and mood. Therefore, it is important for candidates to develop a strong vocabulary, a good understanding of grammar, and the ability to read critically in order to excel in this section. Practicing reading comprehension exercises and attempting past papers will also be helpful in preparing for this section of the exam.

Syllabus update: Cambridge International O Level English Language (1123) for examination in 2024, 2025 and 2026

Changes to assessment
(including changes to
specimen papers)
Paper 1 Reading
A change has been made to the word count for Question 3a Summary
Candidates are now required to write a summary of no more than 150
Table of Syllabus Update

Download Cambridge O Level 1123 English Language Syllabus (2023)

Cambridge O Level 1123 English Language Syllabus (2024, 2025, and 2026)

Source: For further information ℹ visit Cambridge International

By Waqas Sharif

Mr. Waqas Sharif is an English Language Teaching (ELT) Professional, Trainer, and Course Instructor at a Public Sector Institute. He has more than ten years of Eng Language Teaching experience at the Graduate and Postgraduate level. His main interest is found in facilitating his students globally He wishes them to develop academic skills like Reading, Writing, and Communication mastery along with Basics of Functional Grammar, English Language, and Linguistics.

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