GCSE and A-LEVEL Russian

For those students wishing to take Russian GSCE, you can not only study for the exam but also sit the exam via the Cambridge Russian Academy.

If you would like to enter for the GSCE examination at the Cambridge Russian Academy, we would ask you please to fill out an application form and submit it no later than by 11th January.


Russian GCSE consists of 4 modules: Listening, Speaking, Reading Comprehension and Writing (short essays on a given topic).

The lessons will familiarise the students with the format of the exam and teach them exam techniques. The students will be working with specific exam topics and practise completing oral and written tasks. The course is designed to teach the learners to engage in communication in a given context, employing relevant vocabulary and grammatical structures, as well as applying all their language skills in practice.

Advanced preparation for GCSE

GCSEs are usually taken at the end of Year 11 of an English school. We do not recommend taking this exam much earlier, although there have been cases when students took the exam when they were 11 or 12 years old and did so successfully. Some exam topics are designed at 16-year-olds, e.g. the description of work experience and personal reflections about it. Moreover, if the exam is taken too early, the results might be deemed invalid for being out of date or cause suspicion that Russian is the student’s first language rather than the second one. From our experience, we recommend that the optimal time for taking Russian GCSE for our cohort of students is just a year or two prior to ordinary English GCSEs, i.e. in Year 9 or in Year 10 of an English school. Thus, the exam would still be taken earlier and the students would release more time for other subjects in their final year at secondary school.

Achieving good exam grades is one of the aims of this course. The main target will me developing the students’ written and oral communication. This means writing essays on a wide range of topics, the expansion of students’ vocabulary on specific topics and filling the gaps in the students’ writing and speaking. Attending this lesson throughout the whole academic year will give them the opportunity to cover a large amount of additional language material for which there is not usually enough time during other lessons. It will also help the students develop their language skills and improve their language competence.

All the acquired knowledge will allow students to achieve a high GCSE grade, as well as forming a good foundation for the A-level examinations.

In addition, the students will learn the format of the exam and the technique by practising past papers.

It is possible to prepare for the exam through the shortened course by attending lessons during one or two trimesters.


To enter a prestigious British university usually requires high grades in three or four subjects at the A-Level level. An additional A-level in the Russian language, as a rule, increases the chances of entering a university with a recognised reputation or finding a suitable job

This exam will require a fairly deep knowledge of the Russian language.
The exam consists of 3 detailed modules of various nature, focused on testing the skills of writing, speaking, reading, listening and translation.

The topics of the course are the development of Russian society, political and artistic culture in the Russian-speaking world, social problems and changes in the life of a modern Russian city. The course program also includes the study of contemporary Russian political history of the late 20th century: the period of perestroika and the collapse of the USSR.

The choice of literary and cinematographic works for writing an essay is limited to a list of eight works, which includes the works of classical and modern literature, as well as significant films of the last decades of famous Soviet and Russian directors. Students need to thoroughly study their chosen works in the process of exam preparation. The exam requires to answer either two questions on literary works, or one literary question and one cinematic. One must be able to make a literary and critical analysis of the selected works, as well as demonstrate an understanding of the social and historical context of the studied works.

Students should be capable of independent research to collect and analyse factual material when studying the realities of Russian society, as well as in preparing an individual project for an oral exam. The student makes a presentation on the issue under study, referring to the relevant works of at least two authors, shows the key points of his research and participates in a live discussion with the examiner.

When being prepared for the exam, students will be able to navigate the program material, learn to write literary essays and will be given direction when working at an independent oral project. Students will also be offered many training exercises for reading and listening practice, language and mastering translation skills from Russian and English.


Preparation for the GCSE exam was not very difficult. In class we learnt a range of topics. It was very useful because I learned about Russian celebrations and discovered more about the Russian culture. The exams we have prepared for were Writing, Listening, Speaking and Reading. I really enjoyed learning about the topics of New Year and Christmas because it was very interesting and entertaining.

Melony F

I really enjoy my Russian A-level class. At the lessons as a class we take part in many useful activities. For example, we have recently watched the film “Burnt by the Sun” and wrote an essay on this work. Such tasks help us analyse the themes and literary genres which will be a vital skill when it comes to taking the actual A levels.

Kiril K

The ability to write and read in Russian does not come naturally but is gained through constant hard work. It is not enough to speak Russian well in order to be able to read and write correctly. The Russian Academy helped me not only teach my sons to read and write in their native language, but also prepared them for the state exams (GCSE and A-level). A brilliant and experienced teacher at the Cambridge Russian Academy, Irena Kell knows how to find the right approach for each child. It is so hard to be able to teach when you see students only once a week! Thanks to Irena, both of my sons brilliantly passed the Russian GCSE, AS and A2. Irena's lessons are very interesting and varied. In addition, Irena knows the exams requirements. At the beginning of the year of preparation for GCSE, writing an essay in Russian can cause horror in a child. Soon the horror disappears, writing essays becomes easier and the necessary self-confidence comes - this is clearly the evidence of effective teaching. We moved to the Cambridge Russian Academy for our beloved teachers, one of whom is Irena Kell. I would advise any parent who wants their children to pass the Russian exams with confidence and excellent results to study with Irena Kell.

Anastasia N