GCSE Welsh

I’ve been studying Welsh for just a few months but I’ve decided to start studying for the Welsh GCSE exam as it’s good to have a set goal in mind when you’re starting out in a new language. I don’t have time to go to lessons so I’ll be teaching myself with whatever resources come to hand and I’ll pay to sit the exam as an external student.
I’d love to hear from anyone who is interested in sitting the exam too.


Shwmae Steve!
Just wondering, since you’re looking to take a GCSE exam, if you’re in possession of the GCSE syllabus or are you using a textbook to help you learn this?
I haven’t really looked for any kind of textbook for the GCSE qualification before so don’t really know what is out there or how good the material is. Will the GCSE you’ll be taking for 2nd language?? Let us know how how you get on with the preparations for the exam and the exam itself when you take it.

1 Like

Hi Steve. I can’t advise you on Welsh GCSE’s but most adult Welsh learners in Wales (I don’t know where you live) do exams specially for them run by WJEC (Welsh Joint Education Committee?), namely Mynediad, Sylfaen, Canolradd, Uwch if they do exams at all. Only school students seem to do the GCSE’s. Past papers are available on the WJEC website and I’m sure they publish a syllabus as well.

I’m told that Canolradd is equivalent to GCSE and the Uwch exam is equivalent to an A level. Once at Canolradd level you need to submit a 5 minute tape of you speaking with a fluent Welsh speaker beforehand. There is a LOT of work to be done beforehand for the UWCH exam which is marked in it’s own right but is also the starting point for discussion in the oral.

My local authority (Carmarthenshire) has exam preparation days about a fortnight before the exams as we tend not to focus too much on the exams in formal classes unless everyone in class is sitting the exam, a highly unlikely event. The exams take about a day, with three or four papers in the morning and an oral in the afternoon.

I hope this is useful to you.


There is a special Welsh for Adults GCSE, if you’re over a certain age that’s the only one you can do. It’s quite a bit different from the school age one as far as I can tell.

http://www.wjec.co.uk/?subject=119 has all the info regarding the exam and past papers.

There are only answers for one of the past papers, so you’ll want to find someone who can go through those with you.

I’m sitting the exam on the 4th, so we’ll see how it goes.


FYI, the Canolradd (= Intermediate) exam that Margaret describes is the same as the “Welsh for Adults GCSE” exam that Annie describes – the link goes to a page that’s about the Canolradd exam.



Hi Steve

If you’re doing the Welsh for Adults course, the BBC Bitesize Welsh GCSE revision pages might be useful. Different activities and a wide range of contexts. Clearly geared to the school based exams but maybe worth a look at.


Hi everyone! Thanks for your comments and apologies for my very late response. I’ve been away on holiday.
To answer your question gavin, I still don’t know anything about the syllabus. I had a look at the link provided by Annie above but I couldn’t understand it as it was all in Welsh! (lol) I studtied GCSE Maths 2 years ago and taught myself the whole syllabus by using Youtube, BBC Bitesize, books from the library, etc. and I am planning to do the same thing with GCSE Welsh (I got an A start in maths by the way!)
Annie - How did the exam go? I hope you did well! I’d welcome any information you could give me on the syllabus and what the exam consisted of.



How are getting on with Gcse/ canolradd level. I just bought a second hand copy of the wjec book and was a little taken aback as there’s no English to help you along. Any tips welcome.


Hello… Any idea what qualification you will be undertaking? Whether it is in fact the GCSE? I did GCSE Welsh as a second language over two years ago now… I had an A* so please let me know if I can be of any assistance.


Hi , I just sat the WJEC Canolrad exam. The Canolrad book and workbook published by WJEC are good resources. If you complete the 30 exercises and then all you need to do is past papers and also listen to SSIW you should be prepared for the exam. But you need someone to mark the exercises to say if you’re on the right track.

1 Like

Digging up this old post I found in search engines. I am thinking about starting crws canolradd in September. I’ve pretty much completed current SSIW content and am very happy with where I am at now but yearn to do more, meet other learners, hopefully make some local friends, gain some speaking confidence. I feel like a classroom would be a good setting for this, I’m a massive introvert and I’m finding it hard to find the opportunities to use my Welsh as much as I’d like, in a way I am comfortable with. Canolradd seems about the right level and I’m fairly confident I can get through it in a year but I can’t get my head around the fact it is only equivalent to GCSE level Welsh. I already have GCSE Welsh I sat at 16! I got a grade C even though I knew next to nothing aside from how to say the time and I like swimming. How can it be the same level? Anyone else gone into doing a Welsh for adults course, what level did they choose? How did they find it?

Thank you!


Hi Sian - I would go into the term with the aim of getting a taste of both Uwch and Canolradd in the first few weeks. If you’ve finished level 3 then you may find that you’re too advanced for Canolradd, though you might also find that you’re a little light on vocabulary. Also, if you’re looking for speaking opportunities, you may find that there is more chance to chat and discuss at Uwch level, whereas more discussion at Canolradd might be in English - though that often depends on the tutor and your classmates.
I sympathise with your introversion, but I’d also really urge you to try a local discussion/social group if you can find one. Welsh learners, especially those that gravitate to SSIW tend to be some of the nicest, kindest, most supportive people you could hope to meet.
Hope this helps!


Hi @sianlinden totally agree with @robbruce and would add…

If you’ve completed ssiw you will be one of the better speakers in an Uwch (never mind canolradd) class. Not that you should push yourself to Uwch if you don’t feel happy with the written stuff, vocab etc but something to bear in mind if you are after speaking practise.

I feel like the canolradd level is similar to a “good” gcse, though I’m sure not everyone would agree with me!

Finally, in your gcse exam you would have had to speak in multiple tenses, use conditional, understand a wide range of things… I honestly think you could probably do a lot more than how to say you liked swimming and your brain is being modest and forgot the hard bits :wink:

Best of luck! Let us now how you get on!

1 Like

I also am looking for information on an adult GCSE as I failed French and Welsh at school due to mixing up the languages!


Thank you for that information. I’d love to get a Welsh qualification. Do you know when the equivalent GCSE normally takes place? May? June? Who knows when with lock down.

It’s a long time since I last took a Welsh exam, but if you look up past papers they have the dates on them. Mynediad, last year, was held in February and June. I’m fairly certain that only Mynediad is held twice a year. It also looks as though there’s a chance to sit the exam in the evening, although I expect it would take two evenings when considering it takes some time to do the oral part of the exam as well.
This year the exams have been cancelled and tutors are having to work out how well they think their students would have done.

I was registered to take the Canolradd exam (GCSE equivalent) in June this year. I would have been doing the daytime version (writing + listening + reading sections in the morning, with a speaking exam in the afternoon plus a speaking exercise that needed to be submitted in April). It normally runs once a year, and, as @margaretnock says, has been cancelled this time. No news yet on what the future plans are.

A couple of years ago I sat Mynediad in January and Sylfaen in June.

1 Like