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Detail of outcome
We have made minor drafting changes to clarify some of our expectations, but have otherwise decided to adopt our consultation proposals in full.
We have now published updated versions of our:
- GCE Subject Level Conditions and Requirements for Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
- GCE Subject Level Guidance for Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
Our rules require all reformed GCE qualifications in Biology, Chemistry or Physics to:
- comply with the Department for Education’s GCE subject content for Science and with our assessment objectives
- comply with our rules around practical skills, including that each Learner should complete at least 12 practical activities
- assess the practical science assessment through non-exam assessment, and comply with our rules around the form, marking, specified levels of attainment and monitoring of the practical science assessments
- comply with our rules around marking and results, and with our certificate requirements
Our guidance explains:
- the appropriate percentage of marks to be used within exams to assess practical skills
- how to interpret our assessment objectives
We are seeking views on the additional rules and guidance that we propose to put in place for the new A level qualifications in biology, chemistry and physics which are to be taught in England from September 2015.
These new rules relate to the assessment of A level students’ practical skills and associated requirements on marking, results and certification.
We have already accredited all the new AS and A level qualifications in biology, chemistry and physics which will be taught from September 2015. The specifications for these new qualifications currently include provisional information about the practical skills assessments. We are now consulting on the detailed rules and guidance that we propose to put in place for these assessments.
We are also consulting on the consolidation of the rules and guidance in relation to biology, chemistry and physics into one single set of documents which will apply to all three subjects.
After this consultation, when we have put in place the final rules and guidance, exam boards will make appropriate changes to the practical skills sections of their specifications (as needed). The exam boards will not need to resubmit their amended specifications for accreditation.