Consultation outcome

Assessing practical work in GCSE science

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Assessment of Practical Work in New Science GCSEs - Summary

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Assessment of Practical Work in GCSE Science: Analysis of Consultation Responses

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Assessment of Practical Work in GCSE Science: Regulatory Impact Assessment

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Detail of outcome

We have confirmed that science GCSE qualifications, to be taught from September 2016, will assess practical work using written exam questions in place of controlled assessment.

This follows a consultation that ran between December 2014 and February 2015.

For the new GCSEs in biology, chemistry, physics and combined science, each exam board will specify a minimum number of practical activities that students must complete, set no lower than 8 for individual sciences and 16 for combined science. Each school will be required to confirm that they enabled their students to do the full range of practical work. Each student will be required to keep a record of their work.

Students’ knowledge of the practical work carried out will be assessed in exam questions at the end of the course. At least 15% of the total marks for each GCSE science qualification will be allocated to questions that draw on students’ practical experiences.

Original consultation

This consultation ran from to

Summary

Proposals for how practical work in new GCSE science qualifications due to be taught from 2016 should be assessed

Documents

Consultation description

This is a consultation about the assessment of practical work in GCSE science. These qualifications will be first taught in September 2016.

The consultation covers the subjects:

  • biology
  • chemistry
  • physics
  • combined science

This is part of Ofqual’s work supporting the government’s changes to GCSEs, AS and A levels.

Webinar

We are running a webinar on Wednesday 28 January from 4pm to 5pm to discuss the consultation on the proposed changes to the assessment of science practical work in GCSE science. The changes will impact the qualifications first taught in September 2016 and cover biology, chemistry, physics and combined science.

The webinar will involve a presentation from Ofqual on the consultation, and participants will get the chance to appraise the options available and also provide a formal response to the consultation. If you have any questions you would like considered during the webinar please send them to webteam@ofqual.gov.uk

Register to take part in the webinar