Consultation outcome

GCSE, AS and A level reform: regulations for music

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

GCSE, AS and A Level Music: Decisions on Conditions and Guidance

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Analysis of Responses to our Consultation on Conditions and Guidance for GCSE, AS and A Level Music

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Detail of outcome

We have decided to adopt our proposed rules and guidance for reformed GCSEs, AS qualifications and A levels in music, with changes to clarify:

  • that students must undertake free composition at GCSE, and have the option to do at AS and A level
  • that all performance assessments must be the same difficulty, however the student chooses to perform
  • our expectations for marking of non-exam assessment

We have now published final versions of our:

GCSE music

Our new rules will require reformed GCSEs in music to:

  • comply with the Department for Education’s subject content for GCSE music, and our assessment objectives
  • include non-exam assessment tasks set by the awarding organisation which separately test performance and composition skills (weighted at 30% of total marks each)
  • require students to perform at least two pieces totalling at least 4 minutes, including one performance (of at least a minute) as part of an ensemble
  • require students to compose at least two pieces totalling three minutes, including one in response to a brief set by the awarding organisation, and one piece of free composition

Non-exam assessment tasks may be marked by teachers (and moderated by the awarding organisation), or marked by the awarding organisation. Awarding organisations must require schools to provide a recording and score/lead sheet/written account of each piece for marking or moderation.

Our guidance explains how awarding organisations should interpret our assessment objectives.

AS and A level music

Our new rules will require reformed AS and A level music qualifications to:

  • comply with the Department for Education’s subject content for AS and A level music, and our assessment objectives
  • include non-exam assessment tasks set by the awarding organisation which separately test performance and composition skills (weighted at 25%, 30% or 35% of total marks each)
  • at A level, require students to perform for at least 6, 8 or 10 minutes (depending on the weighting of performance skills within the specification), and compose at least 2 (or 3) pieces totalling at least 4, 6 or 8 minutes (again, depending on the weighting of composition skills within the specification)
  • at AS, require students to perform for at least 6 minutes, and compose at least two pieces totalling at least 4 and a half minutes
  • at both AS and A level, students may compose in response to a brief set by the awarding organisation, or freely as they choose

All non-exam assessment tasks must be marked by the awarding organisation.

Our guidance explains how awarding organisations should interpret our assessment objectives.

Original consultation

Summary

This consultation is about the rules and guidance we need to put in place for new GCSEs, AS and A levels in music.

This consultation ran from
to

Consultation description

This consultation is about the rules and guidance we plan to put in place for new GCSEs, AS and A levels in music. These rules will apply to the exam boards that want to offer new music GCSEs, AS and A levels from September 2016.

This consultation takes forward decisions made following our earlier consultation ‘Developing new GCSE, A level and AS qualifications for first teaching in 2016’, and is part of Ofqual’s work supporting the government’s changes to GCSEs, AS and A levels.

Documents

GCSE, AS and A level Music: Consultation on Conditions and Guidance

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If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email publications@ofqual.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Published 5 February 2015
Last updated 9 June 2015 + show all updates
  1. Published consultation outcome, conditions and guidance for reformed GCSEs, AS and A levels in music
  2. First published.