Closed consultation

Regulating Advanced Extension Awards

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Summary

Changes to A levels mean we need to alter some of our rules for AEAs. This consultation sets out our proposed changes.

This consultation ran from
to

Consultation description

Advanced Extension Awards (AEAs) are qualifications taken alongside A levels, designed to stretch and challenge the most able students. Our rules permit AEAs in any subject, but there is currently only one available, in mathematics. Around 700 school-age students take this qualification each year. Some universities use it to inform entry decisions.

Proposed changes

Maintaining comparability with previous qualifications

We continue to require AEAs to:

  • be accessible to students who have taken an A level in the corresponding subject, without requiring any further study or learning
  • be more demanding than the corresponding A level, requiring students to demonstrate a greater depth of understanding
  • have two passing grades - Merit and Distinction

Reflecting A level reforms

We:

  • only permit AEAs in subjects where there is at least one A level offered in England
  • require all future AEAs to be based on the Department for Education’s subject content for the corresponding A level
  • also require AEAs to reflect the assessment objectives we have set for the corresponding A level, but with a greater emphasis on the skills of analysis and evaluation
  • require AEAs to use exam assessment, with non-exam assessment only permitted in subjects where we consider it appropriate; in such cases, we would set regulations to specify the amount and form of any non-exam assessment

Securing standards

Our rules for setting grade boundaries in AEAs require exam boards to use the same principles we have adopted for reformed A levels. This will mean exam boards will need to have regard to an appropriate range of evidence when setting grade boundaries.

Documents

Consultation on regulating Advanced Extension Awards

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Published 8 February 2018