News story

Ofqual confirms further assessment arrangements for 2016

Ofqual has confirmed the assessment arrangements for a number of the remaining GCSE, AS and A level subjects that will be taught from 2016.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


These decisions follow consultations which took place in September 2014 and November 2014 and reflect the subject content requirements published by DfE.

The reformed GCSE subjects covered are:

  • citizenship studies
  • food preparation and nutrition
  • drama
  • religious studies

The reformed AS and A level subjects covered are:

  • drama and theatre
  • religious studies

Summary of decisions

  1. As previously confirmed, new GCSEs should only be tiered where a single set of assessments cannot assess students across the full ability range. We have decided that assessments for the GCSE subjects listed above will not be tiered.

  2. Citizenship studies GCSE: We have decided that this subject will be assessed entirely by exams, with 15% of the marks allocated to questions that assess specific knowledge and skills for citizenship action.

  3. Food preparation and nutrition GCSE: The assessment for this subject has been split evenly to cover 50% exam and 50% non-exam assessment. This reflects the balance of practical and theoretical knowledge and understanding required in the subject content.

  4. GCSE, AS and A level drama: We have decided that non-exam assessment for GCSE, AS and A level drama should count for 60% of the overall assessment, with 40% of the qualification done by exam.

  5. Religious Studies GCSEs, AS and A levels: We have decided that the assessment in this subject should be entirely by exam. We are still considering what changes we need to make to the assessment objectives to ensure they appropriately reflect the content requirements and take into account responses to our consultation. We will publish the finalised assessment objectives in March.

Subject GCSE current weighting of non-exam assessment GCSE new weighting of non-exam assessment A level current weighting of non-exam assessment A level new weighting of non-exam assessment AS current weighting of non-exam assessment AS new weighting of non-exam assessment
Citizenship studies 60% None N/A N/A N/A N/A
Cooking and nutrition N/A 50% N/A N/A N/A N/A
Drama 60 to 100% 60% 40 to 70% 60% 40 to 100% 60%
Religious studies None None None None None None

Visit the assessment objectives for new GCSEs, AS and A levels page for more detailed information about the decisions.

Please see the following consultations which outline further details for each subject:


Notes to editors:

  1. Food preparation and nutrition is a new qualification. Details of the current weighting of non-exam assessment are therefore not available
  2. The A level and AS qualifications are titled ‘Drama and theatre’.
  3. Ofqual, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation’s job to maintain standards and confidence in qualifications. We look after GCSEs and A levels in England, and a wide range of vocational qualifications both in England and Northern Ireland. We also regulate the National Curriculum Assessments in England.
  4. We are independent of Government ministers and we report directly to Parliament in Westminster and the Northern Ireland Assembly. While we are independent, we give advice to Government on qualifications and assessment based on our research into these areas.

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Published 12 February 2015