Guidance

GCSE, AS and A level Assessment Objectives

Updated 31 March 2017

1. GCSE assessment objectives

Assessment objectives are part of the assessment arrangements for these qualifications. We adopt them into our regulatory framework through the subject-specific conditions that exam boards must comply with when designing their specifications.

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1.1 Ancient history

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key features and characteristics of the historical periods studied 45%
AO2 Analyse and explain historical events and historical periods to arrive at substantiated judgements 25%
AO3 Use, analyse and evaluate ancient sources within their historical context to make judgements and draw conclusions about:

• historical events and historical periods studied

• how the portrayal of events by ancient writers/sources relates to the historical contexts in which they were written/produced
30%

In each specification as a whole, 5 per cent of the marks must be used to credit the accuracy of candidates’ spelling, punctuation and grammar and their use of specialist terminology.

1.2 Ancient languages

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the language. 50%1
AO2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of literature and/or other ancient sources. 25%
AO3 Analyse, evaluate and respond to literature and/or other ancient sources. 25%

1.3 Art and design

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources 25%
AO2 Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes 25%
AO3 Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses 25%
AO4 Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language 25%

1.4 Astronomy

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

• scientific ideas

• scientific techniques and procedures
40%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of:

• scientific ideas

• scientific enquiry, techniques and procedures
40%
AO3 Analyse information and ideas to:

• interpret and evaluate astronomical observations, data and methods

• make judgements and draw conclusions

• develop and improve observational procedures
20%

1.5 Business

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of business concepts and issues 35%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of business concepts and issues to a variety of contexts 35%
AO3 Analyse and evaluate business information and issues to demonstrate understanding of business activity, make judgements and draw conclusions 30%

1.6 Citizenship studies

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of citizenship concepts, terms, and issues 30%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of citizenship concepts, terms and issues to contexts and actions 30%
AO3 Analyse and evaluate a range of evidence relating to citizenship issues, debates and actions, including different viewpoints, to develop reasoned, coherent arguments and make substantiated judgments 40%

1.7 Classical civilisation

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

• literature and visual/material culture from the classical world

• how sources reflect their cultural contexts

• possible interpretations of sources by different audiences and individuals
60%
AO2 Analyse, interpret and evaluate literature and visual/material culture from the classical world, using evidence and producing coherent and reasoned arguments 40%

1.8 Computer science

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles of computer science 30%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and principles of computer science 40%
AO3 Analyse problems in computational terms:

• to make reasoned judgements

• to design, program, evaluate and refine solutions
30%

1.9 Dance

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Perform dance, reflecting choreographic intention through physical, technical and expressive skills 30%
AO2 Create dance, including movement material and aural setting, to communicate choreographic intention 30%
AO3 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performing skills 15%
AO4 Critically appreciate own works and professional works, through making analytical, interpretive and evaluative judgements 25%

1.10 Design and technology

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Identify, investigate and outline design possibilities to address needs and wants 10%
AO2 Design and make prototypes that are fit for purpose 30%
AO3 Analyse and evaluate –

• design decisions and outcomes, including for prototypes made by themselves and others

• wider issues in design technology
20%
AO4 Demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of –

• technical principles

• design and making principles
40%

1.11 Drama

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Create and develop ideas to communicate meaning for theatrical performance 20%
AO2 Apply theatrical skills to realise artistic intentions in live performance 30%
AO3 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how drama and theatre is developed and performed 30%
AO4 Analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others 20%

1.12 Economics

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of economic concepts and issues 35%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of economic concepts and issues to a variety of contexts 35%
AO3 Analyse and evaluate economic evidence and issues to demonstrate understanding of economic behaviour, make judgements and draw conclusions 30%

1.13 Electronics

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the ideas, techniques and procedures of electronics 35%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of the ideas, techniques and procedures of electronics 35%
AO3 Analyse problems and design, build, test and evaluate electronic systems to address identified needs 30%

1.14 Engineering

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of engineering principles and processes 25%
AO2 Apply knowledge, understanding and skills in different contexts, including through the use of a range of tools, equipment, materials, components and manufacturing processes 50%
AO3 Analyse and evaluate evidence in relation to a range of engineering contexts 25%

1.15 English language

The assessment objectives for reformed GCSEs in English language are set out in the Department for Education’s subject content.

1.16 English literature

The assessment objectives for reformed GCSEs in English language are set out in the Department for Education’s subject content.

1.17 Film studies

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of elements of film. 30%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of elements of film, including to:

• analyse and compare films

• analyse and evaluate own work in relation to other professionally produced work
50%
AO3 Apply knowledge and understanding of elements of film to the production of film or screenplay 20%

1.18 Food preparation and nutrition

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of food, cooking and nutrition 20%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of food, cooking and nutrition 30%
AO3 Plan, prepare, cook and present dishes, combining appropriate techniques 30%
AO4 Analyse and evaluate different aspects of food, cooking and nutrition, including food made by themselves and others 20%

1.19 Geography

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge of locations, places, processes, environments and different scales. 15%
AO2 Demonstrate geographical understanding of concepts and how they are used in relation to places, environments and processes, and the inter-relationships between places, environments and processes. 25%
AO3 Apply knowledge and understanding to interpret, analyse and evaluate geographical information and issues and to make judgements. 25% 2.
AO4 Select, adapt and use a variety of skills and techniques to investigate questions and issues and communicate findings. 25% 3.

In each specification as a whole, 5 per cent of the marks must be used to credit the accuracy of candidates’ spelling, punctuation and grammar and their use of specialist terminology.

1.20 Geology

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of geological ideas, skills and techniques 40%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of geological ideas, skills and techniques 40%
AO3 Analyse, interpret and evaluate geological ideas, information and evidence to make judgements and draw conclusions 20%

1.21 History

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key features and characteristics of the periods studied. 35%
AO2 Explain and analyse historical events and periods studied using second-order historical concepts. 35%
AO3 Analyse, evaluate and use sources (contemporary to the period) to make substantiated judgements, in the context of historical events studied. 15%
AO4 Analyse, evaluate and make substantiated judgements about interpretations (including how and why interpretations may differ) in the context of historical events studied. 15%

In each specification as a whole, 5 per cent of the marks must be used to credit the accuracy of candidates’ spelling, punctuation and grammar and their use of specialist terminology.

1.22 Mathematics

The assessment objectives for reformed GCSEs in mathematics are set out in the Department for Education’s subject content.

1.23 Media studies

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

• the theoretical framework of media

• contexts of media and their influence on media products and processes
30%
AO2 Analyse media products using the theoretical framework of media, including in relation to their contexts, to make judgements and draw conclusions 40%
AO3 Create media products for an intended audience, by applying knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework of media to communicate meaning 30%

1.24 Modern foreign languages

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Listening: Understand and respond to different types of spoken language. 25%
AO2 Speaking: Communicate and interact in speech. 25%
AO3 Reading: Understand and respond to different types of written language. 25%
AO4 Writing: Communicate in writing. 25%

In each of AO2 and AO4 at least 10% of the marks available must be allocated to knowledge and accurate application of the grammar and structures of the language prescribed in the specification.

1.25 Music

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Perform with technical control, expression and interpretation 30%
AO2 Compose and develop musical ideas with technical control and coherence 30%
AO3 Demonstrate and apply musical knowledge 20%
AO4 Use appraising skills to make evaluative and critical judgements about music 20%

1.26 Physical education

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the factors that underpin performance and involvement in physical activity and sport 25%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of the factors that underpin performance and involvement in physical activity and sport 20%
AO3 Analyse and evaluate the factors that underpin performance and involvement in physical activity and sport 15%
AO4 • Demonstrate and apply relevant skills and techniques in physical activity and sport

• Analyse and evaluate performance
40%

1.27 Psychology

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychological ideas, processes and procedures 35%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of psychological ideas, processes and procedures 35%
AO3 Analyse and evaluate psychological information, ideas, processes and procedures to make judgements and draw conclusions 30%

1.28 Religious studies

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of religion and belief,4 including:

• beliefs, practices and sources of authority

• influence on individuals, communities and societies

• similarities and differences within and/or between religions and beliefs
50%
AO2 Analyse and evaluate aspects of religion and belief, including their significance and influence 50%

In each specification as a whole, 5 per cent of the marks must be used to credit the accuracy of candidates’ spelling, punctuation and grammar and their use of specialist terminology.

1.29 Science

For consistency, we have set the same assessment objectives for reformed GCSEs in biology, chemistry, physics and combined science.

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

• scientific ideas

• scientific techniques and procedures
40%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of:

• scientific ideas

• scientific enquiry, techniques and procedures
40%
AO3 Analyse information and ideas to:

• interpret and evaluate

• make judgements and draw conclusions

• develop and improve experimental procedures
20%

1.30 Sociology

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of sociological theories, concepts, evidence and methods 40%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of sociological theories, concepts, evidence and methods 40%
AO3 Analyse and evaluate sociological theories, concepts, evidence and methods in order to construct arguments, make judgements and draw conclusions 20%

1.31 Statistics

Objective Requirements Weighting
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding, using appropriate terminology and notation, of standard statistical techniques used to:

• collect and represent data

• calculate summary statistics and probabilities
55%
AO2 Interpret statistical information and results in context and reason statistically to draw conclusions 25%
AO3 Assess the appropriateness of statistical methodologies and the conclusions drawn through the application of the statistical enquiry cycle 20%

2. AS and A level assessment objectives

Assessment objectives are part of the assessment arrangements for these qualifications. We adopt them into our regulatory framework through the subject-specific conditions that exam boards must comply with when designing their specifications

Jump to:

2.1 Accounting

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of accounting principles, concepts and techniques 30 to 40% 20 to 30%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of accounting principles, concepts and techniques 35 to 45% 25 to 35%
AO3 Analyse and evaluate accounting data to:

• present information

• make judgments

• draw conclusions
25 to 35% 35 to 45%

2.2 Ancient history

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key features and characteristics of the historical periods studied. 20 to 30% 20 to 30%
AO2 Analyse and evaluate historical events and historical periods to arrive at substantiated judgements 20 to 30% 20 to 30%
AO3 Use, analyse and evaluate ancient sources within their historical context to make judgements and draw conclusions about:

• historical events and historical periods studied

• how the portrayal of events by ancient writers/sources relates to the historical contexts in which they were written/produced
50 to 60% 35 to 45%
AO4 Analyse and evaluate, in context, modern historians’ interpretations of the historical events and topics studied n/a 15 to 20%

2.3 Ancient languages

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the language 50% 50%
AO2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of literature 25 to 30% 20 to 25%
AO3 Critically analyse, evaluate and respond to literature 20 to 25% 25 to 30%

2.4 Archaeology

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of archaeological skills, methods, themes, issues and contexts 35 to 45% 25 to 35%
AO2 (AS) Apply archaeological skills and methods using archaeological terminology and conventions, to interpret secondary archaeological material and data 30 to 40% n/a
AO2 (A level) Apply archaeological skills and methods, using archaeological terminology and conventions, to:

• interpret primary archaeological material and data

• interpret secondary archaeological material and data
n/a 30 to 40%
AO2 (AS) Analyse and evaluate:

• secondary archaeological material and data

• archaeological interpretations

• archaeological themes, issues and contexts
25 to 35% n/a
AO2 (A level) Analyse and evaluate:

• primary archaeological material and data

• secondary archaeological material and data

• archaeological interpretations

• archaeological themes, issues and contexts
n/a 35 to 45%

No qualifications have been or are being developed in this subject.

2.5 Art and design

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding 20-30% 20-30%
AO2 Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops 20-30% 20-30%
AO3 Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress 20-30% 20-30%
AO4 Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements 20-30% 20-30%

2.6 Business

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge of terms, concepts, theories, methods and models to show an understanding of how individuals and organisations are affected by and respond to business issues 25-35% 20-30%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding to various business contexts to show how individuals and organisations are affected by and respond to issues 20-30% 20-30%
AO3 Analyse issues within business, showing an understanding of the impact on individuals and organisations of external and internal influences 20-30% 20-30%
AO4 Evaluate quantitative and qualitative information to make informed judgements and propose evidence-based solutions to business issues 15-25% 20-30%

2.7 Classical civilisation

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 (AS) Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

• literature and either visual/material culture or classical thought

• how sources and ideas reflect, and influence, their cultural contexts

• possible interpretations of sources, perspectives and ideas by different audiences and individuals
45-55% n/a
AO1 (A level) Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

• literature, visual/material culture and classical thought

• how sources and ideas reflect, and influence, their cultural contexts

• possible interpretations of sources, perspectives and ideas by different audiences and individuals
n/a 40 to 50%
AO2 (AS) Critically analyse, interpret and evaluate literature, and either visual/material culture or classical thought, using evidence to make substantiated judgements and produce coherent and reasoned arguments 45 to 55% n/a
AO2 (A level) Critically analyse, interpret and evaluate literature, visual/material culture, and classical thought, using evidence to make substantiated judgements and produce coherent and reasoned arguments n/a 50 to 60%

2.8 Computer science

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation 35-45% 30-40%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of the principles and concepts of computer science, including to analyse problems in computational terms 35-45% 30-40%
AO3 Design, program and evaluate computer systems that solve problems, making reasoned judgements about these and presenting conclusions 20-30% 30-40%

2.9 Dance

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Perform dance through the application of physical, technical, interpretative and performance skills 25% 25%
AO2 Create dance, applying choreographic skills, to communicate artistic intention 25% 25%
AO3 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of performance and choreography from different periods and genres 25 to 30% 20 to 25%
AO4 Critically appreciate and assess performance and choreography, through making analytical, interpretative and evaluative judgements 20 to 25% 25 to 30%

2.10 Design and technology

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Identify, investigate and outline design possibilities to address needs and wants 10 to 15% 10 to 15%
AO2 Design and make prototypes that are fit for purpose 20 to 25% 20 to 25%
AO3 Analyse and evaluate:

• design decisions and outcomes, including for prototypes made by themselves and others

• wider issues in design and technology
20 to 25% 20 to 25%
AO4 Demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of:

• technical principles

• design and making principles
35 to 40% 35 to 40%

2.11 Drama and theatre

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Create and develop ideas to communicate meaning as part of the theatre making process, making connections between dramatic theory and practice 20 to 30% 20 to 30%
AO2 Apply theatrical skills to realise artistic intentions in live performance 20 to 30% 20 to 30%
AO3 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how drama and theatre is developed and performed 20 to 30% 20 to 30%
AO4 Analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others 20 to 25% 20 to 25%

2.12 Economics

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge of terms/concepts and theories/models to show an understanding of the behaviour of economic agents and how they are affected by and respond to economic issues 25-35% 20-30%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding to various economic contexts to show how economic agents are affected by and respond to economic issues 25-35% 20-30%
AO3 Analyse issues within economics, showing an understanding of their impact on economic agents 15-25% 20-30%
AO4 Evaluate economic arguments and use qualitative and quantitative evidence to support informed judgements relating to economic issues 15-25% 20-30%

2.13 Electronics

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the ideas, techniques and procedures of electronics 30 to 35% 30 to 35%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of the ideas, techniques and procedures of electronics 35 to 40% 35 to 40%
AO3 Analyse problems and design, build, test and evaluate electronic systems to address identified needs 30% 30%

2.14 English language

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Apply appropriate methods of language analysis, using associated terminology and coherent written expression 20-30% 20-30%
AO2 Demonstrate critical understanding of concepts and issues relevant to language use 20-30% 20-30%
AO3 Analyse and evaluate how contextual factors and language features are associated with the construction of meaning 20-30% 20-30%
AO4 Explore connections across texts, informed by linguistic concepts and methods 10-15% 10-15%
AO5 Demonstrate expertise and creativity in the use of English to communicate in different ways

Note: This assessment objective must be targeted with at least one of AO2, AO3 or AO4, either in the same task or in two or more linked tasks
10-15% 10-15%

2.15 English language and literature

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Apply concepts and methods from integrated linguistic and literary study as appropriate, using associated terminology and coherent written expression 20-30% 20-30%
AO2 Analyse ways in which meanings are shaped in texts 20-30% 20-30%
AO3 Demonstrate understanding of the significance and influence of the contexts in which texts are produced and received 20-30% 20-30%
AO4 Explore connections across texts, informed by linguistic and literary concepts and methods 10-15% 10-15%
AO5 Demonstrate expertise and creativity in the use of English to communicate in different ways

Note: This assessment objective must be targeted with at least one of AO2, AO3 or AO4, either in the same task or in two or more linked tasks
10-15% 10-15%

2.16 English literature

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Articulate informed, personal and creative responses to literary texts, using associated concepts and terminology, and coherent, accurate written expression 20-30% 20-30%
AO2 Analyse ways in which meanings are shaped in literary texts 20-30% 20-30%
AO3 Demonstrate understanding of the significance and influence of the contexts in which literary texts are written and received 20-30% 20-30%
AO4 Explore connections across literary texts 10-15% 10-15%
AO5 Explore literary texts informed by different interpretations 10-15% 10-15%

2.17 Environmental science

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures, including in relation to natural processes/systems and environmental issues 35 to 40% 30 to 35%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures, including in relation to natural processes/systems and environmental issues 40 to 45% 40 to 45%
AO3 Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence, including in relation to environmental issues, to make judgements and draw conclusions. 20 to 25% 25 to 30%

2.18 Film studies

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of elements of film. 30 to 40% 30 to 40%
AO2 (AS) Apply knowledge and understanding of elements of film to:

• analyse and compare films, including through the use of critical approaches

• analyse and evaluate own work in relation to other professionally produced work
40 to 50% n/a
AO2 (A level) Apply knowledge and understanding of elements of film to:

• analyse and compare films, including through the use of critical approaches

• evaluate the significance of critical approaches

• analyse and evaluate own work in relation to other professionally produced work
n/a 40 to 50%
AO3 Apply knowledge and understanding of elements of film to the production of film or screenplay 20% 20%

2.19 Geography

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of places, environments, concepts, processes, interactions and change, at a variety of scales 30 to 40% 30 to 40%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding in different contexts to interpret, analyse, and evaluate geographical information and issues 30 to 40% 30 to 40%
AO3 Use a variety of relevant quantitative, qualitative and fieldwork skills to: investigate geographical questions and issues; interpret, analyse and evaluate data and evidence; construct arguments and draw conclusions 20 to 30% 20 to 30%

2.20 Geology

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of geological ideas, skills and techniques 35-40% 30-35%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of geological ideas, skills and techniques 40-45% 40-45%
AO3 Analyse, interpret and evaluate geological ideas, information and evidence, to make judgements, draw conclusions, and develop and refine practical design and procedure 20-25% 25-30%

2.21 History

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate, organise and communicate knowledge and understanding to analyse and evaluate the key features related to the periods studied, making substantiated judgements and exploring concepts, as relevant, of cause, consequence, change, continuity, similarity, difference and significance 50 to 60% 50 to 60%
AO2 Analyse and evaluate appropriate source material, primary and/or contemporary to the period, within its historical context 20 to 30% 20 to 30%
AO3 Analyse and evaluate, in relation to the historical context, different ways in which aspects of the past have been interpreted 20 to 30% 20 to 30%

2.22 History of art

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the contexts of art 30 to 40% 30 to 40%
AO2 Analyse and interpret artists’ work, demonstrating understanding of visual language 30 to 40% 30 to 40%
AO3 Make critical judgements about art through substantiated reasoned argument 20 to 30% 30 to 40%

No qualifications have been or are being developed at AS level in this subject

2.23 Law

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the English legal system and legal rules and principles 40 to 50% 30 to 40%
AO2 Apply legal rules and principles to given scenarios in order to present a legal argument using appropriate legal terminology 25 to 35% 25 to 35%
AO3 (A level) Analyse and evaluate legal rules, principles, concepts and issues n/a 30 to 40%
AO3 (AS) Analyse and evaluate legal rules, principles and concepts 20 to 30% n/a

2.24 Mathematics

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Use and apply standard techniques

Learners should be able to:

• select and correctly carry out routine procedures

• accurately recall facts, terminology and definitions
60% 50%
AO2 Reason, interpret and communicate mathematically

Learners should be able to:

• construct rigorous mathematical arguments (including proofs)

• make deductions and inferences

• assess the validity of mathematical arguments

• explain their reasoning

• use mathematical language and notation correctly 5
20% 25%
AO3 Solve problems within mathematics and in other contexts

Learners should be able to:

• translate problems in mathematical and non-mathematical contexts into mathematical processes
• interpret solutions to problems in their original context, and, where appropriate, evaluate their accuracy and limitations
• translate situations in context into mathematical models
• use mathematical models
• evaluate the outcomes of modelling in context, recognise the limitations of models and, where appropriate, explain how to refine them 6
20% 25%

2.25 Further mathematics

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Use and apply standard techniques

Learners should be able to:

• select and correctly carry out routine procedures

• accurately recall facts, terminology and definitions
60% 50%
AO2 Reason, interpret and communicate mathematically

Learners should be able to:

• construct rigorous mathematical arguments (including proofs)

• make deductions and inferences

• assess the validity of mathematical arguments

• explain their reasoning

• use mathematical language and notation correctly 5
At least 10% At least 15%
AO3 Solve problems within mathematics and in other contexts

Learners should be able to:

• translate problems in mathematical and non-mathematical contexts into mathematical processes
• interpret solutions to problems in their original context, and, where appropriate, evaluate their accuracy and limitations
• translate situations in context into mathematical models
• use mathematical models
• evaluate the outcomes of modelling in context, recognise the limitations of models and, where appropriate, explain how to refine them 6
At least 10% At least 15%

2.26 Media studies

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

• the theoretical framework of media

• contexts of media and their influence on media products and processes
25 to 35% 25 to 35%
AO2 (AS) Apply knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework of media to:

• analyse media products, including in relation to their contexts and through the use of academic theories

• make judgements and draw conclusions
35 to 45% n/a
AO2 (A level) Apply knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework of media to:

• analyse media products, including in relation to their contexts and through the use of academic theories

• evaluate academic theories

• make judgements and draw conclusions
n/a 35 to 45%
AO3 Create media products for an intended audience, by applying knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework of media to communicate meaning 30% 30%

2.27 Modern foreign languages

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Understand and respond: in speech to spoken language including face-to-face interaction; in writing to spoken language drawn from a variety of sources 20% 20%
AO2 Understand and respond: in speech to written language drawn from a variety of sources; in writing to written language drawn from a variety of sources 30% 30%
AO3 Manipulate the language accurately, in spoken and written forms, using a range of lexis and structure 30% 30%
AO4 (AS) Show knowledge and understanding of, and respond critically to, different aspects of the culture and society of countries/communities where the language is spoken 20%  
AO4 (A level) Show knowledge and understanding of, and respond critically and analytically to, different aspects of the culture and society of countries/communities where the language is spoken   20%
  Up to 10% of the total marks for the specification may be used for responses in English as part of AO1 and AO2, including translation into English; Questions and rubrics must be written in the expected language of response    

2.28 Music

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Interpret musical ideas through performing, with technical and expressive control and an understanding of style and context 30% 25 to 35%
AO2 Create and develop musical ideas with technical and expressive control and coherence 30% 25 to 35%
AO3 Demonstrate and apply musical knowledge 15% 10%
AO4 Use analytical and appraising skills to make evaluative and critical judgements about music 25% 30%

2.29 Music technology

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate use of music technology to capture, edit and produce recordings 30 to 40% 30 to 40%
AO2 Demonstrate use of music technology to create, edit and structure sounds to develop a technology based-composition 20 to 30% 20 to 30%
AO3 Demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of music technology 25 to 35% 20 to 30%
AO4 Use analytical and appraising skills to make evaluative and critical judgements about the use of music technology 10 to 20% 10 to 20%

2.30 Philosophy

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the core concepts and methods of philosophy, including through the use of philosophical analysis 75 to 80% 60 to 65%
AO2 Analyse and evaluate philosophical arguments to form reasoned judgements 20 to 25% 35 to 40%

2.31 Physical education

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the factors that underpin performance and involvement in physical activity and sport 20 to 25% 20 to 25%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of the factors that underpin performance and involvement in physical activity and sport 20 to 25% 20 to 25%
AO3 Analyse and evaluate the factors that underpin performance and involvement in physical activity and sport 20 to 25% 20 to 25%
AO4 • Demonstrate and apply relevant skills and techniques in physical activity and sport

• Analyse and evaluate performance
30% 30%

2.32 Politics

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of political institutions, processes, concepts, theories and issues 40 to 50% 30 to 40%
AO2 Analyse aspects of politics and political information, including in relation to parallels, connections, similarities and differences 30 to 40% 35 to 45%
AO3 Evaluate aspects of politics and political information, including to construct arguments, make substantiated judgements and draw conclusions 20 to 30% 25 to 35%

2.33 Psychology

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures 35-40% 30-35%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures:

• in a theoretical context

• in a practical context

• when handling qualitative data

• when handling quantitative data
30-35% 30-35%
AO3 Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence, including in relation to issues, to:

• make judgements and reach conclusions

• develop and refine practical design and procedures
30-35% 35-40%

2.34 Religious studies

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of religion and belief4, including:

• religious, philosophical and/or ethical thought and teaching

• influence of beliefs, teachings and practices on individuals, communities and societies

• cause and significance of similarities and differences in belief, teaching and practice

• approaches to the study of religion and belief
50% 40%
AO2 Analyse and evaluate aspects of, and approaches to, religion and belief, including their significance, influence and study 50% 60%

2.35 Science

For consistency, we have set the same assessment objectives for reformed AS and A levels in biology, chemistry, and physics.

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures 35-40% 30-35%
AO2 Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures:

• in a theoretical context

• in a practical context

• when handling qualitative data

• when handling quantitative data
40-45% 40-45%
AO3 Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence, including in relation to issues, to:

• make judgements and reach conclusions

• develop and refine practical design and procedures
20-25% 25-30%

2.36 Sociology

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

• sociological theories, concepts and evidence

• sociological research methods
40-50% 35-45%
AO2 Apply sociological theories, concepts, evidence and research methods to a range of issues 30-35% 30-40%
AO3 Analyse and evaluate sociological theories, concepts, evidence and research methods in order to:

• present arguments

• make judgements

• draw conclusions
20-25% 20-30%

2.37 Statistics

Objective Requirements AS A level
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding, using appropriate terminology and notation, of standard statistical techniques used:

• to collect and represent data

• to calculate summary statistics and probabilities

• in relation to hypotheses and inference
55% 55%
AO2 Interpret statistical information and results in context and reason statistically to make predictions, construct arguments, make decisions and draw conclusions 25% 25%
AO3 Critically assess the reliability and validity of statistical methodologies and the conclusions drawn through the application of the statistical enquiry cycle 20% 20%
  1. 10% to 20% attributed to translation into the ancient language (or permitted alternative)

  2. 10% applied to fieldwork contexts

  3. 5% used to respond to fieldwork data and contexts

  4. the term ‘belief’ includes religious beliefs and non-religious beliefs as appropriate to the subject content requirements. 2

  5. Where questions/tasks targeting this assessment objective will also credit Learners for the ability to ‘use and apply standard techniques’ (AO1) and/or to ‘solve problems within mathematics and in other contexts’ (AO3) an appropriate proportion of the marks for the question/task must be attributed to the corresponding assessment objective(s). 2

  6. Where questions/tasks targeting this assessment objective will also credit Learners for the ability to ‘use and apply standard techniques’ (AO1) and/or to ‘reason, interpret and communicate mathematically’ (AO2) an appropriate proportion of the marks for the question/task must be attributed to the corresponding assessment objective(s). 2