Research and analysis

Review of controlled assessment in GCSEs

A review of controlled assessment, its place in GCSEs and whether it is fit for purpose.


Review of Controlled Assessment in GCSEs

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Based on the findings from this review, we have developed a set of principles to apply in reformed GCSE qualifications:

  • non-exam assessment should be used only when it is the only valid way to assess essential elements of the subject
  • non-exam assessment must strike a balance between the valid assessment of essential knowledge and skills, sound assessment practice and manageability
  • any non-exam assessment arrangements should be designed to fit the requirements of the particular subject, including the relative weighting of written exams and other components
  • non-exam assessment should be designed so that the qualification is not easily distorted by external pressures

We will use these principles when designing qualifications in the future. We will talk with exam boards and assessment experts about the best arrangements for future non-exam assessment, to make sure the right balance is struck between validity, manageability and true learning in any new qualifications.

Published 11 June 2013