Unit 2 - Externally Set Task

Full Course and Short Course candidates are required to elicit a personal response from one starting point or project brief within the paper for which they have been entered. They are expected to develop their own work informed by their preparatory studies and in their total Externally Set Task submission, evidence coverage of all four assessment objectives.

Short Course candidates are expected to meet the requirements of all assessment objectives in their total submission, but it is expected that the preparatory studies submitted for assessment by Short Course candidates will be realistically proportionate to a course of study which is half of the full GCSE.

Task Setting

For each endorsement, AQA will set a separate paper containing a selection of starting points. The question paper for the Full Course and Short Course in Art and Design will be the same. Papers should be issued to candidates from 1 January in the year of the examination.

Task Taking

There is unlimited preparation time followed by a ten hour period of sustained focused study in which candidates are expected to develop their own unaided work informed by their preparatory studies.

The preparatory period – During the preparatory period, teachers may discuss starting points with candidates and give them general guidance on the choice of materials, how to carry out preparatory studies or how to begin research on their chosen starting point. Candidates' work during this period should be carried out under informal supervision, that is, under a sufficient level of supervision to ensure that the contribution of candidates can be recorded accurately, that work can be authenticated as the candidate's own and that plagiarism does not take place. Initial preparatory work and research to help develop ideas may be completed with limited supervision. Teachers must be able to authenticate each candidate's whole work with confidence.

The sustained period of focused study – Candidates will produce a personal outcome in response to their chosen starting point. The period of focused study should take place under the conditions for practical examinations set out in JCQ Instructions for conducting examinations. The first session should be at least two hours. Centres may timetable the remaining eight hours at their own discretion. Work completed during this period must be the candidate's own unaided work. Centres should ensure that the work completed during the supervised sessions is kept under secure conditions between sessions. Candidates may continue to produce preparatory studies between sessions if they wish to do so.

Task Marking

Candidates should carefully select and present work for assessment which provides evidence of meeting all four assessment objectives. All the work selected for this unit must be submitted at the end of the ten hour period and will be marked as a whole. Work will be marked by the centre and moderated by AQA. Centre marks must be submitted by the specified deadline (more information on this process is given in Sections 6 and 7).