Controlled assessment

Marking and returning controlled assessment

We've changed the way you input your coursework or controlled assessment marks – it's now online, not paper-based. See our e-subs: centre marks submission page for everything you need to know.

Advice for teachers

If you would like advice on controlled assessment, please write to and an adviser will get back to you soon. Our advisers are subject matter experts and ideally placed to answer your questions about controlled assessment.

Advice for students

Please discuss any queries about controlled assessment with your teacher.


We work with you to bring your marks in line with the standard using the Teacher Online Standardisation (T-OLS) system. T-OLS can be accessed through e-AQA using a password from your exams officer.

Your marks may be adjusted up or down if your marking is outside tolerance.

Deadlines, extensions and missing coursework

The coursework deadline for the November series is 5 November for GCSE English and English Language. For the June series it is 7 May for GCSE English, English Language and English Literature.

Extension requests must reach us as early as possible to give us enough time to help you.

If coursework is missing for any reason (loss, theft or damage), you must let us know as soon as possible. 

Exemplar materials and marking

Exemplar materials, assessment criteria and other resources to help you prepare your students for controlled assessment are available on T-OLS. You can mark pieces of exemplar work here, compare your mark to that of the principal moderator, and read the rationale behind their mark. There are examples of marked examination questions on the Secure Key Materials section of e-AQA.

Controlled assessment tasks

Download controlled assessment tasks from Secure Key Materials on e-AQA using a password obtained from your exams officer. For more detailed information on any of the tasks, please contact a subject adviser at

Controlled assessment tasks will change every year. The controlled assessment task bank used must always relate to when marks will be submitted. The front page of the AQA controlled assessment tasks clearly shows the series in which they should be used, for example, 2013/14 task banks are used when new work is submitted in November 2013, June 2014 and November 2014.


Anthologies can be used in AQA GCSE English (4700 and 5700) and GCSE English Language (4705 and 5705).

You can order hard copies of the following anthologies for teaching purposes:

  • Moon on the Tides for poetry
  • Sunlight on the Grass for short stories.

If you have any problems obtaining anthologies, please call our Exams Office Support customer service team on 0800 197 7162 (or +44 203 671 8010 from outside the UK) or email

Preparation for controlled assessment

It is the individual school or college's responsibility to ensure that candidates are supervised according to our guidance, and that the declaration form is signed. Candidates may prepare a draft, but teachers should not provide any feedback on the draft. Candidates are not permitted to take a draft into the controlled assessment with them, only brief notes.

Controlled assessment notes

Any candidate notes should be brief and should not be drafts or detailed plans. Use your professional judgement, and bear in mind that our experience shows that long, detailed notes can disadvantage candidates. We have created a notes pro forma (see Candidate notes below) which we recommend you follow.

Any notes should be submitted with the final piece for moderation. For GCSE English, English Literature and English Language, the notes are limited to 150 words for submissions in 2015 and beyond, and the pro forma must be used.

Giving feedback

  • If students do any work on the actual task prior to the assessment taking place, the teacher must not mark it or comment on it, as this would be seen as drafting and re-drafting. Therefore, schools and colleges should consider carefully the best time to release the title to the students.
  • There can be no intervention by any member of staff once a controlled assessment session has started.
  • Once a task has been marked, no individual feedback should be given.
  • Marked work should not be given back to students but they can be told which mark and band they attained (but not the grades – as these have not been awarded at this stage).
  • Students can receive general feedback on the skills achieved and the areas for improvement in future.


Scribes are allowed in all parts of the exam/controlled assessment. This is because AQA takes the view that any advantage gained by having a scribe will be balanced by the disadvantage caused by the rather difficult process of working with a scribe. Readers cannot be used where reading is being assessed.

Extra time

If students qualify for extra time during terminal assessments then this may be applied to the write-up time of controlled assessments but not the preparation time. For further clarification, please contact candidate services.

For more information, see JCQ's Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration


Teachers may submit only work that can be authenticated with complete confidence that it is the student's own.

PDFs open in a new window.

Record forms

Academic year 2016/17