Controlled assessment


We usually tell schools and colleges who their controlled assessment adviser is in the autumn term. Controlled assessment advisers are subject experts and the best person to contact with questions about controlled assessment. If you don't know who your adviser is, please email the subject team at

For more information, see Your guide to GCSE controlled assessment and the instructions for submitting coursework/controlled assessment marks and samples on our Submitting marks page.  


When teachers mark controlled assessment or coursework, they must all mark in the same way. The standard is set in a process called teacher standardisation.

We work with you to bring your marks in line with the standard. Face to face coursework meetings are held in various locations around the country, although we are phasing them out in favour of online standardisation. Find out whether your subject materials are held online or if you'll need to attend a meeting. If you are a new centre and you haven't received information about standardisation please email

Teacher Online Standardisation (T-OLS) may be accessed at e-AQA using a password from your Examination Officer.

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 Examination Officer. For more detailed information on any of the tasks, please contact your subject adviser.

Controlled assessment tasks will change every year but there will always be two years' worth available. 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 eg. 2013/14 task banks are used when new work is submitted in Nov 2013, June 2014 and Nov 2014.


Anthologies can be used in AQA GCSE English, English Language and English Literature.

For unit 47102 only (English Literature ) anthologies are sent to centres automatically on entry. Otherwise, teachers can order hard copies of the anthologies for teaching purposes: Moon on the Tides for poetry and Sunlight on the Grass for short stories. Order forms are dispatched to centres in early May.

If you have not received an order form for the anthologies, and your centre has not already requested copies, please contact Exams Office Support on 0800 197 7162 (or +44 203 671 8010 from outside the UK) or who will fax another order form to you. Parents, private tutors and students need to use our order forms.

Preparation for controlled assessment

It is the responsibility of centres 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

Notes should be brief and should not be drafts or detailed plans. Teachers should use their professional judgement and bear in mind that our experience shows that long, detailed notes can disadvantage candidates. We have produced a notes pro forma (see Candidate notes, below) which schools are recommended to use. The 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, centres 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 what 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.

Marking and return of controlled assessment

Submit your students' marks by completing a candidate record form. For more information read our documents at the bottom of this page.Fill out the centre mark form, send the pink and yellow copies to your moderator and send the white copy back to us at AQA. The address to return the form to AQA is on the form.

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

PDFs open in a new window.

Record forms

Academic year 2016/17