We are replacing the current word guidance of 3000–3500 words with a word limit of 4500 words for our A-level History non-exam assessment (NEA). The change will make it fair to all students and allow them to address all the requirements of the NEA. It will affect the summer 2020 assessments and onwards.
Changes for summer 2020
- The NEA investigation should be completed in 3500–4500 words, excluding bibliography, footnotes and appendices.
- Submissions that exceed the new word limit will incur a 5 mark penalty. There is no automatic penalty for less than 3500 words.
- All students will be required to record the word count on their 2020 candidate record forms (CRF). We’ll investigate instances where the word count has been inaccurately recorded on the CRF.
We’ll apply the 5 mark penalty where required, meaning teachers should not apply this penalty in their own marking.
Changes to NEA mark schemes
We’ve made a small change to the wording of the AO2 and AO3 NEA mark schemes.
- AO2 – this clarifies the exact number of sources (three) required for the NEA in the AO2 mark scheme.
- AO3 – this clarifies the current practice about the evaluation of limitations of interpretations, which is not mandatory and need only be addressed as appropriate to the investigation.
The A-level History specification has been updated to reflect this change. Revised NEA mark schemes can be found on pages 70-72 of the specification.