Changes to 2021 exams for GCSE Drama

Published: Thursday 24 Sep 2020

We’ve been working hard to make the relevant changes to our qualifications following Ofqual’s decisions on summer 2021 exams, so here are the changes you need to know about for GCSE Drama (8261).

These changes only apply to the 2021 exam series.

  • Component 1 - there are no planned changes to the written exam.
  • Component 2 - we’ll allow students to complete a monologue. We'll be publishing updated guidance on devising monologues on e-AQA shortly.
  • Component 3 - this will be examined by post. We’ll provide details of how to submit work soon.
  • Component 3 - we’ve reduced the number of performances required from two to one. However, students must continue to identify two extracts from their chosen play and can perform both should they wish to.
  • Component 2 and Component 3 performances - we’ve reduced the timing requirements to one and a half minutes (monologue) and two minutes (duologue/group).
  • Component 2 and Component 3 performances - we’ll need to apply a penalty to performances that don’t meet these minimum requirements in the same way as in previous series.
  • Components 2 and 3 - we’ll allow students to submit alternative evidence where it hasn’t been possible to produce a recording of a final performance. We'll be publishing full guidance on alternative evidence on e-AQA shortly.

We’ll make amendments to the mark schemes for Components 2 and 3 to allow for the monologue in Component 2 and to allow alternative evidence to be submitted. We'll be publishing these on e-AQA shortly.

You'll be able to use ‘Covid-19’ on the ‘NEA, fieldwork and live performance centre declaration form’ as the reason students have not been able to attend a live theatre performance.

We know that you’ll want to know more about the changes for next summer. We’ll publish further information in the coming months with updates about the summer 2021 exams.

See all updates