Changes to 2021 exams for GCSE History

Thursday 10 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.

GCSE History (8145)

Students entering for GCSE History exams next summer will have a choice of studies with one compulsory study. This means that in summer 2021, AQA GCSE History students will only have to answer questions on three out of four studies.

The compulsory study for all students will be the wider world depth study (Paper 1, Section B). Students will then answer questions on two out of the following three studies:

  • period studies (Paper 1, Section A)
  • thematic studies (Paper 2, Section A)
  • British depth studies with the historic environment (Paper 2, Section B).

There will be no changes to the questions themselves or the associated mark schemes. However, in order to ensure a comparable experience for all students, marks for SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) will be retained on the compulsory study but removed from the Thematic study which is now optional. We’re also changing the time allowed in the exam to one hour per study, meaning that there will be three hours of exam time in total.

We know that you’ll want to know more about these changes for next summer. We’ll keep in touch over the coming months with latest updates and provide further guidance about the summer 2021 exams in due course.

AQA AS and A-level History specifications aren’t affected by this change.

We’ll be publishing further guidance about the summer 2021 exams over the coming months.