Changes to awarding marks for performances – summer 2019

Thursday 9 May 2019

In January 2019, The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) announced the outcome of its consultation on GCSE and A-level music and dance. In both subjects Ofqual are removing the requirement to award zero marks for performances in GCSE and A-level music and dance that do not reach the minimum time (or maximum for dance) requirements.

This new approach means that for 2019 exams and onwards we will remove the requirement to automatically award zero marks to any performance under the minimum time requirements.

From this summer, schools/colleges will need to mark students’ work against the criteria in line with the revised approach. This means that students should be rewarded for the quality of their work and can access any potential marks under the assessment criteria.

Changes to drama

In light of these changes, we’ve also changed our approach to drama GCSE and drama and theatre AS and A-level to bring these in line with music and dance.

New performance duration declaration form for summer 2019

To meet the new requirement, schools/colleges entered for GCSE Dance component 1 (8236), GCSE Music components 2 and 3 (8271), GCSE Drama component 2 (8261), AS Drama (7261) component 2 and/or A-level Drama component 2 (7262) in summer 2019 will need to sign and return a performance duration declaration form to tell us whether or not their students have met these requirements. You’ll still need to return the form even if all your students have met the timings requirements.

Please return the performance declaration form by 31 May 2019. The form should be emailed to us using the address on the form and not to your moderator or non-exam assessment (NEA) adviser.

For examined components marked by AQA, our examiners have already awarded all work not meeting the minimum/maximum mark based on their professional judgement and kept a record.

We’re working with Ofqual to finalise the penalty that will be applied instead of zero marks where students haven’t met the minimum time (or maximum for dance) requirements.