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Planning to switch to AQA?

Switching to AQA from Edexcel B

To help you compare our GCSE with the offering from Edexcel, we’ve created some comparison tables.

These tables highlight the main differences between each exam board.

Mandated similarities

Alongside these differences, there are a number of things which need to be exactly the same. According to the Department for Education and Ofqual, all GCSE Religious Studies specifications must include assessment comprised of 50% AO1 and 50% AO2. They should also meet the requirement for students to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of two religions
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key sources of wisdom and authority including scripture and/or sacred texts, where appropriate, which support contemporary religious faith
  • understand the influence of religion on individuals, communities and societies
  • understand significant common and divergent views between and/or within religions and beliefs
  • apply knowledge and understanding in order to analyse questions related to religious beliefs and values
  • construct well-informed and balanced arguments on matters concerned with religious beliefs and values set out in the subject content
  • demonstrate knowledge that the religious traditions of Great Britain are, in the main, Christian and that religious traditions in Great Britain are diverse and include the following religions: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, as well as other religions and non-religious beliefs, such as atheism and humanism. Throughout all of the programmes of study, specifications should include the study of common and divergent views within traditions in the way beliefs and teachings are understood and expressed.

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Assessment structure

The Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies B consists of three areas of study from which students study two, which are then assessed through two externally set examination papers.

Students must select a different religion for each area of study that they follow. Students who select Catholic Christianity for an area of study are not permitted to select Christianity for their second area of study and vice versa.

Paper 1

AQA – GCSE Religious Studies

Edexcel – GCSE Religious Studies

The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices

Religions and ethics

Written exam

Written exam

1 hour 45 minutes

1 hour 45 minutes

96 marks, plus 6 marks for SPaG (50% of GCSE)

102 marks (50% of GCSE)

Paper 2

AQA – GCSE Religious Studies

Edexcel – GCSE Religious Studies

Thematic studies

Religion, peace and conflict

Written exam

Written exam

1 hour 45 minutes

1 hour 45 minutes

96 marks, plus 3 marks for SPaG (50% of GCSE)

102 marks (50% of GCSE)

Paper 3

AQA – GCSE Religious Studies

Edexcel – GCSE Religious Studies

Religion, philosophy and social justice

Written exam

1 hour 45 minutes

102 marks (50% of GCSE)

Subject content

Paper 1

AQA – GCSE Religious Studies

Edexcel – GCSE Religious Studies

Students should study any two of the following:

  • Buddhism
  • Christianity
  • Catholic Christianity
  • Hinduism
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Sikhism

Students must study all four content  sections based upon their chosen religion:

  • Beliefs
  • Marriage and the family
  • Living the religious life
  • Matters of life and death

Students must select one religion from a choice of seven. The studied religion must be different for each area of study chosen.

  • Catholic Christianity
  • Christianity
  • Islam
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Judaism
  • Sikhism

Paper 2

AQA – GCSE Religious Studies

Edexcel – GCSE Religious Studies

Students may study either four religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes or two religious, philosophical and ethical studies themes and two textual studies themes.

Students must study all four content sections in relation to one religion:

  • Beliefs
  • Crime and punishment
  • Living the religious life
  • Peace and conflict

Students must select one religion from a choice of seven. The studied religion must be different for each area of study chosen.

  • Catholic Christianity
  • Christianity
  • Islam
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Judaism
  • Sikhism

Paper 3

AQA – GCSE Religious Studies

Edexcel – GCSE Religious Studies

Students must study all four content sections in relation to one religion:

  • Beliefs
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Living the religious life
  • Equality

Students must select one religion from a choice of seven. The studied religion must be different for each area of study chosen.

  • Catholic Christianity
  • Christianity
  • Islam
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Judaism
  • Sikhism

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