Changes for 2021

This page may be out of date

The Government announced on 6 January that exams won’t go ahead as normal in summer 2021, so some of this information may change. We’ll update this page as soon as further detail becomes available.

Read about 2021 exam changes

Following Ofqual’s announcement about changes to assessment in summer 2021, here are the changes you need to know for A-level Drama and Theatre.

Please note: these changes only apply to assessments being completed this academic year.

Component 2 – Creating original drama

  • Students will now be able to complete a monologue for this component.
  • We suggest a maximum length of 5 minutes for a devised monologue but students will not be penalised for exceeding this.
  • We’ve reduced the timing requirements to one and a half minutes (monologue) and three minutes (duologue/group).
  • We’ll allow students to submit alternative evidence where it hasn’t been possible to produce a recording of a final performance.
  • We’ll make amendments to the mark scheme to allow for the monologue, shorter performances that may not be able to apply the methods of a practitioner fully, and to allow alternative evidence to be submitted.

Component 3 – Making theatre

  • This component will now be examined by post.
  • We’ve reduced the required number of extracts from three to one. However, we’ll accept all submissions and mark all work (whether one, two or three extracts have been explored). This means that it is acceptable for reflective reports to focus on one, two or three extracts. Our examiners will be aware that some students who explore 1 or 2 extracts may have shorter work than the 2,000-2,500 suggestion and they will not be penalised. One extract is performed for the exam as usual.
  • We’ve reduced the timing requirements to one and a half minutes (monologue) and three minutes (duologue/group).
  • We’ll allow students to submit alternative evidence where it hasn’t been possible to produce a recording of a final performance.
  • We’ll make amendments to the mark scheme to allow for the monologue, shorter performances that may not be able to apply the methods of a practitioner fully, and to allow alternative evidence to be submitted.

Digital/streamed productions permitted in written paper

We have removed the ‘five-year rule’ for digital/streamed productions used to answer Section C in Component 1. From January 2021 onwards, students will be able to refer to any digital or streamed production in their response to the live theatre production section of the written paper.

Amendments are permitted for monologues

There will be no changes to the working notebook except that amendments are permitted for monologues – additional guidance on this can be found on e-AQA.

No other changes

There are no other planned changes to the Component 1 written exam.

There will be no changes to the reflective report.

The maximum timings are the same and minimum time penalty will apply as normal to the new minimum time requirements.

The component weightings, the moderation process for Component 2 and the play approval process for Component 3 all remain the same.

Help and support

If you require further support or guidance, please contact us.