Changes for 2021

Following Ofqual's announcement about changes to assessment in summer 2021, here are the changes you need to know for GCSE Drama.

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

8261/C – Devising drama

  • Students will now be able to complete a monologue for this component.
  • We’ve reduced the timing requirements to one and a half minutes (monologue) and two 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 alternative evidence to be submitted.

8261/X – Texts in practice

  • This component will now be examined by post.
  • 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. If you choose to submit both we will mark both but only use the highest mark which will be doubled to give the overall mark for the component. If you only submit one, we will double the mark to give the overall mark for the component.
  • We’ve reduced the timing requirements to one and a half minutes (monologue) and two 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 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 Devising log 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.

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

The component weightings, play approval process for 8261/X Texts in practice and moderation process for Component 2 (8261/C) all remain the same.

Help and support

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