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This page may be out of date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 GCSE Engineering.

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

Changes to NEA

There are changes to parts of the NEA for GCSE Engineering. The Problem Solving, Engineering skills and Testing and Evaluation sections have been rewritten to reflect these changes.

Problem solving

Problem solving should be evident in the prototype design but students aren’t required to demonstrate this in a final prototype.

Engineering skills

  • This section has been reduced from 15 to 10 marks.
  • Students will no longer be assessed on the skill of making but will be required to show their ‘intentions of prototypes’ and demonstrate their understanding of the processes involved in making.
  • The assessment no longer requires students to make a final prototype - instead, they can show their understanding of the processes involved in making by writing about them. Documenting these processes is one way of gaining marks in the 2021 Engineering skills section. However, making skills are important for progression to future study, and for students’ understanding, so we’d encourage you to continue to allow students to make wherever possible. This is another way of demonstrating the knowledge tested in the 2021 Engineering skills section.

Testing and evaluation

There’s no expectation to test a final made prototype, but students should test their prototype designs.

No other changes

NEA will still count as 40% of the overall GCSE qualification.

There are no planned changes to NEA sections Drawing and Conventions, Production Planning or Applying Systems Technology.

There are no planned changes to the exam. The same specification content should be covered as always; the exam questions and associated mark schemes will look the same as in previous years of this specification.

Help and support

We have created a guidance document that gives you the new assessment criteria for GCSE Engineering. This can be found on the Secure Key Materials section of e-AQA.

Please contact your NEA adviser for further support on conducting the NEA.

If you don’t know who your NEA adviser is, your exams officer will have these details, or you can contact us.