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This page may be out of date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 Music.

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

Performance duration reduced

The following changes relate to 3.2 Performance.

  • Students now need to perform one or more pieces of music with a combined, minimum duration of at least three and a half minutes.
  • A complete, unedited recording of the live performance must be submitted with the score or lead sheet for that performance (if available).

Composition duration reduced

The following changes relate to 3.3 Composition.

  • Students now need to compose one piece of music with a duration of at least two minutes.
  • Compositions may be in response to a set brief or be freely composed.
  • Submissions must include a complete recording of the composition with a score, lead sheet or written account produced by the student.
  • Students don’t have to perform their own composition.
  • The recording may be computer generated.
  • Examiners will mark the piece out of 25.

No other changes

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

The 2021 composition briefs are on e-AQA.

The minimum time penalty will apply as normal to the new minimum time requirement. The size of the reduction is proportionate to the severity of the timing infringement, starting with 5% of the total available raw mark for work.

The assessment criteria in the specification remain the same, as do the component weightings.

There are no changes to the exam process of components 2 and 3.

Help and support

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.