Scheme of assessment

Find past papers and mark schemes, and specimen papers for new courses, on our website at aqa.org.uk/pastpapers

This specification is designed to be taken over one or two years.

This is a linear qualification. In order to achieve the award, students must complete all assessments at the end of the course and in the same series.

AS exams and certification for this specification are available for the first time in May/June 2018 and then every May/June for the life of the specification.

All materials are available in English only.

Our AS exams in Environmental Science include questions that allow students to demonstrate their ability to:

Aims

Courses based on this specification must encourage students to:

  • develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of environmental science and how they relate to each other
  • develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of the scientific methods used to investigate the environment
  • develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills related to environmental issues and the sustainable use of resources
  • understand the importance of basing decisions on reliable data which allows evidence-based analysis of environmental issues
  • develop interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject
  • understand how society makes decisions about environmental issues and how these contribute to the success of the economy and society.

Assessment objectives

Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all AS Environmental Science specifications and all exam boards.

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives.

  • AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures, including in relation to natural processes/systems and environmental issues.
  • AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures, including in relation to natural processes/systems and environmental issues.
  • AO3: Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence, including in relation to environmental issues, to make judgements and draw conclusions.

Assessment objective weightings for AS Environmental Science

Assessment objectives (AOs) Component weightings (approx %) Overall weighting (approx %)
Paper 1
AO1 35–40 35–40
AO2 40–45 40–45
AO3 20–25 20–25
Overall weighting of components 100 100

10% of the overall assessment of AS Environmental Science will contain mathematical skills equivalent to Level 2 or above.

At least 15% of the overall assessment of AS Environmental Science will assess knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to practical work.

Assessment weightings

The marks awarded on the papers will be scaled to meet the weighting of the components. Students’ final marks will be calculated by adding together the scaled marks for each component. Grade boundaries will be set using this total scaled mark. The scaling and total scaled marks are shown in the table below.

Component Maximum raw mark Scaling factor Maximum scaled mark
Paper 1 120 x 1 120
Total scaled mark: 120