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 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.
GCSE exams and certification for this specification are available for the first time in May/June 2019 and then every May/June for the life of the specification.
All materials are available in English only.
Our GCSE exams in Sociology include questions that allow students to demonstrate their ability to:
- draw together their knowledge, skills and understanding from across the full course of study
- provide extended responses.
Aims and learning outcomes
Courses based on this specification must encourage students to:
- apply their sociological knowledge, understanding and skills to develop an understanding of relationships and tension between social structures and individual agency within a UK and global context
- critically analyse information and use evidence to make informed arguments, reach substantiated judgements and draw conclusions
- use and apply their knowledge and understanding of how social structures and processes influence social control, power and inequality
- use sociological theories to understand social issues, debates, social changes and continuities over time
- understand and evaluate sociological methodology and a range of research methods
- use sociological terminology appropriately and make connections between the key areas of subject content.
Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all GCSE Sociology specifications and all exam boards.
The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives.
- AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of sociological theories, concepts, evidence and methods.
- AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of sociological theories, concepts, evidence and methods.
- AO3: Analyse and evaluate sociological theories, concepts, evidence and methods in order to construct arguments, make judgements and draw conclusions.
Assessment objective weightings for GCSE Sociology
|Assessment objectives (AOs)||Component weightings (approx %)||Overall weighting (approx %)|
|Paper 1||Paper 2|
|Overall weighting of components||50||50||100|
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|
|The sociology of families and education||100||x1||100|
|The sociology of crime and deviance and social stratification||100||x1||100|
|Total scaled mark:||200|