Getting ready for summer 2016 A Level and GCSE Science exam series

Fri Mar 11 10:00:00 UTC 2016

This update is about how to get ready for the summer 2016 A Level and GCSE Science exam series, including preparing your students' work, key deadlines and the materials you need to send to the moderator.

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Final date for submission of coursework and controlled assessment

The final date that we must receive your marks and samples of work for the summer 2016 series is 15 May 2016.

Each student’s work must be accompanied by the relevant record sheet(s) attached to the front of his or her work using a treasury tag.

Where can I find exemplar work?

For each science qualification, several examples of marked work are available to help exemplify the mark scheme and band descriptors. The summer 2015 series is the most recent resource and is available under 'teaching and learning materials' and then 'exemplar materials' on each qualification page.

Where can I find the Moderators’ reports?

Enhanced Principal Moderators' Reports also contain lots of useful guidance, together with several examples of controlled assessment and coursework with moderator comments. These are also on the relevant qualification pages under 'examiner reports'.

Each year, some centres will have their marks changed due to the moderation process. So, please make sure you read the moderators' reports carefully.

Do I need to carry out internal standardisation?

In large centres with multiple teachers, it is essential that you carry out internal moderation before you finalise the coursework or controlled assessment marks. You should sample double-mark, selecting mark points within the same band from different teaching sets. The double marking should continue until you are satisfied that you have achieved comparability.

Small schools with only one teacher need not carry out internal standardisation. It is helpful to include a covering note with your sample explaining that you are in this situation.

How should I annotate the work?

It is important that you annotate the coursework or controlled assessment to show the moderator how you have interpreted the mark scheme and applied it to the students' work.

Annotations must be in pen. They must be clear and define where marks, assessment objectives are being awarded. Please ensure that the annotations are directed at the moderator.

What are the grade boundaries?

You should not attempt to grade the work; you should be marking the work by applying the marking criteria in a consistent manner. The controlled assessment and coursework grades will be awarded at the end of each examination series.

Grade boundaries are published on the grade boundaries page.

For summer 2016, they will be available to download from results day: 

  • 17 August 2016 for GCE
  • 24 August 2016 for GCSE, Edexcel Certificates and International GCSE.

Remember that the mark you submit to us should be the total raw mark, not the UMS mark. The UMS marks are allocated by us as a result of the awarding process.

A score of zero should only be used if a candidate has submitted work that is found to meet none of the assessment criteria. An X should be used for any candidate who is absent.

How I submit my marks and what do I do if I make a mistake?

Please submit your marks online via Edexcel Online / EDI. Make sure that you print out a copy of the marks for the moderator and for your records.

Find out how to submit your marks

If you have already submitted a mark but it requires amending due to an administrative error, then please email the details to: courseworkmarks@pearson.com

Who is my moderator?

The name and address of your moderator will be available on Edexcel Online or EDI when the sample is up from mid-April.

Identifying the sample of work that is sent to the moderator

From mid-April on Edexcel Online you will see a tick next to the names of those students whose work is required for moderation. You will need to send the work of the highest-scoring and lowest-scoring candidates in addition to the requested sample. If any of the selected candidates have been withdrawn or have incomplete submissions, please provide additional candidates' work of a comparable level together with a covering letter.

Word counts for GCSE controlled assessments

Most GCSE controlled assessment tasks have a recommended length of 'up to 1000 words'. This total is for guidance only and there are no penalties for exceeding the word count guidance.

Exam Information

Exam information is available on our exam timetables page.

E9 Moderator Report

Whilst moderating your centre's coursework or controlled assessment, the moderator will write an E9, moderator’s report which will give you detailed feedback on your marking and administration.

You will be able to download this report on results day.

Find out how to access your E9 report

We hope you have found this update useful. If you have any further questions about the submission of coursework or controlled assessment, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Stephen Nugus, Science subject advisor
Stephen NugusScience
UK: 020 7010 2190
Intl: +44 (0)20 7010 2190
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