June 2016 science update | Pearson qualifications

June 2016 science update

2 June 2016

This month's update includes information about JCQ CPAC registration for GCE sciences (2015), reforms to GCSE Astronomy and Psychology and International GCSEs, science training events, and more.

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Re-opening of JCQ registration for GCE Sciences (2015)

If you haven't had any communication from us about your CPAC monitoring visit, this means that you may have missed the opportunity to register with JCQ last year. Do not feel as though you were in the minority, as roughly one-third of schools did not register either.

Remember that unless you are a large centre, only one exam board will contact you and your monitoring visit will be in only one of the 3 sciences.
To clarify what's meant by a large centre: a large centre is defined as one where there are more than 140 candidates entered in Biology or Chemistry or Physics. In this case, all 3 science departments would have a monitoring visit.

Here are the links to the JCQ registration survey:

England CPAC registration

Non-England CPAC registration

The survey is only open until the end of June, so complete it without delay.

JCQ sent a communication to all exams officers including information on registering for CPAC if your school is outside of England. You can read it here:

See the JCQ communication about the reformed registration process for CPAC

Centres that do not complete the survey will be followed up in the autumn. Remember that the default position is if you do not register, you cannot enter students for the Practical Endorsement. 

Reformed GCSE 9-1 (2017) science subjects


GCSE Astronomy has had some very exciting reforms to bring it in line with the GCSE 9-1 grading and the removal of the coursework. Launch events are available from 20 June 2016. Find out more on the GCSE Astronomy (2017) page, where you'll also find the draft specification and SAMs.


Psychology has been reformed to bring it in line with the new 9-1 grading. It will continue to be a fascinating and thought-provoking qualification. Launch events are available from 20 June 2016. Find out more on the GCSE Psychology (2017) page. Specifications will follow shortly.

International GCSE

International GCSE 9-1 sciences (2017) are being reformed in line with the new science curriculum and to introduce the 9-1 grading. The specifications are available in the International GCSE (2017) 9-1 web pages, where you can see the exciting additions. Launch events are available from 9 June 2016 - find out more on the relevant specification page or search and book your place on the training page.

International GCSE (2017) 9-1 Biology

International GCSE (2017) 9-1 Chemistry

International GCSE (2017) 9-1 Physics

GCSE 9-1 sciences (2016)

The resources for the GCSE 9-1 sciences (2016) are being updated on a rolling basis and all new documents can be identified by the 'new' sign in green. 


examWizard is being updated so that the GCSE 9-1 Sciences (2016) appears as a new search area. As you would expect, there will be a choice of 4 subjects: Combined Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. We will also tag relevant legacy GCSE (2011) questions to the new specifications to provide a greater variety with which to build a paper.

We will map maths, practical skills and the new assessment objectives to the old questions and these will appear as filters. So, when you search using these filters, questions from the legacy GCSE (2011) will map to the new criteria for maths, practical skills, and the new assessment objectives. This is being completed on a rolling basis, so more questions will appear as this work progresses.

Training for science subjects

In our training area, you'll find a comprehensive range of free and paid-for face-to-face and online events. These include International Advanced Levels (2013) in Chemistry and Physics; AS and A level (2015) in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Psychology; GCSE 9-1 (2017) in Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Psychology; and International GCSE 9-1 (2017) in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Visit the training page to search and book

Fast shop

Fast shop is an ordering service that will appear on the A level sciences (2015) and GCSE 9-1 sciences (2016) web pages soon. You will be able to order extra resources such as specifications and formula posters (GCSE 9-1) for your centre. Please be aware that not all of the materials in the teaching and learning materials area will be available in print format.


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