GCSE History Paper 2 exam arrangements in Summer 2023

Wed Jan 18 11:30:00 UTC 2023

This update is to clarify the exam arrangements for Edexcel GCSE History Paper 2 in Summer 2023, to ensure that students, teachers and exams officers have a clear understanding of how the paper will be assessed on the day of the exam.

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A return to pre-pandemic arrangements

In 2022 the Department for Education announced the return to full subject content and assessment coverage for GCSE subjects such as History in Summer 2023. This means that all four topics must be taught and assessed, and the structure of the exams will return to the same format as Summer 2019.

Paper 2 assessment arrangements

In Summer 2022 it was necessary to split the Period study and British Depth study into two separate examinations to allow for covid optionality. Each exam was set at 55 minutes which was a small increase on the total time available of 1 hour 45 minutes when both options were taken together in 2019.

In Summer 2023 the Period Study and British Depth will be assessed on the same day in the same sitting. See the exam timetable below:

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The Paper 2 Period Study and British Depth study will still be assessed in two separate booklets and students will only receive questions on the specific topics they have been entered for. The total exam time will return to 1 hour 45 minutes.

In addition to the separate question paper booklets for the Paper 2 Period Study and British Depth study, centres will also receive a cover sheet which will explain how the papers are to be assessed on the day.

Centres must give students both booklets at the start of the examination and students have a total of 1hr 45 minutes to answer both booklets. It is up to them which they answer first and how much time they allocate to each paper, however they will be advised to split their time evenly across both topics.

An example of the Paper 2 cover sheet (from Summer 2019) can be found below:

It is important that centres ensure they have the correct combination of Paper 2 topics before the exam starts. The entry codes can be checked using our entry code calculator below:

If you have any questions about the GCSE History assessment arrangements this summer please get in touch.

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