Pearson Edexcel GCSE History Paper 3 Germany update

20 June 2023

This is an update for centres following the Edexcel GCSE History Paper 3 Weimar and Nazi Germany exam taken on 15 June 2023.

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This summer examination series has seen a return to the full GCSE History examination requirements for the first time since 2019. We appreciate fully the hard work which students put into their studies and revision, as well as the dedication and support which teachers provide.

Following on from the recent Paper 3 Germany exam, we would like to thank teachers who have been in touch with us directly to provide feedback. We have also been reading your comments on social media, both about Paper 3 Germany and the assessment of GCSE History more widely. We can assure you that we are listening carefully and are working closely with the senior examiners.

All of the Paper 3 examinations for the Summer 2023 series cover a similar amount of content from the specification and all have content from three of the four key topic areas. Paper 3 Germany covers content from the Weimar Republic, Hitler’s rise to power and Life in Nazi Germany. Paper 3 Question 3 is a skills-based assessment testing AO3 (Sources) and AO4 (Interpretations) and does not require stand-alone historical knowledge but use of knowledge in context, and this is reflected in the generic mark schemes. By its very nature this question is designed to target a specific enquiry from the specification.

As with all examination series and specific papers, we want to reassure you and your learners that we are following the correct procedures to respond to queries raised in the light of the Paper 3 Germany examination. There are regulatory processes and procedures set in place to respond to feedback that may suggest that a paper or question is more demanding than in previous series. The whole process - from immediate response, through the examiner standardisation, marking, and the awarding of grade boundaries - is designed to monitor and mitigate any changes in demand. During the standardisation process, as always, the mark scheme will be considered and if necessary amended, in the light of student responses. The invaluable feedback already provided by teachers means that we have been able to monitor any potential issues of demand from the earliest opportunity and has been used to inform the standardisation process. Paper 3 Germany will continue to be monitored as regulation requires to ensure comparable demand.

For all our qualifications, we continually revise and reflect on candidate performance and question suitability; this will be the case as we look back on the 2023 series. We can assure you that we are also listening to the wider feedback being given about the Paper 3 assessment, and GCSE History assessment more generally. Your observations on these issues will contribute to an ongoing Pearson five-year review of the qualification, and we are already in communication with teachers about the nature of the qualification’s assessment. We want to engage further with teachers and students on this issue in the coming months.

If you would like to contact us about any of our question papers, please get in touch by emailing teachinghistory@pearson.com

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