NEA for Summer 2022 update

5 July 2021

Read the latest information about Non-examined Assessment in Pearson Edexcel GCSE Music, A level Music, AS level Music Technology and A level Music Technology.

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Following the outcome of the recent Ofqual Consultation on arrangements for non-exam assessment and fieldwork requirements for students entering qualifications in 2022, Ofqual has confirmed that the changes made to the 2021 series NEA components will be carried forward onto the Summer 2022 series. 

We can now confirm how we will approach these requirements for GCSE Music, A level Music, AS level Music Technology and A level Music Technology.

Performing

In response to Ofqual’s decision the required minimum performance length will reduce from 4 minutes to 1.5 minutes (if all solo performance) or 2 minutes (if including performance as part of an ensemble). The requirment to perform as part of an ensemble has been removed.

We will be accepting video submissions for performance. The performance can be eitheran audio recording, a video recording made in the centre or a recording from a video conferencing platform between candidate and the Teacher Assessor. The Teacher Assessor must arrange the call and make an unedited recording of the candidate performing live. The candidate and their instrument must always be in view.

If a video performance is being used as evidence, it is the centre’s responsibility to ensure that the audio quality is sufficient to allow the assessment to take place.

In all other respects this component is identical to previous examination series. The candidates’ performance should be marked the same as in previous years with a Raw Mark awarded and difficulty level applied to give a final mark of 30. The standard for Performance remains the same as in previous examination series. Grade 4 is Standard and a sliding scale of penalties will be applied for under-length performances.

Composing

In response to Ofqual’s decision the required minimum composition length will reduce from 3 minutes to 2 minutes. This will be single free composition. Pearson Edexcel will not produce set brief compositions. If a candidate wishes to submit a live performance of their composition this can be a video recording made on a video conferencing platform between candidate/performers and the Teacher Assessor. The Teacher Assessor must arrange the call and make an unedited recording of the composition.

In all other respects this component will be identical to previous examination series. It will remain marked by the teacher. The application of the mark scheme will remain consistent with previous series and a sliding scale of penalties will be applied for under-length compositions. The composition should be marked out of 30, using the same mark scheme as previous series.

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Performing

The required minimum performance length will be reduced from 8 minutes to 3 minutes. In addition, the recording can take place at any point in this academic year, but it must still be with the examiner by 15 May 2022. The recording can also be in a video format with the teacher present, to ensure authentication.

If a video is being submitted, then it is the centre’s responsibility to ensure that the audio quality is sufficient to allow marking to take place. Centres should only submit either a video or audio recording for each candidate. If both audio and video are submitted an examiner will use the audio for marking purposes.

In all other respects this component will be identical to other normal examination series. It will remain examined rather than moderated.

Learners can still choose to perform as a soloist and/or part of an ensemble. The application of the mark scheme will remain consistent with previous series and a sliding scale of penalties will be applied for under-length performances.

Composing

The required minimum composition length will reduce from six minutes to three minutes. This will be a single free composition. Pearson Edexcel will not produce suggested composition briefs and there will be no Briefs Assessing Technique.

This component will remain examined rather than moderated. The requirement for the materials to reach the examiner by 15 May 2022 remains. The application of the mark scheme will remain consistent with previous series and a sliding scale of penalties will be applied for under-length compositions.

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Recording

The recording length has been reduced to approximately 2½ minutes. There are instructions in the brief as to how students should handle the fade-out, so this will affect the overall length.

The most significant change to the NEA is the use of audio files provided by Pearson instead of the requirement for students to capture a specific combination of live instruments and vocals.

The requirement is now for students to use the pre-recorded audio files to emulate the original recording as provided on the Pearson website (including the fade-out).

The mark scheme has not changed in any significant way other than the temporary removal of Assessment grid 1 – Capture. In the published logbooks the unused assessment grid remains but has been crossed out to indicate that the change is for this year only. The total mark for this component is 48 instead of 60.

Technology-based Composition

The length of the composition must be 2 minutes instead of 3 minutes. This is the only change to component 2. 

The composition length may have some impact on the form and structure of the piece. It is still expected that the composition will demonstrate a suitable blend of cohesion and contrast despite the shorter time requirement.

Live capture is permitted. Vocal recording is permitted when it is safe and within centre specific Covid-secure guidelines. It is understood that this will not be possible for all centres depending on their resources and the ventilation of their recording environment, so students will not be disadvantaged if they do not use any live capture in their compositions.

No changes have been made to the mark scheme.

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Recording

The recording length has been reduced to approximately 1¾ minutes. There are instructions in the brief as to how students should handle the fade-out, so this will affect the overall length.

The most significant change to the NEA is the use of audio files provided by Pearson instead of the requirement for students to capture a specific combination of live instruments and vocals.

The requirement is now for students to use the pre-recorded audio files to emulate the original recording as provided on the Pearson website (including the fade-out).

The mark scheme has not changed in any significant way other than the temporary removal of Assessment grid 1 – Capture. In the published logbooks the unused assessment grid remains but has been crossed out to indicate that the change is for this year only. The total mark for this component is 48 instead of 60.

Technology-based Composition

The length of the composition must be 1½ minutes instead of 2½ minutes. This is the only change to component 2. 

The composition length may have some impact on the form and structure of the piece. It is still expected that the composition will demonstrate a suitable blend of cohesion and contrast despite the shorter time requirement.

Live capture is permitted. Vocal recording is permitted when it is safe and within centre specific Covid-secure guidelines. It is understood that this will not be possible for all centres depending on their resources and the ventilation of their recording environment, so students will not be disadvantaged if they do not use any live capture in their compositions.

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