ELC Science from 2013: What's changed

A revised Entry Level Certificate in Science, based on the GCSE Science 2011 course, has been accredited by Ofqual for first teaching in September 2013. 

Read more

The revised specification and sample assessment materials replace the current specification (8938), which has its final assessment in June 2014.

About the course

Entry Level is recognised as the first level of the National Qualifications Framework. The content of the units maps directly to the Edexcel GCSE Science qualification, to facilitate co-teaching. It’s designed to be taught in small steps to meet students’ individual learning styles and each unit is only assessed when the teacher decides that students are ready.

What’s changed?

  • It's based on the content of GCSE Science 2011
  • It has fewer units - 9 instead of 12
  • It no longer has the practical skills assessment
  • The assignments have a more practical focus and their marks have been increased from 15 to 20
  • A maximum of 6 unit tests and 3 assignments can be submitted (that is, a total of 150 marks)
  • You cannot submit both the unit test and assignment from the same unit.

What’s staying the same?

  • Assessment is still through unit tests and assignments
  • The style of written assessments remains the same; tests can be taken when you like, are marked in school and are externally moderated
  • Unit tests are still 15 marks.


For each level, assessment is based on 2 components:

  • Up to 6 unit tests (60%), internally marked, externally set and moderated
  • Up to 3 assignments (40%), internally marked, externally set and moderated.

This qualification gives students opportunities to:

  • achieve a Certificate in Science at Entry Level 1, 2 or 3
  • acquire scientific knowledge and an understanding of important scientific ideas
  • develop an interest in science, supporting further study at a higher level.