History | Pearson qualifications


Subject update | 5 March 2024

Reminder of GCSE History Paper 2 assessment arrangements this Summer

This update is to remind teachers and exams officers of the exam arrangements for Edexcel GCSE History Paper 2 in Summer 2024, to ensure there is a clear understanding of how the paper will be assessed on the day of the exam.

Read more

Paper 2 assessment arrangements

The Paper 2 Period Study and British Depth Study will be assessed on the same day in the same sitting. See the exam timetable below:

{{ gatDoctitle }}


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. It is therefore important that centres ensure they have the correct combination of Paper 2 topics before the exam starts.

The total exam time for Paper 2 in Summer 2024 will be 1 hr 45 minutes. Centres must give students both booklets at the start of the examination and students have a total of 1 hr 45 minutes to answer both booklets. It is up to students 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.

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.

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

Writing answers in the correct space in GCSE History exams

It is important to write answers in the correct space and continue on a separate piece of paper if extra space is needed. This is to ensure that the full answer is seen by the examiner before a mark is awarded. The extra sheets of paper should not be attached so tightly that the answer booklet cannot be opened without ripping the papers.

Students should be made aware of these instructions by their subject teacher but also reminded of them by invigilators at the start of the examination and if they ask for extra paper during the examination.

Answers should be written in the correct answer space for each question.

If candidates need additional space for an answer, they should use a fresh sheet of paper, instead of continuing an answer elsewhere in the exam paper.

Candidates should also state in the answer space, that the answer has been continued on an additional sheet of paper.

Every additional sheet used should include the following details:

  • Centre number
  • Candidate number
  • Candidate name
  • Qualification and Paper code
  • Question number

The Paper 2 British Depth Study and Period Study should be treated as discrete units as they will be marked by different examiners. If additional paper is taken for either of these papers, please ensure it is attached to the correct booklet. If additional paper is taken for the British Depth Study and Period Study, separate pieces of paper should be used for each unit, and they should be attached to the correct answer booklet. Please do not merge answers for the British Depth and Period Study on the same additional piece of paper.

If candidates are using a word processor for Paper 2, please remind them to record their answers for the British Depth Study and Period Study on two separate word documents, clearly detailing centre/candidate/ paper details.

Assessment changes: L2 stimulus cap

There will be no major changes to the assessment of Paper 2 in Summer 2024 and the exams will follow the same format as in Summer 2023.

We recently introduced some minor changes to the GCSE History assessement model which will improve the ramping of questions and add a bit more time to exams but these changes will not apply for Summer 2024 - they are for first assessment Summer 2025. This also applies to the specification language changes (affecting terms such as 'Plains Indians') which will also apply for first assessment Summer 2025.

The only change to the assessment in Summer 2024 is the removal of the Level 2 stimulus cap in the mark schemes. This change applies to the mark schemes of any question with stimulus points across Paper 1, Paper 2 and Paper 3. You can read about this change below:


Are you sure you want to exit this session?