Religious Studies | Pearson qualifications

Religious Studies

Subject update | 7 September 2023

Update on GCSE Religious Studies Mark Scheme Level Descriptors

This provides an update on GCSE Religious Studies mark scheme level descriptors

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We are aware of the challenging nature of our mark scheme level descriptors for (d) evaluation questions at GCSE Religious Studies and appreciate the feedback schools have provided to help us continually improve our qualifications and the support we offer.  After consulting with schools over the past year, we have provided a range of support around this question type (including CPD events, exemplification of top-level answers and case studies from high-achieving schools) to help address this situation (as shown below).  

Following ongoing feedback and analysis of results across different exam series, we have consulted with senior examiners and key stakeholders across both UK GCSE specifications, and we are now looking into amending our level descriptors. This will not affect the content or question types as these will not change, only the level descriptors used to assess (d) answers.  The final level descriptors have not yet been confirmed, so we are unable to give out further details and to confirm expected timelines, but we are hoping to be able to share further details with you soon.

The amendments aim to provide better accessibility, simplify language, and clarify expectations for students and teachers, to provide a better opportunity for students to access the higher levels and improve the spread of marks across the levels. 

Once the changes have been approved and finalised, we will release further information in future Religious Studies subject updates. Please make sure you and your colleagues have signed up to receive these:

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