Moderation and internal assessment | Pearson qualifications
Assessment and verification

Moderation and internal assessment for General Qualifications

This page gives you some guidelines on marking internally assessed work, and explains how the moderation process works. 

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Marking internally assessed work

Internally assessed work must be marked in accordance with the assessment criteria stated in the specification and any guidance in subject-specific instructions for the conduct of examinations.

Internal assessors should annotate the work to show how the marks have been awarded in relation to the marking criteria defined in the specification. You can provide this annotation either in a summary on a cover sheet or by annotating the margin or text to flag up evidence, or a combination of both.

Your indication as to how marks have been awarded should:

  • be clear and unambiguous
  • be appropriate to the nature and form of the coursework
  • facilitate the standardisation of marking within your centre
  • enable the moderator to check that the assessment criteria have been applied in the marking.

You must confirm that you have ensured that the work has been produced solely by the candidate concerned, and provide a written declaration that the candidates’ work was conducted under the required conditions as set out in the specification.

Before submitting their work for final assessment, candidates must sign a declaration of authentication, which must be included with their work. If it isn't, the work will receive a mark of zero, in line with the JCQ Code of Practice.

You must record full details of any assistance given to a particular candidate that is beyond that given to the group as a whole, but within specification regulations. This assistance must be taken into account when work is assessed.

Where the nature of the subject requires candidates’ work to be carried out outside the centre, sufficient work must take place under direct supervision for you to be able to authenticate each candidate’s work with confidence.

The work of a candidate for each internally assessed component of a subject must be fastened together using a string, tags or similar, so that the work can be read without the need to remove the fastening. The work can be secured in a thin card or paper cover. Please don't use stiff-backed files, lever arch files or box files, and please only include the work to be moderated.

For certain subjects, due to the nature of the work, an Edexcel moderator will visit your centre to moderate internal assessment. In such subjects, the work to be moderated must be presented in the format specified in the specification or separately issued centre guidance document.

Where a candidate is required to submit a specified number of pieces of work and fails to submit all the pieces, they must be credited only with the marks they have earned for the work submitted.

However, in subjects with minimum requirements a candidate who submits less than this minimum requirement must be given a mark of zero.

Where a candidate does not submit any work for an internally assessed unit, this must be recorded as ‘X’ (absent).

Within the limits of the specification, joint work of two or more candidates is acceptable, as long as it is authorised by the centre and the contributions of each candidate are clearly identified. Candidates can only be assessed on work that they have produced themselves. They cannot take credit for work produced by another candidate within the group. 

The moderation process

For internally assessed components of GCSE, GCSE in vocational subjects, A level, Applied A level, DiDA and Principal Learning:  
Step 1 You mark the internally assessed work for every candidate (using the detailed assessment criteria or marking schemes published by Edexcel), and arrange candidates in order of merit.  
Step 2 Our trained moderators will review a sample of candidates' work​ t​o​ check that your centre have assessed the work accurately and consistently. The moderator use​s​ the same assessment criteria​ as your centre. ​Based on the moderator's review, your centre's marks are either accepted or adjusted where required.
Step 3 If there is significant disagreement on marks between the centre and moderator, we may need to scrutinise the work of more or all of the candidates, across either the whole mark range or part of it. This may result in a complete reassessment of your centre's work.  

Where mark adjustments are made, the pattern of differences between your centre's marks and the moderator's will be taken into account, so that your centre's marks are in line with the standard being applied nationally. Unless your centre has been demonstrably inconsistent, mark adjustments will maintain your order of merit.

We reserve the right to adjust the mark of any candidate, and we will closely monitor the work of moderators.

You must retain internally assessed and moderated work (apart from the sample sent to the moderator) for inspection by us at any time up until the publication of results. Where material is submitted to the moderator on CD or DVD, you should send a copy and retain the original. Please ensure you retain candidates' work until after the closing date for Enquiries About Results.

Moderators won't report their mark adjustments directly to your centre. The final marks awarded will be made available with the issue of results. A report on your centre's assessment of work will also be made available to you. For more information, see the Moderator reports page.

Where your centre, or individual internal assessors, fail to meet our requirements, we'll provide further guidance to your head of centre.

Where a significant problem has not been rectified:

  • the tasks and mark schemes proposed by your centre must be approved by us, and/or
  • your centre’s arrangements for internal assessment and standardisation must be approved and monitored by us.
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