Controlled Assessment Arrangements

Controlled assessments were introduced with the first teaching of the revised GCSEs in September 2009. They take place under supervised conditions and are either set by awarding organisations and marked by teachers, or set by teachers and marked by awarding organisations.

The regulatory report on controlled assessments explains how they are developed. You can also view GCSE Controlled Assessment Regulations and download information about the changes to GCSEs and the introduction of controlled assessment.

Levels of controlled assessment

The level of controlled assessment varies between GCSEs.

0% In the following subjects there will be no controlled assessment:
economics, law, religious studies, classical Greek, Latin, psychology and mathematics.
25% Subjects with 25% controlled assessment include:
business studies, classical civilisation, English literature, additional science*, science*, biology*, chemistry*, physics*, science single award**, science double award**, geography, history, humanities, statistics, Welsh literature and Welsh second language.
60% Subjects with 60% controlled assessment include:
applied business, art and design, citizenship studies, construction and the built environment, additional applied science*, dance, design and technology, drama, engineering, English, English Language, Gaeilge, expressive arts, health and social care, home economics, modern languages, music, physical education, Welsh and Welsh second language (applied).

* These science specifications are for first teaching from September 2010.
** These specifications are available for use in Northern Ireland only.

Controlled assessment regulations for independent/private candidates

If you are a private candidate you should check awarding organisations’ websites for further information about the qualifications you are interested in.

Before you start studying, if your GCSE involves controlled assessment you will need to find a centre at which to complete it. The type of controlled assessment you will need to sit and the length and number of sessions you will need to attend will vary according to the subject you are studying and the awarding organisation providing the qualification.

A good place to find information about how to choose an exam centre willing to accept private candidates is the website of the awarding organisation that offers the qualifications you want to study. School or colleges are often more likely to accept private candidates that are known to them, so your previous school or college is a good place to start – particularly if it isn’t long since you left.


GCSE Controlled Assessment Regulations
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Review of Controlled Assessment in GCSEs
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