GCSE Science practicals 

A note on GCSE Science practicals. 

GCSE Science practicals they are assessed differently to the A Level practicals..

 For the GCSE practicals there is no practical endorsement. At GCSE, practical skills are only assessed in the written exams. This means that usually the student will need to have some knowledge of practical skills for the GCSE exams so that they are able to answer questions. 

The exam centre the student has chosen it is mandatory for that exam centre to be able to offer the student the written GCSE exams and the practical skills for GCSE as you should have the means to offer both to the student.  

Exam centres do need to ensure that they have taken reasonable steps for each student to have completed the required practical's and made a contemporaneous record of the work undertaken and the knowledge, skills and understanding derived from these activities.

If the exam centre feel that the student has adequate knowledge of the practical skills from what she has completed with her tutor, especially since the candidate has been out of school due to illness, then it is fine for the candidate to be entered for GCSE Science written exams.

A levels: 


Tutorial colleges, private entries and home schooling 


The provision of the Practical Endorsement and associated practical activities is a regulatory requirement. 


Any exam centre not providing opportunities to demonstrate the competences for a minimum of twelve practical activities, is in breach of the regulations for the reformed GCE Advanced level science qualifications. 


The same applies to centres that have not had a monitoring visit to confirm that they are assessing their students correctly against the CPAC.



Candidates resitting the assessment at tutorial colleges may have demonstrated competence in all the practical requirements at a previous centre. Providing that centre passed its monitoring visit, the evidence of prior completion allows entry for the resit with a carry-forward of the practical endorsement result. 


Private candidates can be entered for exams at a centre even if they are not enrolled there. Private candidates may be home-schooled, receiving private tuition or may be self-taught.

 The Practical Endorsement is an essential part of the course and will allow candidates to develop skills for further study or employment as well as imparting important knowledge that is part of the specification.


 Private candidates should have the opportunity to complete the Practical Endorsement and should, therefore, ensure that they are registered with a centre that has passed a monitoring visit and has this provision available. 


The centre may charge for this facility and it is recommended that any such arrangement is made early in the course. 


Any new centre starting to deliver one of the sciences at A-level should notify the exam board with whom they intend to make entries so that a monitoring visit can be scheduled during the teaching of the first cohort.