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BTEC First Awards from 2012 and 2013 | Applied Science

Assessment structure

The new Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Firsts in Applied Science contain two forms of assessment:

  • Internal assessment: Teacher-led assessment remains at the heart of the BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Firsts
  • External assessment: Supporting teacher-led assessment; the right assessment for science.

Your Exams Officer will be required to make external assessment bookings on Edexcel Online.

External assessment: how it works

The new Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Firsts in Applied Science include externally assessed units comprising 25% of total assessment. We’ve designed the external assessment to be appropriate for the sector, reflecting the skills and aptitudes required for each profession.

The qualification is compensatory, meaning strong performance in one or more units can compensate for weaker performance in other units.
Externally assessed units in Level 1/Level 2 Firsts in Applied Science

Award  Unit  Unit Type  Type of External Assessment 
Principles of Science 120 GLH  Unit 1: Principles of Science (25%)   Core
Paper-based test offered three times a year.

Unit 1 assesses knowledge and application of principles of science vital to learning at Level 2. This test contains a variety of question types including objective questions, structured questions and calculations.
Application of Science 120 GLH Unit 8: Scientific Skills (25%)   Core
Paper-based test offered three times a year.

Unit 8 assesses candidates’ skills in Planning, Processing and Forming Conclusions - skills most vital to effective scientific investigations.

 Administration Guidance for NQF BTEC External Assessment paper-based tests
 External assessment - Useful information

More about external assessment

The next external assessment for the Principles of Applied Science Award, Unit 1, will take place on 5 June 2014. The next external assessment for the Application of Science Award, Unit 8, will take place on 9 June 2014. From 2014, external assessment windows will be March, June and November. You can find further information on the dates here

If your centre is waiting to take, or has just taken, a Pearson timetabled assessment, you may want to know what happens next.  

expand External assessment: what happens next?

Our team of Assessment Associates - who are subject experts, trained and standardised by us – mark all externally set tasks or question papers for our next generation BTEC First Awards (NQF). We constantly monitor the quality of marking and moderation to ensure we maintain the set standard throughout the marking period.

Once we have set and agreed the grade boundaries, we then award all learners the relevant grade against their score. We will issue BTEC Firsts results to centres in line with GCSE results day, 22 August 2013.

expand Results

We'll make results documentation available through a downloadable results slip on Edexcel Online (EOL) on results day. BTEC results are not embargoed, so you may issue them to learners whenever you choose to.

If you're satisfied that your learners have achieved the results you expected, you can 'bank' the result and it will count towards their overall qualification grade. 

If you feel that a learner has underachieved against expectations, you can enter them to resit the assessment at a later date. When the results are released, we'll give you more information about your options and next steps.

Find out more about external assessment post-result support.

expand Feedback for centres

Shortly after issuing the results, we will make the following feedback available:

● grade boundaries
● Principal Examiner report
● a copy of the question paper
● a copy of the mark scheme
● access to scripts or examiner notes (paid-for service).

We share grade boundaries with centres as part of a 'Principal Examiner report' which we release on the relevant results day. The report provides a professional commentary on the marking process and gives feedback on learner responses.

After issuing the results, we'll send your exams officer a guide which details all of the post-results services, and how to access them.

External assessment entry windows

The entry window for external assessment bookings for the Principles of Applied Science Unit 1 exam and the Application of Science Unit 8 exam, taking place in June 2014, is now closed. The entry window for the November external assessments will be open until 4 October 2014. Find out more about November external assessment dates    

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