How does practical non-examination assessment work?

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

NEC tutor Jane conducting a practical science experiment

For some courses, there is a practical element such as science practical sessions. In our blog this week exams expert Louise talks about how this works for NEC students.

For A level science courses, you’ll need to think about practical work. This is easy to achieve in a conventional school setting, where students spend time with their teachers and the school will usually have its own science laboratories but can be difficult for distance learners, as they are studying remotely.

NEC has been working with awarding organisations to come up with solutions and I want to share with you how we can help you to achieve this.

Although you can opt not to complete the practical endorsement, NEC would always advise you against this. It won’t count towards your final A level result, but it will help you with the examinations and non completion could affect your entry to university. It is essential that you speak with your chosen university in good time to find out what they require as you can’t add on the endorsement at a later date without re-sitting the whole qualification.

Your entering exam centre must give you the opportunity to complete the practical endorsement, whether you decide to complete it or not. The endorsement is made up of 12 practicals which are assessed holistically. Rather than grades, you receive a Pass or Not Classified grade. If you choose to take your exams at a private centre, be sure to ask them to confirm that this includes the practical endorsement and provide you with full fees. If you decide not to complete the endorsement but choose to sit your exams at one of our partnership centres we will need you to sign a declaration to say that you have decided not to take the opportunity to complete.

All NEC students are given the opportunity to take the practical endorsement at four of our partnership centres. You can choose to sit the written exams at the same centre, or another NEC partnership centre of your choosing. All you need to do is fill out the exam application form and we’ll do the rest, making sure you are entered for the correct exams and endorsements and ensuring that we are then able to support you fully.

Even if you decide not to take the practical endorsement the written exams will require you understand the theory of practical work. Your NEC course will help you to get this through specially designed practical work that you can do at home and video and example results. By learning the theory of the practical work throughout your course you’ll be on the right path to gaining the practical endorsement.

Whatever decision you make, entering for your exams through NEC with one of our partnership centres ensures a seamless and stress-free service for you.

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