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GCSE Drama – AQA


Students who enjoy performing learn to collaborate with others, think analytically and evaluate effectively. They gain the confidence to pursue their own ideas, reflect and refine their efforts. Whatever the future holds, students of GCSE Drama emerge with a toolkit of transferable skills, applicable both in further studies and in the workplace.

In order to gain the most out of GCSE Drama students must enjoy performing, be willing to work as part of a team and understand the merits and necessity of rehearsal outside timetabled lesson time.

• All assessment is linear, with written exams taking place at the end of the course.

• 60% of the GCSE will be assessed through non-exam assessment, 40% through a written exam.

• Examined on set plays.

• To ensure papers are accessible to all students, the written exam starts with multiple choice questions before moving on to extended questions.

• Practical work will be assessed by the teacher or by a visiting examiner, depending on the component.


GCSE specification at a glance

Component 1: Understanding Drama

What’s assessed?

• Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre

• Study of one set play

• Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers


How it’s assessed

• Written exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes

• Open book

• 80 marks

40% of GCSE



• Section A: multiple choice (4 marks)

• Section B: four questions on a given extract from the set play (46 marks)

• Section C: one two part question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (30 marks)


Component 2: Devising drama (practical)

What is assessed?

• Process of creating devised drama

• Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer)

• Analysis and evaluation of own work

How it’s assessed

• Devising log (60 marks)

• Devised performance (20 marks)

• 80 marks in total

40% of GCSE

This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.


Component 3: Texts in practice (practical)

What is assessed?

• Performance of two extracts from one play

• Free choice of play but it must contrast with the set play chosen for Component 1

How it’s assessed

• Performance of Extract 1 (25 marks) and Extract 2 (25 marks)

• 50 marks in total

20% of GCSE

This component is marked by AQA.