Controlled assessment

Controlled assessment units are only found in GCSE and Functional Skills specifications. If you want to take one of these assessments as a private candidate, you must have a school/college which agrees to conduct all the work required for the course.

As a private candidate, you are responsible for finding a school which can supervise, authenticate and mark all the controlled assessments that are necessary for these qualifications.

  • You can only sit controlled assessments at an AQA approved school or college.
  • Controlled assessments must be conducted by staff at the school or college. They must:
    • accept you for all elements of task taking and task marking, including preparation and analysis prior to task taking
    • authenticate your controlled assessment
    • keep your work securely between sessions
    • mark your work (except the written controlled assessments in some foreign language subjects which are classed as 'high level of control' for task marking).
  • Relatives of private candidates will not be able to conduct controlled assessments.
  • You will have to be available on the dates and times specified by your school or college to undertake all elements of the controlled assessment; the timings of sessions may vary.

Evaluation sessions may be as long as six hours and research and data collection sessions can be up to 20 hours in total.

Carrying forward GCSE controlled assessment marks

If you are retaking a GCSE subject, you can request that the controlled assessment mark from your previous attempt be 'carried forward' and used towards your retake result. The exams officer at your school/college can arrange this for you.

The general rules for carrying forward controlled assessments are:

  • you can only carry forward a result towards the same qualification
    (for example short course to short course, or full course to full course)
  • your previous attempt must have been used in a GCSE award
  • if you have more than one previous attempt, the attempt used in the most recent GCSE award will be used.

However there are some additional rules applicable to some subjects – please check our carry forward pages or Entry codes document for full details.


Please note that entries for controlled assessment units will not be accepted after the submission deadline date.

Relaxation of the controlled assessment requirements

We know that the controlled assessment rules make it very difficult to find schools or colleges to accept you for these courses of study. Unfortunately, Ofqual will not be able to agree to any relaxation of controlled assessment requirements for private candidates in the foreseeable future.

More information

JCQ Information for Candidates – Controlled Assessments