Assessment for GCSE Media Studies is untiered, i.e. all components cater for the full range of ability and allow access to grades A*-G.
(a) External Assessment: Written Examination Paper (40% of the final mark)
This paper will be 2 hours 15 minutes and will include 5 minutes to read the examination paper and approximately 25 minutes to view a set audio-visual extract or to study the set print-based material. Where appropriate, interactive media, such as websites, will be presented in a print-based format. The paper will assess candidates on a topic set by WJEC. Candidates will be expected to study the topic in a way which reflects the convergent nature of contemporary media.
The paper is divided into two sections. For each section, a different aspect of the topic, based on different media forms or platforms, will be set.
- Section A: Thinking about the Media – Investigating will assess students on their knowledge and understanding of the set topic in relation to the main areas from the specification framework. Students will respond to stimulus material chosen by WJEC.
- Section B: Thinking about the Media – Planning will assess students’ planning and creative skills through a series of creative tasks demonstrating an awareness of the convergent nature of contemporary media.
When an audio-visual extract is set for Section A, it will be played three times.
Students will have 5 minutes to read the questions before viewing the extract. This is included in the total time allowed for the examination.
For the first viewing students watch the extract.
- For the second viewing students may make notes.
- There will then be 10 minutes for making further notes.
- For the third and final viewing students add to and check their notes.
The complete viewing time will be approximately 25 minutes (depending on the length of the extract).
When print-based material (or digital material presented in print form) is set for Section A, students will study and make notes on the material for approximately 25 minutes. They will also be allowed 5 minutes to read the questions before studying the material, which is included in the total time allowed for the examination.
(b) Controlled Assessment (60% of the final mark)
The controlled assessment consists of:
Two textual investigations of 400 – 850 words or equivalent, depending on the presentational form selected (10% for each investigation)
One media production consisting of research, planning, the production itself and an evaluation (40%)
Across the complete specification, studentss must study a minimum of three different media, including at least one print-based and one audiovisual–based form. ‘Media’ will be interpreted in terms of generic forms rather than platforms although there is a requirement that the topics for the examination will be studied in relation to the convergent nature of the media. Examples of different media will thus include film, television, animated film, radio, magazines, music videos, websites and computer games.