This means that in year 12, students taking the AS course can be in the same teaching group as those taking the A-level, so avoiding the logistical nightmare of having separate AS and A-levels classes in year 12.
Both the AS and A-level courses are 70% theory and 30% coursework, another Ofqual requirement, and so the same across all exam boards.
The content looks vaguely reassuring in that it can be quickly recognised as the same stuff, with a few additional topics, and some departures; sliding filament, distraction conflict theory, profile of mood states to name three.
Coursework is essentially the same, and the idea of a single activity is balanced by no officiating. Will we see the need for the only very good performers/coaches being able to attain the standards required by AQA?
Even worse, what about the amount of time the AS students need to spend revising for the exam when they could be developing their knowledge for A-level? The A-level course contains the same theory as the AS course in year 12 plus extra for year 13 in all six areas.
It has a different exam structure, two x 2 hour papers, each divided into three sections and within each section there appear to be 2 x multiple choice questions [2 marks]; 3-4 structured questions [10 marks]; two extended question [8 / 15 marks = 35 x 3 = 105 marks].
More than one weakness in performance may be identified, but students must ‘analyse weaknesses consistently to meet bands in assessment criteria’. The written aspect of the NEA uses the same five descriptive bands as the practical assessment.
For AS, the idea is for the student to identify one (or more) weakness(es) from Area of assessment 1, which for most activities are either attacking skills or event 1.
AQA published its new AS and A-level specifications in June 2015 in draft form.
On its website, AQA state that they expect feedback from Ofqual on their submission during Autumn 2015, but as yet nothing has appeared to suggest that the draft specification has been accredited or whether Ofqual has insisted on changes.