GCSE (9-1) Music (J536) includes two non-exam assessment (NEA) components – the Integrated portfolio and the Practical component. Both are centre assessed and externally moderated. The third component, Listening and appraising, is assessed by examination.
You can choose to submit the sample work for moderation either by uploading electronic copies to Submit for Assessment or by posting the sample to the moderator.
All candidates’ work must be submitted using the same method. You can’t offer both options within the same series, and you must select the method you are using when you make entries.
For full assessment requirements, please see the specification.
For the Integrated portfolio and the Practical component, students are assessed through performance and composition.
Individual performance on candidate’s chosen instrument (including voice).
Provide recording and accompanying score.
Composition of candidate’s choice.
Recording of ensemble performance. Must be at least one minute in length.
Composition in response to brief set by OCR.
We know many students will have learned their parts aurally and/or do not read music. They are not expected to have learnt from the score. They do not have to be note for note – interpretations and arrangements for instruments or voices other than the original are acceptable.
The music performed is to be decided by the candidate, following discussion with the teaching staff. It is expected the pieces performed will be commercially published or recorded pieces of music.
Students cannot submit their own compositions as performance pieces for the Integrated portfolio. Students' compositions are accepted for the Practical component, provided a detailed score of the part being performed is provided. However it must not be a piece being submitted for the composition elements of the qualification.
The total length of performance required for the combined components is four minutes. It is therefore possible for the candidate to choose to play several pieces for either or both components.
Candidates may choose to present their performance using technology. This may be a sequenced recording where the student programs all parts or a multi-tracked recording in which the student performs at least one part.
Multi-tracking means that the student records the separate instrumental parts and then uses a multi-tracking device to put them together. This is different from using MIDI or step sequencing to put parts into software.
Candidates are required to compose a piece of music for both components. The total composition time must be at least three minutes across both compositions.
Candidates are required to compose a piece of music in response to a brief they have determined themselves.
Candidates are required to compose a piece of music in response to a brief set by us. The set briefs will provide a choice of eight stimuli to enable students to select an appropriate area. They will be available to centres on 1 September of the academic year in which the student certificates. See the Assessment section of the qualification page on our website and the Assessment > NEA/Coursework > Pre-release NEA materials section on Teach Cambridge.
Candidate marks must be submitted via Interchange or EDI by 15 May.
If you have 15 candidates or fewer, all candidates’ work must be submitted for moderation. If you have 16 or more, the moderator will request a sample.
You’ll need to log in to Submit for Assessment and select the qualification and the component.
For each component, you must upload the following for each candidate:
We'll let you know where to post your work before the submission date.
For each component, you must submit the following: