How is ESS Assessed?

How is ESS Assessed

ESS has two external exam papers and an internal assessment component. Paper 1 is a Resource Booklet containing one large case study accompanied by short answer questions. Paper 2 contains two sections and is the largest assessment component in ESS, counting for 50% of the final grade. The individual investigation accounts for 25% of the final grade.

Calculators are allowed for both papers.

Paper 1 

Paper 1 counts for 25% of the final grade. There are a total of 35 marks. Students have one hour to answer the questions. All questions are compulsory.

Paper 1 contains a Resource Booklet and short answer questions based on the resource booklet. For examples of past resource booklets see  Past Paper Case Studies. The questions will focus on analysis and evaluation of the data in the case study (resource booklet).

The maximum number of marks for a question is 6 and this will probably be the last question on the paper. There will be a balance between the simpler command terms (e.g. State, Outline and the more complex command terms such as Explain or Discuss).

The marking is against mark points and examiners will be instructed to stick closely to the mark scheme.

Paper 2

Paper 2 counts for 50% of the final grade. There are a total number of marks fof 65. Students have two hours to answer the questions.

Paper 2 has two sections, A and B.

Section A: Short Data Based Questions

Section A is worth 25 marks and is made up of short-answer and data-based questions. The maximum amount of time that should be taken for this section is 40 minutes.

Examiners mark against mark points and will be instructed to stick closely to the mark scheme with limited room for interpretation.

Section B: Structured Essay Questions

Section B is worth 40 marks and requires students to answer two structured essay questions from a choice of four. Each question is worth 20 marks and has three parts, a, b and c.

Part a will have a simple command term like Outline or Distinguish and will be worth four marks. 

Part b will have a command term such as Explain, Suggest or Evaluate and will be worth seven marks.

Both parts a and b are marked against marking points and it can be quite easy to gain these points. There may be one or two marks for the use of examples or case studies if the question needs this.

Part c will have a command term such as Discuss, To what Extent, Examine and is worth a possible 9 marks. Part c is marked against mark bands. For advice on how to tackle these questions and how to mark them see  The 9 markband essay Question and  How to Mark - Paper 2 Section B 

Internal Assessment

The Independent Investigation counts for 25% of the final grade. For more information about this part of the course see the Independent Investigation section of the website.

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