Essentials: past papers, markschmes, specifications and examiner’s reports


There are some essential documents for each subject that you are studying.  This is the list…. if you want to do well, invest some time on the exam board website and get these documents downloaded!


These documents contain all the content and skills knowledge that form the course that you are studying. If it is in here you could be asked about it! These documents also tell you about the format of assessment and also the structure of the assessments Read it for each course, RAG rate it for each course!

Past papers

Quite simply the previous papers that have been used for students who have sat exams in this subject before. They are freely available from the exam board website. Please make sure that you have checked the qualification code, the syllabus version and also the tier of entry – find out whether you are going to be entered into the foundation or higher tier. The papers are different!

Mark schemes

The answers to the questions in the papers above! Again these are freely available from exam board websites. Includes notes for examiners about how to apply the marks. Always use the past paper and relevant mark scheme together!

Examiners Reports

Summary reports written by the Chief Examiner of each subject that summarises the overall performance of students that have taken the exam in the season the report is written about. Will give information about questions done well and why. Will also give information about questions generally done badly, again with reasons why. Read them for each subject you are doing. Start with reading the last two years. Read more if you have time!

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