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Everything You Need To Know About AQA's Art GCSE

Submitted by solomon on Thu, 05/11/2017 - 09:18
Image of oil pastels.
Pic: Flickr Creative Commons

Choosing your GCSE subjects can be frustrating when you don’t actually know what it entails. If you’re curious as to what AQA's GCSE Art course is like, your burning questions will be answered by reading on.

What assessments do you need to pass?

A close up of a sketchbook.
Pic: Flickr Creative Commons

Your portfolio makes up 60% of your final grade. This means that the majority of your time should be spent on filling your sketchbook with artist studies, observational drawings and ideas for your final pieces. The other 40% depends on how well you do with the ‘externally set assignment’. For this, you will need to choose a starting topic such as ‘My World’ and ‘Image and Text’ to explore and create a piece of artwork in 10 hours under exam conditions.

Why should you choose this course?

Many students may think that GCSE Art is a ‘soft’ subject and will choose it thinking that it’s the easiest way to get a guaranteed  A* (or the new 8 or 9). Definitely not. Choose this subject because art is therapeutic and gives you a chance to express yourself in a way that writing essays can’t.

How will your assessments be marked?

A girl standing in front of her artwork.
Pic: Flickr Creative Commons

The examiner will mark your artwork based on four assessment objectives. To put it simply, you need to research artists, record your findings and own interpretations and develop your final ideas based on your exploration.

How do you pick a topic?

When you are given the list of topics by your art teacher, don’t be worried. After choosing the most appealing ones, mindmap ideas and your initial thoughts for each topic. Completing this quick and easy exercise will help to distinguish between ideas that you are struggling to think about and topics that excite you.

What do you always need to keep in mind?

This subject can be tough work. However, if you are willing to put the effort in, the rewards and satisfaction you get when you finish a piece is astounding. Always remember to enjoy GCSE Art as much as you can to get the best out of this two-year course.

By Ellie