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Externally set assignemnt (ESA) – 10 hour examination piece


A final examination piece will be made in conclusion to the previous term’s preliminary work. This will be undertaken in controlled conditions, in the art department, with a teacher and invigilator present.

The previous term’s work will lead to this point and pupils would have already designed and trialled what they make during the 10 hours if lesson time and independent learning has been appropriately used.

Example Key Words

Controlled Assessment

A controlled assessment is a major piece of work completed at school as part of a GCSE course. Controlled assessment measures subject specific skills that may not necessarily be tested by external assessment. All students must sign a declaration to confirm that the work submitted is their own.

Work is undertaken in silence and the pupil cannot seek advice from staff or students on the work.


Both the Portfolio of work and ESA are marked by teachers in the art department. The work is the ‘moderated’ by a visitor from AQA who checks if they agree with the allocated marks.