GCSE Performance

Total duration of performances: 4-6 minutes
Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated 30% of qualification 72 marks TOTAL

Students must record a minimum of two pieces, one of which must be an ensemble performance of at least one minute duration. The other piece(s) may be either solo and/or ensemble.

Selecting Music for Performance

The standard of pieces selected for performance should be broadly equivalent to grade 3 of the graded music examinations.

  • Where the grade is lower than grade 3 marks will be deducted from the final mark.
  • Where the grade is higher than grade 3 marks will be added to the final mark

  • For pieces which are not graded, criteria can be found here in Appendix A, page 34-38: Eduqas Spec

Assessment criteriaEnsemble Performance

All learners are required to perform as part of an ensemble. An ensemble performance may be on any instrument, voice or technology-based option. In each case learners are required to:

  • perform in a group of between two and eight live performers, the other members of the ensemble need not be taking the examination
  • perform a significant individual part which is not doubled
  • perform accompanied or unaccompanied as a group but not conducted (the accompaniment can be live or a backing track).
  • The piece must last a minimum of 1 minute.

Solo Performance

Learners may choose to perform a solo. Solos may be either accompanied or unaccompanied. The accompaniment can be live or a backing track. The accompanist need not be taking the examination.


Learners may choose to prepare an improvisation to a stimulus of their own choice for a solo performance or as part of an ensemble. This may be prepared in advance of the practical assessment. (A stimulus may be a chord sequence, a scale etc.) A copy of the musical stimulus must be provided for the assessor.

Technology-based Performance

Learners may choose to offer a technology-based realisation as part of an ensemble or a solo performance. Technology-based performances include DJ-ing and sequencing and other appropriate technology-based formats.

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