The entirety of the coursework for the 2018 Computer Science GCSE has been officially cancelled. This means that thousands of British students must now sit only the two exams which make up their grade, instead of one-fifth of the marks being down to their coursework, or NEA. The tasks had been released by the exam boards on 1 September 2017, with a deadline in March 2018.

It has been stated that the tasks constituting this 20% must still be completed to an adequate standard by all pupils, but the quality of the work, within reason, will not affect the grade whatsoever.

The 20-hour controlled assessment which consisted of programming and responding to the work no longer counts toward the pupils' grade due to a leak in the tasks online, during autumn of last year. Solutions to the tasks were quickly made and spread, viewed by an overwhelming amount of people, giving them a greatly unfair advantage in their work.

The decision to remove the coursework aspect of the GCSE was not made lightly but was deemed the appropriate response to the loss of integrity and value of the tasks set.
Whilst this poses a challenge for some students as 100% exam based subjects offer a stressful summer for the teens, others see it as a good opportunity to improve their programming skills in preparation for the paper 2 exams, as they may now ask for help from teachers and peers, along with having access to internet and there being no check of items taken in and out of the examination rooms.
Regardless of this, some students in certain schools have already completed or started their 20 hours, and whilst they do not have to redo everything, it can be a big disappointment as they've worked extremely hard toward completing their coursework as best they could, and now that work means nothing in regards to their grade.

Even though it can be quite hard at times, most people are able to see this in a positive light; it keeps the results of the exams fair, gives students a way to work on their paper 2 skills, and helps the teachers, of whom a large number were struggling with how to bring about the NEA themselves.

Yasmin Ammour - Norbury Manor BEC