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GCSE in Combined Science: Trilogy

What is science at GCSE?

Science at GCSE level aims to develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of scientific theories, but also their ability to apply that knowledge, analyse and evaluate information, in practical and everyday scenarios. It provides good life skills, regardless of the path they will  follow. Science has something to offer every pupil from a trainee chef to a nuclear physicist, an electrician apprentice to a cancer researcher.

Which Syllabus?

Combined Science ;Trilogy (8464) . This is a two-GCSE sized (double award) qualification covering the three science disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Pupils are awarded a grade based on their overall performance across these three disciplines

How is the new GCSE Science different?

  • From 2016 the GCSE specification will be taught from year 9.
  • The qualifications will now be completely linear. This means that all examinations will be taken in the same exam series at the very end of the course of study (end of Y11).
  • Changes to the grading scale The existing A*–G scale will be replaced with a 9–1 scale, with 9 being the highest grade awarded and 1 being the lowest grade awarded Note: a ‘good pass’ is currently a C, the new ‘good pass’ will be a grade 5.

  • Removal of coursework There will no longer be a coursework unit in the GCSE Science
  • Practical work is still a very important part of the science GCSEs, not only to consolidate learning, but also to develop skills in planning, analysing and evaluating. There will now be required practicals. These practical skills will be assessed as part of the written examinations at the end of the course.

There are 21 required practicals 7 Biology, 6 Chemistry and 8 Physics.

These practicals can take place at any time of the year as part of the learning experience for particular topics – there is no requirement for a school to reschedule missed practicals. It is therefore important that holidays are not taken in term time to avoid missing these practicals


What will be studied?


  • Cell biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection and response
  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology


  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemical analysis
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources


  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure
  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism


How will it be assessed?

There  will be six written exams.

There will be two Biology exams, two Chemistry exams and two Physics exams.

All exams are 1 hour 15  minutes, and each exam will cover half of the content for that discipline. Each exam is worth 70 marks and 16.7% of GCSE .

The questions are multiple choice, structured, closed, short and open response.

There will be Foundation tier and Higher tier papers, and pupils must sit all six exams at the same tier.

Foundation tier is for students who are aiming for grades 1–5, and Higher tier is for students who are aiming for grades 4–9.

The school will give guidance on the appropriate tier of entry.

As it’s a double award qualification, students will receive two grades. These grades could be the same number, e.g. 6, 6 or 7, 7. However, some students may receive a grade with adjacent numbers, e.g. 6, 7. This will signify a student who is at an intermediate point between the standard required for a 6, 6 grade, and the standard required for a 7, 7 grade.

When will it be assessed?

8464/B/1F/H Paper 1: Biology (new) 1h 15m 15 May 2018 pm

Biology topics 1–4: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics.

8464/B/2F/H Paper 2: Biology (new) 1h 15m 11 June 2018 am

Biology topics 5–7: Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology.

8464/C/1F/H Paper 1: Chemistry (new) 1h 15m 17 May 2018 am

Chemistry topics 8–12: Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry; Chemical changes; and Energy changes.

8464/C/2F/H Paper 2: Chemistry (new) 1h 15m 13 June 2018 am

Chemistry topics 13–17: The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis; Chemistry of the atmosphere; and Using resources.

8464/P/1F/H Paper 1: Physics (new) 1h 15m 23 May 2018 pm

Physics topics 18–21: Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; and Atomic structure.

8464/P/2F/H Paper 2: Physics (new) 1h 15m 15 June 2018 am

Physics topics 22–24: Forces; Waves; and Magnetism and electromagnetism