The EAPI is half of the non-exam assessment (NEA) for AS and A level PE. Students observe a live or recorded performance of a peer and are assessed in their ability to evaluate the individual’s performance and propose a plan to improve an area of weakness observed in the performance.
Making changes now for 2022
What are the changes?
To improve the assessment experience for students and its delivery for teachers, we felt some changes were needed to the EAPI. We have shortened the task by removing some aspects (e.g. duplication of ‘justification’ and ‘timescales’) and updated the assessment grid to make it easier to deliver for centres. We hope that students will find the structure of the Candidate Notes Sheet and the narrower scope of the theory which they choose from helpful.
Why have you made the changes now for A Level students who are a year into the course?
From speaking with centres, we understand the EAPI is completed in the second year of the A Level course. We have introduced the changes for first assessment in June 2022 because we believe that they can help delivery and assessment as teachers and students continue to catch up from the disruption experienced over the past 18 months or so. For teachers trying to catch up on lost teaching and learning time, the prescribed content list gives more clarity on the areas which can be best applied to the performance observed and plan created. You can also use the list to help consolidate further teaching in preparation for undertaking the EAPI.
What if my A Level students have already completed the EAPI in the first year of their course?
If you have already completed EAPI assessments, we recommend the following:
- Review your assessments to see if the changes have an impact. If responses are within the time limits and most or all of the theory applied is on the prescribed list then the changes should have no impact. It is also possible that they may improve a candidate’s marks as some of the changes remove aspects of the task which would have lowered marks if they had not been covered before (e.g. ‘focus of sessions’, adaptations’, and ‘measuring improvement’).
- If the assessments took place before the changes were publicised and you feel that there is a potential negative impact on marks having reviewed your assessments, contact OCR at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide details so that we can support you.
How have the time limits been decided?
- Our previous guidance on timings were advisory rather than giving time limits. These were that “we expect the majority of responses to be around 10–15 minutes for AS and 15–20 minutes for A Level”. As we have introduced maximum time limits, we have set these slightly higher than the previous guidance – 20 minutes for AS and 30 minutes for A Level. This means students should comfortably be able to cover all the necessary aspects allowing for differences in the speed candidates talk and confidence levels.
- Centres have until now been working towards the guided timings and we have seen lots of examples of candidates providing strong responses within the 20 minutes previously advised for A Level. We have also seen many examples of longer responses where very little new material is being introduced and limited value added in the latter stages of the response.
- We feel that having removed several aspects from the updated tasks, clarified some key requirements and provided the Candidate Notes Sheet to give a bit more structure and support, the time limits are realistic and achievable. We also recognise that asking students to talk spontaneously for longer than these times is very taxing for them, and that for centres delivering this assessment there needs to be a sensible upper limit to make the activity manageable across a cohort.
- It should be stressed that these are maximum time limits. We feel a high-quality response is achievable well inside these times for many students.
Does the time allowed include the actual observation and note taking or is this purely the verbal account?
- No, only the time which the candidate spends talking about the performance and their plan in response is counted.
- The following are not counted as part of the allowed time:
- time taken to observe a performance
- any brief time the candidate takes to compose themselves before starting
- the time the teacher takes to introduce the task and pose the opening question and the second part of the question/task mid-way through the response.
Does the time allowed include any prompting/repetition of the question by the teacher?
- No, although given the other requirements around the use of prompting, in most cases any interjection by the teacher should be infrequent and brief, and so amount to very little time overall.
How will the time limit be applied?
- If a candidate speaks for longer than the time limit (20 mins for AS and 30 mins for A Level) then this limits the mark they can be awarded overall to the top of level 3 as a maximum, assuming the other aspects of the criteria also meet at least the Level 3 requirements. This is already the case with prompting.
- Moderators will check this and take account of it in their assessment of centre marking.
What will happen with pupils who receive extra time in other assessments in relation to the time limit for the response?
- Often the access arrangement of additional time relates to written assessments, so it should not be assumed this is relevant to the verbal EAPI response and can be just ‘carried over’.
- Students with a documented and evidenced need may require more time than the maximum stated for the EAPI response. In such cases, centres should discuss the particular student with their SENCo/SENDCO and consider appropriate access arrangements and reasonable adjustments. If further advice is required, please contact the Special Requirements Team (email@example.com) before the assessment takes place.
- Moderators may ask for evidence to confirm that an agreement has been reached with OCR on additional time in relation to any EAPIs to which it applies.
Is there any advice about how we should manage the time limit during responses?
- We advise centres make a clock or stopwatch available and visible in the room for the candidate during their response, so that they can manage their time (as they would during a written exam).
- Teachers can tell the candidate once during their response how much time is remaining. We recommend informing them when either 10 or 5 minutes of the allowed time remain. This one reminder is not considered to be a prompt.
- JCQ Instructions for conducting non-examination assessments apply. As the EAPI is a supervised task, the following applies in terms of access to resources:
- the use of resources is always tightly prescribed and normally restricted to the candidate’s preparatory notes.
- access to the internet is not permitted.
- candidates are not allowed to bring their own computers or other electronic devices, e.g. mobile phones.
- If a candidate is using their own phone or watch to monitor the time, the centre must manage any risks around access to other information which may be helpful to the assessment via the device (e.g. smart phones/watches). Evidence at moderation that there may be a risk that candidates accessed information via such a device may be referred to OCR's Compliance team.
Application of theory
Why have you introduced the prescribed theory list?
- The EAPI task had become too dominated by trying to put in theory wherever possible, to the detriment of the actual evaluation and analysis of performance. We recognise that we had probably made the task too open, and more clarity was needed. The tasks should now be a bit shorter, and more tightly focussed.
The primary purpose of the task is to evaluate and analyse a performance and propose a plan for improvement. The application of theory to support the response is a very important aspect, but we want to bring the focus back to this main aim of the task. We recognise that we had probably made the task too open, and more clarity was needed. The tasks should now be a bit shorter, and more tightly focussed.
- The prescribed list found in the NEA guide (Appendix D) covers a range of topic areas across the theory components from which students should select appropriate things to apply in their EAPI. The list does not need to be covered in full.
How did you arrive at the prescribed list of theory?
- We reviewed the theory content of the specification with input from moderators and teachers with experience of a range of centre types and sizes. The areas which have been listed are those which we believe can be applied well by students across the range of activities and observations, based on assessment and moderation of the EAPI to date. We want to strike the right balance between allowing scope for students to apply a range of theory to their own observation and at the same time narrowing down the volume which could be covered to help with the manageability of the task.
- We did consider removing some content within topic areas such as biomechanics (fluid mechanics, projectile motion) and sport psychology (confidence, self-efficacy) but kept them following customer feedback.
What happens if theory which is not on the prescribed list is used/applied in the response?
- Students are not penalised for including theory which is not on the prescribed list, but it is not credited as part of their application and cannot count towards that aspect of the assessment criteria.
- If a student meets the criteria for a level using theory from the prescribed list, but also includes other theory not listed, it does not stop them from achieving the level they have met the criteria for, but it cannot count towards them moving to the level above either.
What does application of an area of theory content with depth and detail (as required for the higher levels) include? Can you give an example?
- When we say ‘applied’, we are looking for the theory to be clearly linked to the performance which the EAPI is being based upon and how it affects it.
It needs to be used in relation to the evaluation, rather than things which are factually correct and have some association with the activity being stated but not applied. This is similar to the higher mark questions in the examined components, where AO2 application needs to be applied to the context of the question – it gains limited credit if things which are relevant are described but the application is not made clear by the candidate.
- An example of good application:
“In terms of fitness, her main strength was she was able to keep up a high intensity throughout the clips that I saw. This would suggest a high standard of cardiovascular endurance which would mean her aerobic system is very effective and can resynthesise ATP very effectively and continuously, so suggesting that her body is able to use and supply oxygen without too much delay. This meant that she was able to be an extra line support or pass off the ball very quickly and effectively so that the ball was able to get down to her goal third and create a chance at shooting a goal and getting a goal."
Can you give an example of how much theory needs to be applied in a response for it to achieve Level 5 or 6 (assuming that the quality is as good as required)?
There is not an exact number that works in every response. Please remember:
- there needs to be a focus on quality not just quantity – the theory used must count by telling us why it is important/how it relates to the performance and the plan
- there are 3 core aspects to the task:
- evaluation of the performance,
- the plan to address a justified weakness, and
- applying relevant theory to both these sections.
The theory is only part of the response and, while important, students need to keep a balance and also focus on the evaluation and the plan!
- physiology and psychology must each be applied in both the evaluation of performance and action/development plan and overall, several topic areas for each would need to be included for a level 5 or 6 response
at least one socio-cultural topic area also needs to be applied somewhere in the response (either the evaluation of performance or the action/development plan) for level 5 or 6 to be accessed (whereas level 4 is possible without any socio-cultural depending on quality of the overall response).
How can I get more support with these changes?
- You can contact our PE Subject Advisor team at PE@ocr.org.uk who will be happy to help you.
- We have launched a new online training package for AS and A Level PE which can be found at https://train.ocr.org.uk/login/index.php
- CPD events: https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/professional-development/events/LWPEAF01/