Gcse Coursework Commerce

This page provides teachers and students with information regarding controlled assessments for: GCSE Business Studies Units 3 and 14; GCSE Applied Business Units 4,5 and 6 and GCSE Business and Communication Systems Unit 10.

Internally-assessed mark submission is changing from Summer 2016

We are delighted to announce e-Submissions (e-Subs), a new web-based system for submitting both centre and moderator marks for controlled assessment.

The new online system will offer schools and colleges a more efficient way to submit controlled assessment marks or grades and save you time.

As a teacher you can submit marks yourself, you just need an e-AQA login and the required access provided by your Exams Officer.

For further information and online tutorials go to e-Submissions

Submitting controlled assessments

If you have 20 or fewer students entered for a unit you will need to send all controlled assessments  to your moderator. Should you have 21 or more students entered for a unit your moderator will request a sample selection which you will then be required to send to them.

Your controlled assessment work will be returned to you in due course.

You will also receive a feedback form completed by your moderator detailing the outcome of your moderation. This will be sent to you by AQA.  

Business and Communication Systems controlled assessment FAQs

A list of answers to some frequently asked questions relating to the GCSE Business and Communication Systems controlled assessment task can now be found on the secure area of our website, e-AQA.

Controlled Assessment advisers

Each school or college is allocated a controlled assessment adviser. You can find out who your adviser is and their details by contacting the Business Studies subject team on business-studies@aqa.org.uk

Your adviser is available to assist you with any content queries that you may have, for example, the suitability of a task or what may be expected from students when completing their controlled assessment. If your query concerns the supporting administration, for example, deadline dates or submitting marks, please contact the subject team on the email address shown above. 


Online standardisation for the marking of the controlled assessment is available through the Teacher Online Standardisation System (T-OLS) which can be accessed through the secure area of the AQA website e-AQA.

Online standardisation is necessary in order to ensure that all schools and colleges are marking the controlled assessment in line with AQA's standards.

Release and deadline dates

The controlled assessment research task for GCSE Business Studies Units 3 and 14 is released on e-AQA on 1 September for submission in the second summer after its release.  For example, the task released on 1 September 2015 is for submission by students in the summer of 2017.  The front page of each task details which year it will need to be submitted. 

The controlled assessment research task for GCSE Business and Communication Systems Unit 10 is released on e-AQA on 31 January each year for submission in the summer of the following year.  For example, the task released on 31 January 2016 is for submission by students in the summer of 2017.  The front page of each task details which year it will need to be submitted.

Students will be required to submit the controlled assessment scenario that is due for submission in the series in which they certificate.

The research tasks for Applied Business Units 4, 5 and 6 are outlined within the specification and will remain the same for the life of the specification. The deadline for the submission of marks for each controlled assessment unit detailed above is 7 May each year. 

Exemplar materials and marking

Exemplar materials and other resources to help teachers prepare students for controlled assessment are available on T-OLS. Here you can mark pieces of exemplar work, compare your mark to that of the principal moderator, and read the rationale behind their mark. These are available throughout the year and are updated annually.

Additional exemplar materials and resources are also available on the Secure Key Materials section of e-AQA. 

Assessment criteria 

General assessment criteria grids for marking all controlled assessments are available in the specification.

Task specific grids are available for GCSE Business Studies Units 3 and 14 and GCSE Business and Communication Systems Unit 10, on the Secure Key Materials section of e-AQA. These grids are released to coincide with each new task.     

Predicting grades

Predicting your students' grades is easy with the uniform mark scale (UMS) converter, an online tool for converting marks from exams taken in different exam sessions.

PDFs open in a new window.

Record forms

Academic year 2017/18

Effects of e-commerce on businesses

High street stores now find themselves competing with each other for business both on the high street and online.

Selling goods online


  • opens the market to customers nationally and internationally
  • enables smaller companies to compete with larger companies
  • reduces in staffing and/or high street stores thereby reducing costs
  • provides the option to offer 24 hour shopping at minimum additional cost


  • Stiffer competition - businesses once competing with the shop in the next town now find themselves competing on a global scale.
  • Staff reductions - with increased competition, local companies may have to reduce their work force.
  • Cost of restructuring - the move to e-commerce may not be a smooth one and will certainly require a degree of investment.
  • Customer concerns - if high street stores are closed in an effort to save money, customers who prefer to shop on the high street may not be comfortable buying online so may go elsewhere.

Increased dependancy on the Internet

Now, both for companies and individuals, there is pressure to have Internet access to do everyday things such as submit orders or look up details in a catalogue. There are initiatives to make as many services available on the Internet as possible, including e-government, where government departments such as the Inland Revenue can be dealt with using secure websites [website: a web page or group of web pages hosted on one web server and viewed in a web browser ].

Back to Risks and implications of ICT index

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