AQA A specification changes now published

Most of you will know that there are changes in the AQA A specification for teaching from September 2011. The new specification has now been published (see here). I have produced a word document summarising the changes Changes from Sept 2011

The specification does not cover changes to the exam – but the letter from AQA sent out last term did say that, from January 2012, questions on Units 3 and 4 (except research methods) will be marked out of 24 (8 marks AO1 and 16 marks AO2/3).

18 thoughts on “AQA A specification changes now published

  1. Sue Hoekstra says:

    When are the textbooks likely to be updated to reflect the latest changes to the syllabus? Will they be ready by September 2011?

    • Hello Sue

      The decision was made not to update the books because it would involve such a major rewrite (a small change in one place has many knock on effects for e.g. the index, the summaries and other parts of the book) and all the books in the series are tied together. However we have produced 9 new spreads for the A2 book and a detailed grid showing all the changes – these will be available for free and should be distributed very soon. They are completed but just awaiting the final checks.


  2. Alasdair McLellan says:

    Hi Cara,
    Thanks for this clarification on how you are dealing with the changes to the specification. You say that the 9 new spreads and grid will be distributed very soon. How will they be made available? Do we need to register to receive copies?


    • OUP are putting the material on their website where you will be able to access it. When it is there I’ll put a link from this site. It is all done so I am just waiting for OUP. Sorry for the delay.


  3. Helen Whale says:

    Cara – a quick question of clarification, in the A2 Unit 3 changes where the changes have been “simplified” for example relationships – the evolutionary explanations of parental investment for e.g. sex differences , parent off spring conflict. which has been changed to sex differences in parental investment – does this mean we are not required to teach parent offspring conflict?

    • Hello Helen

      In the previous specification there were two examples given for parental investment (sex differences and parent-offspring conflict). As these were examples, exam questions could not be set on them. In the new specification the entry is now just ‘sex differences in parental investment’ so that excludes parent-offspring conflict and means that questions can only be set on sex differences. We have done a new spread on this topic (plus 8 other new spreads) – these spreads should be available very soon. There will be free. There will also be a guide to the changes – but do ask if you have other queries.


  4. Pete Manning says:

    Hi Cara,

    Thank you for writing the 9 spreads. Could you confirm what the headings of the nine spreads are – one can guess but it is nice to have a heads up clarification as we all start to turn our heads to finalising plans and reviewing schemes of work for next year…

    Also, is there any indication from OUP as to when these chapters might be released? Obviously, the sooner the better!

    • At the moment I don’t know when they will be released – I thought it was going to be this week.

      The spreads are:
      Sex differences in parental investment
      Gender dysphoria
      Positive and negative effects of computers and video games
      Persuasive effects of the media
      Risk factors in addiction
      Theory of planned behaviour
      Coincidence and probability judgments
      Superstitious behaviour and magical thinking
      Personality factors in anomalous thinking

      Hope that helps!


  5. Angela says:

    Have the spreads been published yet?

    I have been looking around, but can’t seem to find them.
    Is it possible for a link to be posted?

    thank you,

  6. marie smith says:

    Hi Cara,

    Could you clarify the changes to influence of childhood on later relationships? Is ‘childhood’ still made up of parental relationships and peers? I understand that adolescence has been taken out.

  7. Jackie Ribeiro says:

    Thankyou for providing new spreads relating to Anomalistic Psychology. I do not understand why AQA has overhauled this topic so radically. I had put together a load of resources and handouts on this last year when I taught it for the first time. I feel that this extra prep has now been wasted , so the angst for you re republication must be immense- C’est la vie!

  8. Sadiqua says:

    Hello Cara,

    I am currently a student studying A2 Psychology. Can I ask why AQA has changed the specification this year? Also why this was not informed to psychology subject teachers before the academic year; so they can up-date and provide well structured booklets and teach us well instead of waffling around and trying to find the useful resources as the AQA textbook was not up-dated.

  9. Dan says:

    Hi, I was just wondering if you’ve published any new spreads for the Exam Companion A2 Psychology book. The one I currently have now contains many questions from the old specification, it’d be helpful if you had any updated pages from the new book which I understand is out in April which is of no use to me as my exam is on Thursday the 19th of Jan! Thanks

Comments are closed.