The Student Room Group

a level science endorsement

hi so i missed the deadline set by my school for my practical endorsement for biology and chemistry AQA so i failed the practical endorsement so i’m planning on taking my exams this year and resitting the practical endorsement soo is it possible to resit the practical endorsement next year
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by username1011i
hey everyone so i am currently in year 13 studying AQA biology and chemistry and CTEC applied science however i have failed both the practical endorsement for both biology and chemistry as i have missed the deadline and i wanted to apply to uni this year for biomedical science but obviously they need a pass in the practical endorsement. However i have also heard some courses at uni don’t require a pass in the practical endorsement. If so can u give me some examples and if it’s not true is it possible to sit my exams this year and redo my practical endorsement next year. And if that’s not possible what step should i take in order to pursue a career in science or health care related field

Well, not all unis mention a need for you to have passed the practical endorsement on their web site, but you'd absolutely need to contact the admissions team to double-check.

For example, for Biomedical Science the University of Derby state their entry requirements as follows:

"UCAS points 112-120
A Level BBB-BBC (At least a grade C or above in a Science-based subject including Biology, Human Biology or Applied Science)"

They make no mention of the practical endorsement. (See here for details.)
Original post by DataVenia
Well, not all unis mention a need for you to have passed the practical endorsement on their web site, but you'd absolutely need to contact the admissions team to double-check.

For example, for Biomedical Science the University of Derby state their entry requirements as follows:

"UCAS points 112-120
A Level BBB-BBC (At least a grade C or above in a Science-based subject including Biology, Human Biology or Applied Science)"

They make no mention of the practical endorsement. (See here for details.)

true but in terms of applying through ucas they ask if u have passed or failed the practical endorsement and apparently if u select fail they automatically reject ur university choices
Original post by username1011i
true but in terms of applying through ucas they ask if u have passed or failed the practical endorsement and apparently if u select fail they automatically reject ur university choices

I can give you several reasons to be skeptical about this.

1. Here is the UCAS page where you enter details for an individual qualification. Can you identify to the part where they "ask if u have passed or failed the practical endorsement"?

UCAS Apply - Qualifications - GCE Advanced Level.JPG

2. Many (perhaps all) students will not have completed all the required practicals at the point they complete their UCAS application. That being the case, if they did ask "if u have passed or failed the practical endorsement" most students couldn't answer the question anyway.

3. It's not clear who you mean by "they" when you say "apparently if u select fail they automatically reject ur university choices", but I think you're suggesting that UCAS do that. UCAS don't make offer decisions. Individual universities do.

4. Your original question (which I note that you have now edited) said, "However i have also heard some courses at uni don’t require a pass in the practical endorsement. If so can u give me some examples and if it’s not true..." - which would make absolutely no sense if "they automatically reject ur university choices".

Now it may well be that Derby (who make no mention of the term "practical endorsement" anywhere on their web site) do actually require it. My suggestion is that rather than relying on "However i have also heard" and "apparently", you actually ask them.

In terms of resitting the practical endorsement on it's own, I'm fairly sure you can't. You certain can't with Edexcel, who cover that here:

"Can students resit the Practical Endorsement?
Yes: students can resit the Practical Endorsement. However, the Endorsement is only available as part of the whole A level, not as a separate qualification. Therefore, a resitting student must take all components of the A level as part of the resit i.e. must sit the written units again."

I can't find anything definitive on the AQA site, but imagine that they would be the same as Edexcel in this regard.

Finally, I would point out that you've only missed your school's deadline for the practical endorsement. They can, if they wish, still help you gain the endorsement. As AQA say here:

"To fulfil the requirements of the endorsement, every student must carry out a minimum of 12 practicals. A student who misses one of the required practicals must carry out another practical to be able to gain the endorsement.

In most cases, this can be any experiment of A-level standard. However, students must have experienced use of each of the apparatus and techniques. In some cases, a particular apparatus and technique is only covered in one required practical activity. If a student misses that activity, the teacher will need to provide an opportunity for the student to carry out a practical that includes that activity. The list below shows the apparatus and techniques that are covered by one activity only, as well as alternatives to the required practical."
Original post by DataVenia

I can give you several reasons to be skeptical about this.

1. Here is the UCAS page where you enter details for an individual qualification. Can you identify to the part where they "ask if u have passed or failed the practical endorsement"?

UCAS Apply - Qualifications - GCE Advanced Level.JPG

2. Many (perhaps all) students will not have completed all the required practicals at the point they complete their UCAS application. That being the case, if they did ask "if u have passed or failed the practical endorsement" most students couldn't answer the question anyway.

3. It's not clear who you mean by "they" when you say "apparently if u select fail they automatically reject ur university choices", but I think you're suggesting that UCAS do that. UCAS don't make offer decisions. Individual universities do.

4. Your original question (which I note that you have now edited) said, "However i have also heard some courses at uni don’t require a pass in the practical endorsement. If so can u give me some examples and if it’s not true..." - which would make absolutely no sense if "they automatically reject ur university choices".

Now it may well be that Derby (who make no mention of the term "practical endorsement" anywhere on their web site) do actually require it. My suggestion is that rather than relying on "However i have also heard" and "apparently", you actually ask them.

In terms of resitting the practical endorsement on it's own, I'm fairly sure you can't. You certain can't with Edexcel, who cover that here:

"Can students resit the Practical Endorsement?
Yes: students can resit the Practical Endorsement. However, the Endorsement is only available as part of the whole A level, not as a separate qualification. Therefore, a resitting student must take all components of the A level as part of the resit i.e. must sit the written units again."

I can't find anything definitive on the AQA site, but imagine that they would be the same as Edexcel in this regard.

Finally, I would point out that you've only missed your school's deadline for the practical endorsement. They can, if they wish, still help you gain the endorsement. As AQA say here:

"To fulfil the requirements of the endorsement, every student must carry out a minimum of 12 practicals. A student who misses one of the required practicals must carry out another practical to be able to gain the endorsement.

In most cases, this can be any experiment of A-level standard. However, students must have experienced use of each of the apparatus and techniques. In some cases, a particular apparatus and technique is only covered in one required practical activity. If a student misses that activity, the teacher will need to provide an opportunity for the student to carry out a practical that includes that activity. The list below shows the apparatus and techniques that are covered by one activity only, as well as alternatives to the required practical."


thank you for the information i figured my school teachers didn’t explain this whole process to me properly and i would definitely check up with universities however i wanted to inform u for my practical i have not missed one practical i just haven’t done the lab write up on time due to my poor time management so it’s very unlikely for the school to help me now give me the practical endorsement since they have a tracker which they send off to the exam board itself
Original post by username1011i
thank you for the information i figured my school teachers didn’t explain this whole process to me properly and i would definitely check up with universities however i wanted to inform u for my practical i have not missed one practical i just haven’t done the lab write up on time due to my poor time management so it’s very unlikely for the school to help me now give me the practical endorsement since they have a tracker which they send off to the exam board itself

Ah, it's just the write-up that you missed a deadline on?

AQA say (with emphasis added by me), "Students do not need to write up every practical they do in detail. However, it is good practice to have a record of all they do. A lab book could contain this. It is a student’s personal book and may contain a range of notes, tables, jottings, reminders of what went wrong, errors identified and other findings. It is a live document that can function as a learning journal.

Lab books are not a requirement of the CPAC endorsement or the AQA AS and A-level specifications in Biology, Chemistry or Physics. They are highly valued by colleagues in higher education and are an easy way for students to demonstrate their mastery of Competence 5 “Researches, references and reports”.

AQA also say (with my emphasis again), "At the end of the course, teachers will decide whether or not to award a pass in the endorsement of practical skills. The teacher must be confident that the student has shown a level of mastery of practical work good enough for the student to go on to study science subjects at university." AQA do not mandate how your teachers should come to that conclusion.

The deadline you've missed was imposed by your school. Even the requirement to write up the practical was imposed by your school (as it's an easy way for them to assess you understood the practical). None of this has come from the exam board.

Edited to add that the deadline for your school to submit your practical endorsement status (pass/fail) to AQA is 15 May 2024, assuming that you're taking the exams themselves this summer. See here for confirmation.
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by DataVenia

Ah, it's just the write-up that you missed a deadline on?

AQA say (with emphasis added by me), "Students do not need to write up every practical they do in detail. However, it is good practice to have a record of all they do. A lab book could contain this. It is a student’s personal book and may contain a range of notes, tables, jottings, reminders of what went wrong, errors identified and other findings. It is a live document that can function as a learning journal.

Lab books are not a requirement of the CPAC endorsement or the AQA AS and A-level specifications in Biology, Chemistry or Physics. They are highly valued by colleagues in higher education and are an easy way for students to demonstrate their mastery of Competence 5 “Researches, references and reports”.

AQA also say (with my emphasis again), "At the end of the course, teachers will decide whether or not to award a pass in the endorsement of practical skills. The teacher must be confident that the student has shown a level of mastery of practical work good enough for the student to go on to study science subjects at university." AQA do not mandate how your teachers should come to that conclusion.

The deadline you've missed was imposed by your school. Even the requirement to write up the practical was imposed by your school (as it's an easy way for them to assess you understood the practical). None of this has come from the exam board.

Edited to add that the deadline for your school to submit your practical endorsement status (pass/fail) to AQA is 15 May 2024, assuming that you're taking the exams themselves this summer. See here for confirmation.


also is there a way to email AQA and let them know about my practical endorsement and how the school gave me a fail because i missed the deadline of when they send it to AQA or is there no point
Original post by username1011i
also is there a way to email AQA and let them know about my practical endorsement and how the school gave me a fail because i missed the deadline of when they send it to AQA or is there no point

I don't think there's much value in doing that, unfortunately. Your best bet is to challenge your school, given that it's their rules that you're in breach of.
Original post by DataVenia

I don't think there's much value in doing that, unfortunately. Your best bet is to challenge your school, given that it's their rules that you're in breach of.


i emailed universities about my practical endorsement and they said i can apply next year without my practical endorsement and others have said they can’t say anything about it unless i submit my application soo any tips on what to do next
Original post by username1011i


i emailed universities about my practical endorsement and they said i can apply next year without my practical endorsement and others have said they can’t say anything about it unless i submit my application soo any tips on what to do next


only one uni said i can apply without a practical endorsement soo far
Original post by username1011i
i emailed universities about my practical endorsement and they said i can apply next year without my practical endorsement and others have said they can’t say anything about it unless i submit my application...

That's not terribly definitive, is it? :frown:

Original post by username1011i
...soo any tips on what to do next

To quote myself from above...

Original post by DataVenia
Your best bet is to challenge your school, given that it's their rules that you're in breach of.
my school won’t i know for sure give me the pass but i’m hoping if i apply for a foundation year the uni would allow me bc imagine i get those A*s without my practical endorsement they should allow me onto the course 🥲

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