OCR have announced changes to the Ancient History GCSE syllabus in response to the disruption caused by coronavirus. Students will now be examined on both period studies (The Persian Empire, the Foundations of Rome), and a single depth study (from a choice of six). Each period study will account for 36.4% of the overall grade; the depth study will account for the remaining 27.2%.

Students will now sit three papers instead of two; one each for the period papers, and an additional depth study paper. These papers have been given new component codes: J198/11 The Persian Empire; J198/12 Greek depth study; J198/21 The Foundations of Rome; J198/22 Roman depth study.

There is no change to the content of individual components.

The Secretary of State for Education has since confirmed that no further changes will be made to exam syllabuses, but that exams in England will now start from 7 June, a three-week delay.

Revised Specimen Assessment Materials are available from OCR to show the new structure, as well as a handy guide to the changes. OCR are also running CPD training on understanding the assessments, and on course delivery.