Exams Handbook

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Examination Handbook 2019

For Students, Parents and Carers

 

 

Centre NUmber 20806

Exams Office: 01922 743 988 ext. 2296

exams@aldridgeschool.org

Introduction

Aldridge School is committed to ensuring that all candidates are aware of the examination and assessment processes in place, to make the examination experience as stress-free and successful as possible.

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) governs all public examinations for the awarding bodies and there are strict rules and guidelines that all candidates must adhere to and Aldridge School is required to follow them precisely.

It is essential that particular attention is paid to the JCQ notices and warnings to candidates which are included at the back of this handbook.

It is the responsibility of the candidate to read and understand these notices.

If you have any queries or need help or advice at any time before, during or after the examinations please do not hesitate to contact: –

 

Exams Officer – Mrs Louise Richardson

Assistant Exams Officer – Miss Laurice Wilson

01922 743 988 ext: 2296

exams@aldridgeschool.org

 

 

We are here to help and GOOD LUCK!

 

 

Before the Examinations

Statement of Entry

All candidates receive a ‘Statement of Entry’ outlining the subjects they are being entered for and, where applicable, the levels of entry (Foundation or Higher Tiers).  It is essential that students check their statement of entry carefully including all the personal details (particularly the spelling of names as this is what will appear on certificates).  If there are any discrepancies with their statement of entry please come to the Exams Office immediately.

Candidates are entered for all examinations under their full legal first name, middle name(s) and surname.  Candidates must use their legal name when completing the details on their examination papers.

 

Examination Boards (Awarding Bodies)

Aldridge School uses the following Examination Boards: AQA, OCR, Pearson (Edexcel) and WJEC.

 

Candidate Number

Each candidate has a four digit Candidate Number.  Students will need to write their candidate number along with their name on examination papers and answer booklets.  This candidate number will also appear next to their names on seating plans and examination registers.  Students are asked to learn their candidate number.

 

Examination Dates and Timetables

Public examinations take place in May and June.  Public examination dates are set by the Examination Boards and therefore these dates and times cannot be altered by Aldridge School.

GCSE and GCE examinations will begin on Monday 11th May 2020.  Individual examination timetables will be issued to all students well in advance of this date, which details dates, times, duration of exams, venues and seat numbers.  Students need to check this carefully.  If students have any concerns about their timetable they need to come to the Exams Office immediately.

A ‘contingency day’ of Wednesday 24th June 2020 has been scheduled by all awarding bodies in the unlikely event that there is a national disruption to a day of examinations.

All exam candidates must be available to sit examinations up to and including Wednesday 24th June 2020.

Aldridge School advise that any holidays are planned after this date.  Where candidates choose not to be available for the rescheduled examination(s) they will not be eligible for enhanced grading arrangements.

 

Examination Clashes

A few candidates may have examination clashes where two or more examinations are timetabled at the same time.  The school will make special timetable arrangements for those candidates.  It is essential that students check their individual timetable and if there are any concerns or queries please come to the Exams Office.

 

Equipment

Students are responsible for providing their own equipment for the examinations.  All stationary and equipment must be in a transparent pencil case or a see-through clear bag.

Essential equipment that all students will require are:

  • Black ink or black ball point pens. All writing must be in black ink. 

(No gel pens are permitted)

  • Pencil
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Eraser
  • Ruler

For some exams such as Mathematics, Science and Design & Technology additional equipment will be needed:

  • Calculator – Calculator lids must be removed before entering the examination room
  • Pair of compasses
  • Protractor
  • Set square

Students must not attempt to borrow equipment from another candidate during the exam.  There are strict examination regulations in place regarding the items that may be taken into the examination room.  If students break any of these rules it could result in disqualification.

Check the JCQ Examination Regulations printed at the back of this handbook.

 

 

 

Data Protection and Privacy Notice

Each awarding body needs to collect and use personal information about the candidates in order to provide and deliver the examinations and assessments entered.  This information includes identification details such as; name, date of birth and your school or examination centre.

The awarding bodies take the security of the information they hold about the candidates very seriously.  Full details can be found in the JCQ Information for Candidates – Privacy Notice 2019/20 which can be located on the Exams webpage on the school’s website.

 

During the Examinations

 

Examination Regulations

All candidates must read the JCQ Examination Regulations notices and warnings which are at the back of this handbook.  Please be aware that if any of the examination rules or regulations are broken this could lead to disqualification from all subjects.  Any breach of the regulations must be reported to the awarding body by the school.

 

Attendance at Examinations

Candidates are responsible for checking their own timetable and ensuring they arrive at school on the correct day and time.

All candidates must be wearing full school uniform (usual school rules apply for uniform, hair, make-up and jewellery) and bring the correct equipment with them.

Morning examinations start at 9.30am and afternoon examinations start at 1.30pm, unless otherwise stated.

Candidates must arrive 15 minutes prior to the examination start time at the designated meeting point.  For all examinations taking place in the Sports Hall, candidates are required to assemble under the marquee outside until instructed to enter the Sports Hall by a teacher or exam invigilator.  For examinations which are taking place in other rooms, candidates should wait outside the room in silence until instructed to enter.  Candidates are under exam conditions once at their designated meeting point and must remain silent.

 

 

Late Arrivals

If a candidate arrives after the start of the examination, they may be allowed to enter the examination and sit the examination, however this is at the discretion of the school.

Late candidates should report to Reception in the first instance and they will be escorted to the examination room if permitted to sit the examination.

 

 

Conduct during Examinations

Aldridge School expects candidates to behave in a considerate and responsible manner and

  • Wear full school uniform whilst attending school for examinations. Normal dress code applies for Sixth Form students.

 

  • Arrive on time for your examinations and enter the examination room in silence.

 

  • Any disturbance caused in or near the examination room will be reported to the examining board and candidates involved may be removed from the room and liable to be disqualified from all examinations.

 

  • NO WRIST WATCHES or SMART WATCHES are permitted in the examination room!

 

  • Candidates are NOT permitted to have any potential technological/web enabled sources of information such as mobile phones, electronic devices or smart watches in their possession. Candidates will be required to switch them off and leave outside the examination room. If a mobile phone (or any other electronic device) is found in a student’s possession during an examination (regardless if it is switched off) it will be taken from them and reported to the awarding body, which could result in disqualification from your examination and your overall qualification.

 

  • Students must NOT attempt to communicate with or distract other candidates once inside the examination room as strict examination conditions apply. Do not turn around and always face the front of the room.  Candidates must raise their hand if they need to attract the invigilator’s attention.

 

  • Once candidates have entered the examination room they will NOT be allowed to go back out until the end of the exam.

 

  • Listen carefully to the instructions and notices read out by the invigilators, there may be amendments to the examination paper you need to be aware of.

 

  • Check you have the correct question paper – check the date, subject, paper and tier of entry.

 

  • Candidates must NOT begin writing until told to do so by the invigilator.

 

  • Read all instructions carefully and number your answers clearly.

 

  • Candidates are instructed not to draw graffiti or write offensive comments on their examination papers. If you do deface your examination answer paper the examination board may refuse to accept your paper.

 

  • Writing on or defacing an examination desk is regarded as vandalism and will be required to pay for any damage.

 

  • Candidates remain in the examination room for the full duration of the examination. No candidate will be allowed to leave early.  Use the remaining time to check over answers and ensure that their details have been entered correctly.

 

  • All work must be handed in at the end of the examination. Any rough work should be crossed out with a single line.  If more than one answer book or any loose sheets of paper have been used, these must be placed inside the main answer booklet with your full name and candidate number on each book/page(s).

 

  • All examination papers will be collected by the invigilators before the candidates leave the examination room. Candidates must remain silent and in their seats during this time, until they are told to leave.  When leaving the room candidates must do so in silence and show consideration to other candidates who may still be working.  Candidates are still under examination conditions until they have left the examination room.

 

  • Question papers, answer booklets and additional paper must NOT be removed from the examination room.

 

  • If the fire alarm sounds during an examination candidates must wait for instructions from the invigilators. If the exam room has to be evacuated the candidates must leave everything on their desk and leave in silence.   During the period of evacuation candidates remain under exam conditions and must not attempt to communicate with anyone.  On return to the examination room candidates must not start writing until told to do so by the invigilator.  Candidates will be allowed the full working time for the examination and a report will be submitted to the awarding body detailing the incident.

Invigilators

Aldridge School employs external invigilators to conduct the examinations.  Candidates are expected to behave in a respectful manner towards all invigilators and follow their instructions at all times.

Invigilators are in the examination rooms to supervise the conduct of the examination in accordance to the JCQ regulations and guidelines.  Invigilators will distribute and collect the examination papers, give instructions regarding the examination, hand out extra writing paper if needed and deal with any problems that may occur during the examination.  If a candidate has a problem during an examination they should raise their hand to attract an invigilator’s attention.

Invigilators cannot discuss the examination paper with candidates or explain the questions.

Candidates who are disruptive or behave in an unacceptable manner will be removed from the examination room by invigilators or members of the Senior Leadership Team.

 

Absence from Examinations

If candidates are experiencing difficulties during the examination period (e.g. illness, injury or personal problems) please inform the school at the earliest possible opportunity so that we can help or advise you.

All possible attempts must be made to sit the examination.  Only in exceptional circumstances are candidates allowed special consideration for absence from any part of the examination.  Medical or other appropriate evidence must be obtained and handed in to the Exams Office.

Please note that misreading the timetable will not be accepted as a satisfactory explanation of absence.

Parents are asked to refrain from arranging family holidays during the examination period up to and including the ‘contingency day’.  Authorisation for holidays will not be given during this time.

Aldridge School fund all initial examination entry fees, however, candidates who fail to attend an exam will be charged the examination fee by the school if they do not have a medical reason for missing the examination.

The fee for external examinations is approximately £35 for each individual examination paper.

 

 

After the Examinations

Summer 2020 Results

Results will be available for collection on:

A Level Results Day – Thursday 13th August 2020

 

GCSE Results Day – Thursday 20th August 2020

 

If a candidate is unable to collect their own results in person, a Third Party Collection form must be completed and returned to the Exams Office, nominating another person (including family members) to collect the results on their behalf.

Candidates who require their results to be posted must provide a stamped self-addressed A5 envelope before the end of summer term.  Results will be posted out on Results Day and not before.

We strongly advise that results are collected in person by the candidates, or by a nominated person, as we cannot be held responsible for the postal system.

Results will not be given out over the telephone or by email under any circumstances.

Uncollected/unposted results will be available for collection from the Exams Office when school re-opens in September.

 

Post-Results Advice

Members of staff will be available on Results Day to provide post-results advice and guidance.

  • Enquiries about Results (EARs)

If a student feels strongly about making an enquiry about their results, this should first be discussed with their subject teacher who will advise on the viability of such a request.

Students need to be aware that marks can go down as well as up, or remain the same.  The examination boards charge a fee for this service.

If a student decides to proceed with an Enquiry, they must complete and sign an ‘Enquiry about Results’ consent form and payment must be received before it can be processed.  All enquiries must be directed through the school.  Candidates are not permitted to enquire directly to the examination boards.

All Review of Marking outcomes will be received in the Exams Office.  Students will only be contacted by the Exams Office if there has been a change to their grades awarded.

  • Access to Scripts

Students are entitled to purchase copies of their marked examination papers.

 

  • Certificates

All certificates are issued in the candidate’s legal name.

Certificates for the summer examinations will be received in school towards the end of November.  Students will be invited to come and collect their certificates from the Exams Office during school hours.

Certificates will not be given to anyone other than the candidate.  Candidates who are unable to collect their certificates in person must complete a Third Party Collection form nominating a third party to collect their certificates on their behalf.

Schools are only obliged to retain certificates for 12 months after the date of issue.

Certificates are important documents, as educational institutions and potential employers will ask to see the original certificates.  Candidates who lose or fail to collect their certificates within the time frame will need to pay for a duplicate from the relevant awarding body(s) at a cost of around £45 per certificate.

Candidates are urged to collect their certificates and keep them safely.

Year 11 Mock Examinations

Year 11 Mock GCSE Examinations are scheduled to take place from Monday 2nd to Thursday 12th December 2019.

These are extremely important as:-

  • They give students the external examination experience and ensure they are familiar with regulations and procedures prior to the forthcoming GCSE examinations.

 

  • The results provide an indication of performance and students can gauge if they are on target and establish areas that need further study.

 

Therefore, mock examinations are run on the same lines as the external summer GCSEs, following the same rules and regulations regarding equipment, uniform, attendance and absence.  Students are encouraged to make the most of the mock examinations in terms of preparation and performance.  Students must consult their own individual timetable prior to the mock examinations to check their own particular arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q         What do I do if there is a clash on my timetable?

The school will re-schedule papers internally (on the same day) where there is a clash of subjects.  Candidates will normally sit one paper then have a break during which time they will be supervised and must not have any communication with other candidates.  They will then sit the second subject paper.  The times and venue will be indicated on the candidate’s individual timetable.  It may be necessary for you to bring a packed lunch if you have examinations in the morning and the afternoon as you will have to remain supervised until both examinations are completed.  Any concerns please contact the Exams Office.

 

Q         What do I do if I think I have the wrong paper?

Invigilators will ask you to check this before the exam starts. If you think something is wrong put your hand up and tell them immediately. If in doubt always check.

 

Q         What do I do if I forget my Candidate Number?

Candidate numbers are printed on the desk cards, personalised timetables and seating plans which are displayed outside the examination room.  Invigilators will be able to help you find your number.

 

Q         What do I do if I forget the School Centre Number?

The Centre Number is 20806 and will be clearly displayed in every exam room.

 

Q         What do I do if I have an accident or I am ill before the exam?

Inform the school at the earliest possible point so we can help or advise you.  In the case of an accident that means you are unable to write, it may be possible to provide you with a scribe to write your answers or a laptop but we will need as much prior notice as possible. You will need to obtain medical evidence (from your GP or hospital) if you wish the school to make an appeal for Special Consideration on your behalf.

 

Q         What is an Appeal for Special Consideration?

Special Consideration is an adjustment to the marks or grades of a candidate who is eligible for consideration.  The allowance for Special Consideration is from 0% (consideration given but addition of marks considered inappropriate) to 5% (reserved for exceptional cases).  Parents should be aware that any adjustment is likely to be small and no feedback is ever provided.  Candidates will only be eligible for Special Consideration if they have been fully prepared and covered the whole course but performance in the examination or in the production of coursework is affected by adverse circumstances beyond their control.  Examples of such circumstances may be illness (affecting performance on the day of the exam), accident or injury, bereavement or domestic crisis.  The Exams Office must be informed immediately, so that the necessary paperwork can be completed.  The candidate will be required to provide evidence to support such an application.

 

Q         What do I do if I feel ill during the exam?

Put your hand up and an invigilator will assist you. You should inform an invigilator if you feel ill before or during an exam and you feel this may have affected your performance.

 

Q         If I am late can I still sit the examination?

If you are late for an examination it MAY still be possible for you to sit the exam. You should get to school as quickly as possible and report to Reception.  A member of staff will escort you to the examination room.  You must NOT enter an examination room without permission once an examination has started.

A candidate will be considered very late if they arrive more than one hour after the published starting time and the school must inform the awarding body who may decide not to accept their work.

 

Q         If I miss the examination can I take it on another day?

No.  You must attend on the given date and time for public examinations.

 

Q         Do I have to wear school uniform?

Yes. Normal school regulations apply to uniform, hair, jewellery, make-up etc.  Normal Sixth Form dress code applies.

 

Q         What equipment should I bring for my exams?

At least 2 pens (black ink only no gel pens); at least 2 pencils; a ruler; an eraser.  All your equipment can be brought in a transparent pencil case or a see-through clear bag. You are responsible for providing your own equipment for all exams.

You must not attempt to borrow equipment from another candidate during the exam.  For some examinations you will need a calculator (calculator lids must be removed before you enter the exam room) and mathematical equipment.

Regulations regarding calculators:

Calculators must be: 

 

• of a size suitable for use on the desk

• either battery or solar powered

• free of lids, cases and covers which have  printed instructions or formulas

 

 

 

The candidate is responsible for the following:

 

• the calculator’s power supply

• the calculator’s working condition

• clearing anything stored in the calculator

 

 

Calculators must not: 

 

Be designed or adapted to offer any of these facilities:-

• language translators

• symbolic algebra manipulation

• symbolic differentiation or integration

• communication with other machines or the internet

 

– be borrowed from another candidate during an examination for any reason

 

– have retrievable information stored in them, this includes:

• databanks

• dictionaries

• mathematical formulas

• text

 

 

Q         What items are NOT allowed into the examination room?

Only materials that are listed on question papers are permitted in the examination room.  Candidates who are found to have any materials with them that are not allowed will be reported to the appropriate examination board.  In such circumstances, a candidate would normally be disqualified from the paper or the subject concerned.

Bags, coats and any other items are not permitted under examination regulations and must be left in the designated area.  Do not bring any valuables into school with you when you attend for an examination.

No food is allowed in the examination room.  Candidates may bring a small bottle of water into the examination room, in a clear plastic bottle with all labels and branding removed.

Mobile telephones and any other electronic communication device must not be kept on your person.  They must be turned off and left in your bag or handed to an invigilator before the start of the examination.  It is your responsibility to ensure that they are switched off.

NO wrist watches or smart watches are permitted in the examination room and must be left in your bag or handed to an invigilator before the start of the examination.

Q         Why can’t I bring my mobile telephone into the examination room?

Being in possession of any potential technological/web enabled sources of information such as a mobile telephone, iPod, MP4 player or Smart Watch which has data storage properties is regarded as cheating and is subject to severe penalty.  If a mobile phone is detected in your pocket even if it is switched off, this is a breach of examination regulations and will be reported which could result in disqualification from your examination and your overall qualification.

 

Q         How do I know how long the exam is?

The length of the examination is shown on your individual timetable. Invigilators will tell you when to start and finish the exam. They will write the finish time of the exam on the board at the front of the exam room. Timings will be by the clock(s) in the examination room(s).

 

Q         Can I leave the examination early?

No.  It is the school’s policy not to allow candidates to leave the exam room early as this is disruptive to other candidates.  A candidate may not leave the examination room without the permission of the invigilators.  If you have finished your examination paper use any remaining time to check over your answers and ensure that your details have been completed correctly.

 

Q         What do I do if the fire alarm sounds?

The exam invigilators will tell you what to do.  If you have to evacuate the room, leave everything on your desk and leave the room in silence in the order instructed. You MUST NOT attempt to communicate with any other candidates during the evacuation as you will still be under examination conditions during the evacuation.  The invigilators will inform you when it is safe to return.  On entering the examination room you should return to your seat and wait for the invigilators to formally re-start the examination.  The finish time will be amended to ensure you have the full amount of time prescribed.  An application for Special Consideration will be submitted to the awarding body where an evacuation has been necessary.

 

Q         Can I go to the toilet during the examination?

Not unless you have a toilet pass or if it is absolutely necessary.  You will be escorted by an invigilator and will not be allowed any extra time.  We recommend that candidates go to the toilet before lining up to enter the examination room.