Frequently Asked Questions

EXAMS: Information for students, parents and carers

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.