Bobmore Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1JE
Telephone - 01628 483 752
Company Registration No.07690054

Examinations Information

To view student Examination timetables please click the following link: – Examinations Timetables

Introduction

Public examinations can be a stressful time for students, parents carers so it is important that all those involved are as well informed as possible. Well informed students understand that the rules and regulations are designed to ensure fairness and minimise disturbance: it is in the interest of all that the examinations run smoothly.

The school makes every effort to ensure that students receive the best possible preparation for their examinations; that the administrative arrangements run smoothly; and that the examinations are conducted in a way that causes as little stress as possible, so that students achieve their best potential. Mock examinations are organised to the same high standards and rules as the public examinations, in order to familiarise the students with the process.

This booklet aims to inform parents, carers and students about examination procedures that are in place and answer some of the more frequently asked questions.

Importantly, it also contains the formal notices that are required by regulation to be given to each student.

If you have any questions please feel free to make enquiries of the Examinations Officer. The telephone number and email are below.

Telephone: 01628 483752

E-mail: mchrominski@bucksgfl.org.uk

On examination days it is best to contact the school reception on 01628 483752 and leave a message for the Examinations Officer, since the main priority will be starting examination sessions on time.

Who is responsible for the examinations?

The Examinations Officer is responsible for administering all public examination arrangements and for overseeing students during examinations, under direct responsibility from the Head of Centre, the Headteacher.

There is a team of adult invigilators who are present during the examinations and who are supervised by the Examination Officer.

The Awarding Bodies or Examination Boards set down strict criteria, which must be followed during examinations: the school is required to follow them precisely.

Who is entered for public examinations?

It is school policy to enter every student, who is being taught a subject, for the most appropriate level of examination. Only by exception, after consultation with parents and carers, and with the written consent of the Headteacher, will students not be entered.

Dates of examinations

Dates for examinations are rigidly fixed by the Examination Boards and are subject to change by them until close to the time that students start study leave. The Examinations Officer will, therefore, not give actual dates for exams to parents/carers or students, in advance, who wish to book holidays. Parents/carers are reminded that they require the Headteacher’s permission to take students out of school. It is against school policy to take holidays in term time.

Controlled Assessment

Most of the subjects have units which are assessed by Controlled Assessment. They are completed, marked and assessed, in the first instance by the school. Before the formal examinations sessions take place, the marks and work are sent to the examination boards. The school sets deadlines that allow time for this process and to meet the required deadlines. These cannot be changed. Students who do not submit a Controlled Assessment on time will not be allocated a mark for this portion and their overall grade will suffer. It is important to be aware that students who have not completed the required number of Controlled Assessments may not be eligible for special consideration in the formal exams should they be ill, because they will not have completed the minimum 35% of the course.

What arrangements are made for study leave?

Study leave begins for Year 11, 12 & 13 students in May on dates notified by the school. After these dates students are only required to be in school when they actually have examinations. Any Year 13 re-sitting an AS will be allowed the day before the examination as study leave.

What information will students receive about their examination entries?

When the entries have been entered on the school’s computer system, students will receive a statement of entry detailing the subjects and tiers for which they have been entered. This should be checked and any errors or problems reported to the Examinations Officer.

This document serves two purposes:

  1. to check that all entries have been made and are correct
  2. to inform parents/carers that they are required to pay the entry fees should the student fail to take the examination without good reason.

Once the examination boards have received entries, the Statements of Entry will be issued showing the subjects entered with that board, and giving the dates of the examination. These should be checked and kept safe by the student, as they are evidence that an entry has been made. They should be brought, by the student, to each examination as an additional check that they have been entered for the correct examination, tiers of entry, and student number. Students are issued with updated statements if the entries made for them change.

GCE examinations: A-level

GCE Advanced-level examinations are now examined in two parts and in modules. Two/three modules are taken in Year 12 and AS certification applied for. As most universities and colleges of higher education require only three A-levels many students choose to take just three of their four AS subjects into A2.  All modules will then count towards the final ‘A2’ level grade. Any module at AS can be re-taken, and the revised mark will registered if the student is undertaking full A- level certification. Students may pay to re-sit one or more of the modules in January and apply for certification at that point. Students must be aware that this decision should be made after taking advice from subject teachers and Head of 6th form.

Modular examinations

Modular GCE and GCSE examinations involve students sitting written papers on sections of the syllabus at intervals throughout the course rather than at the end.

Most modular sessions take place in November, January, March and June and they vary according to the board used. Students have the opportunity to retake units on the advice of their subject teachers but the school only pays for the initial entry fee, or if the original examination was missed through illness and a medical certificate was produced.

Where are the examinations held?

The main locations for written papers are the main hall and the blue room. Students are asked to be in school 20 minutes before the advertised start time, to enable seating procedures to be carried out efficiently, and to allow for any unforeseen room changes. They are asked to line up in the canteen or wait quietly outside the allocated room until invited to enter. Where a student sits is determined by their student number, which appears on all statements of entry and timetable. The student is required to sit at the desk bearing the card with their student number. This arrangement follows examination board rules and the school cannot alter these procedures.

Dates of examinations

The main period for exams is from the start of May, until the end of June/early July but some oral examinations and practical examinations do take place earlier. Every student receives a timetable produced by the school which details their AS, A2 or GCSE examinations. This does give information on dates and start times of the examinations. It is helpful if parents/carers make a copy of this timetable in order to facilitate attendance on the correct day and at the correct time.

At what times do the examination sessions begin?

Examination boards dictate the permissible start times for exams. Students are asked to report no later than 8.45 a.m. for morning examinations and 12.45 p.m. for afternoon examinations. The length of examination papers varies and they will frequently not finish until after school has finished. Students and parents/carers should be aware of this and make appropriate arrangements during the exam season for getting home. Students will not be allowed out of an exam early for any reason.

Some students may receive an allowance of extra time for the examinations and so their finishing times will be even later. Timings for some papers may deviate from this pattern and the students will be made aware of this. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the start time of each exam, but parents/carers should be warned there is a tendency for students to confuse a.m. and p.m. sessions. Please ensure that the student checks his/her exam commitments for each day the evening before.

What happens if a student has more than 1 exam at the same time?

If a student is timetabled to sit two or more exams at the same time this is known as a clash. If these are for the same subject this is intentional on the part of the board and the exams are meant to run one after another. If not, then this should be picked up during the checking process and notified immediately to the Examinations Officer who can grant permission for one of the papers to be taken at a different time on the same day. The student will have to remain under supervision between the two papers. In rare cases it may be necessary for a paper to be taken the next day and it is a requirement that the student is supervised overnight. This is essential to avoid compromising the integrity of the examination and needs to be organised well in advance.

If an exam is delayed from a morning to an afternoon session the student will be supervised over lunchtime. They should bring some revision or reading material, their lunch and a drink, as they will not be allowed to buy food. Attempting to communicate with any other student will invariably result in the loss of marks in the exam for all students involved.

How are students supervised?

Adult external invigilators will supervise students under the direct management of the Examinations Officer. Once students enter the examination room they must remain supervised and follow the invigilators’ instructions at all times. The invigilators are experienced in examination procedures and are subject to strict regulations, references and police checks. They usually work in teams and can contact the Examinations Officer to resolve any issues.

What happens if a student cannot find his/her place in the exam room?

The invigilators call students in by student number or subject group. In silence, students find the desk with their card information on it.

In some sessions, papers will be already on exam desks, these papers must not be opened until candidates are advised to do so.

Occasionally problems arise because a student’s card information is not where he/she thinks it should be. There are a number of possible reasons for this and the situation has to be investigated. The student will be asked to wait at the front for a few moments whilst the invigilator on duty checks the entry and sorts the problem out with the Examinations Officer. Every effort is made to keep these problems to a minimum and they will not prejudice any student’s chance of taking an examination for which he/she has been entered. Students who have been officially withdrawn from an examination will not be permitted to sit the paper. It is helpful if the student has his/her statements of entry with him/her, but these must not be written on.

What happens if a student is late?

If parents/carers are aware that the student has the timing of the examination wrong and has missed the start time, they should telephone the school immediately to alert the Examinations Officer of the situation. Depending on how long the exam has been in progress, it may be possible for the student to be admitted. However, GMS are bound by the regulations of the examination boards on this matter. Normally candidates with a genuine reason, who are brought straight to school may be admitted within the first 30 minutes of the start time, after this time the board will decide whether to accept any paper taken.

Students who arrive more than 1 hour after the start of the exam will not be admitted.

What should students bring to the examinations?

Students should bring writing equipment, coloured pencils, erasers etc. in a transparent plastic bag or pencil case. Non-transparent pencil boxes or cases will not be permitted in the examination room. All students should have their name clearly marked on their calculators, as these have to be collected in for some mathematics papers, which are non-calculator.

Pens should be black. Modular papers in science require the use of a black biro only.

Some subject papers will require the use of dictionaries or set texts, and students will be advised by their subject teachers about this.

Small packs of tissues are permissible.

Students are responsible for ensuring that they bring everything they need to the examination. It is not the school’s responsibility to provide equipment.

What should students not bring with them?

Some items are strictly banned from the examination room and should be deposited either outside the room or with an invigilator. The examination boards treat the mere possession of these items as an infringement:

Mobile phones, ipod, mp3/4 players and any other electronic equipment, wristwatches with data storage or iWatch. These items must be handed in to an invigilator before the start of an exam, but the school cannot be responsible for the security of these while the examination is in progress.

The use of tippex or correction pens is not permitted. Students must cross through work they do not wish to be marked.

Calculator lids and glasses cases must not be brought into the exam room.

Notes, papers and text books etc are only allowed in certain examinations and candidates will be informed by the subject teachers in advance.

Students should not bring lucky mascots etc. into the examination room. No food items or chewing gum are allowed.

May students bring a drink?

Students may bring a drink with them into the examination room. However, no more than 750ml of still water is allowed, preferably in a bottle with a sports cap. A clear plastic bottle of water may be allowed but any labels must be removed. No fizzy drinks, cans or pouches are permitted due to the risk of spillage. Drinking too much may cause an issue since students may not be allowed to use toilet facilities during short exams due to issues of supervision.

Regulations governing the use of calculators

Some subject papers, especially maths, explicitly prohibit the use of calculators. Students must not have them or attempt to use any form of calculator for these.

Calculators must not:

  • be designed or adapted to offer any of these facilities-

language translators

symbolic algebra manipulations

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:

data banks

dictionaries

retrieval of text

maths formulae

The use, or attempted use, of any such calculators will be regarded as malpractice.

Calculators with graphic displays and programmable calculators are permitted if information and/or programs stored in the calculator’s memory are cleared before the examination. Retrieval of information and/or programs during the examination is an infringement of the regulations. Further information can be found on the JCQ website  under Instructions for Conducting Examinations 2015-2016 

What are the regulations regarding mobile phones?

The regulations state that mobile phones are not to be brought into examination rooms under any circumstances. This applies to all public and school/mock examinations. They cause disturbance to other students if they ring and can present opportunities for malpractice. Any student found to have a phone in the examination room will be reported to the appropriate examination board. Should this happen they are likely to be disqualified from that paper and possibly from the whole examination in that subject.

It is a very serious offence and our advice is that phones should not be brought to school. Students can use the school’s phone in the resources office for a nominal charge. We can take no responsibility for the security of mobile phones brought to school.

What is meant by malpractice?

Malpractice is the term that the examination boards use for any irregularity, or breach of the regulations of any form. The Examination’s Officer is required to, and will, report all infringements to the appropriate body and they will decide on what action to take based on the nature of the infringement. There is a tariff system of actions from which they can decide within limits, and some infringements carry automatic loss of marks as a minimum penalty. The examination boards take the integrity of exams very seriously and it is important that students take notice of the Examination Officer’s instructions carefully. It is also an offence to write inappropriate, obscene or offensive material on the script. The script will not be marked and the student will be advised of this by the awarding body.

What happens if a student does not turn up for an examination?

A student who is absent from any examination without presenting a doctor’s note or a satisfactory reason for a request for special consideration will receive a grade based only on those elements of the examinations that have been marked.

Parents/carers should be aware that the school will seek to recover the examination fees for any student who does not turn up for an examination. Parent and carers will be asked to pay for every non-attendance in a GCSE, AS or A2 examination. It is in the interests of all to ensure that the school’s examination budget is not wasted.

How are exams started?

The Examinations Officer, or lead invigilator, will usually announce the examination formally, and students cautioned that they are subject to the regulations. Any instructions or examination board notices, changes to papers etc will be read out and the students asked to complete their details on the answer papers.

What standards of behaviour are expected during examinations?

All students are given a copy of a ‘Notice to Candidates’ produced by the Examining Bodies, which gives general guidelines for conduct, which must be observed. The wording of this is included at the back of this booklet or available to view in a separate folder on the school’s website.

The school and the examination boards regard breaches of examination regulations very seriously. Parents/carers should please impress on candidates the importance of good behaviour in an examination, as any activities that may disturb or upset other students will not be tolerated.

The Head of Centre and Examinations Officer have the power to remove disruptive candidates.

Students are asked to wait quietly outside the examination venue, and to enter and leave in silence. This avoids disturbance to others and does help to maintain a calm atmosphere for those who are nervous about the examination.

Students who try to communicate with other students inside the venue verbal in a verbal or non-verbal way, or who create a disturbance in the examination room will be asked to leave. The circumstances will be reported to the examination board. This may result in the candidate not receiving a grade for the whole of that examination.

What should students wear for examinations?

Examinations are a school activity and students below the 6th Form must wear normal uniform. We ask for the co-operation of parents/carers in ensuring their child is correctly dressed as we wish to avoid causing stress to candidates in the examination room by pointing out when they are not in correct uniform. All students know the uniform rules and it is their responsibility to ensure they observe them. Those not dressed properly or immodestly will not be permitted to sit exams.

Jackets, jumpers or other clothing are not allowed over the backs of the chairs. Students should bring as little as possible in the way of coats and baggage into the school on examination days.

Items of jewellery, such as rings or bracelets should not be worn as they make a noise on the desk and would be deemed a disruption to others.

What do I do if my child is unwell at the time of one of the examinations?

Even if you would not normally visit your doctor’s surgery for minor illnesses it is important that you do so at examination time. Your doctor will advise as to whether the child is fit to sit the examination. If the student takes the paper, your doctor should give you a letter, which the school can forward to the examination board asking for special consideration on the grounds of illness. If the student is unable, through illness, to sit a paper the board may, after examining the doctor’s letter and any evidence of performance on other papers, decide to award a grade. It is unlikely that an AS grade will be awarded if a unit is missed as the student will be expected to re-take it in January. It is essential that you see a doctor on the day of the examination, or previously. Retrospective information is not accepted by the examination boards and any doctors’ letters must be forwarded to the Examination Officer without delay, as there is a tight deadline.

Please telephone the school if the student will not be attending an examination or if he/she will be present but is unwell. It is helpful for the invigilator to be made aware that a candidate is not feeling well.

Please be aware that any medical certificate must be accompanied by a note detailing the examinations to which it refers and the date on which the papers were scheduled. We cannot guarantee, otherwise, that all relevant examinations will be covered

There is a standard JCQ form (JCQ/ME Form14) available from the Examination’s Officer for self-certification for a missed examination. This can be countersigned by your doctor/nurse or surgery receptionist.

What do students do who finish early?

Students should use all of the available time completing their examination and checking their work thoroughly. Candidates are not permitted to leave before the end of the examination. They must sit silently at their desk so as not to disturb other candidates.

What do I need to do if a student has problems that may affect his/her examination performance?

Some students are eligible for extra time or special examination arrangements. These are normally identified by the school and appropriate applications made supported by an Educational Psychologist’s report, The Examination’s Officer and Head of Centre are empowered to grant extra time, the provision of a prompter or similar arrangements, but only given the correct evidence and at their sole discretion. The Special Needs Department will make arrangements for providing any other special assistance and inform the student of any special rooming arrangements.

Any illness, or family circumstances, which may affect examination performance, arising shortly before or during the exams, should be notified as soon as possible to the Examinations Officer so that an application for special consideration can be made to the boards. Parents/carers should be aware that any adjustment is likely to be small and that no feedback is ever provided from the awarding bodies.

How can parents/carers best help a student during the examination period?

Examinations are inevitably a stressful time for some students and support from parent, carers and school can be helpful. The school will provide advice about revision programmes and examination techniques, and if this is followed it should not be necessary for any student to work abnormally long hours during the revision period. It is probably helpful to discuss with the student how he/she intends to organise revision and to talk through any anxieties about particular techniques or subject matter. Testing knowledge of factual material can benefit if such help is requested, but often all that is needed is a quiet place to work and lots of encouragement. Candidates should eat properly, get plenty of sleep and have some opportunities for relaxation.

When and how are the results distributed?

GCE results will be available from school on Thursday 17th August 2017

GCSE results will be available from school on Thursday 24th August 2017

Results will be available for collection from 09.30 a.m. until 11.30 a.m.

Students wishing for a relative or friend to collect their results must send a signed letter of authorisation with the collector. Results will not be given over the telephone under any circumstances.

A2, AS and GCSE students not intending to collect in person but wishing their results to be posted, should leave a stamped addressed envelope (also bearing their unique number), with the examinations officer or at the school reception. Result slips for A2, AS and GCSE not collected or posted on results day will be retained in school for collection at the start of term, again with the necessary authority.

What can I do if results are substantially different from what is anticipated?

It must be remembered that examinations can only measure performance on the day, and that candidates can do better or worse than anticipated for a variety of reasons. It is advisable to obtain a copy of the script and mark scheme before proceeding to an EAR (enquiry about result), which is very expensive. If there are serious grounds for concern about a result then the school can initiate an enquiry with the appropriate board. Details of the procedures and the fees involved are available from the Examinations Officer and the process should be started as soon as possible after consultation with the head of department concerned. The final date for submission to the board is 20th September for summer exams and 4 weeks after results for others.

If the results have serious implications for the student’s future plans then advice should be sought from the Careers Service- Connexions.

If you wish to proceed with an enquiry about result change, below are copies of the school pricing structure and request form required to start the process.

How do I go about obtaining copies of marked examination scripts?

It is currently possible to have access to marked scripts for most AS/A2 units. You will need to complete a consent form from the school and pay a fee for each subject/paper. You should be aware that photocopies of marked scripts prior to an enquiry on results must be ordered within one week of the issue of results.

How do candidates apply to re-sit?

It is possible to re-sit AS/A2 modules; requests to re-sit units must be made on the correct form, via subject departments and accompanied by the appropriate examination fees. Students should discuss their decision to re-sit with their subject teacher or relevant head of department, students will need to sign the form to signify the re-sit.

Fees may vary depending on the subject and must be paid by the deadlines set. Refunds are not normally given.

How should fees be paid?

Where students are requesting a chargeable service, fees should accompany the completed form and either posted to the school for the attention of Mrs M Chrominski or delivered to the school examination office during the school day. Cheques should be made payable to Great Marlow School.

When do students receive certificates?

The examining boards issue certificates well after the examinations have taken place. When the school has received the certificates from the awarding bodies they will then be ready for collection. Students are required to collect them in person. If it is not possible then a friend or family member may collect them but only bearing a letter of request signed by the student and some form of ID.

Certificates that are not collected after 1 year of issue are sent back to the awarding bodies. They can only be replaced by direct application to the boards by the student, and will require proof of identity such as an original birth certificate and a substantial fee per certificate.

Students will be able to collect their certificates from Monday 13th November 2017, during school hours. It is advisable, therefore, that students collect their certificates as soon as possible after this date.

Please now view the “Notices to Candidates” for further information located in a separate folder on the school’s website.

What happens about the return of school books and equipment at the end of the examination period?

Students will have been informed by subject departments of the arrangements for return of books etc. Please ensure that all textbooks and equipment are returned promptly to school.

Highslide for Wordpress Plugin