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 to Public Exams and Internal Assessments

Public examinations and Internal Assessments can be stressful for students, parents and 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.

The school makes every effort to ensure that students receive the best possible preparation for their external exams, internal assessments and tests; that the administrative arrangements run smoothly; and that the assessments are conducted in a way that causes as little stress as possible, so that students achieve their full potential.

Students will receive an individual timetable for the exam series; a copy of the overall timetable is published on the website for both GCE and GCSE. Students are briefed, before the exams and assessments take place, on the rules, regulations and guidance outlined by the JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications). Information on the rules, regulations and guidance can be located on the following tabs, we hope it will be helpful. We endeavour to keep the website updated to reflect the changing information as soon as we receive it.

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


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 Exams?

The Examinations Officer is responsible for administering all 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 exams and who are supervised by the Examination Officer.

Who is entered for Exams

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 Exams

The timetable for exams are published on GMS’s website and a copy is given to students.

What information will students receive about their 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 all errors or problems reported to the Examinations Officer.

Once the examination boards have received entries, the Statements of Entry will be issued showing the subjects entered with that board. 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.

Where are the examinations held?

The main locations for written papers are the main hall and the sixth form silent study room, (formally 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

Every student receives a timetable produced by the school which details their A-level 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?

Students are asked to report no later than 8.45 am for morning exams and 12.45 pm for afternoon exams. 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 travelling home. Students will not be allowed out of an exam early.

Some students may receive an allowance of extra time for the exams and so their finishing times will be 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 am and pm sessions. GMS request that parents, carers and students check all examination commitments for each day the evening before.

How are students supervised?

Adult external invigilators will supervise students under the direct management of the Examinations Officer. Once students enter the assessment 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 assessment 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 assessment for which he/she has been entered. Students who have been officially withdrawn from an assessment 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 exam 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. 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 assessment will not be admitted.

What should students bring to the assessments?

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 must be black.

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 assessment room and should be deposited either outside the room or with an invigilator:

Mobile phones, ipod, mp3/4 players and any other electronic equipment, all wristwatches, iWatch or any type of wristwatch i.e. analogue/digital. These items must be handed in to an invigilator before the start of an assessment, but the school cannot be responsible for the security of these while the assessment 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 assessment room.

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

Students should not bring lucky mascots and the like into the assessment room. No food items or chewing gum are allowed.

May students bring a drink?

Students may bring a drink with them into the assessment room. However, no more than 750ml of still water is allowed, preferably in a bottle with a sports cap. All bottles of water have to be in clear plastic, with all labels 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 assessments 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.

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 assessment room will be sanctioned.

It is a very serious offence, and our advice is that phones should not be brought to school. If it is an emergency, students may ask at the school’s reception during the exam series, if we would contact home on their behalf. GMS take no responsibility for the security of mobile phones brought to school.

What is meant by malpractice?

Malpractice is the term used to describe any irregularity, or breach of the regulations. Examination boards take the integrity of exams very seriously and students must take notice of the Examination Officer’s instructions carefully. It is also an offence to write inappropriate, obscene or offensive material on the script.

How are assessments started?

The Examinations Officer, or lead invigilator, will usually announce the start of the assessment formally; students are cautioned that they are subject to the regulations.

What standards of behaviour are expected during assessments?

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 assessment 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 assessment.

Students who try to communicate with other students inside the venue in a verbal or non-verbal way, or who create a disturbance will be asked to leave.

What should students wear for assessments?

Assessments are a school activity and students below the Sixth 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 assessment 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.

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 assessment days.

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

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

Even if you would not normally visit your doctor’s surgery for minor illnesses it is important that you do so at assessment time. A doctor’s letter asking for special consideration on the grounds of illness will be taken into account.

Please telephone the school if the student will not be attending an assessment 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 medical certificates 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 Form 14) 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 to complete their assessments and checking their work thoroughly. Candidates are not permitted to leave before the end of an assessment. 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 assessment 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. Please see the relevant Exam Information under the tab below titled ‘Information for Candidates and Parents / Carers’ tab for more information about the special consideration process.

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

Assessments are inevitably a stressful time for some students and support from parents, 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 and GCSE results are available from school in August of the relevant school year.

A-level Results’ Day in 2024 is Thursday 15th August.

  • 8 am – 10:30 am: Students may come to collect results in person from the Sixth Form Centre
  • from 8 am: Results will be emailed to all students via their school email address
  • 8 am – 3 pm: Sixth Form Team available for advice
  • please see this letter for details about results day:  Year 13 Results’ Day and Post-Results Services Letter – July 24

GCSE Results’ Day in 2024 is Thursday 22nd August.

  • 8:30 am – 10:30 am: Students may come to collect results in person from the Sixth Form Centre – no appointment is needed
  • from 8 am: Results will be emailed to all students via their school email address
  • 9 am – 3:30 pm: Students returning to GMS for Sixth Form will have a 15-minute enrolment appointment. Most will be on Results’ Day, but some may be on Friday 23th of August
  • please see this letter for details about results day:  Year 11 Results’ Day and Post-Results Services Letter – July 24

The GCSE and A-level certificates are available for collection from the 3rd of December 2024. For further information on certificates, please go to the ‘Post Results Services’ tab and the “Certificate Information’ tab.

Results will not be given over the telephone under any circumstances. Students wishing for a relative or friend to collect their results must send a signed letter of authorisation with the collector or alternatively, you can use the form provided below.

A-level 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 A-level 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.

If you have a query with your A-Level or GCSE Results:

You should first speak to the school.

  • With regards to Year 11 students, your point of contact is Mr G Pendlebury at:
  • With regards to Year 13 students, your point of contact is Mr Hollyman at:

If you have a query with your results:

It’s important that you understand on what basis you can and can’t appeal your results when deciding your next steps. Only the school can submit an appeal on your behalf.

You need to look carefully at all the documentation provided on this page before requesting an appeal.

The internal appeals and complaints policies are available on request.

Below is a list of useful guides from the government on what to do next after receiving your results:

Internally Marked Assessments

Externally Marked Assessments

Autumn Resits 2024: GCSE

The November series, resit opportunity, is available only for internal students who are studying in the Great Marlow School 6th form, and who still need to attain their Maths/English Language at GCSE level. The GCSE resit opportunity for any other subjects is not available for this November series, (academic year 2024 to 2025). We do not accept private/external candidates.

Certificate Information

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 are 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, or you can use the attached form below.

Certificates that are not collected after one year following issue are sent back to the awarding bodies. They can only be replaced by direct application to the board 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 for the 2024 exam series from 3th December 2024, during school opening hours.

For more information, please view the “Notices to Candidates” 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 the return of books etc. Please ensure that all textbooks and equipment are returned to school promptly.

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