Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before The Exams

Why are mocks run as though they were real GCSE exams?

This is your chance to practice for the real exams, bringing the correct pens and other equipment and learning how to follow the JCQ regulations in full.
Your mock result could contribute towards your GCSE grade in the event that exams are cancelled for any reason and may be used to predict your grade for sixth form/college applications.

What is my Candidate Number?

Each candidate has a four-digit candidate number which is used by all the awarding bodies to identify you. You must write it on all your examination papers and coursework.  Your candidate number forms part of your Unique Candidate Identifier or UCI which is shown on the top of your Individual Candidate Timetable.  This number begins with the Centre Number where you took your first GCSE.  If you go to sixth form or college, you will need your UCI for exams there.

When will I get my personal timetable for the summer exams?

You will be given your own personal summer exam timetable just after the February half-term break.  Meanwhile you may find it useful to highlight your subjects on the general timetable which can be found here.

Why do I need to check the details on my Statement of Entry?

You need to make sure you have been entered for all the right exams at the right level or tier. You will also need to check the spelling of your name and your date of birth.

What do I do if there’s a clash on my timetable?

Some candidates may have two subjects which are timetabled at the same time by the Exam Boards. You will normally sit one paper then have a break. During the break you will be supervised and must not communicate with other candidates. (Bring a snack or packed lunch if necessary!) You will then sit the second subject paper. Correct times should be on your Individual Candidate Timetable which will be issued in assembly in the spring term.

Why does the school need an up-to-date contact number for me?

GCSEs are national exams and very carefully regulated. Each exam takes place at the same time all over England, Wales and abroad. We need to be able to contact you if you do not turn up for school.

How will I know if my original timetable has changed?

If there is any change whatsoever to your original exam timetable you will be issued with an individual candidate timetable with the change clearly marked.  It is your responsibility to make sure that you attend at the correct time for your GCSE exam.

I am entitled to extra time – how will this affect the way I take my exams?

Some pupils receive an allowance of up to 25% extra time. Where possible such candidates will be seated together, or in a separate room, to minimise disturbance from other candidates who finish earlier. You will have a yellow card on your desk and your finish time will be indicated on the exam screen.

What about Data Protection - my personal details?

You should be aware of the JCQ Privacy Notice

Will there be any specific revision sessions and additional support?

The most effective way to ensure you do well is to ensure you apply yourself fully in every lesson.  Additional sessions will be timetabled throughout the academic year during the school day, after school and some during the school holidays.  You will have a calendar of all the revision sessions timetabled for the spring term. 

During the Exams

Will there be study leave?

Students will be working in school up until the date of their last exam.  Booster sessions will be organised, where possible, prior to each exam.  These will give teachers a chance to give out final tips and reminders.

Must I wear uniform to school during the exams?

Whenever you come into school you must wear full school uniform.  Blazers may be removed once in the exam hall. Scarves, gloves, hats, snoods are not permitted. Face masks must not cover the ears.

Can I get lunch at school?

You may have lunch in the dining hall in the usual way or bring a packed lunch.

What are invigilators?

Invigilators are member of school staff who are employed to conduct the examinations.

Invigilators are in the examination room to supervise the conduct of the examination.  They will distribute and collect the examination papers, tell you when to start and finish the examination, hand out extra resources if required and deal with any problems that occur during the examination, for example if a candidate is feeling ill.  Invigilators cannot discuss the examination paper with you or explain the questions.

Students are expected to behave in a respectful manner towards all invigilators and follow their instructions at all times.  Any pupil who is disruptive or behaves in an unacceptable manner is commiting malpractice and may be removed from the examination by a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

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

Inform the school immediately so that we can help or advise you. For instance, if you have an injury which makes you unable to write it may be possible to provide you with a scribe. You must obtain medical evidence (from your GP or hospital) if you wish the school to make an appeal for Special Consideration on your behalf.

What time must I arrive for an exam?

You must arrive in school at least 20 minutes before the start time so that you can sign in, and make sure you know where your exam will take place.

Please wait quietly in the gym until you are invited to enter by a member of the Senior Leadership Team or the Exams Officer.

What time do examinations start?

Year 11 examinations usually start at 9.00 or 13:30. Afternoon exams lasting 2hrs or more will usually start at 13.00 - please check your individual candidate timetable.

What are ‘exam conditions’

As soon as you enter the exam room there must be complete silence; you must not speak, distract or communicate with other candidates in any way. You must face the front at all times. Do not write on the exam papers until you are instructed to do so.  If you need anything before or during the exam you must put up your hand and wait for an invigilator to come to you.

What equipment should I take into the exam room?

For all exams: * BLACK ballpoint pen(s) - no blue pens or gel pens * Pencil(s), Pencil Sharpener & Eraser * Ruler marked in cm and mm * Highlighter pen * Water bottle (clear plastic with label removed)

For science and maths exams: * Scientific calculator with lid removed, * Maths Set

For design technology exams: * Coloured pencils

What equipment must I NOT take into the examination room?

Food, sweets, notes, books, papers, pencil cases (unless transparent), calculator case or lid or instruction leaflet, correction fluid or pen, reading pens, any electronic equipment such as iPods, MP3/4 players, earpods, watches of any description, fitbits, mobile phones even if switched off.

If you are found to have anything with you which is not allowed, even if you did not intend to use it, this will be reported to the Awarding Body. The normal practice in these circumstances is to disqualify the candidate from the paper or the subject or all subjects. 

What if I think I have the wrong paper?

You will be asked to check your paper and tier level before the exam starts.  If you think something is wrong do not panic, put your hand up and tell the invigilator immediately so that it can be rectified.

What if I forget my Candidate Number?

Your Candidate Number is printed on the ID card which is placed on your desk for every examination. You must write your name and number exactly as it appears on the card. Legal names are used for exams, not ‘known-as’ names. Make sure you use CAPITAL LETTERS and be sure to write your surname and first name in the correct boxes on the paper IN BLACK PEN and remember to sign it if required to do so.

What if I forget the school Centre Number?

The Centre Number is 18425. It will be clearly displayed on the screen or board in all exam rooms.

How do I know how long the exam is?

The length of the examination is shown in hours and minutes on your individual timetable under the heading ‘duration’. It is also shown on the question paper. Invigilators will tell you when to start and finish the exam. There will be a clock in all examination rooms. The start and finish times of the exam will also be displayed on a screen (or display board) at the front of the exam room, including the finish times for candidates who are entitled to extra time.

What if I think there is an error on the paper?

If you think something is wrong with the exam paper, put your hand up and wait for the invigilator to come to you.

Can I go to the toilet during the exam?

Only if it is absolutely necessary. You will be escorted by an invigilator and will not be allowed any extra time.

What if I feel ill during the exam?

Put your hand up and an invigilator will assist you. You should always inform an invigilator if you feel ill before or during an exam. If you think this may have affected your performance, you should inform the Exams Officer.

What if I finish the exam early?

You will not be allowed to leave an examination room before the exam ends. If you are sure that you have finished the paper, use any time remaining to check over your answers, check the exam instructions and check that you have completed your details correctly. You must sit quietly facing the front. Do not turn around or look about the room. Do not make any noise or distract other candidates in any way as this is classed as malpractice.

What happens at the end of the exam?

The invigilator or Exams Officer will announce when the exam has ended, and it is time to stop writing. You must stop writing IMMEDIATELY and remain silent, facing the front.

Remember to cross through any rough work you do not wish to be marked. If you have used more than one answer book or loose sheets of paper, make sure you have filled in all your details and put question numbers on each sheet and place them inside the question paper in the correct order. These will be collected by the invigilators.

Remember that you are still under examination conditions (see FAQ 18) until you have left the room. You should remain seated in silence until you are told to leave the examination room. Please leave the room in silence and show consideration for other candidates who may still be working.

What is Special Consideration?

Special Consideration is an adjustment to the marks of a candidate who is eligible. This is decided by the Exam Board and not by the school. The allowance for Special Consideration is from 0% (consideration given but addition of marks considered inappropriate) to 5% (reserved for really exceptional cases). Parents should be aware that any adjustment is likely to be small and no feedback is ever provided. You will only be eligible for Special Consideration if you have been fully prepared for the whole course, but your performance in the examination or in the production of coursework is affected by adverse circumstances beyond your control, for example - illness, accident or injury, bereavement, domestic crisis.

The Exams Officer must be informed immediately of any such cases so that the necessary paperwork can be completed. You will be required to provide evidence to support the application. Family holidays will NOT be eligible.

If I’m late, can I still sit the examination?

You should get to school as quickly as possible and report to Reception. If it is still possible for you to sit the examination a member of staff will escort you to the exam room and you will be allowed the full amount of time for the exam. You must not enter an examination room without permission after an examination has started. If you arrive very late the school must inform the Exam Board, giving the reason and evidence for your lateness, in which case the Board may decide not to accept your work.

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

No. Timetables are regulated by the Exam Boards, and you must attend on the given date and time. If you miss an exam without good reason, you will be charged the entry fee.

What happens if there is a fire alarm during an exam?

If the fire alarm sounds during an examination the invigilators will tell you what to do. Don’t panic. Leave everything on your desk. If you have to evacuate the room, you will be asked to leave in silence and in the order in which you are sitting. You will be escorted to a designated assembly point. You must not attempt to communicate with anyone else during the evacuation you are still under exam conditions.

When you return to the exam room, do not start writing until the invigilator tells you to. You will be allowed the full working time for the examination and a report will be sent to the Exam Board with details of the incident.

After the Exams

How do I get my results for my GCSEs?

Year 11s can collect results from the school on Thursday 22nd August 2024 at 10.00 until 11 noon. They will also be available on Go4Schools from 9am.

If you wish any other person (including family members) to collect your results on your behalf, you must give your written authorisation to the Exams Officer at school before 19th July 2024.

Results are never given over the telephone or by text. If there are really exceptional circumstances, special arrangements must have been made before results day.

Any Year 11 results not collected from school on 22nd August 2024 will be posted first class to your home address that evening unless you provide us with a different address beforehand.

What do I do if I don’t get the grades I need for sixth form/college?

Contact your chosen sixth form or college immediately and explain your situation. They will tell you if you are still eligible for admission.

If you feel strongly that it is necessary to make an enquiry about your result, you should first contact the Exams Officer to request a Review of Marking. You should be aware that your mark could go down as well as up or even stay the same. Requests for Reviews of Marking and a signed Candidate Consent form must be submitted as soon as possible.

If the school supports your application, you will not need to pay. Otherwise, you will have to pay the fee which would be in the range of between £70 and £115, depending on the Exam Board. If your overall grade is changed, the fee will be refunded.

When will I get my certificates?

Presentation Evening will take place in school one evening in November 2024. You will be sent an invitation to attend Presentation Evening nearer the time and on that evening you can collect your certificates and meet up with friends.

If you are unable to attend Presentation Evening, you may collect your certificates from the school office from the following day. Certificates will not be given to anyone other than the candidate without the candidate’s written authorisation.

Schools are only obliged to keep certificates for a period of one year after issue. If you lose your certificates, they can only be replaced by direct application to the appropriate Examination Boards. This will require proof of identity (such as a birth certificate) and a fee (at least £40) per Examination Board. You are therefore urged to collect your certificates on Presentation Evening or as soon as possible thereafter and to keep them safely.

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