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Examination FAQ's

What do I need to know before the start of my exams?

Make sure you know the date, time and venue for your exam! Arrive in good time so as not to miss the start of your exam
Know who to contact if there is an emergency that makes you late or unable to sit your exam
Make sure you understand the rules - do not become involved in any unfair or dishonest practices or try to cheat as this will have severe consequences

All candidates need to read and understanding the following JCQ Information for candidates documents: Written exams, On-screen tests, Coursework, Non Exam Assessments

You can find these documents and further useful information about preparing for exams at:

It is important that all students sitting an exam comply with the rules and regulations as any breaches could result in DISQUALIFICATION for all your subjects!

JCQ Unauthorised items and Warning to candidates posters:

Information for Candidates – Social Media 2022-2023

Information for Candidates – Privacy Notice 2022-2023

What should I bring into my exams?

Only bring what you need for that exam which should include a clear pencil case with at least 2 black ink pens (blue pens are not to be used) and any relevant equipment e.g. a ruler, compass or protractor and an approved calculator without a lid or cover (when calculators are allowed).
Do not use highlighters, gel pens, erasable pens or correcting fluid in your answers.
If you need anything during the exam, raise your hand and wait for an invigilator. Do not borrow anything from another candidate during the exam.
You can also bring in a clear bottle of water (with any labels removed)

What can I not take into my exams?

You cannot have any potential technological or web enabled sources of information in the exam room. This includes the possession of any unauthorised items including mobile phones (even if they are turned off), any type of watch or revision notes. If you do have a watch, the invigilator will ask you to hand it to them.

What else do I need to know?

Remain silent in the exam room – signalling or talking to another candidate could result in disqualification from all your exams
Listen carefully to instructions given at the start of your exam. If you are unsure of anything, raise your hand and wait for an Invigilator to come to you.
Check you have been given the correct question paper but do not open it until the exam begins.
If you need additional answer sheets, stationery or equipment, raise your hand and wait for an Invigilator to assist you – if you use additional answer sheets, remember to add your candidate details (and the question numbers) to these too!
If you need the toilet or are feeling unwell, raise your hand and wait for an Invigilator to escort you from the room – if you leave without an escort you will not be allowed to return to the exam room.

Why can’t I bring my mobile phone or watch into the exam room?

Being in possession of a mobile phone, watch or any other electronic communication device e.g. MP3 player, headphones etc. is regarded as cheating and is subject to severe penalty from awarding bodies. You may be disqualified from the specific paper or from all further exams. There will be clocks in every exam room so you will be able to see how much time you have left without needing a watch.

Can I bring food and drink to the examinations?

Only water in a clear bottle with the label removed.

How do I know how long the exam is?

The length of the exam is on your timetable and will be on the front of the exam paper. 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. There will be a clock in all examination rooms.

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

Some students receive an allowance of 25% extra time. Where possible, such candidates will be seated together to minimise disturbance from other candidates who finish earlier or will sit their exams in a separate room. The invigilators will include the additional time when they display the finishing time of your exam on the board

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

The school will reschedule papers where there is a clash of subjects on the same day. Candidates will normally sit one paper, then have a break during which they will be supervised and must not have any communication with other candidates. They will then sit the second subject paper.

If I am late can I still sit the examination?

Provided you are not more than 1 hour late it may still be possible for you to sit the examination. You should get to school as quickly as possible and report to Reception. It may not be possible to allow you any extra time if you start the examination late.

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

No. Timetables are run by the exam boards and cannot be changed.

What do I do if I am ill or have an accident 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 but we will need as much prior notice as possible.

You may need to provide medical evidence (from your GP or hospital) if you wish the school to make an appeal for Special Consideration on your behalf.

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

Put up your hand and an invigilator will assist you.

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. Where the request for special consideration fails to meet the criteria, it will be rejected. The allowance for Special Consideration is from 1% (for more minor problems) to 5% (reserved for the most 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 at the time of the assessment. Examples of such circumstances may be illness, accident or injury, bereavement, domestic crisis. The Examination Officer must be informed immediately, so that the necessary paperwork can be completed (within 7 days of the last exam session for each subject) and the candidate will be required to provide evidence to support such an application.

What do I do if I finish the exam early?

Students should use all of the available time in their exams and spend any time at the end checking their answers. Students are not permitted to leave before the end of the exam, they must sit quietly at their desks so as not to disturb other candidates.

Can I leave the exam early?

It is a requirement of the exam boards that you must stay in the examination room for at least one hour after the published start time of the exam (or for the duration of the exam if it is less than one hour). It is the school’s policy NOT to allow candidates to leave the exam room early as this is disruptive to other candidates.

What do I do if the fire alarm goes off?

The examination invigilators will tell you what to do. If you have to evacuate the room, close your answer booklet and leave everything on your desk. Exit the room in silence. You must not attempt to communicate with any other candidates during the evacuation.