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External Examinations

 

Warning to Candidates

A-Z Guide of Examinations

 A guide to everything you could possibly want to know about the examination process and more!

Absence from Examinations:

  • You must attend all examinations to which you are allocated on your personal timetable. Misreading the timetable will NOT be accepted as a satisfactory explanation for your absence.

  • You WILL be invoiced if you fail to attend an examination that has been paid for by SCHOOL.

  • If you are absent from an examination due to illness, please notify School as early as possible by telephone on 0161 865 2293, this number has an answer phone for out-of-hours messages.  We shall advise you if a formal medical certificate will be required but it is always best to obtain one.

Access Arrangements:

All arrangements with regards to extra time, reader, rest breaks and the use of a laptop, etc., have been applied for in co operation with the SEN department. These concessions must be the student’s ‘Normal Way of Working’ in class and progress tests etc.

Access To Scripts (ATS):

  • After the results have been issued in August candidates are able to request access to their examination scripts from the awarding bodies. A fee is charged. There are two types of access to script services available to candidates, these are: Original scripts and Photocopied scripts.

  • Many candidates often wish to see their examination script in order to decide whether or not to have the paper remarked. If this is the case then you must request a photocopy of the script. You are unable to choose the original script option because once a script has been returned to a centre from the awarding bodies then its security has been compromised. If however you are not planning on requesting a remark then you can request the original script.

  • If you want to request a script then you must collect the relevant form from the Examinations Office and return by the appropriate deadline.

 

Please note: GCSE students are only able to request original scripts.

Attendance at the Examinations:

Punctuality is important.  Exams start at 9.00am or 1.15pm you must be outside the exams room at least 15 minutes before.  Late students may not be given the full exam time.

Authentication Form:

Students must complete and sign an awarding body authentication form and attach it to any coursework produced for their final qualification.  Awarding bodies will refuse to mark any work not accompanied by the signed forms.

Awarding Bodies:

These are the organisations that provide qualifications for schools and colleges. Awarding bodies used by Stretford Grammar School are; AQA, Pearson (Edexcel) and WJEC.

Bags:

  • Bags must be left OUTSIDE the exam room.

  • Please do not bring valuables with you when you are sitting examinations.

Black Pens:

Awarding bodies request that students use black ink to complete their answer papers, this is because they now scan scripts onto a computer to send to the examiners for marking. Black ink is the only colour their scanners can read. Please do not use Blue, Red, Green or Pencil (unless otherwise instructed) to do your exam, or it may not get marked.

Calculators:

Calculators may be used in some examinations: your subject teacher will tell you if they are not allowed. Check it works properly and that batteries are working. In all cases, calculators are not allowed if they offer any of the following facilities: 

  • language translators;
  • symbolic algebra manipulation;
  • symbolic differentiation or integration;
  • remote communication with other machines or the World Wide Web;
  • data banks;
  • dictionaries;
  • mathematical formulae or text.

No printed instructions or cases are permitted. You must bring your own calculator if you need one: you may not use the calculator functions on mobile telephones, which are not allowed in all examination rooms and you may not borrow a calculator from another candidate.

Candidate Number:

Your candidate number is the four digit number printed on your timetable. You will be seated, by subject, in candidate number order. Sixth form students must bring their student ID card to every examination and it must be clearly visible on your desk at all times.

Cashing-In:

Marks for each of the units for which you have entered are “banked” by the appropriate awarding bodies. To “cash-in” these marks for a grade, the School has to add a cash-in code when it submits its exam entries; without this code new marks will be added to the bank but a grade will not be calculated and no award for an AS or A2 level will be made.

For example if you are a second year student who re-sits an AS unit the marks you achieve in this re-sit will only help to improve your A2 grade and not your AS grade unless you ask to be cashed-in.

Centre:

Centres can be schools, colleges or other establishments that have been approved by an awarding body to offer qualifications, enter students for exams and conduct the awarding bodies’ exams.

Our Centre number is 33649

You will need to write this on all of your exam papers.

Certificates:

  • Certificates are only issued if you have achieved a pass grade. Once these are issued in the November of the examination year you will be notified, via a letter sent home, of a celebration held in School. It will give past students a chance to collect their certificates and catch up with fellow peers, friends and staff.
  • Certificates will not be posted home unless you pay towards the cost of Recorded Delivery.  Postage abroad will be be more. Please see the exams department for details.
  • Certificates can normally be collected from School reception from mid December onwards.  Certificates will not be given to a 3rd party unless written permission from the student is given to the 3rd party.

Please note that centres may destroy any unclaimed certificates by a secure method (e.g. shredding or incineration) after holding them for a period of 12 months from the date of issue.

TIP: You must keep all your certificates safe as in most circumstances they cannot be replaced

Change of Address:

It is important that you inform School as a matter of urgency if you move address. Letters about results, non collection of certificates, imminent potential disposal of certificates etc. may not reach you.

Change of Name:

It is important that you inform School as a matter of urgency if you change your name.  Evidence to confirm this must be brought at the time i.e. Deed Poll certificate, Passport, Birth Certificate. Your legal name MUST be used on all Exam Certificates to avoid issues at a later date.  Awarding bodies will charge approx. £50 per certificate to change them.

Cheating:

Candidates caught cheating in examinations will be reported to the awarding bodies. This

includes being in possession of or using, in the exam room, a mobile telephone, smart watches, pagers, mp3 players, I-pods, unauthorised aids or notes or copying from /communicating with other candidates –

N.B. Even if the items are in your pocket and you have no intention of using them you will still be reported to the awarding body concerned.

Penalties include disqualification from all examinations for up to five years.  See the JCQ “Notice to Candidates”.

Clashes:

  • If you have an examination clash involving different subjects, arrangements, which will usually involve doing one exam later in the day, will be discussed with you. Ensure the Exams Officer knows of the clash.
  • All information on a CLASH LETTER overrides all other instructions
  • If you have a clash involving two or three examinations in the same subject, you will sit your papers one after the other as long as the total published examination time does not exceed three hours.  No break will be allowed in between the papers, unless to use the toilet.   If the total time does exceed three hours, the papers will be split between the morning and afternoon session.  If you are in this position, you will have to go into quarantine between the two sessions and will, therefore, need to bring a packed lunch and a drink with you.
  • For AS/A2 6 hours is the maximum amount of total exam time that the exam boards recommend you sit in one day and for GCSE the total is 5 ½ hours. If you have multiple clashes where the combined total is more than these hours then you will require overnight supervision. If this applies, it will be discussed with you.

Conduct in the Examination Room:

  • You must be silent in the examination room, including the times when you come in and go out.  Once you have entered an examination room, you are not allowed to leave unescorted until the end of the examination, and only then when you are given permission to do so.
  • You will not be allowed to leave an exam early even if you have finished
  • Should you require any assistance, please raise your hand clearly and wait for an invigilator to come to you.
  • Please do not write on your examination desk:  this constitutes vandalism and you will be charged for the removal of graffiti.

Controlled Assessment:

Tasks or Assignments set by the awarding bodies with defined control levels for each stage.GCSE controlled assessments are done under exam conditions.

Coursework:

All GCE coursework will be carried out during the academic year. All deadlines are issued by departments and if you have any problems with regards to these you must speak to the relevant department staff.

The awarding bodies will return most coursework during October. Students wishing to reclaim coursework should apply to their teachers as soon as possible after this date.

Data Protection Form:

All students who have been granted access arrangements must complete and sign this form before concessions can be put in place with the awarding bodies.

Dictionaries:

You may not use a dictionary in an exam unless dictionaries are specifically permitted by the subject specification or special arrangements have been approved by the awarding bodies.

If you think you might be entitled to the use of a dictionary please see the SEN department.

Enquiries About Results (EARs):

The awarding bodies offer the option of having a script remarked, at a fee, if a candidate or member of teaching staff is unhappy with the marks. There is a choice of three different types of remarks; these are:

  • Clerical check
  • Full remark
  • Priority remark

A clerical check is simply when the relevant awarding body checks that the number of marks given has been added up correctly.

A full remark is when the awarding body sends your examination paper to a different examiner, this time a senior examiner, and asks them to remark it using the same mark scheme.

A priority remark is exactly the same as a full remark but is only available in the summer for GCE papers where a candidate’s university place it at stake.

If you’re not satisfied with the grade you have achieved the first thing you may think about is getting your papers remarked, however, remarking is very costly and not often effective. Therefore it is important to consider the following:

 

  • Are you close to the grade boundary?

Remarks usually only alter a grade by a few UMS marks, if any at all. If you are therefore very close to a higher grade boundary a remark may be worth considering but if you require a substantial amount of marks to achieve a higher grade then the likelihood is that your mark will not change.

  • Your grade can go down as well as up

Remark means having your entire paper remarked therefore your grade can quite easily go down as well as up.  If your grade does get lowered you cannot refuse it and ask for the original higher grade to stand. You must be aware that this is the chance you take when asking for a remark.

  • Cost

Remarks are very expensive and the likelihood is that your mark will not change.

If you want to request a remark then you must collect the relevant form from the Examinations Office and return by the appropriate deadline.

End of Examinations:

  • The invigilators will collect your exam papers before you leave the examination room. Absolute silence must be maintained during this time and until you are outside the building – remember that other examinations may be continuing as you leave.
  • You may not take any examination materials (additional paper, answer booklets, question papers etc.) from any examination room.

Equipment:

  • All students must remember to bring their own equipment to any examination that they have. These include pens, pencils, rulers, rubbers and a pencil sharpener. Borrowing from other candidates is not allowed.
  • Please note that the JCQ regulations state that a BLACK pen must be used in all examinations.
  • For diagrams, use an HB pencil and a ruler. Gel pens, highlighters, correcting fluids and correcting pens may not be used in any answer booklets.
  • Exam rooms do have limited supply of equipment but these are limited and for emergencies only.

Examination Dates:

The examination dates are nationally set by the awarding bodies and NOT by the college.

These dates can therefore not be changed

Examination Regulations:

It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the JCQ ‘Notice to Candidates’ regulations. A copy of these regulations is available on the School website and will also be displayed outside all examination rooms.

Extended Project:

A level 3 qualification involving a single piece of work that requires a high degree of planning, preparation, research and independent working.  Learners explore in depth a topic based on their own interest and aspirations.  The extend project may be completed as a stand-alone qualification.

Extra Time:

Will only be granted to an individual if they have evidence of a learning difficulty or disability. Students can be assessed by the Learning Support Department, who will identify whether there is a need for students to have up to 25% or in extreme circumstances up to 50% extra time.

Food and Drink:

Food is not allowed into an examination room unless special permission has been given.

You are only allowed to take into the examination room a drink of water. This must be in a clear plastic bottle and all labels must be removed. You will not be able to leave the exam room to refill a bottle of water and invigilators cannot leave the exam room to do this for you. Therefore please ensure that you have enough water to last you the whole exam.

Any other type of drink is not permitted – this is incase you spill your drink over your exam paper. If only water is spilt there is a greater chance that your exam paper can be saved.

Grade Boundaries:

These can be found on all of the Exam Board websites following an external exam series.

Health:

See Absence or Illness.

Illness:

If you become ill during your exams, advise the invigilators and the Exams Officer so that advice can be given on the best course of action.

Invigilator:

An invigilator is someone who watches over candidates in an examination to ensure that JCQ exam conditions are met. You must follow all instructions and orders given to you by an invigilator.The invigilation team have the same authority as the Exams Officer during the course of any exam.

JCQ = Joint Council for Qualifications:

Represents all the awarding bodies that offer general qualifications. JCQ ensures that learners of all ages and level of ability have access to qualifications and is responsible for producing administration rules for general qualifications e.g. regulations on access arrangements.

JCQ Inspectors:

On the spot adhoc inspections are made to all centres during the examinations period to ensure that all centre staff and students are adhering to the general regulations laid down by all awarding bodies.

Knowledge:

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family”.   Kofi Annan

Work hard, learn your subjects and excel in your exams/qualifications.

Late Arrivals:

Any candidate arriving after the start of the examination may be allowed to enter the examination room and sit the examination. Each circumstance is individually assessed. If you are unavoidably delayed you should contact School ASAP.

Location of Examinations:

Most examinations take place in the main Hall and in the Gym.

Malpractice:

Malpractice is any practice which is a breach of the JCQ regulations or which compromises the integrity of any examination result or certificate.

This malpractice can occur in the course of any exam or assessment, including the preparation and authentication of any coursework, the presentation of any practical work, the compilation of portfolios of assessment evidence and the writing of any exam paper.

Mobile Telephones & other Electronic Equipment:

Mobile telephones, and, other electronic equipment are not allowed into examination or quarantine rooms.  The School and awarding bodies’ regulations forbid you to bring in any of these devices into any examination room or any room being used for quarantine, either before or after an examination, so you are strongly advised not to bring such devices with you on examination days.  If you do bring in such devices, please leave them switched off in your bags, if you do not have a bag hand it to the invigilator.

If a mobile telephone, or other electronic device is found in your possession in an examination or quarantine room – even if it is turned off – it will be taken from you and a report made to the appropriate awarding body.  The awarding bodies now operate a no-tolerance policy on all candidates discovered to be in infringement of the regulations and have advised the School that students discovered to have a communications device with them during an examination or quarantine face disqualification from the subject concerned, see penalties section for more details.  In addition, the College Principal is likely to take action against you under the College’s disciplinary procedures.  Please do not risk disqualification:  either leave your mobile telephone at home or hand it in to the invigilators.

Module Marks:

  • A copy of each module mark can be found on your official statements of results, these are given to you on Results Day.
  • The Exams Officer does not have this information readily available.
  • Please therefore remember when completing UCAS to bring your statements of results with you.

Nerves:

Nervousness / anxiety are a natural part of the examination process. Thorough preparation, organisation and revision well planned in advance help to lessen these.

Overnight supervision:

  • Overnight supervision will be required if you have examinations totalling more than 6 hours in one day if you are an AS/A2 students or more than 5 ½ hours if you are a GCSE student.
  • You will be required to be kept under supervision by your parents until the following morning when you will sit the rest of your examinations that should have been sat the previous day.
  • Overnight supervision is required so that you do not come into contact with anyone else who has already sat exams which you have not. Therefore whilst in supervision you will not be able to have a mobile phone in your possession, use the internet or have any contact with the outside world.
  • A parental declaration form must be completed before the examination in question.

Penalties:

The following are examples of some of the penalties the JCQ issues depending on the offence that was committed:

  1. Warning.
  2. Loss of all the marks gained for a single piece of coursework.
  3. Loss of all the marks gained for a component or unit.
  4. Disqualification from all qualifications taken in that exam series
  5. Barred from entering for one or more examinations for a set period of time.

The table below shows the types of offences for possession of a mobile phone and what penalty you may be awarded as a result.

Offence

Warning

Loss of marks

Loss of  certification opportunity

Mobile Phones

In the Examination or quarantine room but not in the candidates possession, and rings or beeps

In the candidates possession, but no evidence of being used or being active

In the candidates possession and evidence of it being used or active (rings, beeps, used as calculator)

Phone numbers:

Ensure these are up to date on our system including mobile numbers.

Plagiarism:

There are many definitions of plagiarism, but they all have in common the idea of taking someone else’s intellectual effort and presenting it as one’s own. The Joint Council’s Guidelines for Dealing with Instances of Suspected Malpractice defines plagiarism as: “The failure to acknowledge sources properly and/or the submission of another person’s work as if it were the candidate’s own.”

Prohibited Material:

The following items must not be brought into any examination room:

  • bags, etc.;
  • books (unless set texts for specific examinations – please note, post-its and excessive annotations are not permitted in open book exams - all books will be checked prior to the exam beginning), notes, letters, diaries or other printed material;
  • calculator cases or instruction books;
  • mobile telephones, or other electronic devices;
  • pencil cases (use a transparent plastic bag as a substitute);
  • glasses cases

Quarantine:

If you are required to go into quarantine over a lunch period, you must bring a packed lunch and a drink with you on that day as you will not be allowed to use the canteen. Mobile telephones, pagers and electronic devices are not allowed into any quarantine room.

You will be supervised immediately after your examination until the end of your quarantine period.  In quarantine, you may revise for your next examination or talk quietly with fellow candidates.

Readers:

Students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities may be entitled to a reader.  A reader is someone that will read information from the exam paper and your own written work when requested.

Remarks:  (See Enquiries about results)

Re-sits:

If you re-sit any AS units please note that there is no guarantee that you will achieve a better grade simply by re-sitting an examination. There are various things to consider before opting to re-sit an exam; these include:

  • Do you think that you will be able to improve on your performance?
  • Will you have enough time to revise for a re-sit unit as well as devote the necessary time to the new units in which you will be examined? Will re-sitting exams give you too full a timetable in the summer?
  • The highest mark achieved for a unit goes forward.
  • There are costs associated with re-sit exams.

Please note: after the re-sit deadline any re-sit requests will be subject to additional fees imposed by the awarding bodies .

Results:

AS and A2 levels

Students may collect their results from School on Thursday 15th August 2019.

GCSE

Students may collect their results from School on Thursday 22nd August 2019.

Results will not be handed to a 3rd party unless written permission is given to them by you and brought in to School beforehand.

Results not collected can be posted home on provision of a stamped addressed envelope.

Seating Plans:

Seating plans are displayed on the exams notice boards before each examination.

Source Referencing:

Students must acknowledge the sources from which they have accessed information whilst undertaking the controlled assessment/coursework. This must include detailed references (web page, author, page numbers etc.) of any source material.  (Also see Plagiarism).

Special Consideration:

The awarding bodies will not apply special consideration for anything other than serious reasons.  Special consideration can only be applied for if a significant event has affected your performance on the day of the examination and you can provide appropriate evidence.  Please see the Examinations Officer immediately if you feel that you may have been affected by a circumstance beyond your control.

Student ID:

Sixth form students must wear their ID to all examinations to assist the invigilators in identifying you during the exams. A JCQ inspector will expect to see these.

Text Messages:

Are used to contact students regarding important information – see Phone Numbers.

Times:

Unless otherwise stated, all examinations at this School commence at 9.00 am (morning papers) and

1.15 pm (afternoon papers).

You should be ready to enter the examination room at least 15 minutes before the published starting time.

Timetables:

  • You have been given your own personal timetable for the Summer exams. It should have been checked carefully.
  • It is essential that personal details are correct, in particular with regards to spelling, as this information will be printed on your examination certificates. If there are any errors (e.g. name, date of birth, examination entry in particular if you have applied for re-sits or if there are several different tiers available) please notify the Examinations Officer immediately.
  • Once certificates have been issued substantial costs will be involved if you notice any errors.
  • Dates are given on the timetable(s) issued to you.  Check carefully to see if the examination is in the morning or the afternoon – extra time may not be permitted if you are late.  Take special note of any re-arrangements required due to a timetable clash.




  • You, and you alone, are responsible for checking your examination timetable. If you have any queries then please contact the Exams OfficeR immediately.




UCAS:

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is the British admission service for students applying to university, including post-16 education.

UCAS Clearing:

You can use Clearing if you’re not accepted on a course, you decline all offers or if you applied after 30 June if you still want to go to university the same year,

UCI Number:

A UCI (unique candidate identifier) number is a number which every candidate is given and is used to link all entries and results for a candidate across an exam series and between different exam boards and centres. It can be found on your certificates/result slips.

University Tests:

Some universities and colleges require you to take an admissions test e.g. BMAT as well as standard qualifications (i.e. A-Levels) if you are applying for certain courses in certain subjects.

Valuables:

Under no circumstances should candidates leave money or valuables (including calculators, keys, credit cards, cash or mobile telephones) in any bag.

If you do so, it is at your own risk.

Warning: (see Cheating, Malpractice, Penalties and Plagiarism)

All the awarding bodies make it clear that:

  • the official examination sessions must be run under strictly fair conditions, with no form of deception. This rule includes any form of communication between students during an examination, as well as any other practice that could conceivably be seen as an attempt to deceive.
  • anybody attempting unfair practices can expect cancellation of examination entries and possible exclusion from GCSE/AS and A2 level examinations for a period of up to five years.

Watches:

Must be placed at the top of your exam desk for the duration of an exam. Clocks in the exam room will show the official time being used for the exam.

Word of Advice:

Remember to have something to eat and drink before taking your examinations, especially on hot days, when we do experience a number of students who become dehydrated and are unable to complete their exams due to a lack of fluid intake.  A banana eaten half an hour before the start of an exam can boost your concentration levels.

Word Processors:

Students who have been granted the use of a word processor in their written exams will use a School lap top that has had spell check/grammar removed as a condition of the JCQ Adjustments for Candidates with Disabilities and Learning Difficulties Regulations.

X Marks:

On your results could indicate that you were absent, withdrawn from your unit or transferred to another centre.

Year End:

The last day of School is Friday 19th July 2019.

Zero Mark:

In accordance with the penalty recommendations in the JCQ document Suspected Malpractice in Examinations and Assessments; the award of a zero mark is awarded for the unit in question, when a student is suspected of Malpractice.

Mobile Phones

Use of Social Media

Subject Exam Boards