External Examinations

Information for Sixth Form Students, Parents and Carers 2019

Exam timetable

Once students have been issued with their candidate timetable they should read through this carefully to check that all entries have been made and are correct. If there are any problems, students should speak to their subject teacher as soon as possible.


On the day of the exam

Students should:
● report to the venue printed on their exam timetable 15 minutes before the start of the exam.

● be in Sixth Form dress code (this includes lanyards as it is an important safeguarding issue)
● bring all required stationery in a transparent plastic bag or pencil case
● wait quietly outside the venue until they are called into the exam room by the invigilator. Students will be called into the room in candidate number order.
● follow the instructions of the invigilators at all times
● be silent at all times when in the exam room. If students have a query they should raise their hand and wait for an invigilator to come over
● ensure mobile phones and all internet enabled devices (including smart watches) are turned off and are in their bags
● remove their wrist watch and place it on their desk


Frequently asked questions

What happens if a student has more than one exam at the same time?
All students with a clash will have a cover sheet on their exam timetable detailing the arrangements. Usually one of the papers will 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 done 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 would 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 leave the room and buy lunch in the school canteen. They will not be able to use a mobile phone or communicate with any other students.

Where are exams held?
The main locations for written papers are the Lower School Hall, rooms X1 and X2, and the Gym. Venues and seat numbers are printed on students timetables so that they know well in advance of an exam where they should go. Students sit in candidate number order, as required by examination boards.

What time do exams start and finish?
Exam start times and duration are printed on students’ exam timetables. Students should report no later than 9.00am for morning examinations and 1.15pm for afternoon examinations. The length of examination papers varies and on some occasions may not finish until after 3.25 pm. Students and parent/carers should be aware of this and make appropriate arrangements for getting home. Students will not be allowed out of an exam early for any reason.

What happens if a student cannot find his/her place in the exam room?
The student should wait at the side of the exam room until an invigilator is available to help.

What should students bring to the examinations?
Students should bring at least 2 black biros, 2 writing pencils, a ruler, coloured pencils, eraser, any mathematical equipment etc. in a transparent plastic bag or pencil case. Non-transparent pencil cases will not be permitted in the examination room.

For exams where a calculator is permitted, students are responsible for making sure that their calculator meets regulations. Calculators must not:
• be designed or adapted to offer any of these facilities: language translators; symbolic algebra manipulation; 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: databanks; dictionaries; mathematical formulas; text.

Students are responsible for ensuring that they bring everything they need to the exam.

What should students not bring with them?
● Mobile phones, MP3/4 players, iwatches/smart watches and any internet enabled devices. Possession of such items could lead to disqualification from the exam even if they are turned off.
● Tippex or correction pens. Students should cross through any work they do not wish to be marked.

● Notes, textbooks etc.
● Food or chewing gum

May students bring a drink?
Yes, however no more that 750 ml of still water may be brought in a screw top clear plastic bottle with all labels removed. No fizzy drinks, cans or pouches.

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. A copy is also available here: written exams

The school and the examination boards regard breaches of examination regulations very seriously. Parents / carers should please impress on your son/daughter 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 exams officer have the power to remove disruptive students.

Students who try to communicate with other students inside the venue, or who create a disturbance in the examination room will be removed from the examination venue, and the circumstances will be reported to the examination board. This may result in the student not receiving a grade for the whole of that examination.

Furthermore students should not ‘doodle’ or write any additional/inappropriate comments on their exam paper. Exam papers that contain any ‘doodles’ or additional/inappropriate comments may not be marked by the exam board.

What if my son/daughter misses an exam?
Parents / carers may be asked to pay the entry fee where a student fails to attend an exam without good reason.

What do I do if my son/daughter is unwell at the time of one of the examinations?
Please telephone the school if your son/daughter will not be attending an examination or if he/she will be present but is unwell. It is often helpful for the invigilator to be aware that a candidate is not feeling well. For Lower School absence, please phone Mr Rose on 01670 515415 Option 1. For Sixth Form absence, please phone the Advanced Study Centre answer phone 01670 501520.

If the student will not be attending the exam they should go to the doctors, and get a letter to prove that they were unfit to sit the exam. 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 essential that you see your 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 exams officer without delay, as there is a tight deadline.

If a student did sit an exam, but was unwell it is possible to request special consideration from the exam board on the grounds of illness. To do so we would need a letter from your doctor as evidence, this should be forwarded to the exams office as soon as possible after the exam.

What should I do if my son/daughter is going to be late?
A parent/carer, or the student themselves should phone the school immediately on realising that they may be late for an exam and ask for a message to be given to the exams officer. Parents/carers should take students mobile phone off them and ensure that they do not have any access to the internet or communicate with any other students sitting the exam. Parents/carers should supervise students until they report to a member of staff in the appropriate exam venue. Depending on the time the student arrives at the exam we may need a statement from the parent / carer to confirm that this procedure has been followed to send to the exam board.

Depending on how long the exam has been in progress, it may be possible for the student to be admitted. However, we are bound by examination board regulations on this matter. Normally students with a genuine reason and who are brought straight to the centre may be admitted within the first 30 minutes of the start time and will receive the full time allocation, after this time the board will decide whether to accept any paper sat.

Students who arrive after 10am for morning exams or 2:30pm for afternoon exams, or who arrive after the end of the exam will not be admitted.

What do students do if they finish early?
Students should use all of the available time on their exams and spend any time at the end carefully checking their answers. Students are not permitted to leave before the end of the exam. They must sit quietly 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? 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 exams officer so that an application for special consideration can be made to the exam boards.

When will the results be available?
AS and A Level results will be available on Thursday 16 August.
GCSE results will be available on Thursday 23 August.
Arrangements for collecting results will be given to students in due course. If a student is unable to collect their exam results they will be posted home. Any students who wish to have their results emailed to them should contact the exams office to request this. Results can only be emailed to students school email address and this will not be done until after 10am on results day.

What can I do if results are substantially different from what is anticipated?
There will be staff available in school on results days to advise students and inform them of the options available. If you are unhappy with a result it is possible to request a student’s exam paper back to look at their answers, or to request a remark of an exam paper. An outline of services available are shown below. Full details of this, and the associated costs, will be available to students on results day and on the school website.


When will I get my certificates?
Certificates are posted to students home address in December / January if students have paid for postage. It is the students responsibility to inform school of any change to their address. If students do not pay for postage then they must collect their certificates in person, bringing with them some photo ID. A note will be posted on the school website to notify students when certificates are available to collect.

If you have any other questions please feel free to contact the exams office by telephone on 01670 501522.

On exams days it is best to contact the main school reception on 01670 515415 and leave a message, with the nature of your query, since the main priority will be the starting of exam sessions on time.