Examinations and Support

Examination Regulations and Procedures

Please read the following information carefully to be aware of the examination regulations and procedures.

All GCSE candidates must:

  • Read and fully understand the JCQ Notice to Candidates.
  • Understand controlled assessment and non-examination assessment regulations and sign a declaration that authenticates work as your own.
  • Check all the details on your individual candidate timetable and report any errors to the Exams Officer.
  • Read the instructions on each exam paper very carefully.
  • Check that the academy has at least one up-to-date contact number for you .
  • Inform the academy, the Exams Office, Head of Year 11 or the Exam Invigilator of any event for which special consideration might be sought from the awarding body (e.g. illness before or during an exam, bereavement or other trauma disadvantage or disturbance during an exam).

If you break any of the examination rules or regulations you could be disqualified from all other exams. The academy must report any breach of regulations to the relevant awarding bodies.

Please contact the Examinations Office if you or your parents/carers have any other queries about examination procedures at any time before, during or after the examinations.

Awarding Bodies

AQA www.aqa.org.uk
Edexcel (Pearson) www.edexcel.com
OCR www.ocr.org.uk
WJEC www.wjec.co.uk

Candidate Number

Your candidate number forms part of your Unique Candidate Identifier or UCI (12 numbers and 1 letter) which is shown on the top of your individual candidate timetable. This number begins with the Centre Number where you first took GCSEs. If you go to Sixth Form or College you will need your UCI for exams there.

Forecast Grades

Your mock exam results have been used to predict your final GCSE grade. Your Predicted Grade may be passed on to the Sixth Form/College you choose to apply for.

It will also be used by the awarding body if you need Special Consideration (For more information on this subject, see ‘What Is Special Consideration’ below)

Statement Of Entry

If the name or date of birth on your exam certificates does not match your birth certificate it could cause you problems if you are asked to show them to College/University or a potential employer. You also need to check the spelling of your name and your date of birth are correct.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When it comes to exams, there are a lot of questions to be asked and many answers to be heard. Throughout the following sections, we will be providing answers to the most frequently asked  questions for each stage of the exam process.

How will an exam clash affect me?

You will normally sit one paper then have a short break. During the break you will be supervised and must not have any communication with other candidates. You will remain under exam conditions throughout both exams and all of the time between the exams. You will then sit the second subject paper.

Individual Candidate Timetable

It is important that you make sure that your individual candidate timetable is up-to-date and that you arrive for exams in good time. It is your responsibility to make sure that you attend at the correct time.

What is Study Leave?

As in previous years, all Year 11 students will remain in the academy during the exam season. Normal lessons will continue and students will only be absent from lessons if they have an exam to attend. If students complete their examinations in a subject before half term any lessons they have in this subject will then be used for further exam preparation and revision in core subjects where the exams have not yet taken place. Students will be informed of these arrangements.

Will there be any specific revision sessions ?

You will be given details of any special revision sessions before the start of exams.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What are controlled and non-examination assessments?
Controlled Assessment was introduced for GCSEs in 2009 and forms part of the overall assessment along with coursework in some, but not all, GCSE subjects. The most significant difference between coursework and controlled assessment is that the completion of the final task has to take place under controlled conditions in lessons under the supervision of the subject teacher. Non-examination assessments will be replacing controlled assessments in some subjects from 2017.

2. Why were mocks run as though they were real GCSE exams?
This was 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 – see the JCQ Information For Candidates document included at the bottom of this webpage. They are also used to predict your grades (see explanation).

3. 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.

4. When will I get my personal timetable for the summer exams?
You will be given your own personal summer exam timetable around the time of the Easter holidays.

5. Why do I need to check the details on my Statement of Entry?
You need to make sure you have you been entered for all the right exams at the right level or tier.

6. What do I do if there’s a clash on my timetable?
A few candidates have two subjects which are timetabled at the same time by awarding bodies. The Exams Officer will arrange to meet with you to discuss any arrangements that need to be made if a clash affects you. The agreed times will then be displayed on your individual candidate timetable.

7. Why does the academy 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 are not in the academy.

8. 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.

9. 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. The Invigilators will ensure your finishing time is displayed clearly.

10. What about Data Protection – my personal details?
The awarding bodies are all ‘data controllers’ under the Data Protection Act 1998.

What to wear

Please note, you are not allowed to wear hats in the examination room. If you enter wearing a hat, you will be asked to remove it and place it under your desk. You may remove your blazer during the exam without having to ask for permission.


Students are expected to behave in a  respectful manner towards all Invigilators and follow their instructions at all times.

What time do examinations start?

Year 11 examinations usually start at 9.15 or 13:00. Please check your individual candidate timetable.

What equipment should I take into the exam room?

For all exams:

  • BLACK ballpoint pen(s)
  • You must not use blue pens or any colour of gel pen as scanners may not be able to read blue or gel ink.
  • Pencil(s) and Pencil Sharpener
  • Rubber Eraser
  • Ruler marked in centimetres and millimetres
  • Water bottle (if desired) with its label removed
  • Highlighters must not be used in your  answers, although you may use them to highlight points on the question papers to help you in answering questions.

For science and maths exams, you should take the items required for all exams, as well as:

  • Scientific calculator with lid removed,
  • Protractor,
  • Compass,
  • Set square

For design technology exams, you should take the items required for all exams, as well as:

  • Coloured pencils

What equipment must I NOT take into the examination room?

  • Food (unless agreed by the Head of Centre)
  • Notes
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Pencil cases (unless transparent)
  • Calculator case or lid
  • Calculator instruction leaflets
  • Correction fluid or pen
  • Instruments which can capture a digital image
  • Electronic devices such as iPods, MP3/4 players, all wrist watches, 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. Candidates can also be disqualified from all examinations that year or from the Exam Board.

What is Special Consideration?

It is a post-examination adjustment to a candidate’s mark or grade to reflect temporary illness, temporary injury or other indisposition at the time of the assessment, which has had, or is reasonably likely to have had, a material effect on a candidate’s ability to take an assessment or demonstrate his or her level of attainment in an assessment.  

This is decided by the Awarding Body and not by the academy.

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.

Candidates will only be eligible for Special Consideration if they have been fully prepared for the whole course but their performance in the examination or in the production of coursework is affected by adverse circumstances beyond their control. 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. You will be required to provide evidence to support the application.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Must I wear academy uniform during the examinations?
School uniform MUST be worn at all times when you attending the academy for examinations.

2. Can I get lunch at the academy?
If you are in the academy all day you may have lunch in the dining hall in the usual way or bring a packed lunch.

3. Who are invigilators?
The academy employs external invigilators to conduct the examinations. Invigilators are in the examination rooms 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 writing paper if required and deal with any problems that occur during the examination, for example if a candidate is feeling ill.
Invigilators are not allowed to discuss the examination paper with you or explain the questions.

4. What if I am ill or have an accident before the exam?
Inform the academy 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 academy to make an appeal for Special Consideration on your behalf.

5. What time must I arrive for an exam?
You must arrive in at the academy in time for any booster sessions, you will be notified of any booster sessions and where they will be held before the exam.

6. 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. If you need anything before or during the exam you must put up your hand and wait for an invigilator to come to you.

7. What if I think I have the wrong paper?
The Examinations Officer or invigilators will ask you to check before the examination starts. If you think something is wrong, put your hand up and inform the invigilator immediately.

8. What if I forget my Candidate Number or the Academy Centre Number?
Your name and Candidate Number are both printed on the ID card which is placed on your desk for every examination. The academy Centre Number is displayed prominently in the exam room. You must write your name and number exactly as it appears on the label. Legal names must be used for examinations, not ‘known-as’ names. Make sure you use CAPITAL LETTERS and be sure to write your surname and first name in the correct boxes.

9. How do I know how long the examination 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. The start and finish times of the examination will be displayed at the front of the exam room. There will be a clock in all examination rooms. Candidates who are entitled to extra time will be informed of their start and finish time.

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

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

11. 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.

12. 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 Examinations Officer.

13. What if I finish my examination before the full time allowed?
You will NOT be allowed to leave an examination room early. You should therefore use the time remaining to:

  • check over your answers
  • check you have followed the examination instructions correctly
  • check that you have completed your details on the front of the paper.

EXAMINATION CONDITIONS (see During The Examinations FAQ 6) remain in place until:

  • the full examination time has expired,
  • the examination papers have been collected
  • you have exited the examination room on the instructions of the invigilator.

This means that you must sit quietly facing the front – do NOT turn round or look about the room, make any noise or distract other candidates in any way. Disruptive behaviour will be reported and could result in disqualification from some or all of your exams.

14. What happens when the full examination time has expired?
The invigilator will announce when the examination has ended and it is time to stop writing.

  • You must stop writing IMMEDIATELY and remain silent, facing the front.
  • Remember that you are still under examination conditions (see During The Examinations) until you have left the examination room.
  • Remember to cross out any rough work.
  • If you have used more than one answer book or loose sheets of paper make sure your name and candidate number is written on every sheet and place inside your answer paper fixed with a tag (ask for a tag from an Invigilator). Invigilators will collect all question papers, answer booklets and additional paper.
  • Remain seated in silence. EXAMINATIONS CONDITIONS remain in place which means that you leave the room in silence and show consideration for other candidates who may still be working.

15. If I’m late can I still sit the examination?

You should contact the Examinations Office and get to the academy as quickly as possible and report to Student Services. If it is still possible for you to sit the examination a member of staff will escort you to the examination room. You must not enter an examination room without permission after an examination has begun. If you arrive very late the academy must inform the awarding body, giving the reason and evidence for your lateness. The awarding body may decide not to accept your work.

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

No. Timetables are regulated by the awarding bodies and you must attend on the given date and time. If you miss an examination without good reason you will be charged the entry fee.

17. 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. When you return to the examination 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 awarding body with details of the incident.

Awards Evening

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

If you are unable to attend Awards Evening you can collect your certificates from main reception. Certificates will not be given to anyone other than the candidate without the candidate’s written authorisation. Candidates who wish their certificates to be posted to them must provide an A4 card backed envelope with address and prepaid registered postage.

Replacement Examination Certificates

Centres are only obliged to keep certificates for a period of one year after issue. If candidates lose their certificates they can only be replaced by direct application to the appropriate awarding body. This will require proof of identity (such as a birth certificate) and a fee (at least £40) per awarding body. You are therefore urged to collect your certificates and keep them safe.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How do I get my results for the summer term exams?

Year 11s can collect results from the academy on results day in August (specific dates and times to be announced). If you wish any other person (including family members) to collect your results on your behalf, you must give your written authorisation to the academy before results day. If you wish for the academy to post your examinations results, you must provide a stamped addressed envelope before results day. Results are never given over the telephone. If there are really exceptional circumstances, special arrangements must have been made before results day.

Any Year 11 results not collected on results day will be held at the main reception for collection. They will not be posted home.

2. 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 Examinations Officer. You should be aware that your mark could go down as well as up or even stay the same. This needs to be done as soon as possible so that all the necessary paperwork can be completed.

If the academy supports your application you will not need to pay. Otherwise, you will have to pay the fee which in September 2017 was between £32 and £70, depending on the awarding body.  If your grade is changed the fee will be refunded.

JCQ – Information for Candidates

Preparing to sit your exams

Written examinations

On-screen examinations

Coursework assessments

Non-examination assessments

Privacy Notice

Social media information

If you do have any additional questions not covered by this booklet, please contact our Exams Manager on 01603 734155.