Exams

OCR has produced some clear and helpful guides for parents and students on the processes involved in setting and marking examinations:

1- The Cambridge Approach
2- Creating a Question Paper
3- Marking
4- Your Results
5- Timeline
6- Glossary

Download the School Booklet for combined GCSE and A Level.

JCQ advice is in seven documents which can be found below:

GCE Coursework Assessments

GCSE Controlled Assessments

Information for Candidates Non Exam Assessments

Information for Candidates Onscreen Exams

Information for Candidates Written Exams

Internet Guidelines

Privacy Notice

There are many useful sites on the Web that you can go to for advice about exams.  Over time we hope to be able to collect together some of those that may be useful to both pupils and parents.

Timetables

Once entries have been made all pupils will receive a personal timetable.  This A4 page must be checked for accuracy and any faults brought to the attention of the Examinations Officer immediately.  Keep the form in a safe place and bring it with you to the exams. Make sure that you are familiar with the dates and times for exams.

The provisional exam timetable for 2018 can be found here.

You should read the Exam Policy and the Exam Appeals Policy

Regulations

You will be provided with a personal copy of the exam information booklet where you will find exam regulations. Further copies are posted outside the exam room.

Please note that you are not allowed to sit the exam if you are more than an hour late, for exams of more than 1 hour duration, after the Exam Board’s official start times – 9:00 am and 1:30 pm  The Schools’ starting times are 9:00 am and 1:00 pm – please arrive 15 minutes beforehand so that you can be seated.

Make sure you know your candidate number. (It’s on your exam timetable and on the seating plan outside the exam room. It is the same for all Exam Boards). Before you enter the hall, take your seat number from the seating plan posted outside.

As you enter the hall, leave any mobile phone, i-pods, mp3 players etc. in the box provided and make sure they are switched off.  Your exam will be cancelled if you are found with a phone in your possession, even if it is switched off.  For the duration of the exam period label your phone with your name.  Ideally do not bring mobile phones into school.

You are also reminded that you must not bring pencil cases (other than transparent) or calculator lids into the exam.  Do not bring correcting fluids into the exam and do not use red, green or blue ink/ball pens in your answers. The regulations state you must use BLACK ink/ball pen.

You may bring in bottled still water in a small clear bottle, removing any label.

Exam Boards

We use four Exam Boards.  The main ones for GCSE and GCE exams are AQA, Pearson (Edexcel) and OCR.  Their pages contain useful material, but it must be stressed that any contact with them concerning the exams should be made through the school.

Results Days

1. Publication dates for results
GCE Summer 2018 Thursday 16 August 2018 Year 13 – from 8:30 am – 12 noon in the Sixth Form Building
GCSE Summer 2018 Thursday 23 August 2018 Year 11 – from 8:30 am – 12 noon in the Library

Please remember results will only be given to the relevant pupils. If pupils are unable to collect their results in person, please contact Mrs Whittaker before the end of term.

Apologies but we are unable to give results over the telephone or by fax/email.

Some results days occur during normal School term time.  Results will be made available to pupils as soon as possible during the day.  Normally this will involve the results slips being handed to pupils individually by their form tutors.

2. At what time can I collect my results?

The main results days during summer can be quite tense.  The staff do appreciate that pupils will be nervous and will want to collect their results as soon as possible.  However, it does take time to process and organise the results from the different Exam Boards. We will aim to have the results available for collection from 8:30 am on each of the appropriate days. Pupils may arrive a little earlier if they wish and in the unlikely (!) event of poor weather a room will be opened whilst they wait.

3. Can I have my results posted home?

Arrangements can be made with the Exams Officer for results to be posted to a home address.  Pupils are expected to provide the Exam Officer with a large stamped addressed envelope.

4. Can I phone in for results or send a friend?

The results are confidential and it is regretted that we cannot give details out over the telephone, by fax or email.  The office staff are always very busy dealing with the press and preparing records for the different newspapers, each of which has a different system.  Please do not ring the office unless it is urgent.  For the same reasons of confidentiality, we cannot allow another person to take results away on behalf of a pupil without prior written consent from the pupil.

5. What happens if my results are not good enough?

All pupils will be expected to confirm (to the best of their knowledge) their future destinations.

Every year there are pupils who do not obtain the summer results they were expecting.  For some pupils this may be a shortfall for re-entry into Ermysted’s whilst for others it may be for a further education course.  The Headmaster together with a number of senior staff are always present during results day to give advice.  Senior members of staff will already have analysed the results of all boys and will be expecting to talk to those pupils who have not reached their targets. Computers will be on for pupils to use the Internet to access any appropriate information.  We strongly recommend that pupils bring in mobile phones in order to ring up universities.  They should bring the phone numbers for their first choice and insurance places.  School phones will also be available.

6. I think I’ve been marked unfairly – What do I do?

You must first talk to senior staff who will have access to a breakdown of your marks.  They will be able to find out if you are close to a grade boundary.  They will also have access to your predicted grade to see if your request has any real basis.  They will then make a recommendation to you.

The procedure depends upon the urgency, but basically you will be asking for a review of marking.  It is wise for all pupils to bring a chequebook or some cash just in case.  Costs are typically between £40 and £50 (per paper for A-Level courses).  See the examinations officer in order to fill in the appropriate forms.  As marks (and grades) can go down as well as up you will have to sign a form to indicate that you are aware of this fact.

A priority review of marking can be undertaken if the outcome of the review is to assist in securing a university place.  This must be set in motion on the results day itself.  Not all universities will hold your place whilst the review is conducted, however if you are eventually successful they may have to offer you something.  Phone the university to check their policy on this.  If your review of marking results in your overall exam grade going up, then the Exam Board will refund your costs. The process can take up to one month.  You will be informed by email of the result.

In most cases at GCSE level the result is not urgent.  It is possible to set the review in motion within the first few days once you have come back to School.  We strongly advise that you talk to your subject teacher before you consider a review of marking.

It is not possible for an individual pupil to ask for any coursework to be review or re-moderated.  Once a member of staff has marked the work, a sample is sent off (often of all pupils if the group size is small) for a moderator to check the marking schemes have been correctly applied.  Adjustments cannot be made within this system for an individual pupil.  If a member of staff thinks the moderation process needs to be questioned, then the entire pupil sample will be reassessed – a costly process which may involve marks going up or down for all pupils.

7. Can I re-sit a paper?

Rather than review of marking it may be better to re-sit a subject.  At GCSE level Maths and English are essential for higher education.  In order to embark on a sixth form course at Ermysted’s you will be asked to re-take your qualification if you failed to achieve at least a grade 4.

Re-sitting exams must not be taken on lightly.  You will be completing the harder A2 work whilst trying to keep up with your revision for the re-sit.

8. When do I get my certificates?

Once you have completed your exams, certificates will be sent to School.  We will collect together the certificates from the different Exam Boards. Certificates will be retained until completion of your studies in Year 13. In the December following your departure from school you will be invited to attend a presentation evening to collect your GCSE and A level certificates. If you are unable to attend the evening and collect your certificates, please contact the Exam Officer to make alternative arrangements. Certificates not collected within 12 months from the date of the presentation evening will be destroyed.

Revision Advice

There are many different opinions about how revision for exams should be undertaken.  All would agree that there is a period of learning work some months in advance of the exam coupled with practicing as many questions as possible.  In the days just before each exam “last minute revision” is then done in which all your work is quickly read through to remind you of what you have already spent time learning.

When revising, set a regular time to one side.  Make sure you are comfortable and have a good light to revise by.  Some people swear by revising to music, others in silence – you hopefully know what works for you by now.  Build regular rest breaks into your work – 50 minutes work, 10 minutes rest would be good.  Get up and walk about so that your eyes can focus on distant objects for a change – go and make a drink and keep your liquid intake up.  Don’t work continuously over weekends or when you are on study leave – have a day off if necessary and don’t work more than three three-hour shifts in any one day.

Revise using all the facilities at your disposal.  Your notes and a specification (syllabus) will give you a good idea of what you should be learning.  Past paper questions help further and give you an idea of the level of answer required.  Revision books will give you a good all-round knowledge of the very basics whilst textbooks will give you a greater understanding.  Use textbooks wisely as they contain background information that you do not need to learn and they may be covering the specifications of other Examining Boards too.

Try this extensive site for further ideas about revision.

There are many sites devoted to particular subjects that may help you with revision.  Take care that you use them wisely as a part of a structured revision program.  Don’t use them simply because it’s an excuse to go on line.  When you visit a site – can you trust it?  Try to stick with reliable sites chosen by the staff or those that are widely recognised such as the BBC.

BBC KS£ Bitesized revision BBC GCSE Bitesized revision

Exam Entries

The Exam Officer will enter you for your main subjects and Heads of Faculty will check these through.  If you wish to re-sit an exam then you must obtain a form from the exam office, complete the necessary details and hand it in, with the appropriate payment being made via ParentPay (see exam notice Board).

You may be allowed to sit other exams at the discretion of the Headmaster and providing you pay for the appropriate entry.

Books

You should find that your notes, exam papers and the textbooks that you are issued with are sufficient.  However, if you are struggling to sort out the basic information from some of the in depth work and are losing confidence then try a good revision book.  These often present the information in a very concise form for simple fact learning exercises.  Once you have re-built your confidence you may be able to leave these books behind.  These days revision books are quite closely linked in with particular specifications (syllabuses) so make sure you know which Exam Board your exam is with and which version you are following (often A or B).

Try to support your local bookshops as much as possible – they will usually order books for you.  Or use the Giving Machine.

Specifications

The specification or syllabus for a subject provides a rough guide as to what material should be taught at a particular level.  A teacher has a huge amount of experience in interpreting these and therefore you must be careful that you do not read too much into any of the statements.  Some departments may already have supplied a specification to you; others regard it as not being useful or perhaps even a hindrance!  Copies can be obtained from Exam Boards either by ordering or by downloading from their sites.

KS3
GCSE
GCE
English Art (Pearson/Edexcel) Art (AQA)
Maths Biology (AQA) Biology (AQA)
Science Chemistry (AQA) Chemistry (AQA)
Art & Des  Computing (OCR) Classical Civilisation (OCR)
D & T Design & Tech (AQA) Design & Tech (AQA)
Geography English Language (AQA) Economics (AQA)
History English Literature (AQA) English Language (OCR)
Computing Food & Nutrition (WJEC) English Literature (OCR)
 MFL French (AQA) French (AQA)
Music Geography (AQA) General Studies (AQA)
P.E. German (AQA) Geography (AQA)
R.S. History (Pearson/Edexcel) German (AQA)
Latin (OCR) Government & Politics (AQA)
 Maths (AQA) History (Pearson/Edexcel)
Music (AQA) Computing (WJEC)
P.E. (AQA) Latin (OCR)
Physics (AQA) Maths (Pearson/Edexcel)
Religious Studies (OCR) Music (AQA)
P.E. (OCR)
Physics (AQA)
Psychology (AQA)
Religious Studies (OCR)
Extended Project (Pearson/Edexcel)

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