Examinations information

Information about our external examinations.

It is the aim of St Thomas More School to make the examination experience as stress-free and successful as possible for all candidates.

Hopefully, these web pages will prove informative and helpful for you. Please also be aware of the examination regulations and the procedures.

The awarding bodies (or examination boards) set down strict criteria which must be followed for the conduct of examinations, coursework and controlled assessments, St Thomas More School is required to follow them precisely.  The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) produces several information notices which students are required to have made available to them in advance of exams.  These are all printed on the following pages.

Some of the questions you may have are answered in our Examinations FAQ.  If there is anything you do not understand or any question that has not been addressed, please ask.

If you or your parents have any queries or need help or advice at any time before, during or after the examinations please contact: 
The Examinations Officer - Mrs Rogers (in the Exams Office – G84)

The school telephone number is: 01902 368 798.

Remember – we are here to help.

Timetables

You will receive an individual timetable showing your own specific examinations with details of date, time, and duration of exam, venue and seat number as well as your date of

Hopefully, this page will prove informative and helpful for you and your parents. Please read it carefully and show it to your parents so that they are also aware of the examination birth.  Check it carefully.  If you think something is wrong see Mrs Rogers, Exams Officer, in the Exams Office (G84) immediately.  The personal details you see here will appear on any certificates you achieve so it is important to check it now eg. Spelling of your name, date of birth etc.  If mistakes are noticed after certificates are printed you will have to pay the exam board charge of £37 to correct them.

Some candidates have clashes where two subjects are timetabled at the same time. Your Exams Officer will make arrangements for clashes to be dealt with before the actual date of the exam.  You must check your individual timetable and see Mrs Rogers if you are unsure what to do.  If you think there is a clash on your timetable that has not been resolved, please see Mrs Rogers immediately.

Please pay particular attention to the start times of your exams.  Misreading your timetable is not accepted as a valid excuse for missing an exam. 

Examination boards

The school uses the following Examination Boards: AQA, Edexcel, OCR and WJEC.

Candidate name

Candidates are entered under the name format of First Name + (Legal) Surname, e.g. Adam Smith. 

Candidate number

Each candidate has a four-digit candidate number. This is the number you will enter on ALL  examination papers.  It will appear next to your name on seating plans and examination registers.   Please learn your candidate number.  It will not change throughout your time at this school.

UCI

In addition to a candidate number, each candidate must have a Unique Candidate Identifier (12 numbers and 1 letter) which is shown on the top of statements of entry.  This number will usually begin with the Centre Number (20881) unless you have transferred from another school that had already issued your UCI.  Your UCI is used for administration purposes and it is not necessary for you to remember it.

ULN

From January 2014, all candidates are required to also have a Unique Learner Number (ULN).  These are issued by the Learner Records Service to students aged 13 and above.  This number will be transferred with you, if you change schools or move on to further education in order that all of your exam results are trackable.

Contact numbers

Please check that school has at least one up-to-date contact number for you.

Equipment

Make sure you have all the correct equipment before your examinations eg BLACK pens only,  pencils, maths equipment, calculator. Equipment will NOT be available in the exam hall.

Examination regulations 

A copy of the “Warning to Candidates”, and other information to candidates issued by JCQ, is printed in this booklet.  All candidates must read these carefully and be aware that breaking any of the examination rules or regulations could lead to disqualification from all subjects.  The school must report any breach of regulations to the Awarding Body who will make the final decision on penalties given.  Information for candidates on coursework and controlled assessments regulations are also printed in this booklet.  All notices are also available on our school website www.st-thomasmore.walsall.sch.uk

Invigilators

The school employs external invigilators to conduct the examinations. They have responsibility to the exam boards and must adhere strictly to exam board regulations. Students are expected to behave in a respectful manner towards all invigilators and follow their instructions at all times.

Invigilators are in the examination rooms to supervise the conduct of the examination. They will distribute and collect the examination papers, tell candidates 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.

Please note that invigilators cannot discuss the examination paper with you or explain the questions.

Students who are disruptive or behave in an unacceptable manner will be removed from the examination room by the Exams Officer or a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

Absence from examinations

If you experience difficulties during the examination period (e.g. illness, injury, personal problems) please inform school at the earliest possible point so we can help or advise you.

Only in ‘exceptional circumstances’ are candidates allowed special consideration for absence from any part of an examination. It is essential that medical or other appropriate evidence is obtained on the day by the candidate/parent/carer and given to the Examination Officer without delay in all cases where an application is to be made for special consideration.

For the award of a grade by special consideration, where a student misses part of an examination through illness or personal misfortune, a minimum of 50% of the course assessment (including coursework) must have been completed.

Parents and candidates are reminded that it is school policy to request payment of entry fees (approximately £30.00 per subject) should a candidate fail to attend an examination without good reason and without informing the school.

Please note that misreading the timetable will not be accepted as a satisfactory explanation of absence.

Attendance at examinations

Candidates are responsible for checking their own timetable and arriving at school on the correct day and time, properly dressed and equipped.  Candidates must arrive 10 minutes prior to the start time of their examination.  Please wait quietly outside your exam room until you are invited to enter by the examination officer or the invigilators.

Candidates who arrive late but within 30 minutes of the start of an examination may still be admitted.  Late arrivals must be reported to the exam board and they may refuse to mark the exam paper.  If special consideration applies then you must speak to the Examinations Officer (see ABSENCE FROM EXAMINATIONS). 

Full school uniform must be worn by all students attending school for examinations. 

All items of equipment, pens, pencils, mathematical instruments, etc. should be visible to the invigilators at all times.  You must either use a transparent pencil case or clear plastic bag.

Pens – you MUST use a black pen.  No correction pens/tippex are allowed. 

For Mathematics and Science exams, students should make sure their calculators conform to the examination regulations.  If in doubt, check with your teacher.  Remove any covers or instructions and make sure batteries are new.    

Please make sure that any watch alarms are turned off. 

Do not attempt to communicate with, copy from, or distract other candidates. 

Examination regulations are very strict regarding items that may be taken into the examination room (see FAQs at the end of this booklet).  If you break these rules, it is likely that you will be disqualified from the examination. 

Mobile telephones and other electronic equipment MUST NOT BE BROUGHT INTO SCHOOL AND ESPECIALLY NOT INTO THE EXAMINATION ROOM. If a mobile phone (or any other type of electronic communication or storage device) is found in your possession during an examination (even if it is turned off) it will be taken from you and a report made to the appropriate exam board. No exceptions can be made.  Phones can be handed to the invigilator for safe keeping BEFORE the start of an exam.  

No food is allowed in the examination rooms. You may bring a bottle of water, but this must have the label removed.  

Please do not write on examination desks. This is regarded as vandalism and you will be charged for any damage caused. 

Do not draw, graffiti or write offensive comments on examination papers – if you do the examination board may refuse to mark your paper. 

Listen carefully to instructions and notices read out by the invigilators – there may be amendments to the exam paper that you need to know about. 

Check you have the correct question paper – check the subject, paper and tier of entry. 

Read all instructions carefully and number your answers clearly. 

It is school policy that candidates remain in the examination room for the duration of the exam. You will not be allowed to leave an examination room early. If you have finished the paper use any time remaining to check over your answers, check that you have answered all the required questions and that you have completed your details correctly. 

At the end of the examination all work must be handed in – remember to cross out any rough work.  If you have used more than one answer book or loose sheets of paper ask for a treasury tag to fasten them together in the correct order.  

Invigilators will collect your exam papers before you leave the room. Absolute silence must be maintained during this time.  Remember you are still under examination conditions until you have left the room. 

Question papers, answer booklets and additional paper must NOT be taken from the exam room.

Remain seated in silence until told to leave the examination room. Please leave the room in silence and show consideration for other candidates who may still be working. 

If the fire alarm sounds during an examination the examination invigilators will tell you what to do. Don’t panic.  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. Leave everything on your desk. You must not attempt to communicate with anyone during the evacuation. When you return to the exam 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 detailing the incident.

Notification of results

If you wish any other person (including family members) to collect your results on your behalf, you must give your written authorisation to school before results day.

Candidates who want their results posted MUST supply a stamped addressed envelope to Mrs Rogers before the end of the summer term. 

No results will be given out by telephone.

A/AS LEVEL: Second Thursday in August
GCSE: Third Thursday in August
09.00am - 11.00am

Post results

If you need post-results advice, teaching staff will be available on results day.   

If you need to re-sit English or Maths in November you should contact the Exams Officer. 

If you require any exam scripts to be returned or have marking reviewed, you should discuss this with your teacher, complete the consent forms and bring the appropriate fee to Mrs Rogers by 15th September.

Presentation of certificates

A Presentation Evening will take place in December when it is hoped that you will be able to attend to receive your certificates.  Invitations to students and their parents will be sent out with full details nearer the time.

Students who are unable to attend Presentation Evening will be able to collect their certificates from the Exams Officer after Presentation Evening.  Certificates will not be given to anyone other than the candidate without the candidate’s written authorisation.

St Thomas More Catholic School is only obliged to keep certificates for a period of one year after issue.  If candidates do not collect their certificates within this time (or if they lose their certificates) they can only be replaced by direct application to the appropriate examination boards.  This will require proof of identity (such as a birth certificate) and a substantial fee per examination board (around £42).  You are therefore urged to collect your certificates on Presentation Evening or as soon as possible thereafter and to keep them in a safe place.

Information on how to get replacement certificates from exam boards can be found on this website here

St Thomas More Catholic School will NOT post certificates to you, not only to avoid damage or loss whilst in transit, but to avoid the substantial replacement charge made by the exam boards.