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Frequently Asked Questions

Common Examination Queries

Frequently Asked Questions

How should my son/daughter prepare for an exam?       

It is important that all students fully prepare for every exam. Subject teachers will give specific guidance on the content that needs to be revised, while Heads of Learning & Pupil Development and Form Tutors will give advice on revision techniques and productive use of time.  Students should ideally have a quiet area at home to revise.

How much time should my son/daughter spend revising?

The best preparation is to start revision very early with short, but regular sessions of approximately 20 minutes. This will be individual revision for final preparation. One and a half hours each night is an appropriate amount of time for a student to spend on revision in the final run-up to an exam. It is a good idea to split this into three half hour sessions with two short breaks. At the weekend, students should be revising for three hours per day leading up to an exam.

How do I know when my son/daughter has an exam?

Students will be issued with a personalised timetable detailing all their examinations with dates/times. It is the responsibility of each student to turn up on the correct day at the correct time and for the correct examination!  Always refer to your individual timetable!

When do students need to arrive in the exam room?

Punctual attendance for all examinations is essential!  Students need to be at the exam room 15 minutes before the published start time of the exams. Morning exams normally* start at 9.00am and so students need to be at the room by 8.45am.  Afternoon exams normally* start at 1.30pm and so students need to be in the room by 1.15pm

*Subject to change depending on the duration of the examination.

How do students know where to sit in the exam room?

Every student has an exam candidate number and exam desks are labelled with these numbers. Students MUST make sure they know this number. There are always plenty of staff and exam invigilators in the room to help students find their seats. Students can go to the exams office and find out their candidate number at any time leading up to or during the exams period, and it is also on their personalised timetable.  Students must sit at the desk allocated to them and not sit where they wish or move desks during the exam.

What happens if my son/daughter is late for an exam?

If a student knows they are going to arrive late they must make contact with the school immediately. We make every effort to contact home if a student does not arrive for an exam, and for this reason it is extremely important that the school has up to date contact numbers.  

What do the students need to wear to exams?

Students must wear full school uniform including school shoes at all times. Sixth form students must wear their normal 'business dress' as detailed in the Sixth Form uniform policy.

What should I do if my son/daughter is ill on the day of an exam?

You should contact the school as soon as possible so the rest of the students are not kept waiting for your son/daughter to arrive. Students, who do not attend an exam (even for medical reasons) unfortunately, may not achieve a grade for that subject.

Are students allowed to leave the exam room early?

Students who finish early are not allowed to leave and must spend the time checking their script and continuing to abide by the rules of the exam board. Students who doodle/graffiti on their scripts run the risk of the exam board disqualifying them from the exam.  Toilet breaks during the examination will not be allowed unless there is an underlying medical condition, for which a note must be provided by a parent/guardian. Students should make sure they go to the toilet before an examination!

Are students allowed to take phones into the exam room?

No electronic equipment is allowed with the students at their desk.

Students must not have any electronic equipment including mobile phones, ipads, ipods, MP3 players, and wrist watches with data storage devices on their person (including in their pockets), even if they are switched off or have batteries removed.  They should leave these at home if possible, or make sure they are switched off and placed in their bag at the back of the exam room.

For any student found with electronic equipment the exam board has the right to disqualify them from the exam and possibly all other exams they have taken.

Are students allowed to take food or water in to an exam?

Water will be provided, however students may bring water in a cap bottle with the label removed. No other food or drink is allowed in the exam room.

What equipment does my son/daughter need to bring to the exam?

Each student is responsible for bringing the correct equipment to their exams. Students must write with a black pen in all exams. You may also need pencils, erasers, a ruler, compass and calculator which must be in a clear bag or pencil case. Remember that calculators are required for Science exams as well as Maths! If you do not arrive with the correct equipment you may be disadvantaged if you are not familiar with equipment you have borrowed.