Exam Information

At Chipping Norton School we are committed to ensuring that candidates are fully briefed on the assessment process in place and are made aware of the required JCQ awarding body instructions and information for candidates.

Public examinations can be a stressful time for students and parents/carers, and we recognise the adaptations made to exams for 2022 can only go some way to reducing that stress. It’s important that all those involved are well informed.

We are fortunate to have practised for full exams during our Autumn 2021 and Spring 2022 mock seasons and that teachers have had the opportunity to provide valuable feedback to students. Hopefully, this has proved informative and helpful for you and your parents and carers.

The JCQ and awarding bodies have set down criteria which must be followed for the conduct of exams and Chipping Norton School is required to follow these.

Some of the questions you may have about exams are answered in this booklet. If there is anything you do not understand or any questions that have not been addressed, please ask.

If you, your parents or carers have any queries or need help or advice at any time before, during or after the exam period, please contact:
Exams Officer – Mrs Lawson
Email: [email protected]
Direct phone: 01608 642007 ext.259

The purpose of this handbook is:

  • To ensure students are provided with all relevant information about how their grades will be awarded
  • To ensure relevant JCQ information for students is passed on and
  • To answer any questions students may have.

The qualifications you are entered for will be examined in a number of ways, and the relevant JCQ information for candidates posters are all included at the back of this booklet.

Coursework/controlled assessments/non-examination assessments
Candidates will be informed of when any coursework, controlled assessment or non-exam assessments (NEAs) will be taking place by their teacher and when the deadlines are for these to be completed.
Once work has been submitted to the teacher, your work will be marked and then moderated to ensure marks that have been awarded are accurate.
Candidates will be informed of their mark (this will NOT be a grade) and it is possible to appeal this mark if you do not feel that the correct marking procedures have been followed. Please speak to the Exams Officer for further information or see the appeals procedure on our website.

Written exams
Candidates receive an individual Statement of Entry from the school showing entry details for specific exams, this gives candidates and parents/carers an opportunity to speak with teachers where they have questions and before the final entry deadline. You must check that all personal details (date of birth, spelling of names) are accurate as these will appear on certificates and it may be difficult to change them once certificates are awarded. If you think these are incorrect, please speak to the Exams Officer.
A personal timetable will be given to each student, showing dates and times of each exam. Once you receive it, check it carefully. If you think something is wrong, see the Exams Officer immediately.

During all exams you will be required to follow the rules of the examinations.

The JCQ information for candidates documents – written examination, coursework assessments and on-screen tests are all included at the back of this booklet.

Exam room posters – Warning to candidates and Mobile Phone posters are included in the back of this booklet.

We enter candidates under the name format of first name + middle name + (legal) surname e.g. Adam John Smith. Candidates must use their legal surname on all exam documentation even if they use a different name in school for all other purposes. The reason for this is that exam certificates are legal documents.

Where a candidate is known in school by another forename, it is possible to request this name be used on exam certificates, if it is the name they are choosing to use for the rest of their life and are in the process of changing it by deed poll. E.g. in situations where a student is transgender.

It is not possible to enter students for exams in a chosen nickname or abbreviated name.

Following entry, an individual examination timetable will be produced, this will list all the exams you need to do. If you spot any errors or are not sure about something you see, you must speak to the Exams Officer, Mrs Lawson, as soon as you can.

Ensure you attend lessons until study leave begins. Using your GAP revision plan and attending revision lessons will help you feel more confident. One of the best ways to reduce anxiety around exams is to ensure you are feeling fully prepared. Use your study leave sensibly and remember that you must embark on a careful and thorough revision programme that suits you.

You will already have been following the GAP plan and should have a sound revision plan in place. You may also have already have drawn up a timetable, outlining when you will study, if not, do so now! Allow yourself a little time for relaxation and social activities and having decided on your timetable, stick to it!

Check details of revision classes being held during the school day, over the exam season and any holiday revision classes that are being held. Make use of the knowledge and guidance of teaching staff running the sessions to help with your revision.

Last minute revision will not produce sound results

Once study leave begins, on Friday 13 May for Year 11 and on Friday 20 May for Year 13, students will need to ensure they sign in and out on the sheets provided; Year 11, by the Technology bays and Year 13, on the sheets in sixth form. You will be able to gain access to the building via where

Please read this booklet and the included Notice to Candidates and keep it in a safe place. It is your responsibility to be present at all your examinations and arrive at least 15 minutes before the start, lining up quietly outside.

The only acceptable reason for absence from an exam is on medical grounds, dependent on the circumstances, including your previous attendance at school we may require evidence in the form of a doctor’s note. If you are unable to attend, your parent or carer must contact the school at least 30 minutes before the exam giving full details.

If anything occurs that may impair your ability to sit an exam, (e.g. a broken arm) you must give as much notice as possible in order for us to make arrangements for you to continue with your exams.

If you miss an exam without providing medical evidence your parents/carers will be invoiced for the full amount of the exam plus an administration charge and any expenses, e.g. invigilator fees if you are eligible for 1 to 1 invigilation.

After the Exam
Following the exam you are free to leave the school premises, remember, if you have an exam scheduled for the afternoon session you need to be ready to line up outside the exam room 15 minutes before the start time.

Students living in Chipping Norton
When the examination is finished you may go home, but you must sign out on the lists on the noticeboard situated by the Technology bays.

Students not living in Chipping Norton
When not in an examination, if you do not have transport home, you must remain at school doing Private Study in the rooms provided. If you can get home by acceptable alternative means please bring a note from your parents, they will then be responsible for your return home. You must sign out on the noticeboard before you leave.

You must make your way straight to the buses after an exam with a finish time of 3pm or later. Buses, including late buses (Mon – Thurs), will continue to run during the exam season. All exams have been scheduled so students will be able to use extra time (if allocated it) and get home on a late bus. You must sign up for this in advance.

Access Arrangements
All students are assessed whilst in Year 9 or 10 to assess if they should receive extra support in exams.

If a student is identified as requiring additional time, a reader, or a scribe for instance, an application will be made to the examination boards and the support will be arranged between the SENCo and Exams Officer to best enable the student to show their ability.

If you identify you have two or more exams timetabled in the same session (an exam clash) the school will make special timetable arrangements for you. Usually one exam, normally the longer, will be timetabled in the morning and the shorter, in the afternoon.

During the break you will be supervised by an invigilator. You may use your books to revise but will not be able to access the internet or have access to your phone. We recommend that you bring food from home for the break, this is to minimise the risk of other students trying to speak to you about the exam and reduce the possibility of malpractice.

You must check your individual timetable and see the Exams Officer if you’re unsure of what to do. If you think there is a clash on your timetable that has not been resolved, please see the Exams Officer immediately.

Exam Rooms
The main locations for exams are the dining hall and C block, please check the exam notice board carefully as exams can be held in any room in school. Some students will have taken mock exams in smaller rooms, including rooms in J block and meeting rooms. We will endeavour to sit you for your public exams in the same rooms as your mocks but this may not always be possible.

Start Time for Exams
Morning exams will start at 9am
Afternoon exams will start 1.20pm (Please check the Exams board the day before for any changes)
Candidates are responsible for checking their own timetables and arriving at school on the correct date and time. Candidates should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of their examination.

Exams are supervised by a team of invigilators who are external staff who you will be familiar with from the mock exams. Some students, who have access to a scribe, reader, etc. may have their exam invigilated by a member of the school’s learning support team. A roving invigilator will also visit these rooms and may stay in the room for part of the exam.

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 paper if required and deal with any problems that occur, for example if a candidate feels ill.

Invigilators cannot discuss the examination paper with you or explain the questions. Invigilators must follow strict rules and regulations when conducting exams as directed by JCQ and awarding bodies.

If you ask the invigilator a question they are not allowed to answer they will make this clear.

A copy of the ‘Information for Candidates’, which is issued by JCQ on behalf of the awarding bodies, is printed at the back of this booklet. All candidates must read this carefully and note that to break 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.

  • Candidates are under exam conditions from the moment they enter the exam room until they are given permission to leave and have reached the designated non exam area.
  • Candidates must listen to and follow the instructions of the invigilator at all times in the exam room.
  • Candidates must not communicate with other candidates.
  • All required information is displayed in the exam room (centre number, start and finish times etc.)
  • All candidates must complete the front of their answer books with their correct first name, surname, centre number, candidate number, paper details etc.
  • If the use of additional answer sheets/answer books is required, please ensure that all personal information is completed on the front of each additional sheet.
  • Do not write on the examination desk.
  • Do not draw graffiti or write offensive comments on the examination paper – if you do the exam board will refuse to accept your paper.
  • Listen carefully to instructions and notices read out by the invigilator – there may be amendments to the exam paper that you need to know about.
  • Check that you have the correct exam paper – check the subject, unit and tier.
  • Read all instructions carefully and number your answers clearly.
  • You must not begin writing, even to complete your candidate details until you are told to do so.
  • Candidates must stay in the examination room for the whole duration of the examination. If you have finished the paper use any time remaining to check over your answers and ensure 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 more than one answer book or loose sheets of paper ask for a tag to fasten them in the correct order. Also ensure your name and candidate number is written on each additional piece of paper.
  • You remain in exam conditions during collection of papers.
  • 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.

You are responsible for bringing your own equipment to exams. We recommend that you bring a minimum of 2 black pens, 2 pencils and a ruler to your exams. For some exams you will also need a calculator and geometrical equipment.

You must provide your own calculator, it is best to be familiar with your own equipment. We have a limited supply of calculators for breakdown emergencies only, regulations prohibited the borrowing of calculators from another candidate in the exam room. This means, if you do not have a calculator you must not assume the invigilator will have one for you. Once all calculators have been given out in an exam they cannot be reissued.

Remove any cover or instructions and make sure the batteries are new. Where the use of a calculator is allowed, candidates are responsible for making sure that their calculators meet the awarding bodies’ regulations.

Calculators must be:

  • of a size suitable for use on the desk;
  • either battery or solar powered;
  • free of lids, cases and covers which have printed instructions or formulas.

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;

The candidate is responsible for the following:

  • the calculator’s power supply;
  • the calculator’s working condition;
  • clearing anything stored in the calculator.

Your equipment must be visible to the invigilators at all times.  Use a clear pencil case or plastic bag to keep it together. Pens must be black and correction pens and the frixon type of erasable pen are not allowed, this is due to the way exam papers are processed for marking – some boards use scanners which heat the paper and marks made in erasable ink may be lost. It also means your answers are secure after the exam and in transit.

Examination regulations are very strict regarding items that may be taken into the examination room (please see ‘Information for Candidates’ at the back of this booklet).

If you break these rules it could result in disqualification.

Mobile phones and Smart watches MUST BE SWITCHED OFF AND HANDED IN AT THE START OF THE EXAMINATION. If a mobile (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 Awarding body. This could result in disqualification.

Wrist watches must be removed from your wrist and placed on the exam desk.

Food and drink in exam rooms

No food is allowed in the examination room. If a candidate needs to take medicines they should inform the exams officer prior to the exam.

Bottles of water may be taken into the examination room however they must be clear and without any labels. Plain, solid colour bottles will not be allowed in the exam room.


Full school uniform must be worn by all students (Sixth Form students should wear appropriate clothing as outlined in the sixth form handbook).

Personal Belongings

Bags and coats are not permitted in the exam room and these should be left on the racks outside the main hall or in the space designated by the invigilator at the time of the exam.

Mobile Phones

All mobile phones and smart watches must be switched off and handed in as you enter the exam. You will be given a ticket which you need to use to retrieve your phone and/or smart watch at the end of the exam. Any phones/ watches left in the room will be stored securely by the exams officer until retrieved.

Provided you are not more than 1 hour late, it may still be possible for you to sit the examination.

You should contact school as soon as you are aware you will be late.

You should get to school as quickly as possible and go straight to Reception. A member of staff will escort you to the exam venue to report to the invigilator. Please note that if you arrive after the hour, it may still be possible for you to sit the exam, but the Examination Board may not accept the paper.

During the exam

If you feel unwell during the exam, put your hand up and an invigilator will assist you. You should inform an invigilator if you feel ill before, or during an exam and if you feel this may have affected your performance. It may be possible to apply for special consideration on your behalf. This will only be possible where invigilation notes have been added to the seating plan at the time of the exam.

Difficulties during the exam season

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

The telephone number of the main school reception is 01608 642007.

In the case of an accident that means you are unable to write it may be possible to provide you with a scribe to write your answers but will need as much prior notice as possible.

You will need to obtain medical evidence (from your GP or hospital) if you wish the school to make an appeal for Special Consideration on your behalf (see below).


You must contact the school at least 30 minutes before an exam giving full details if you are unable to attend due to illness.

Any missed examinations may be charged to your parents/ carers.

On very rare occasions, a problem may arise during the exam season where it may be possible to apply to the exam board for special consideration.

Candidates will only be eligible for special consideration if they have fully prepared and covered the whole course and 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.

Long term and managed illnesses are not normally eligible for special consideration as these are dealt with under access arrangements.

Upon receipt of an application for special consideration which meets the eligibility criteria, the awarding body may make an adjustment to the candidate’s result, post marking, to take into consideration the situation. The allowance for special consideration is from 0% (consideration given but addition of marks considered inappropriate) to 5% (reserved for exceptional cases).

Candidates and their parents/carers should be aware that any adjustment is likely to be small and no feedback is provided.

If you think an application to the exam board may be appropriate you should contact the exams officer immediately, so that the necessary paperwork can be completed and the candidate can provide evidence to support any application.

Only in ‘exceptional circumstances’ are candidates allowed special consideration for absence from part of an examination. It is essential that medical or other appropriate evidence is obtained on the day by the candidate/parent and given to the Exams 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, a candidate must have completed a percentage of the external assessment. This would include the examination and/or coursework/controlled assessment/NEA.

Examinations must always be taken on the published time and date. If you miss an exam, you will not be able to take the exam on another day.

Examples of situations where consideration will not be applied for include:

  • hay fever generally and not on the day of the exam,
  • managed illness, e.g. migraines and not on the day of the exam
  • sleeping late and rushing to get to the exam
  • results of partying

To make an application the Exams Officer and Head of Centre must be sure the application is for a valid reason. If an application is made and evidence suggests details have been falsified the application will be withdrawn and the exam board notified. A false application may be viewed as malpractice by the exam board.

If the fire alarm sounds during the examination the invigilator will stop the exam and will tell you what to do.

Please do not 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 asked to close your exam paper and leave everything on the desk. You will then be dismissed row by row and escorted to the exams assembly point, on the MUGA. You must not attempt to communicate with anyone else during the evacuation as you remain under exam conditions.

When all candidates are at the assembly point a register will be taken and the attending services notified if any candidates are missing.

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 bodies detailing the incident.


Students should familiarise themselves with the notices at the back of this booklet.

Any alleged, suspected or actual incidents of malpractice will be investigated and reported to the examination board.

Malpractice includes instances of plagiarism during non-examination assessments.

Cases of malpractice may result in disqualification.


If you require a copy of our appeals process please see the Exams Officer, a copy can also be found on the exams notice board.


A Level Results will be available for collection on Thursday 15 August 2019.

GCSE results will be available for collection on Thursday 22 August 2019.

If you would like any other person (including family members) to collect your results on your behalf, you must inform us prior to results day, we will not give your results to anyone else unless you have already told us this is what you want us to do. You must also give them written authorisation and the person collecting the results will need to bring a form of identification with them, this applies to anyone collecting your results as the staff on the day may not know parents and carers.

Candidates who do not collect their results will receive notification through the normal post.

Results will not be given out over the phone or emailed.


Staff will be in school to support students on results day and the Friday. It is important that if you need to discuss any aspect of your ongoing education you make time to see staff on these days.

Post-results services

If you’d like to request an exam paper review this is called Enquiries about results’ (EAR) services, you’ll need to speak to the Exams Officer, who will ask the Exam board to review the marking of your question paper on your behalf.

Any request for a review must be supported by a member of the teaching staff and accompanied by a consent form signed by the candidate.

A cost will be incurred for this service. Please speak to the Exams Officer for more information.

Certificates for the summer exams will be available in November/December 2019.

We will send you a reminder nearer the time to invite you to collect your certificates.

Students will need to collect and sign for their certificates in person or provide written permission for a member of their family to collect the certificates. If someone else collects certificates on your behalf they will need to bring identification with them.

We are not required to keep certificates for longer than a year, any uncollected certificates may be destroyed. Copies can be obtained from the relevant exam boards at a cost.

We can post certificates to candidates’ home address on receipt of a stamped self addressed envelope with £2.70 postage attached.

Additional information

In some circumstances it may be possible to apply to the exam board for an aggregate grade, if you are absent from an exam, through the special consideration process.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have completed the whole course, exam boards often check your attendance record with school, to ensure you have attended for enough of the course to be able to achieve a grade,
  • Have completed 25% of the qualification, for instance, one of three papers at A – level would be 33% of the qualification, one of two papers at GCSE would be 50% of the qualification
  • Be able to provide evidence for your illness.  This is often a ‘sick’ note from your doctor.  We can also accept a copy of the notes of your consultation with the doctor, appointment slips, prescriptions, and photos of any medication you are provided (showing your chemist’s label), to support your application.
  • Complete a self-certificate, available from the exams team, on this you should detail the timeline of your illness and any action you have taken to maintain, or improve, your health in order to sit your exams
  • Inform school, no later than 30 minutes before the start of the exam that you will not be attending.

If you wake up feeling ill, but discover once you have had breakfast, and got ready that you then feel able to complete your exam you may be able to come into school and sit your exam paper, you will need to ensure you are in school before 9.30am for morning exams, and 1.40pm for afternoon exams.  You will be given the full time to complete the paper, including any extra time you normally receive.

General notes about special consideration for students who are present for an exam but disadvantaged in some way.

Special consideration is given to a candidate who has temporarily experienced illness, injury or some other event outside of their control at the time of the assessment. 

It is applied when the issue or event 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 normal level of attainment in an assessment. 

Special consideration can go some way to assist a candidate affected by a potentially wide range of difficulties, emotional or physical, which may influence performance in their examinations. It cannot remove the difficulty faced by the candidate. This means that there will be some situations where candidates should not be entered for an examination. This is because only minor adjustments can be made to the mark awarded. To make larger adjustments would jeopardize the standard of the examination.

Special consideration is awarded following the guidelines below, and at Chipping Norton School, we expect students to let a member of the exams team know the circumstances at the beginning, or during, an exam so they can be noted for evidence, if we do apply.

Special consideration will normally be given by applying an allowance of additional marks to each component affected within a specification. The size of the allowance depends on the timing, nature and extent of the illness or misfortune. The maximum allowance given will be 5% of the total raw marks available in the component concerned, including coursework/non-examination assessment. 

To apply we must be satisfied that there has been a material detrimental effect on candidate’s examination performance or in the production of coursework or non-examination assessment. The best way to show this is to provide supporting evidence. 

The decision made by the awarding body will be based on various factors which may vary from one subject to another. These may include: 

  • the severity of the circumstances; 
  • the date of the examination in relation to the circumstances; and 
  • the nature of the assessment. 

Special consideration cannot be applied in a cumulative fashion. For example, because of a recent trauma at the time of the examination and the candidate suffering from a viral illness. Special consideration is only to be applied for, for the serious indisposition. 

Candidates or their parents and carers should, in the first instance, discuss the application of special consideration with the exam team in school. Mrs Lawson will contact you, if we need more evidence or information from you in order to apply. 

The following are examples of circumstances which must apply at the time of the assessment, these are a guide only and each exam board makes the final decision. 

5% This is the maximum allowance and will be reserved for the most exceptional cases, such as: 

  • terminal illness of the candidate; 
  • terminal illness of a parent/carer; 
  • death of a member of the immediate family within two months of the examination; 

4% Very serious problems such as: • life-threatening illness of candidate or member of immediate family; 

  • major surgery at or near the time of the examination; 
  • severe disease; 
  • very recent death of member of extended family; 
  • severe or permanent bodily injury occurring at the time of the examination; 

‘Very recent’ is defined as within one month of the examination(s) taking place. We must be satisfied that there has been a material detrimental effect on our candidate’s examination performance or in the production of coursework or non examination assessment. 

3% A more common category (more cases will fall into this category), including: 

  • recent traumatic experience such as death of a close friend or distant relative; 
  • recent illness of a more serious nature; 
  • flare-up of a severe congenital/medical condition or a psychological condition; 
  • broken limbs; 
  • physical assault trauma before an examination; 
  • recent crisis/incident; 
  • witnessing a distressing event on the day of the examination involved. 

‘Recent’ in this case, is defined as up to four months prior to the examination(s) taking place. 

2% The most common category of allowance (most cases will fall within this category): 

  • illness at the time of the examination; 
  • broken limb on the mend; 
  • concussion; 
  • effects of pregnancy (not pregnancy per se); 
  • extreme distress on the day of an examination (not simply exam related stress); 
  • allowance on the last paper taken in a day when a candidate has been entered for three or more examinations timetabled for the same day and the total duration of those papers is more than 5 hours 30 minutes (GCSE examinations) or more than 6 hours (GCE examinations). (Where extra time has been used following formal approval, this should be included in the calculation.) (Supervised rest breaks must not be included in the total duration of the papers when applying for special consideration.) 

1% Reserved for more minor problems: 

  • noise during examination which is more than momentary; 
  • illness of another candidate which leads to disruption in the examination room; 
  • stress or anxiety for which medication has been prescribed; 
  • hay fever on the day of an examination; 
  • minor upset arising from administrative problems.

This information is taken directly from the JCQ regulations and guidance, you can find them by clicking on the link on the right hand side of this page.


If you or your parents/carers have any queries or need help or advice at any time after the results are issued and you cannot find the answer please contact: 

Exams Officer – Mrs Lawson 

Email: [email protected]

Direct phone: 01608 642007 ext.259

Exam Officer

Mrs Lawson works in the curriculum office, located in the main reception area, and she is able offer advise on exams processes. She works with a team of trained invigilators ensuring the integrity and security of the exams, our main aim is making sure students know enough to protect their qualifications by following the regulations and thereby seeing a fruitful outcome to all their hard work.