Exam Information 2020

Here you will find all you need to know about sitting exams at Chipping Norton School.

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.


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


Public examinations can be a stressful time for candidates and parents/carers, so it’s important that all those involved are well informed. Well-informed candidates will realise that the rules and regulations are designed to ensure fairness and minimise disturbance.


This booklet is intended to inform you about examination processes and procedures and to answer some of your questions. Hopefully, this will prove informative and helpful for you and your parents/carers. Please read it carefully and share it with your parents/carers, so that they are also aware of the examination regulations and procedures.


The awarding bodies set down strict criteria which must be followed for the conduct of examinations and Chipping Norton School is required to follow them precisely. You should therefore, pay particular attention to the JCQ ‘Information for Candidates’ notice which is at the back of this booklet.


Some of the questions you may have 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 or your parents/carers have any queries or need help or advice at any time before, during or after the examinations please contact:

Exams Officer – Mrs Lawson

Email: [email protected]

Direct phone: 01608 642007 ext.259

The purpose of this candidate exam handbook is:

  • To ensure candidates are provided with all relevant information about their exams and assessments in advance of any public exams
  • To ensure copies of relevant JCQ information for candidates’ documents and posters are provided in advance of any exams
  • To answer any questions candidates may have.

Content of our exams results booklet 2020

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 the exams notice board.
  • 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.

    The JCQ information for candidates’ documents – written examination, social media 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 purpose. 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 candidates for exams in a chosen nickname or abbreviated name.

Exam Rooms

The main location for exams during this season is the portacabin.

Arriving at School

Candidates are asked to arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled start time of the exam, you will be asked to wait outside the building until you can be escorted by a member of staff to the exam room. This is due to the current pandemic and restrictions around having people on site.

Start Time for Exams

Morning exams will start at 9:30 am

Afternoon exams will start at 2 pm

Candidates are responsible for checking their own timetables and arriving at school on the correct date and time. Candidates must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of their examination.


When you arrive at school you will be asked a short Covid-19 screening questionnaire. It is important that if you or any member of your household has had any symptoms associated with Covid you do not attend school; you should contact main reception on 01608 642007 and the receptionist will advise you.

Exams are supervised by a team of invigilators who are external staff. A roving invigilator, the exams officer and an Inspector from the JCQ may also visit the exam rooms and may stay in the room for part of the exam.


Candidates 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.

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 by the invigilator and have left the room.
  • 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 careful 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.
  • 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.
  • Invigilators will collect your exam paper before you leave the room. Absolute silence must be maintained during this time.
  • 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, this season all loan equipment will be quarantined for 72 hours following return.

In the exam room, you should remove any cover or instructions. 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;
  • text.

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.

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 Smartwatches 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.

Wristwatches 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.

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. Exam rooms can fluctuate in temperature, this season windows and doors will also be open to allow ventilation, and you are advised to wear layers of clothing.

Mobile Phones

All mobile phones and smartwatches 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 smartwatch 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. If you, or anyone in your family has symptoms associated with the current pandemic you must contact the school as soon as you are able and we will 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 you.

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. 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, you could be disqualified.

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.


Candidates 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.

Results release dates are below:

AS and A-level 17 December 2020

GCSE English Language 14 January 2021

GCSE Mathematics 14 January 2021

Functional Skills AQA 14 January 2021

Certificate and Level 3 14 January 2021

Extended Project 14 January 2021

All other GCSE subjects 11 February 2021


If you would like to collect your results in person, 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.

Candidates will be sent an email with their results, this will be sent to the email address we hold on the system for you, which may be a parent or carer.

Results will not be given out over the phone.

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 autumn exams will be available in April 2021. We will send you a reminder nearer the time to invite you to collect your certificates. Candidates 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 £3.00 postage attached.