Information for Parents
THE EXAMINATIONS OFFICE IS SITUATED IN R133
EXAMINATIONS MANAGER – Natalie Green
CONTACT US ON 01491 634316/7 OR EXAMS@HENLEYCOL.AC.UK
Exam Dos and Don'ts
A GUIDE TO THE EXAMINATION PROCESS FOR PARENTS
Here is a brief overview of the exams process:
Students sit exams to gain QUALIFICATIONS at GCSE, AS, A2 AND NEW LINEAR A. We also offer vocational qualifications, known as BTECs. Some units of the vocational qualifications may involve an examination or test, whether paper based or online test. The AWARDING BODIES or as they are more commonly known, EXAM BOARDS, which we use are:
EDEXCEL (PEARSON) www.edexcel.org.uk
The Boards write SPECIFICATIONS (these used to be called “syllabuses”), set and mark examination papers then grant qualifications with grades, based on how well students performed, finally printing CERTIFICATES as proof of the qualification.
A level and GCSE certificates are printed after the end of Post Results period each year.
Examinations fall mainly in the summer, mid-May to the end of June, but some also take place at other times - BTEC examined units, Functional Skills for example. The College also arranges mock exams, conducted in a similar way to the public exams so that students become familiar with the regulations and Colleges procedures.
Coursework / Controlled Assessments may be set in the College at any time but must be completed before internal College deadlines.
The results of the summer examinations are issued on ‘Results Day’, which is always in mid -August as shown below:
for GCSE, the Thursday before August Bank Holiday Monday;
for AS and A-level, the Thursday before that.
THE ENTRY PROCESS
Students will be entered for exams for all courses on which they are enrolled. Any subsequent re-sits must be paid for by students.
It is important that all the details on student enrolment are correct (such as spelling of legal name, date of birth etc.) as these will appear on certificates.
Students and parents can view their ‘Individual Timetable’ on the student portal from March onwards, prior to Summer exams. This will show the candidate number, venue for each exam, agreed Access Arrangements and details of clashes (more than 3 hours in one session) or follow-ons (less than 3 hours in total – exams run back to back).
Students and parents should ensure that:
- a) there are no errors in the student’s personal details
- b) the subjects and units are correct for the student
- c) there are no omissions – subjects not entered
Certificates are required to be presented when applying for University and for most jobs and so need to kept secure for the future. Lost Certificates cannot be replaced by the College, only by the issuing Board.
We understand that sometimes a student may wish to be entered for exams in a subject not taught at The Henley College. We will always try to accommodate these requests where possible. Candidates should contact the Examinations Manager immediately if they would like to make a request to use our exams facilities for external assessments. The student will be responsible for meeting the full cost of the entry.
THE EXAM PERIOD
Students must arrive at College in good time for each exam. All students are expected to be ready to enter the exam room (usually the Sports Hall or Rotherfield Hall) at least ten minutes before the scheduled start of an exam. For The Henley College, this is -
9.00 a.m. for the morning session;
1.30 p.m. for the afternoon session.
Your son / daughter will be expected to have read the Exams information on Student REMS Portal to find out exactly where the exam is taking place and that they have read and understood the regulations about their conduct during exams.
A level and GCSE results will be available to view on the Student and Parent Portal on Results days. If a student is unable to view the Portal they can provide a stamped addressed envelope so that they can be posted later that day.
BTEC results are available to view on the portal from mid-August.
Results are confidential to the students so we do not give out information about results over the phone. A nominated person may collect results on behalf of a student provided we have written evidence of this arrangement and proof of identity, if needed.
All Boards offer the possibility of reviewing papers and are able to return ‘photocopy or original scripts’. Exam boards charge for these services and we pass this cost on to students. The full details of fees and deadlines for Post Results Services can be found on the Exams Section of the Portal.
BTEC certificates are produced by the Exam Boards by September each year. Students may collect these certificates from the Exams Office (between 9am and 3pm) from the second week of the Autumn term. They should bring the confirmation of unit grades which should have been issued to them by their Programme Leader.
A level and GCSE certificates are issued by Exam boards at the end of October, after the national deadline for review enquiries. These certificates can be collected from the Exams Office from the third week in November following results in August (between 9am and 3pm).
Certificates are not routinely posted. If students are unable to collect their certificates personally or have not nominated someone to collect them on their behalf, they can be posted by Recorded Delivery. If this option is preferred, students should purchase a boarded envelope from Reprographics, self-addressed, and given to Exams Office before they leave College.
COMMON PROBLEMS AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
LATE FOR AN EXAM
- “My son / daughter is stuck in traffic and is going to be late for an exam. What shall I do?”
- “Let the Faculty Administrator at College know as soon as possible. That will save us from trying to find a missing candidate. Students must have a legitimate reason for lateness and must arrive before 10am (morning exam) or 2:30 (afternoon exam). Exam boards are advised of latecomers and may refuse to mark scripts, depending on the circumstances. The student will be permitted the full time allowed for the exam on the day.
MISSED AN EXAM
Some candidates turn up in the afternoon for an exam that was scheduled for the morning. They misunderstood their timetable. This happens every year but fortunately not to too many students. If we cannot trace any missing student to get them into the exam before the end of the first hour of the exam, then it is too late. For new linear examinations, a student in this situation may apply to retake the exam in the following year. However, some legacy exams do not offer a resit opportunity, so it is important that all students pay attention to their exam timetable and ensure that they attend.
- “My child is unwell. Can she/he do the exam tomorrow?”
- “No”. We encourage the students to come in if at all possible. If this is not appropriate, you should obtain a doctor’s letter within seven days of the exam indicating the reason for absence. We may then apply for ‘Special Consideration’ from the Exam Boards, depending on the circumstances. We are never advised by the Exam Boards of the weight placed on such applications.
- “Can she/he have extra time?”
- “No”. That only applies to students who have been assessed by Upgrade. All students who have been granted ‘Access Arrangements’, such as extra time, use of laptop, reader etc. will have been advised prior to the exam series.
If there has been a recent death in the close family that affects your child, this too can be the subject of a ‘Special Consideration’. A simple letter to us, explaining the circumstances, is usually sufficient.
This also applies to any other unusual circumstance that could seriously affect the performance of a student on the day so please advise the Examinations Office in confidence.
Many queries can be resolved by students checking the Exams Section of the Student REMS Portal.
If you need further information about any of the above issues, or have other questions to ask, please contact the Examinations Office and we shall be pleased to help you with your enquiry.