Exam Check List

Before the exam

Make sure you are aware of your exam dates, start times and finish times. All the details will be on your exam timetable which you will receive a paper copy of as well as it being available on the school’s website.


Organise your equipment well in advance. Do not leave it till the last minute! Specific subjects may require certain pieces of equipment (calculator for maths for example) however as a bare minimum bring: 2 x black pen, 2 x pencil, a ruler, a rubber and a pencil sharpener. You are not allowed to use correction fluid in exam so do not bring it! In an exam where you have the use of a calculator, you should not have a calculator cover on your desk. All this equipment must be stored in a clear, plastic bag or case.

Almost there!

Arrive in plenty of time for your exam. We recommend at least 15 minutes before. This way, you will not be rushing around at the last minute – you will be calm and relaxed.

Remember to go to the toilet before the exam starts as you may not be allowed to go during the exam. When the exam is underway, your coats and bags will be left near the door area to the exam hall. Because of this, we strongly recommend you do not bring any valuables with you to your exams.


If you are ill and are unable to attend an exam it is vital you phone the school first thing in the morning (01773 786212) to inform us. You must also obtain a note from your doctor detailing the reason for non-attendance.  There is the possibility of submitting this note to the Examination Board to ask for special consideration.  The Board looks at this in conjunction with other exam marks from the student in that particular subject, coursework marks and mock exam marks.  This will then sometimes enable them to adjust the mark and grade accordingly.

If you are feeling unwell, but still able to travel, we suggest you come to the exam and we can assess the situation then.  In most cases it is better to take the exam if you can. If you do not attend an exam without a valid reason, it is possible that you will be charged for that exam.


Students must not have mobile phones in their possession (either on or off). This could cause disqualification. Also, you should not have notes, pagers, MP3 players etc in your possession.

No food is allowed in the exam hall. Personal sized water bottles are allowed in the exam hall if necessary. These should be clear bottles with a spill-proof cap. There should be no label on the bottle. If you have a special requirement please see the Exams Officer Mr Clark before the exams.

There is absolutely no talking or communication between students once you enter the exam hall.  If you have any questions, you should raise your hand once seated and an Invigilator will come to you.

Read the instructions on the front of the question and answer papers carefully so you understand what you need to do.

Tell the Invigilators AT ONCE:

  • If you think you have not been given the correct paper.
  • If any of the materials (listed in a box on the front of the paper) are missing.
  • If the paper is incomplete or badly printed.
  • If a page is meant to be blank, it will say so!
  • Work carefully and write clearly.

During the exam, put your hand up if:

  • You need more paper.
  • You feel ill.
  • You have a particular problem and don t know what to do. You must not ask for (and you will not be given) any explanation of the questions this is part of the exam.

Don t rush. Pace yourself - if you have two hours to answer four questions, for example, make sure you spend half an hour on each. Exam questions are carefully designed and tested - they should take the estimated length of time to complete.

Show all your working/rough work. Cross it through when you have finished with it.  Hand it in with the rest of your answers.

Leave yourself 5 to 10 minutes at the end to read through and check all your answers.  Boring though this may seem, it is vitally important. You can often find mistakes/omissions and put them right. It could mean the difference between a Grade B and a Grade A!

DO take your watch off and check the time against the exam room clock; put it on your desk so that you can easily see it.

DO fill in the relevant sections on the front of your exam script, including your centre number and candidate number in the boxes provided for them.

DO read your exam paper. Make sure that you read the instructions  underline important points.

DO underline important words, in the questions.

DO decide which question you can do best and do it first   this helps to boost your confidence.
DON'T waste time thinking and worrying about losing an odd mark in part of a question you don’t know the answer to. Leave it. Come back to it later, if you have time.

DON'T let your handwriting let you down if they can’t read it, examiners can’t give you marks.

Exam conditions do not end yet or even when your paper has been collected. They are still in force until you have left the room. Don’t be tempted to talk/turn around or communicate in any way with other people. Your paper could still be cancelled!