Exam information

Coronavirus Update

We have now taken the decision to cease external examinations and assessments from Monday 23 March 2020.

We still await clarity from the relevant authorities, but with some awarding organisations already ceasing examination processes and with the health of students & staff the clear priority for a college, we believe this is the correct course of action.

There are currently no plans to run a summer series of formal examinations. The government has promised guidance for schools and colleges regarding how to ensure students still achieve their qualifications – and as soon as we understand how this will work, we will be in touch with them.

We are advised that this also includes all ‘exams’ related to vocational assessments at this stage.

The most recent published guidance from the government states that –

GCSE, A and AS Levels students will be awarded a grade which fairly reflects the work they have put in. There will also be an option to sit an exam early in the next academic year for students who wish to. Ofqual will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student which reflects their performance as fairly as possible, and will work with the exam boards to ensure this is consistently applied for all students. The exam boards will be asking teachers, who know their students well, to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead.

To produce this, teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment – clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly will be provided to schools and colleges. The exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in.

Ofqual and exam boards will be discussing with teachers’ representatives before finalising an approach, to ensure that it is as fair as possible. The aim is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July.

For further details on exams and grades, please visit the Government’s website.


General Exam Information

In addition to the information below, you must read the JCQ Information for Candidates – Written Exams 2019-2020, found in the information for candidates’ section or on the exams notice board outside each Exams Office.

The JCQ allocate a contingency day for GCSE, A Level and BTEC exams should a sustained national or local disruption arise during the summer exam session. This has been scheduled for Wednesday 24 June 2020. Please make sure you are available for all dates up to and including Wednesday 24 June 2020, in the event exams should be rescheduled by the exam board and JCQ; this is not a decision the College makes.

If you have any queries you must contact the relevant Exams Office immediately.

Timings

Generally, exams start at 9.00am for morning sessions and 1.30pm for afternoon sessions, however some start at different times but in all cases, you will receive a statement of entry confirming your exam dates and start times. You must check you have been entered for all the exams and tiers you are expecting.

You must arrive at the exam room a minimum of 15 minutes before the start time.  Room information can be found in the following places.

Alton Campus – Displayed on the notice board in the Student Hub.

Havant Campus – Displayed on statement of entry.

South Downs Campus – Displayed on the TV screen opposite the Exams Office.

Clashes

If you have two or more exams in different subjects scheduled for the same time, one of these will be rescheduled either to follow on from each other or moved to the morning/afternoon session as appropriate.  You will be notified separately of any clashes you have, including all information and regulations you must abide by.

Photographic ID

Photographic ID must be shown to the invigilator before the start of the exam, so ensure you have your student ID with you to every exam. Other forms of acceptable ID include driving licence and passport.

Illness and travel

If you are delayed due to transport, the weather or you are ill and unable to attend, then you must contact the relevant Exams Office as soon as possible.

Equipment and unauthorised materials

Only clear plastic bags/pencil cases are permitted for any equipment you require including black pens, pencils, rubbers, calculators, protractor, compass, ruler, highlighters etc.

Mobile phones/smart watches/iPlayers/MP3 or any other electronic device must be switched off and not on silent. All wrist watches must be removed and placed in your bag at the back of the room, in your locker or not brought to the exam, along with any electronic device you have.

Check you do not have any last minute revision notes in your pockets, as the exam board will class this as unauthorised materials.

Exam board regulations state; possession of unauthorised material is breaking the rules, even if you do not intend to use it and you will be subject to penalty and possible disqualification.

Access arrangements

If you believe you are entitled to access arrangements in your exams and are not sure if these are in place for your exams, you will need to check with the Academic Learning Support Team.

Inside the exam room

As soon as you enter the room and until you are permitted to leave, you are subject to the exam board regulations and any breach of these may results in your disqualification.

Place your student ID card or other photographic ID on the corner of your desk and this will be checked by the invigilator. Listen carefully and follow the instructions given by the invigilator.

Check you have the correct question paper (subject & tier). Read all the instructions on the front of the question paper carefully. Any questions, raise your hand and an invigilator will come to you.

If you finish before the end, check your answers and that you have answered the correct questions as per the instructions. Remain in silence at all times and do not try to communicate with any other candidates.

Do not use any correcting fluid or gel pens on your answers. Highlighter may be used on the questions but not on your answers.  All rough notes must be done in your answer or question/answer book and neatly crossed through to indicate they are rough notes.

Drinks are permitted but you must remove all labels. Reusable bottles must have no writing on them either.

If the fire alarm sounds during the exam, remain seated in silence and listen to the instructions given by the invigilator. You will remain under exam conditions during this time.

Leaving the exam room

You will not be permitted to leave the room before the end of the exam; this is College policy. When you are permitted to leave, please do so in silence as there could be other candidates still working. If you have a clash do not leave your seat until you are collected by a member of staff to be supervised between exams. Failure to do so can result in your script not being accepted by the exam board or even disqualification.

Illness and special consideration

If you miss a paper through illness, you need to inform the relevant Exams Office immediately for advice. If you feel unwell during the exam raise your hand and the invigilator will assist you.  Special consideration can be applied in certain circumstances that affect a candidate’s performance on the day of the exam – contact the Exams Office in this case.

You can speak to someone in the Alton exams office –

In-person – visit them in the Student Hub

Phone – 01420 592200 and ask to speak to the exams office

Email – exams.alton@hsdc.ac.uk 

You can speak to someone in the Havant exams office –

In-person – visit them on the first floor of the Sports Hall

Phone – 023 9279 7995

Email – exams.havant@hsdc.ac.uk 

You can speak to someone in the South Downs exams office –

In-person – visit them next to the Courtyard Cafe

Phone – 023 9279 7995

Email – exams.southdowns@hsdc.ac.uk 

Q. I haven’t got a passport or driving license – will I still be able to sit my exam?
A. It is generally best to bring your college ID card for your exams, although you can use any photo ID which is “in date” in order to sit your exam. The only exception to this is certain professional boards which require specific forms of ID – you will be informed if this is the case in advance.

Q. I don’t know my candidate number; how will I know where to sit?
A. Your candidate number can be found on your statement of entry above your name. If you still cannot find this or forget to bring your statement of entry with you then you can find this out when you get into the exam room. Desks will be laid out in numerical order from front to the back.

Q. I had access arrangements at school but don’t know whether the College knows about these,
what should I do?
A. In the first instance, you should speak to your tutor, who will complete the relevant paperwork and set up a meeting with Additional Support. However, please don’t leave this until a week before your exam as we may not be able to accommodate arrangements – you should do this as early in the year as possible so that Additional Support and Examinations can make the necessary arrangements. You can also go to Additional Support in person.

Q. I don’t know which room my exam is in, where can I find out?
A. Havant Campus – This information is on your statement of entry. South Downs Campus – TVs are located in reception and opposite the Exams Office which show the exams in the coming weeks. Alton Campus – Rooms are displayed on the notice board in the Student Hub and this needs to be checked on the day of the exam. If you have been approved a different room this will be listed next to your candidate number.

Q. I took an exam at college a couple of weeks ago, when should I expect my results?
A. For GCSE and A-Level results, please see the main website for dates and times. For all other exam boards, we usually expect results within four to six weeks from completion of the exam. However, some online exam results are sent much quicker than this. As soon as we have received results, we will notify you by first class post.

Q. I don’t think my grade is correct/ I don’t think this was marked correctly. How do I go about getting the paper re-marked?
A. This information is on the back of your provisional statement of results and can be found on the website.

Q. I would like to re-sit an exam; how do I sort this out?
A. You will need to collect a re-sit form from the Examinations Office and pay for it at Reception by the stated deadline. Forms are also on the website.

Q. When will I receive my certificates?
A. A Level and GCSE certificates are received in November and will be posted to your home address by early December. BTEC Level 3, HNC and HND certificates are available on A Level result day in August, please see website for this year’s date, after this date they will be posted to you. BTEC Entry Level, Level 1 & Level 2 certificates are available on GCSE result day, please see website for this year’s date, after this date they will be posted to you. All other vocational certificates are posted once received by the awarding body. GCSE November resits certificates are posted by the end of March.

Q. I have changed my address, what do I do?
A. You must notify us as soon as possible and before certificates are sent if you change your address. Email enquiries@hsdc.ac.uk with your up to date address.

Q. I have not received my certificate/s or there is an error on my certificate/s.
A. If you have not received or there is an error on your certificate/s please contact the relevant Exams Office by the relevant deadline below.
A Level & GCSE – By the end of February following your results.
BTEC All Levels – By the end of December following completion of course.
Vocational qualifications – By the end December for course completing in June.
For short courses –  Three months from your end date, e.g. end date 31 January query certificate by 30 April.
November GCSE resits – By the end of June following your results.

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