The following information regarding external examinations maybe helpful. As students embark on their ‘AS’/’A’Level studies we thought that it might help if we clarify a few points about these exams and the way in which they operate in this school.
- ‘AS’ Level and ‘A’Level are divided into units which may vary across subjects. The 2/3 units examined for ‘AS’Level then count towards the full ‘A’Level.
- Each unit is either a written exam or a practical exam or coursework.
- Units can be sat in either January or May/June. Decisions about entries for these exams are made in October and March respectively. Some subjects, but not all, enter year 12 students for a unit examination in January.
- The marks awarded for each unit vary for different subjects and for different Examination Boards. Subject teachers will explain this in detail. All ‘AS’Level subjects are marked out of a total of 300 marks and all ‘A’Level subjects are marked out of a total of 600 marks on the Uniform Mark Scheme (UMS).
- The grade boundaries on the UMS are the same for all subjects and are shown in the table below
- The individual UMS unit scores are added together to produce these marks out of 300 or 600.
- These marks are converted into awarded grades by entering a Certification Code when the unit entries are submitted. This means that at the end of Year 12 students will receive 3 or 4 ‘AS’ Level Grades.
- Students are allowed to resit any unit as many times as they wish to improve their mark. The highest mark achieved on any one unit will count towards the UMS total and hence the final grade awarded.
- The initial examination entry fee is paid for by the school but students will be charged for any resits that they choose to enter. The cost of each unit varies slightly but it is approximately £12 per unit.
- The entries will be processed by subject teachers and students will receive various printouts to help ensure that entries are correct. Initially students will receive a Statement of Entry from the Examinations Officer, before the entries are sent to the Examination Boards. After the entries have been submitted students will receive official Statements of Entry from the Examination Boards. These will confirm the entries and provide the correct dates of the examinations but the given times of the exams may be varied by the Examinations Officer.
- Just before the examinations students will receive a personal timetable. This is the most important of all of the documents they will receive as it tells the student their candidate number, (which may be the same or different to the one used at GCSE), when and where the exam is being held and where the student sits in the examination room. If the timetable is not written on, this may be brought to the examination room.
- If students think that their entry is wrong in anyway whatsoever they must see the Examinations Officer as soon as possible. His office is near to the Science Staff Room/ Room 25.
- If for any reason the student is not able to attend an examination e.g. due to illness, the school office must be informed as soon as possible. If an examination appears on the student’s personal timetable they will be expected to attend.
- To help students and their parents with long term planning, timetables are displayed on the notice boards outside the Examination Officer’s office which is in the Main School near to the Technician’s Room.
There is also a facility available online at www.naa.org.uk/site_map.html and then follow the links to Online tools/Interboard Exam Timetable. Students will need to know the Examining Body which administers their exam and the Titles or Entry Codes of the units to be sat. Their subject teachers can help them with this information.