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Ofqual - Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation

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Information for:

Exams Help

Revision

We've prepared this area to help with all your qualifications and exams questions. We have advice on A levels and GCSEs, what to do when you get your results, and how to get the best from them.

The exams results helpline is available on 0808 100 8000 and is delivered in association with UCAS, Department for Education, and Skills Development Scotland.

 

Who are the exam boards?

AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) www.aqa.org.uk
CCEA (Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessments) www.ccea.org.uk
Edexcel www.edexcel.org.uk
OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations) www.ocr.org.uk
WJEC (Welsh Joint Education Committee) www.wjec.co.uk

Results

How do I query my results?

Only a school or college can ask for a remark. If you think that your result might be wrong you should speak to a teacher as soon as possible.

Your school or college can submit an Enquiry About Results (EAR) to the relevant exam board. The processes for raising an enquiry about results are outlined in this flowchart.

There are some private candidates - for example home schooled young people. While they have to take exams at a centre (school / college) they are registered directly with the exam board. In these circumstances private candidates can apply for an EAR.

If my university place depends on a certain grade, will they allow time to wait for a re-mark?

If your university place is at risk then the Exams Officer should submit a Priority Service request. The deadline for submitting this for summer 2012 is 24th August 2012 and any re-mark will be done within 18 days. It is down to the discretion of individual universities as to whether or not they will wait for the outcome. We advise that you speak to your intended university and keep them informed about what is happening.

Do different exam boards have different rules for re-marking?

The JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications) exam boards must publish common administrative arrangements and deadlines.

EAR flowchart.

There are different sorts of EAR, but the deadline for any requests following the issue of results for the summer 2012 exams is 20th September 2012. The deadline for any re-marks is 30 days, although the majority will be completed well within that time.

What happens if I want a re-mark, but my school doesn't agree?

The exam boards require all schools and colleges offering their exams to have in place procedures for students or parents to request a re-mark and a formal procedure for handling disputes when the school or college does not support the student’s request.

Exam boards require schools and colleges to publish their procedures to students and parents. In deciding whether to support an enquiry or appeal, schools and colleges should take account of all relevant factors and afford candidates or their carers a reasonable opportunity to express their views.

Do I have to pay for a re-mark?

Your school or college has to pay for an EAR. But for clerical checks and post-results reviews of marking, the fee will be refunded if subject grades are changed. It is worth remembering that if your mark goes down following a re-mark, it is the lower mark that will be issued.

How much does it cost?

Fees are set independently by each individual exam board.

Do examiners have training to mark papers?

Yes, most examiners are teachers or ex-teachers who often hold senior positions in schools. They are experienced in marking papers and scripts and are familiar with marking schemes and following them to the standards required by the examination boards. Each examiner attends a meeting with the exam board to assess their ability to mark exam papers correctly and accurately. They are tested and supervised throughout the marking process by senior examiners. If they do not pass the screening process their papers will be re-marked by a senior examiner to make sure all candidates are assessed to the same consistently high standards.

 

Access arrangements

I am dyslexic and I’m worried that this will affect my performance in the exams. Are there any special considerations I can apply for?

Yes there are, but it would be surprising if your school has not already done this and informed the exam boards involved. Check with your school and ask what provision has been made for you. Special consideration is usually given in the form of extra time allowed on the papers where your condition would put you at a disadvantage. There are many conditions that qualify for special allowances. In all cases, arrangements must be made through the school and appropriate documentation authenticating the condition submitted to the exam boards. The intention is, as far as possible that all students should have an equal opportunity when sitting exams and not be placed at a disadvantage over others because of the means used to examine them.

 

Other FAQs

How many marks and grades are improved as a result of re-marking?

During the summer 2011 exam series, over 5.8 million GCSE and over 2.5 million GCE AS and A level awards were made in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Some 15.1 million GCSE and GCE scripts were marked by the exam boards.

Following the release of results for the summer 2011 examination series there were 204,600 enquiries about results. For GCE (AS and A level), there were a total of 12,250 subject grade changes following enquiries and for GCSE a total of 26,270.

What action does Ofqual take against exam boards who have made marking mistakes?

Our regulations require exam boards to have the post-results enquiries system in place. Where students, parents or schools / colleges are not satisfied with the outcome of a remark, they can appeal to the exam board and ultimately to the independent Examination Appeals Board (EAB). They can also write to us if they concerns and we will investigate if we think something has gone wrong.

We require exam boards to have robust quality assurance procedures in place. When things go wrong, or we anticipate they may go wrong, we take appropriate regulatory action. Ofqual has a range of powers to:

  • give a direction to an awarding organisation,
  • impose a monetary penalty (a fine) on an awarding organisation, and
  • withdraw an awarding organisation’s recognition, in full or in respect of specified qualifications or a description of qualifications.
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