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Impington Village College

Exam Guidance

It is the aim of Impington Village College to make the examination experience as stress-free and successful as possible for all candidates.

Hopefully, this content will prove informative and helpful for you and your parent/carer.  Please read it carefully and show it to your parent/carer so that they are also aware of the examination regulations and the procedures to follow in the event of any problems occurring.

The awarding bodies (or examination boards) set down strict criteria which must be followed for the conduct of examinations and Impington Village College is required to follow them precisely.  You should therefore, pay particular attention to the JCQ Information documents available below.

Some of the questions you may have are answered below in our FAQ.  If there is anything you do not understand or any question that has not been addressed, PLEASE ASK at the Exams Office.

If you or your parent/carer have any queries or need help or advice at any time before, during or after the examinations please contact the Exams office on-

01223 200 400 or email

Remember – we are here to help.

Good Luck!


Centre assessment grades and rank orders

Impington Village College has submitted provisional (centre assessment) grades and rank orders to the relevant awarding body in accordance with the Ofqual guidance on Awarding qualifications in summer 2020 and in line with the awarding body instructions.

Staff at IVC have been working hard within clear parameters and protocols outlined by the College Leadership Team to produce Centre Assessed Grades for submission to the exam boards. We are confident that we have submitted grades that genuinely reflect the efforts and achievements of all our students; as a College we have very effective systems for assessment and tracking that allow us to forecast accurately. The grades have taken into account the full range of evidence we have on students’ performance. This includes assessed work completed in lessons, the outcomes in both sets of mock examinations, and any Non Exam Assessments completed in subject areas. To support students and parent/carers in understanding the process followed, please see the following flow diagram below:

For the reason of fairness, awarding bodies are putting these grades through a standardisation process to ensure grading standards are consistent across all centres. The rank order of candidates will not be changed but the final grades candidates receive may be different to the centre assessment grade

Process for awarding GCE, AS and A levels summer 2020 – Ofqual infographic

Following publication of results candidates may request a copy of the centre assessed grades that were submitted to the awarding bodies.  The candidate should email who will provide this information within 7 days of receiving the request.

Final Grades

On candidate statements of results and certificates, final grades will be reported in the same way as in previous years.

Final grades will be issued on results day(s) in August as follows:


Qualification type


GCE (AS, A Levels) and other Level 3 qualifications


GCSE and other Level 1/2 qualifications

Heads of House will be available on results day should you wish to discuss your results further. Details on how to arrange an appointment to speak to them will be sent separately.

Concerns about your results

At results time, Ofqual will be providing information for students that sets out how their grades were calculated this year and the options available if they believe their result was not properly produced, including access to appeal. The National Careers Service Exam Results Helpline offers advice each year for students who have not received the results they had hoped for. Ofqual will also make a helpline available to students and their parents or carers to talk about the appeals process and any other questions they may have about their results this summer.

Results Information 


Following on from the announcement that all public exams will be cancelled this summer the government have confirmed that exam results will be published on the dates originally planned.

  • GCE, BTEC level 3 & Functional Skills
  • Thursday 13th August 2020
  • GCSE, Cambridge National, BTEC level 1/2 & ELC
  • Thursday 20th August 2020

A statement of results will be sent to your College email account via SIMS in touch from 08:00 onwards on results day. A paper copy will also be posted home via first class mail on results day.

Due to security reasons we are unable to send results to personal email accounts or give out results over the telephone. If you will be unable to access your results online please could you let us know via email at by Friday 10th July so that we can make alternative arrangements for you to collect your results from College in person on results day.


Ofqual have produced the following “Student guide to post-16 qualifications results Summer 2020” which you may find helpful.


Certificates will be available for collection in December from the College reception. Certificates will not be given to anyone other than the candidate without the candidates written authorisation and will not be posted home due to the risk of loss or damage.

Impington is only obliged to keep certificates for a period of one year after issue.  If candidates do not collect their certificates within this time (or if they lose certificates that have been issued) they can only be replaced by direct application and payment of a fee to the appropriate examination boards.  You are therefore urged to collect your certificates as soon as possible and store them safely.

Advice on Examinations 

Examination Regulations

  • Copies of the “Information for Candidates” and “Warning to Candidates”, which are issued by JCQ on behalf of the Examining Boards, are available at the bottom of the page.  All candidates must read these carefully and note that to break any of the examination rules or regulations could lead to disqualification from all subjects.  The college must report any breach of regulations to the Awarding Body.

Attendance at Examinations

  • Candidates are responsible for checking their own timetable and arriving at college on the correct day and time, properly dressed and equipped.  Candidates should arrive 20 minutes prior to the start time of their examination.  Please wait quietly outside your exam room until you are invited to enter by the examination invigilators.
  • Candidates who arrive late for an examination may still be admitted but will not receive any additional time.  If special consideration applies then you must speak to the Examinations Officer (see ABSENCE FROM EXAMINATIONS).
  • college uniform must be worn by all students attending exams
  • All items of equipment, pens, pencils, mathematical instruments, etc. should be visible to the invigilators at all times.  You must either use a transparent pencil case or clear plastic bag.
  • Pens must be black ink or black ballpoint.  No correction pens or tape are allowed.
  • For Mathematics and Science exams, students should make sure their calculators conform to the examination regulations.  If in doubt, check with your teacher.  Remove any covers or instructions and make sure batteries are new.  
  • Please make sure that any watch alarms are turned off.
  • Do not attempt to communicate with or distract other candidates.
  • Examination regulations are very strict regarding items that may be taken into the examination room (see FAQs at the end of this booklet).  If you break these rules you will be disqualified from the examination.
  • Mobile telephones MUST NOT BE BROUGHT INTO THE EXAMINATION ROOM.  If a mobile phone (or any other type of electronic communication or storage device) is found in your possession during an examination (even if it is turned off or broken) it will be taken from you and a report made to the appropriate exam board. No exceptions can be made. 
  • No food is allowed in the examination rooms. Water in a clear bottle with all labels removed & preferably with a pull top, is the only drink permitted in the examination room.
  • Please do not write on the examination desks.  This is regarded as vandalism and you will be asked to pay for any damage.
  • Do not draw graffiti or write offensive comments on examination papers – if you do the examination board may refuse to accept your paper. Inclusion of offensive comments or obscenities aimed at a member of staff, examiner, ethnic or religious group; racist or lewd remarks or drawings on examination material may lead to penalties for a candidate up to and including the loss of all marks and being disqualified from all examinations in that series together with a ban on entering all future examinations for a set period of time.
  • Listen carefully to instructions and notices read out by the invigilators – there may be amendments to the exam paper that you need to know about
  • Check you have the correct question paper – check the subject, paper and tier of entry.
  • Read all instructions carefully and number your answers clearly.
  • You will not be allowed to leave an examination room early.  If you have finished the paper use any time remaining to check over your answers and to ensure that you have completed your details correctly.
  • At the end of the examination all work must be handed in – remember to cross out any rough work.  If you have used more than one answer book or loose sheets of paper ask the Invigilator for a tag to fasten them together in the correct order.
  • Invigilators will collect your exam papers before you leave the room.  Absolute silence must be maintained during this time.  Remember you are still under examination conditions until you have left the room.
  • Question papers, answer booklets and additional paper must NOT be taken from the exam room.
  • Remain seated in silence until told to leave the examination room.  Please leave the room in silence and show consideration for other candidates who may still be working.
  • If the fire alarm sounds during an examination the examination invigilators will tell you what to do.  Don’t panic.  If you have to evacuate the room you will be asked to leave in silence and in the order in which you are sitting.  You will be escorted to a designated assembly point.  Leave everything on your desk.  You must not attempt to communicate with anyone else during the evacuation.  When you return to the exam room do not start writing until the invigilator tells you to.  You will be allowed the full working time for the examination and a report will be sent to the awarding body detailing the incident.


  • The college employs external invigilators to conduct the examinations.  Students are expected to behave in a respectful manner towards all invigilators and follow their instructions at all times.
  • Subject specialist teachers will normally be present at the start of an examination only.
  • Invigilators are in the examination rooms to supervise the conduct of the examination.  They will distribute and collect the examination papers, tell candidates when to start and finish the examination, hand out extra writing paper if required and deal with any problems that occur during the examination, for example if a candidate is feeling ill.
  • Please note that invigilators cannot discuss the examination paper with you or explain the questions.
  • Pupils who are disruptive or behave in an unacceptable manner will be removed from the examination room by invigilators and members of the College Executive Team.


  • If you have two or more examinations scheduled at the same time, then you have a clash (see FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS).


  • A copy of your own individual timetable showing your specific examinations is enclosed with the Guidance booklet that you will be given.  Check it carefully and then take a photo of it with your phone!  If you think something is wrong or you think that there is a clash on your timetable that has not been resolved , please speak to a member of the Examinations Office immediately.

Absence from Examinations

  • If you experience difficulties during the examination period (e.g. illness, injury, or personal problems) please inform college at the earliest opportunity so we can help and advise you.
  • Only in ‘exceptional circumstances’ are candidates allowed special consideration for absence from any part of an examination.  It is essential that medical or other appropriate evidence is obtained on the day by the candidate/parent and given to the Examination Officer without delay if an application is to be made for special consideration.
  • A self-certification form (JCQ/ME Form 14) can be obtained from the Examinations Office which can then be countersigned by your doctor or nurse.
  • For the award of a grade by special consideration, where a student misses part of an examination through illness or personal misfortune, a minimum of 25% of the examination (including coursework) must have been completed for both GCSE and GCE. 
  • parent/carer and candidates are reminded that the college will require payment of entry fees (currently £40.00 per GCSE subject) should a candidate fail to attend an examination without good reason.
  • Please note that misreading the timetable will not be accepted as a satisfactory explanation of absence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What do I do if there’s a clash on my timetable?

  • The college will re-schedule papers (on the same day) where there is a clash of subjects.  Candidates with clashes will normally sit one paper then have a break during which they will be supervised and must not have any communication with other candidates - they will then sit the second subject paper (a third paper may follow on occasions).  Revised times will be shown on your individual candidate timetable.  It may be necessary for you to bring a packed lunch if you have exams in both morning and afternoon as you will have to remain in isolation until both examinations are completed.  If in doubt consult the Examinations Officer.

Q.  What do I do if I think I have the wrong paper?

  • Invigilators will ask you to check before the exam starts.  If you think something is wrong put your hand up and tell the invigilator immediately.

Q.  What do I do if I forget my Candidate Number?

  • Candidate Numbers are printed on your individual timetable and on seating plans which are displayed outside the exam rooms and on attendance registers.  Invigilators will be able to help you find your number.   

Q.  What do I do if I forget the college Centre Number?

  • The Centre Number is 22161.  It will be clearly displayed in the examination rooms.

Q.  What do I do if I have an accident or am ill before the exam?

  • Inform college at the earliest opportunity so we can help or advise you.  In the case of an accident which results in you being unable to write, it may be possible to provide you with a person (scribe) to write your answers but we will need as much prior notice as possible.

You may need to obtain medical evidence (from your GP or hospital) if you wish the college to make an appeal for Special Consideration on your behalf (see below).

Q.  What is an Appeal for Special Consideration?

  • Special Consideration is an adjustment to the marks or grades of a candidate who is eligible for consideration.  The allowance for Special Consideration is from 0% (consideration given but addition of marks considered inappropriate) to 5% (reserved for exceptional cases).  parent/carer should be aware that any adjustment is likely to be small and no feedback is ever provided. Candidates will only be eligible for Special Consideration if they have been fully prepared and covered the whole course but performance in the examination or in the production of controlled assessment is affected by adverse circumstances beyond their control.  Examples of such circumstances may be illness, accident or injury, bereavement, domestic crisis. The Examinations Officer must be informed immediately, so that the necessary paperwork can be completed (within 7 days of the last exam session for each subject) and the candidate will be required to provide evidence to support such an application.

Q.  What do I do if I feel ill during the exam?

  • Put your hand up and an invigilator will assist you.  You should inform an invigilator if you feel ill before or during an exam and you feel this may have affected your performance. All incidents will be recorded on the Exam log sheet.

Q.  If I’m late can I still sit the examination?

  • Provided you arrive at College by 10am or by 2pm it may still be possible for you to sit the examination.

You should also be aware that if you start the exam more than 30 minutes after the published starting time, the college must inform the exam board and it is possible that the Board may decide not to accept your work.  Please ensure that you allow enough time to get to college so that if you are delayed (e.g. through transport problems) you will still arrive on time.

Q.  If I miss the examination can I take it on another day?

  • No.  Timetables are regulated by the exam boards and you must attend on the published date and time. 

Q.  What equipment should I bring for my exams?

  • For most exams you should bring at least 2 pens (black ink only).
  • For Science Modules you need 2 x HB pencils.
  • For some exams you will need a calculator (Maths/Science), a 30cm ruler (marked with cm and mm), pencil sharpener and rubber, compasses, protractor, coloured pencil crayons (not gel pens), set texts (e.g. for English Literature).
  • You are responsible for providing your own equipment for examinations.  You must not attempt to borrow equipment from another candidate during the examination.

Q.  What items are not allowed into the examination room?

  • Only material that is listed on question papers (e.g. an anthology) is permitted in the examination room and students who are found to have any material with them that is not allowed will be reported to the appropriate examinations board.  In such circumstances, a student would normally be disqualified from the paper or the subject concerned.
  • Bags and coats and any other items not permitted under examination regulations must be left in the Gym changing room or placed at the rear of the smaller exam venues. Do not bring any valuables into college with you when you attend for an examination. 
  • No food is allowed in the exam room and only water in a clear container is permitted.
  • Mobile telephones must not be brought into the exam room even if they are turned off.

Q.  Why can’t I bring my mobile telephone into the exam room?

  • Being in possession of a mobile phone (or any other electronic communication device, e.g. ipod, MP3, headphones) is regarded as cheating and is subject to a severe penalty from the awarding bodies: 

The minimum penalties are as follows:

Device found on you and turned ON - disqualification from the entire subject award. 

Device found on you and turned OFF- disqualification from the specific paper you are sitting at the time.

If your Phone sounds during the exam wherever it is in the room the exam board must be informed and you will be disqualified from all papers for the subject (including any already taken).

Q.  How do I know how long the exam is?

  • The length of the examination is shown in on your individual timetable under the heading ‘duration’. Invigilators will tell you when to start and finish the exam.  They will write the finish time of the exam on a flip chart or board at the front of the exam room.  There will be a clock in all examination rooms.

Q.  Can I leave the exam early?

  • No. It is the college’s policy not to allow candidates to leave the examination early, as this can be disruptive to other candidates.  A candidate may not leave the examination room without the permission of the invigilators. 

Q.  What do I do if the fire alarm goes?

  • The examination invigilators will tell you what to do.  If you have to evacuate the room leave everything on your desk and leave the room in silence.  You must not attempt to communicate with any other candidates during the evacuation. 

Q.  Can I go to the toilet during the exam?

  • If it is absolutely necessary.  You will be escorted by an invigilator and will not be allowed any extra time. All incidents will be recorded on the exam log sheet.

Q.  If I have more than one exam on a day can I get lunch at college?

  • Pupils who have examinations in both morning and afternoon sessions may obtain lunch from the dining hall in the usual way or bring a packed lunch.

Q.  Why do I need to check the details on the Statement of Entry?

  • The personal details on your Statement of Entry will be used when certificates are printed.  If the name or date of birth on your certificates does not match that on your birth certificate it could cause you problems later if you are asked to show your certificates to a potential employer or for entry to college/university. You should also check that the subjects and the tiers of entry are correct and that no subjects are missing.

Q.  I am entitled to extra time – how will this affect the way I take my exams?

  • Some students receive an allowance of 25% extra time.  A card giving details of your access arrangement will be placed on your desk. Invigilators will have been made aware of your arrangement and will include the additional time when they display the finishing time of your exam on the board.

Q.  What do I do if I don’t get the grades I need for college?

  • Teaching staff will be available to advise you on results day.  If you feel strongly that it is necessary to make an enquiry about your result you should first consult the Head of Subject to obtain their advice as to the advisability of requesting a review of the mark. You should be aware that your mark could go down as well as up or even stay the same. 
  • Review of marking requests must be submitted to the Examinations Officer by the deadlines shown on the Post Results Services sheet at the back of this booklet.  You will need to complete a Candidate Consent Form and return it with a cheque to cover the cost of the service.
  • GCE students can request a priority photocopy of their AS/A2 exam script for the sole purpose of deciding upon an enquiry about results. You will need to complete an application form if you require this service.
  • Under no circumstances will a request for a Post Results Service be actioned until the appropriate form and full payment has been received.

JCQ Information 

Please see below for the various JCQ information documents that you can download and peruse at your leisure.