Exams

This section contains dates and information about examinations and assessments for students at Dawlish Community College.

Subject specific resources regarding examinations, coursework and revision can also be found in the subjects sections of this website.

Certificates

All 2015 uncollected Certificates are now available to collect from main reception during college hours.  Should former students be unable to collect them and would like to nominate someone to do so on their behalf written permission will be needed.

We also have uncollected certificates from previous years awaiting collection.  The examination boards require us to keep them for one year after issue and then they can be securely destroyed.

Please contact the college if you think you have not collected yours.

2016 certificates will be available for collection from Monday 28 November from main reception for those students unable to attend the Achievements evening on Wednesday 23 November 2016.

Pre-Public Exams

Y11 will be having internal tests at various times prior to taking their actual GCSE’s in Summer 2017.  These were previously known as Mock Exams and are now called Pre-Public Exams.  These tests will be done under exam conditions so that students obtain a real sense of how it feels to take an exam.  Therefore, when students take their real exams they will be confident in what they need to do.

All other year groups will also have PPE’s  at various times of the year.

Pre-Public Exams and end of year tests

Y11 – January 2017 from Monday 09 to Friday 20

Y10 – June 2017 from Monday 19 to Friday 30

Y9 – May 2017 Friday 05 to Friday 12

Y7 and Y8 – May 2017 Monday 15 to Friday 26

SUMMER 2017 Exams

EXAMS START TUESDAY 16 MAY 2017 AND FINISH ON MONDAY 26 JUNE 2017.

GCSE Examinations – on the day
GCSE Examinations – before the day
 

Year 11 Examination and Assessment Dates


Year 10 Examination and Assessment Dates

Year 9 Examination and Assessment Dates

Year 8 Examination and Assessment Dates

Year 7 Examination and Assessment Dates

GCSE Examinations – on the day

Exam regulations

The exam boards have very strict regulations for the conduct of exams. The college employs invigilators to enforce these regulations.

Start/finish times

All morning examinations begin at 9.00am. Students should be in college ready to enter the exam room by 8.50am. Afternoon examinations normally begin at 1.30pm. Students should be ready to enter the exam room at 1.20pmSome afternoon examinations finish after 3.35pm.

Aim to arrive at school 15 minutes prior to an exam at the latest. It is much better to leave yourself a safety margin on timings in case of problems with the journey.

School uniform

School uniform is compulsory and must be worn during the examination period. Any students not wearing correct uniform may be asked to wear an item from lost property.

Photo identification

Invigilators are required to positively identify each candidate with a photograph. The easiest form of photo identification is your College ID card. A passport, photo driving licence or other official photo identification with name and a photo is acceptable.

Equipment

Please make sure you have all the equipment you need for each examination. As a minimum, students should have two pens with black ink, two HB pencils, a ruler and an eraser for each examination. Other equipment, such as coloured pencils and a calculator, may be required for some examinations. Only clear pencil cases are allowed on your desk during the examination.

Written answers must be written in black ink. Do not use gel pens – this is because many of the exam papers are now scanned and sent electronically for marking – gel pens do not scan well. Correction fluid, such as Tippex, is not allowed.

In an exam where you have the use of a calculator, you should not have a calculator cover in the room so please leave it in your bag. Please note the college cannot always provide calculators.

Students should not bring bags to the examination hall. They are difficult to store and can cause a safety hazard. Please leave your bags and coats in your lockers. Cages for such items will be provided outside the Quad Hall, but are not secure and as such the college cannot accept responsibility for any missing items at the end of the exam.  Some exams are held in classrooms and in that case should you bring your bag it will be put at the front of the room.  If this happens please ensure your mobile is switched off and is in your bag.  Should it ring this is a reportable offence to which there are several consequences as outlined in the JCQ – Suspected Malpractice in Examinations and Assessments – Table of offences and ranges of penalties.  Valuables and items such as money and keys can be handed in for safe keeping or kept with you in your blazer pocket or in your clear pencil case. Please note that mobile phones must not be taken in to the examination room.

You should not have any unauthorised materials or equipment, including notes, iPODS, iwatches, Mobile Phones, MP3/4 players or any potential technological/web enabled source of information in your possession in any exam room.  Possession of any unauthorised items is a serious offence and could result in disqualification from your examination and your overall qualification

Electronic devices

Mobile phones, iPods, iwatches, MP3/4 Players or products with a potential technological/web enabled source of information are not to be taken into the examination room. The possession of unauthorised items is an infringement of the regulations and could result in disqualification from the current examination and the overall qualification. Even if the device is accidentally kept on a person it has to be reported to the examination boards. Please leave them in your bag or at home.

Food and drink

Food is not allowed in the exam rooms.

Water or squash in bottles with a spill proof cap are allowed in the exam rooms. There should be no label on the bottle and the bottle should be kept on the floor.

Illness/other difficulties

If you are feeling unwell or have other difficulties on an examination day the golden rules are:

  • Try to come and sit an examination even if you feel really ill
  • In the case of any illness, which affects your work go to your doctor and ask for a letter explaining your condition.
  • If you miss more than one paper the examination board is unlikely to give you a grade under any circumstances.
  • Contact the Examinations Officer, Mrs Bannister, for advice by telephone as soon as possible.

All illness must be reported to the Examination board at the time of the exam or as soon as possible afterwards, but in any case no later than 1 July. A doctor’s note is required to enable consideration for illness to be applied for.

GCSE Examinations – before the day

Prepare for your exam in advance using the checklist below:

  • Check your Statement of Entry has the correct name for your certificates and you have all of the entries that you have been told about by your teachers. Any mistakes should be reported to the College Exams Officer, Mrs Bannister, immediately.
  • Make sure you know the days and times of your exams and turn up on time. Links to the exam timetables can be found in the menu on the left hand side of this page.
  • Bring the correct equipment for each exam – make up a special clear pencil case with all of the items needed for exams.
  • Check you have an up-to-date College ID Card or photographic ID and make sure you bring it with you.
  • Know the exam regulations and make sure you understand them – not knowing about something is no excuse if you lose your marks for an exam.
  • Check the exam noticeboard outside the Quad Hall regularly when you are in college.
  • Eat properly before the exam and don’t get dehydrated. This will help you concentrate better. You are allowed to take water/squash into the examination room.
  • If you are unsure of anything then please ask a member of staff for advice.

Remember the most important thing is to try do your best on the day.

Guidance for Students and Parents / Carers 

A-Z of Examinations and Qualifications

Examination Resources

Examination boards

Study guides/past papers

Practice Questions

Many students fail the get the grades they deserve even though they have spent many hours revising. This is because the other secret to getting good grades is exam technique – knowing how to keep calm and answer exam questions in the right way. The best way to improve your exam technique is to practice exam questions, or even whole exam papers!

Benefits of practice questions

The more practice questions you answer the easier your final exams will be.

  • Exams will become more familiar and therefore less scary allowing you to perform better on the day.
  • There are only a certain number of questions an examiner can ask – after a while they tend to be repeated.
  • You will understand more clearly what the exam questions are asking as you become familiar with different command words.
  • Your timing will improve, ensuring that you spend an equal amount of time on all sections of the exam.

Where can I get practice questions from?

  • Ask your teacher – they will have past exam papers which they will be able to photocopy for you
  • Keep any mock exam papers you have completed over your course. These will be useful to look over again especially if your teacher has given you feedback on how to improve
  • Download the sample exams and mark schemes from your examination board’s website
  • Complete the exam questions in study guides, and then check your answers
  • Buy a specific exam question practice book

7 Habits of Highly Effective GCSE Students

1 – Develop a positive mindset

  • Positive attitude to learning
  • Positive self esteem
  • Use of visualisation

2 – Organisation, organisation, organisation

  • Attendance: 95% or above. Always punctual
  • School equipment: All equipment always brought in
  • Work management: Chunk it down for “quick wins”
  • Time management: Use of Planner/meets deadlines

3 – For coursework: draft, redraft and then final copy

  • Write to the coursework criteria
  • Concentrate on the higher order skills
  • Get others to read and check it
  • Present in imaginative ways
  • Set it out so that you direct the marker/examiner to the answer easily

4 – Show me what a good one looks like

  • What makes an A grade answer or piece of coursework?
  • What is the difference between my work and the exemplar?

5 – Create a structured and balanced revision programme

  • What information will I be examined on?
  • Are my notes up to date?
  • Break the material into manageable chunks
  • Create a revision timetable

6 – Use a range of visual revision tools

  • Internet revision sites
  • Mind maps
  • Flow charts
  • Fishbone diagram
  • Plus Minus Interesting
  • Storyboards

7 – Share the revision with someone else

  • 1 review it
  • 2 understand it
  • 3 condense it
  • 4 memorise it
  • Work in pairs/small groups
  • Use quizzes, role plays
  • Teach your mum

A document listing the 7 habits of highly effective GCSE students together with a checklist is also available to download as a single document

Accelerated Learning – MASTER plan

In “Accelerated Learning for the 21st Century” by Colin Rose and Malcolm J Nicholl they talk about a 6-step MASTER plan for Accelerated Learning.

Step 1 – Motivate your mind

This is probably the most important step of the entire process. It is so very important that you are motivated to learn for your own reasons because if you are not, when you have to start working hard, it is likely that you will not put the right amount of effort in. You need to do a WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) exercise to prime your mind and focus your energies on your learning. That way you will be able to generate motivation to get started and use it to sustain your efforts when things seem tough.

Step 2 – Acquiring the information

This is the data gathering section of the process and it can be enhanced by knowing your learning style and capitalising on it. We tend to learn using a combination of Visual (what we see), Auditory (what we hear) and Kinesthetic (what we physically and emotionally experience) strategies. We will always use a combination of these three but there may be one that is dominant. Find out which it is and focus your learning on that style.

Step 3 – Search out the meaning

It is so very important to understand what you are learning rather than just memorise a series of facts. As Rose and Nicholl say in their book “Turning facts into personal meaning is the central element to learning”. They go on say that in career terms, the ability to develop a deep understanding and make sense of a jungle of information pays much better than the ability to regurgitate a series of facts.

Step 4 – Trigger the memory

Once you have developed a deep understanding of your subject, you will still have to lock it into your long-term memory.

Step 5 – Exhibit what you know

This stage is in my mind the most important part of the process. Too many of us spend hours and hours and hours hunched over our notes and text books trying to learn and yet we spend very little time practising the recall of the information that we have learnt. So in effect we develop a very strong “in” mental muscle yet the “out” muscle that we will rely on in our exanimations is hardly tested at all. Spend more time demonstrating what you know than putting it in and keep adjusting and correcting until you get it right every single time. It is by not following through on this process that causes the sort of comments I mentioned before.

Step 6 – Reflect on how you have learnt

The most successful people always monitor what they do, compare their results with their desired outcome and adjust their approach if they are not getting what they want. It is at this stage that you should review the techniques you chose to use in step 4. Keep using the ones that are giving you the results that you want and either get better at the others (I’d suggest you try using something a couple of times instead of dismissing something because it did not work the only time you tried it) or try something else.

And there you have it the 6-step MASTER plan for Accelerated Learning. To remember the steps just use the mnemonic MASTER for the first letter of each step of the process.

How to Mind Map

  • Just use key words, or wherever possible, images
  • Start from the centre of the page and work out
  • Make the centre a clear and strong visual image that depicts the general theme of the map
  • Create sub-centres for sub-themes
  • Put key words on lines. This reinforces the structure of notes
  • Print rather than write in script. It makes them more readable and memorable. Lower case is usually more visually distinctive (and better remembered) than upper case
  • Use colour to depict themes, associations and to make things stand out
  • Anything that stands out on the page will stand out in your mind
  • Think three-dimensionally
  • Use arrows, icons or other visual aids to show links between different elements
  • Don’t get stuck in one area. If you dry up in one area go to another branch
  • Put ideas down as they occur, wherever they fit. Dont’t judge or hold back
  • Break boundaries. If you run out of space, dont’t start a new sheet; paste more paper onto the map (break the 8×11 mentality)
  • Be creative. Creativity aids memory
  • Get involved. Have fun