FAQ Page

/FAQ Page

You may find Syllabus/unit Code/Option Code on each subject specification from the following Examination Board sites.   Give the exact title of each module/unit and its entry code, as shown in the specifications.  Please note that it is your responsibility to give us the correct codes. Please show the tier (Higher or Foundation) for GCSE/IGCSE exams if applicable to your subject.

AQA

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects

EDEXCEL

http://www.edexcel.com/subjects/Pages/default.aspx

WJEC

http://www.wjec.co.uk/supporting/wjec-qualifications-in-england.html

CIE

http://www.cie.org.uk/i-want-to/resource-centre/

OCR

http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/

ADMISSION TESTING SERVICE (STEP/BMAT etc)

http://www.admissionstestingservice.org/our-services/

“Cash-in” means that you are ready to amalgamate all the exam components or units that you have taken in a subject into one final grade. You do not expect to re-take any of the components again, and you want to receive a final result and certificate. You can only “cash-in” a subject if you have gained a result in all of the components stipulated in the specifications.

If you wish to “cash-in” your results at the end of the series you are currently entered for, an additional cash-in code, called the subject award code, may be required for the entry.  Please let us know, if possible at the time of application, if you want to ‘cash in’ the results that you receive.“Cashing-in” does not apply to all subjects.

It is the responsibility of the candidate to apply for Cash-Ins when they make their exam entries. Failure to apply for Cash-Ins will mean that you will not receive your overall grade (which may influence your conditional offer for university). Late Cash-Ins will incur an additional charge (see Fees and Deadlines).

Just let us know, as soon as you find out, and we will contact the examination boards for you. Usually, the UCI number which was issued first will be the one which you keep. There will be an additional charge for merging UCI numbers. You can apply for this service through your account on the Exam Portal.

The UCI number will be shown on previous statements of entry or statement of results issued by an examination board. You can recognise the UCI number because it will probably start with the 5-digit Centre Number where you first took your exams.

If you are unsure, please contact your previous centre.

The Unique Candidate Identifier (UCI number) is a 12-digit number followed by one capital letter. Its purpose is to enable all of your exam results, which you have taken throughout your exam careers, at any centre through any awarding body to be accumulated together, accurately and fully, under your name.

If you have not taken any examinations since 1998 you may not have a UCI number.If you do not have a UCI number we will allocate one for you.

LBC is currently unable to cater for students with mobility impairments. For a detailed discussion about your specific requirements please contact the college.

A levels students will now be sitting their exams at the end of the two-year course. There is no longer an option of a January assessment window and this applies to both the current A levels specification as well as the new ones.

AS levels is now a stand-alone qualification and no longer contributes to an A level grade. Their purpose now is more to encourage curriculum breadth and they remain broadly at their current standard. However, this means that taking the AS as a stepping-stone to A Level will no longer applies.

Another key change that has been made under the new UCAS Tariff is to the points allocated to the AS qualification. Under the current Tariff it has points worth 50% of an A level but under the new Tariff it is allocated points worth 40% of an A level. This would obviously have repercussions for students applying to university. New syllabuses are being approved. These will be taught in September 2015 with the first exams in June 2017.

The last date for all the students studying the ‘old’ specification to take the exams will be June 2016. New courses are being written according to the new specifications and proofed with a view to offering them for the first exams in 2017.

Exam certificates are usually issued by the end of October for examinations taken in the summer.

Yes but for each paper students should write all their answers and working on the question paper.

Here are the JCQ regulations on writing materials in exams, but see below for more detailed guidance from Edexcel:

You must write in black ink. Coloured pencils or inks may be used only for diagrams, maps, charts, etc. unless the instructions printed on the front of the question paper state otherwise.

Edexcel’s advice on writing in pen or pencil

Examination scripts are now marked using e-pen technology which improves quality of marking and reduces the need to deal with thousands of paper scripts. To ensure candidate responses are electronically read for examiners the main issue is requesting candidates to use black or blue pen to write with and use a sharp HB grade pencil to draw graphs and diagrams using a quality white rubber to erase any mistakes during graph work and drawing.

The whole page of an exam script is scanned so that all candidate responses, even the crossed out, are seen in order to credit relevant contribution where applicable. To this end a black/blue pen and HB pencil scan very well indeed. In the rare event that something does not scan well, e.g. a very feint pencil being used,  the computer indicates this and the script is directly marked in the traditional way.

1. When drawing graphs:

The numbers on the x and y axes are written in pen

A. Sharp HB pencil is OK too, especially if candidate changes mind later.

Titles written in pen (can be horizontal or vertical depending on the space)

A. Sharp HB pencil is OK too, especially if candidate changes mind later.

Lines drawn in pencil with x marking co-ordinates

A. Sharp HB pencil is best, especially if candidate changes mind later.

If asked to use a ruler to join the points – are you being asked to draw a line of best fit?

A. If the question instructs a line of best fit, then do so, otherwise the candidate must use their skill and judgement using the context of the subject to decide upon best type of line.
CIE advice to candidates

Can students write in pencil on the mathematics examination paper?

In section 3.2.6 Stationery, Materials and Other Equipment in the Handbook to Centres it states:

“Candidates must write their answers legibly in black or blue ink. Candidates should be warned that the use of pale blue ink contributes to illegibility. Red ink must not be used. Soft pencil (type B or HB is recommended) must be used for multiple choice tests. Pencils or pens in other colours may be used for diagrams and maps only.”

Mathematical constructions and graphs would fall into the same category as the last sentence and so it is permissible to use a pencil for questions assessing these skills. Other than that, blue or black ink should be used as (a) it can’t be altered after the examination and (b) the examiner can see the way the student was developing the question even though the final answer may be incorrect.

You must not take into the exam room:

  • notes;
  • a calculator case/instruction leaflet;
  • a reading pen;
  • a mobile phone, iPod, MP3/4 player, a wrist watch which has a data storage device or any other product with text/digital facilities.

Any pencil cases taken into the exam room must be see-through.

Remember: 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.

JCQ is the Joint Council for Qualifications, a collaboration of all the major exam boards.  It oversees exam administration and provides guidelines on things like appeals, transferring credit for units into a different exam board or specification, etc.. They publish guidance for candidates on written exams, controlled assessment, on-screen tests and other situations.  See JCQ Guidance for Candidates

  • Read the question. Then read it again, more carefully. Many marks are lost because people misread questions.
  • Note the marks available and work out how long to spend on this question
  • Pick the low-hanging fruit first; work through the paper, doing everything that you know how to do.  Don’t get hung up on questions that you don’t know how to do, because if you spend too long on them you may miss out on ‘easy marks’ later.
  • If you don’t know how to do a question or find it is taking a long time, move on to the next question but make a mark on the exam or fold the corner over, to remind you to come back to the tough question if you have time.
  • ALWAYS attempt a question, even if you don’t really know how to do it.  Marks are usually available for method, which means that even if you get the wrong answer, you may get some credit for going about it in the right way.  Do all your working on the answer booklet, and only cross it out if you are sure you have a better answer; method/working marks are available for what is on the answer booklet, but not what’s on rough paper, and not what’s crossed out.
  • Marks are often dropped if a question asks you to do several things; sometimes students don’t answer all parts or carry out all tasks.  You could cross off each task or key word on the question paper as you do it.
  • Use all the available time; if you finish the paper, go back and check your answers carefully.  Look at the marks available per question and check your answers are of a sufficient length. Don’t just sit there staring into space, as sometimes invigilators will collect the papers early in this situation and then you have lost the chance to check your work.

You should have received details from us telling you where to go and who to ask for on the day; if not, go to the London Brookes College main reception and explain that you are a private candidate. You may be required to sign a visitor’s book.

Here are some suggestions for private candidates:

  • Arrive at least half an hour before the exam.  Sometimes it’s hard to find the exam room, and it’s better to be early and calm, rather than late and panicking!
  • Go to the loo before the exam, even if you think you don’t need to!
  • Take a bottle of water, with label removed.  Staying hydrated keeps the brain alert.
  • Wear layers; exam rooms can be freezing cold or stiflingly hot and stuffy….be prepared.
  • The invigilator should tell you clearly when you may start.  If you are not clear about this, raise your hand, making sure it is easy for the invigilator to see that you are trying to get her attention, and wait for the invigilator to come to you.
  • A clock should be clearly visible to you and your start and finish times noted on a board, but just in case, take a watch that you can read easily, and you can note down your start and finish times on rough paper.
  • Keep an eye on timings.  If candidates sitting several different exams are all in the same room, the invigilator may make a mistake about when you are due to finish. If you think a mistake has been made, raise your hand and ask.  You will not be penalised for asking – the invigilator will not be marking your paper!
  • If you need extra paper, raise your hand and wait for the invigilator to come to you.  Remain in your seat.
  • If you need the toilet, raise your hand and wait for the invigilator to come.  Remain in your seat until told to move. You will need to be accompanied to the toilet by someone who will wait outside the cubicle.
  • You can ask the invigilator for a spare paper when you leave, and if they have one they sometimes are happy to hand it over.  It’s incredibly difficult to remember what was in an exam, (much to the frustration of those waiting nervously for the after-exam discussion outside!) and in this way you can have a look after and talk about likely good and bad bits whilst it is all fresh in the mind.
  • Don’t take any exam papers or other exam materials out of the room without asking, though; they may held back because other students at the centre will be sitting the exam later due to clashes.

Once you’ve worked through the course, whether that is via a textbook, correspondence course, with a tutor etc, you will need to spend some time doing practice papers / mock exams. Most students find this a valuable experience.

You can usually download past exam papers, mark schemes and examiners’ reports from the page on the exam board for that particular qualification.  The most recent past paper will normally be secure download only from the exam board as schools use these for mocks.

  • When doing practice papers, students may find it helpful to mark it themselves and become familiar with the mark scheme so they know what markers are looking for.  Read the Examiner’s Report too – reading about other people’s mistakes may save you from making some yourself!
  • Pay attention to timing; during practice exams, divide the total number of marks by the minutes available so you have a ‘marks per minute’ number.  Then, when you look at the number of marks available for a question, you know roughly how long to allow for it.
  • The marks available tell you also how many points you need to make in an answer.  If there are 3 marks available, generally you need to make at least 3 points – even if this involves spelling out something you think is obvious.
  • Do some past papers under exam conditions – in a quiet room, with strict exam timings – to help you pace yourself.
  • If you have some revision time available, but don’t have time or stamina to work through a full past paper, you don’t need to do one all in one go.  Look at the marks per minute, as noted above, and give yourself questions to suit the available time.
  • You may need to look at the previous specification if there are not many past papers available for your qualification.  Often the changes between specifications are quite small so you may find that the old papers are still good practice.  The exam board may have a document explaining changes from one specification to the next, available under ‘teacher support materials’ on the subject page. Otherwise, you need to look for questions which are similar in style to the current ones, and compare the specifications.

Exam boards each have their own standard entry deadline.  This is usually Feb-March for the summer exam series, although it will change slightly each year.  However, exam centres will usually have their own deadline for accepting entries and this will be earlier, to allow them time to complete the paperwork.  Note that the entry deadline is not your last chance to enter the exam – all boards accept late entries – but it does incur late entry fees.  If you wish to make a late entry and the exams officer at your centre says this is not possible, you can look up the exam board’s own last entry dates and then go back to the exams officer saying that the published final entry date is X, and you are prepared to pay late entry fees.  It is still up to the exam centre whether to accept your entries.

Edexcel’s online exam entry system can, in theory, accept entries up to a few days before the exam, although fees rise steeply.

Make sure you are crystal clear about the exam code for the papers you want to sit. If in any doubt, contact us and we’d be happy to answer any questions that you might have.
Check the date that the exam is scheduled – see UK government’s exam timetable for confirmed GCSE and A-level dates. For IGCSEs you will have to look on the exam board’s timetable, published on its own site. It is usually easy to find simply by searching, eg, “CIE IGCSE timetable summer 2016”

Login and register on LBC exam portal, entering the exam code and date, candidate’s full name and date of birth.  If you have already taken any UK public exams before then you should have a UCI (Universal Candidate Identification) number, which you can quote.  If not, one will be allocated to you by the exam board.

London Brookes College requires that all private candidates provide a copy of the current passport. If you don’t have this then please contact us before proceeding as we will need some form of official photo ID.

Please fill out the rest of the form and contact us if you have any questions

Payment is required at the time of making the entry.  Once London Brookes College has made the entry on your behalf, we have incurred costs such as exam board fees and administration costs, so if you later decide to withdraw from the exam, you will still need to pay some or all of these costs. Failing to do so may lead London Brookes College to refuse to let you sit the exam or any other exams as a private candidate in future with us.

If you have any special needs for extra time, a scribe, a prompt, or access to a keyboard, you will need to discuss this us before making your entries as we need to confirm that we can accommodate you first.

 

Our aim is to be clear about timings and what the exams centre needs to know and by when. For practical exams, we aim to give as much notice as possible of when the test will occur. We are aware that some students may be educated outside of school because of anxiety issues and therefore knowing their schedule well in advance can be important.

We let the candidates know what to expect in the institution – where to go, when to arrive, how to contact us on the day. Explain if there may be unavoidable noise if the exam extends over a school break period, or if any other disruption is likely. Our costs will be made clear in advance so that families can budget for them. The candidate will need to pay before London Brookes College incurs any costs, to avoid misunderstandings

London Brookes College is accredited private exam centre and therefore is able to fulfil the strict examining body’s requirements for controlled assessment. Therefore we are able to accept external candidates for qualifications which include Controlled Assessment or other forms of coursework.

There are a small number of GCSEs which do not have a CA component (maths, law, psychology, sociology and a few others) but for other subjects, International GCSEs (IGCSEs) generally offer an alternative without the need for coursework. Thus, most home-educated students often take IGCSEs in English, the sciences, History etc.. Science IGCSE exams do not include a compulsory practical component, but the examination includes written questions on how experiments would be carried out. Candidates can be assured that IGCSEs will be accepted as equivalent to GCSEs by colleges and universities in the UK.

NB There are some subjects for which there is no GCSE or IGCSE which does not require controlled assessment. Examples include Physical Education, Textiles, and Drama. Students who wish to study such subjects at sixth form can find it difficult to negotiate the applications process if they have not been able to access GCSEs in these areas. If GCSEs are not available then they usually compile portfolios for arts and crafts, and may take specialist qualifications with a private teacher or group for other subjects, eg music grades, drama grades, or qualifications with sporting bodies such as assistant coach. Access to controlled assessment would benefit many students who wish to obtain these qualifications, as it would simplify their applications to sixth form or FE college.

London Brookes Colleges aims to accommodate private candidates with additional needs as best we can. We have a number of facilities that are commonly requested for by students with additional needs.

For more information please contact us directly with details of your request and we will aim to get back to you as soon as possible

London Brookes College, in some cases, may seat external candidates in a room with our own candidates, when they are sitting different exams. If the exams have different finish times then the finish times for each paper will be written on the board and you will be asked to leave quietly while others are still working.

If London Brookes College has no students sitting exams of any kind at the scheduled time of your exam then you will be put in a separate room with an invigilator.

London Brookes College has always had students at the heart of it’s service offerings. We love what we do and what we do is make exam qualifications available to all students. In doing so we aim to make a real difference to students who need exam qualifications but face barriers to access.

Our private exam centre has given us opportunity to get in touch with the wider education community like never before and each year we meet 1000s of students who truly appreciate the importance of access to exam qualifications. By doing so we hope that it shows that London Brookes College supports the local community, not just its own students.

We have a diverse range of people and learning institutions contact us to use our exam centre services. This gives us the opportunity to show case our culture of providing dedicated support to each student in a positive learning environment. This experience of sitting exams with us helps potential students and their parents see first hand how the college operates and means that on a regular basis we have students join our full time independent sixth form.

London Brookes College prides itself has being one of the leading exam centres in London and we will look to accommodate all students even if a student may struggle to find an exam centre

External candidates are students who are not enrolled at the exam centre where they take exams or participate in controlled assessments. The term “private candidate” applies to any student who is entering themselves for an exam rather than being entered by their educational institution. External candidates are a subset of private candidates who are not enrolled students.

The fee you pay is made up of the exam board entry fee plus an administration fee charged by the exam centre.

The administration fee varies from exam to exam because each exam can have different components associated to it e.g. a French language exam will require both a written and oral speaking assessment to be completed and therefore will naturally cost more to sit privately than a maths exam that only has a written component.

For more information please visit our private exams centre page http://www.londonbrookescollege.co.uk/private-candidates-examination-centre-hendon-london/

We advise students to register around six months before the exams are due. You can register and enter at a much later, even up to a week before the exam, but exam board fees will rise for late entries.

You can find the latest prices but visiting our exam portal http://www.londonbrookescollege.co.uk/private-candidates-examination-centre-hendon-london/

Gap years can provide the perfect opportunity to do something really worthwhile, and still easily fit in plenty of time for study. Most students do a work placement during gap years (in UK or abroad) to save up for a gap year trip later on in the year.

Others choose to take a complete break from studying and go travelling abroad for a while, find a job that is relevant to their university course/chosen career in order to gain relevant experience. However it is important to give yourself enough time to study for your A level retakes and get the grades you were hoping to get the first time!

 

It depends on how you approach the situation. Even though only certificated grades will show as your results, universities can see how long it has taken you to complete your A levels. Therefore it is important to have a good justification for why you had to retake your A levels.

Medicine and Veterinary Science students:

Most universities will not accept those students that have taken 3 years to complete their A levels, unless there are extenuating circumstances for having not achieved the minimum grades required first time around.

Recent changes to the system mean that A levels can now only be retaken in the summer, usually in June. The option to retake exams in January is no longer available.

If you didn’t get the grades you were hoping for then look to consider the following options

  1. Contact all of your selected universities and speak to the university admissions office to find out if you can get in through clearing
  2. If you have any extenuating circumstances that you feel prevented you from performing your best during exam time then make sure you make that clear to the university admissions officer. Universities do take into consider any personal and/or medical reasons for why prospective students didn’t do as well as they hoped
  3. If then above 2 options didn’t get you into the course/university you wanted then retaking A levels could be best option

If you didn’t get the grades you were expecting at A levels then don’t worry as there are other options available! A level retakes are a popular choice for many students looking to improve their a level grades. A level retakes can offer students a second change

Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of friendly staff

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Tel: 02082022007
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