Things a new Exams Officers should know…About planning exams

You are probably aware of the January exams that are starting this week. My first exam is a Diploma exam taking place on the morning of 12 January, it’s also my first Diploma exam.

In preparing for this I have applied the tools and techniques that I use for planning and preparing for my GCSE exams and have adapted them where there are differences.

For example I have a checklist so that I make sure that candidates and staff know what is going on; and to ensure that I don’t forget anything! Here is an extract from my checklist:

Candidate entries

  • Statement of entry
  • Personal timetable
  • Notice to candidates
  • Covering letter
  • Clash instructions letter if appropriate

Pre-exam preparation

  • Book Parcelforce collections if ad hoc collections required
  • Arrange for SLT cover at start and finish of exams, via Cover Manager
  • Circulate alphabetical attendance lists to Heads of Department/Faculty
  • Provide alphabetical attendance list per exam to Attendance Manager
  • Arrange bag storage rooms and display
  • List items required for individual exams and display as poster in advance
  • Display seating plans on veranda

Caretaker preparations

  • Blackboard on veranda for display of exams information
  • Clocks in main exam rooms
    • Present
    • Working
    • Correct time
  • Rooms
    • Being used
    • Layout requirements
  • Lunch arrangements
    • Agree with SLT
    • Arrange with Senior Caretaker
    • Advise Cover Manager for Bulletin

Catering team preparations

  • Timetable of examinations
  • Details of when Dining Hall needs to be put out of use due to exams in the adjacent Hall

Half day exam folders

  • Seating plans
  • Attendance registers
  • Candidate desk labels
    • Different colour per exam / exam tier
  • Room specific paper requirements
    • tier and quantity per room
    • sort papers and tag accordingly (within your secure storage) – I write the rooms and how many papers per room on the outside of the packages
  • Invigilator rooming sheets (so they know where to go)
  • Invigilator briefing (per exam)
  • Signing in sheets for invigilators
  • Cover sheets for scribes/transcripts/practical assistants/word processors/oral language modifiers
  • Green AA cards for candidate desks (so candidates and invigilators know Access Arrangement entitlements)

Please feel free to use this for your own exams and adapt it as you need to. If you think of anything that others may want to consider in addition to that which I have given here, please do so in the comments below. It is not an exclusive list and I do change it to suit the needs of the moment, adding or removing items as necessary.

If anyone wants to know how I manage Access Arrangement candidates, this may well be part of a future post. Let me know of other areas of exams management you might want me to post about.

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