Examinations Information

General InformationExam Access ArrangementsExam DatesExam Results and CertificatesInformation for Parents and Carers
Preparing for exams 2022

We recognise that for many students, 2022 will be their first experience of sitting a formal exam, which is likely to add to normal levels of stress and anxiety leading up to the summer exam period.

In addition, many students will be unfamiliar with the rules and regulations around sitting exams and what it looks and feels like to walk into an exam room, so we will be taking steps to help prepare students in advance.

The 2022 summer term will focus on “Destresstival” with support and information for students to be ready for the exam and assessment season including:

• Familiarisation with exam rules and processes
• Strategies to cope with exam stress
• Support and drop-in sessions/workshops for students with severe anxiety.
• Wellbeing activities to promote good mental and physical health

Exam Stress and Anxiety
Fear of the unknown

Stress is normal. It is often a result of feeling under pressure or having multiple demands on us. When we have a lot to do and lots to think about, we can feel we have lost control. Stress can be helpful at times – it can give us drive and motivation, and encourage us to be productive. However, if we are feeling too stressed for long periods of time, it can then have an impact on our general wellbeing and mental health.

When people are revising for and preparing for exams it is very normal to feel stress and also high levels of anxiety, so you shouldn’t think you’re unusual – not many people actually enjoy exams! The trick is to find strategies that work for you to help you cope with how you are feeling, and hopefully turn this into a positive thing.

We think this video sums it up well and shows how you can feel overloaded by stress at times – well worth a watch!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GgaoQR5shg

Anxiety

Anxiety and stress often go hand in hand, and anxiety is a normal response to any situation we may see as threatening or frightening. The problem comes when the level of anxiety is no longer rational in comparison to the event. Unfortunately, anxiety can very quickly, manifest into a problem for someone, and at times, can lead to panic attacks.

Many people experience anxiety at some point in their lives, often in response to triggers, and exams can quite often be a cause.

Helpful free resources for reducing stress

We understand that preparing for exams can be very difficult and sometimes overwhelming so we have provided some links to other organisations in case you may need some extra support.

https://www.colchester.ac.uk/support/

Also, the following are free resources that you might find helpful.

Headspace – Headspace is a comprehensive meditation app, with guided and unguided meditations to help you through all phases of your life. The free app offers ten sessions, however, there is an optional ‘in-app’ subscription allowing you to access many more hours of extra content.
CALM – This is an app designed to help you to be calm; with stunning backgrounds that you can stare at for ages, and a range of meditations, CALM provides a space to get away from it all, without having to go anywhere.
SAM – This is a self-help app for the mind – providing a range of self-help techniques organised into several wellbeing themes, together with tools for recording and monitoring changes in your wellbeing.

Students who are entitled to Exam Access Arrangements will usually have already had these at school. It is really important that we know about these arrangements at the start of the course. To allow fair and equal access to examinations and assessments, applications for access arrangements have to be submitted to the exam board well in advance and it can take time to provide evidence of need.

The type of access arrangements that can be put in place can vary depending on your requirements but can include: a reader, scribe, computer reader, extra time, prompt, separate or smaller room and exam papers in suitable formats (such as large print or coloured paper). Arrangements put in place must be based on evidenced need, and on the student’s normal way of working whilst at College.

In most cases students will need to meet with a member of our Specialist Support Team to carry out an assessment of need to identify whether arrangements in place at school are still relevant, or to carry out a formal Exam Access Arrangement assessment. Students will be offered appointments for these assessments through their emails and teaching staff, the responsibility to attend lies with the students and if they do not attend more than one booked appointment they may miss the opportunity for this assessment.

The deadline for applying for Exam Access Arrangements for the Summer exam series 2022 is 31st March 2022.

Exam Dates 2021/22

The assessment methods for Further Education courses will vary from course to course, not all of these will have formal exams, but many will. Course tutors will advise how students are assessed, and will support them to prepare for and be ready to sit exams where these take place.

In many cases, exam and assessment dates will be organised by the College to suit the needs of the course and the readiness of students, but some courses undertake national public exams which are on the same date and times for everyone and these cannot be changed, these include GCSEs and BTEC qualifications.

GCSE exams Summer 2022

All GCSE exams start at 9.30am and students should aim to arrive by 8.45am at the latest.

ExamDateStart TimeDuration
GCSE English   
GCSE English Paper 1Wednesday 18th May 20229.30am1 hour 45 minutes
GCSE English Paper 2Friday 10th June 20229.30am1 hour 45 minutes
GCSE Maths   
GCSE Maths Paper 1 (Non-Calculator)Friday 20th May 20229.30am1 hour 30 minutes
GCSE Maths Paper 2 (Calculator)Tuesday 7th June 20229.30am1 hour 30 minutes
GCSE Maths Paper 3 (Calculator)Monday 13th June 20229.30am1 hour 30 minutes

Exam Contingency Day 29th June

It is important that you are available for all of your exam dates including the exam contingency day – 29th June 2022.  In the event that an exam cannot take place due to significant disruption, it will be rescheduled to 29th June 2022 so please avoid taking any holidays until after this date.  

Non-GCSE Summer Exam Series 2022

All other exams, including BTEC Nationals, take place across the Summer term (mainly in May and June 2022). Your tutor will confirm which exams you have been entered for, when and where these exams will take place and what equipment you will need to bring.

These are national exams which means that the dates and times cannot be changed.

Learners studying GCSEs and other level 2 qualification, such as BTECs, will receive their results on Thursday 25th August 2022.

The results day for level 3 programmes will be Thursday 18th August 2022.

All results will be available to view on the CI Connect App so it is worth downloading this now in preparation for results day. https://www.colchester.ac.uk/ci-connect/

Communication will also be sent to all students in advance about other methods to view results, and this will be published on this website.

Please do not attend campus on results days, unfortunately we are not able to provide results in person.

Collecting Exam Certificates

We usually hold certificate collection days in November for those who want to come in to the campus to collect their certificates in person. Please keep checking your emails, and this webpage, for information on how to collect your certificates.

Some certificates may be posted out to you directly using the address we have for you on our records. Please ensure you keep us informed if you change address to ensure your certificates get to you!

If you need to change your address, even after you have finished your course, please email the Registry Team on: registry@colchester.ac.uk

If you have lost your old certificates

You will need to contact the relevant awarding body to order a replacement certificate. If you need confirmation of which awarding body you studied with, we may be able to help you. Please email: examsofficecolchester@colchester.ac.uk with your full name, date of birth and the information that you need and we will do our best to assist you.

We will do our best to respond to any requests within 10 working days.

How can you support the preparations for exams and assessment

If your child or young person is preparing for exams there are actions that you can take to help support them, this video might be a good starting point so that you are familiar with the regulations

How can you support on Exam Days?

There are several things that you can do on exam days to help improve your young person’s experience, and hopefully their result! (good advice which we know won’t always work with teenagers)

  1. Help them to be rested, fed and watered; encourage a good night’s sleep and to have a healthy breakfast. Provide a bottle of water which they can take into the exam with them, this will need to be in clear bottle with labels removed).
  • Make sure they get to College early; they will need to have plenty of time to get to their exam room without feeling too rushed, which can add to stress levels. In some cases the course area will arrange to meet students first to keep thing calm before getting to the exam room.
  • Check they have ID with them; exam regulations mean we have to check all candidate’s identity when they enter the exam room. The easiest way is if they have their College ID card but a back up could be a passport, driving license or other form of photo ID.
  • Check they have all the equipment that they need; including a black pen (amazing how many students come without a pen!) if they want to bring a pencil case this must be see through. Some maths papers allow the use of a calculator or other equipment so it is helpful if they have this with them if needed.
  • Remind them of what they can’t have in an exam; all mobiles must be switched off and hand in all mobile phones and watches for the duration of the exam.
  • Check they can easily read an analogue clock; we increasingly find that some students struggle to tell the time on an analogue clock. Imagine being in an exam and having a big clock on the wall to mark the start and finish time, and not being able to read it – maybe just check that this isn’t going to be something to add to their stress!

Other helpful videos and other resources you could refer to could include:

  • Reducing Exam Stress for teachers and parents
  • Help your child beat exam stress: NHS

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/children-and-young-adults/advice-for-parents/help-your-child-beat-exam-stress/

  • Pearson (awarding body) support for students, parents and carers page

https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/campaigns/summer-2022-support/support-for-students-parents-and-carers.html?utm_source=email-standard&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=GBEDGS0822SUM22&utm_content=pqb26

  • Young Minds: Exam Stress – a parent guide

https://www.youngminds.org.uk/parent/a-z-guide/exam-time/