Examinations Information

General InformationExam Access ArrangementsExam DatesExam Results and CertificatesReceiving Your Exam ResultsInformation for Parents and Carers
Preparing for exams

We recognise that for many students, sitting a formal exam is likely to add to normal levels of stress and anxiety.

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

We have produced a video that will show you what it is like to sit an exam at Colchester Institute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRrkcZG4-zc

The 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.

Exam Access Arrangements (EAAs) are adaptions made to allow students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) fair and equal access to examinations and formal assessments. Students who are entitled to EAAs will usually have already had these at school. All students must declare their need for EAAs within the first six weeks of their college course to allow for the correct referrals and assessments to be made, and for requests to be submitted to the relevant exam board to meet their deadlines.

EAAs which can be put in place will vary according to individual requirements but could 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. If a student does not make use of EAAs in examinations these may be removed for subsequent examinations, in consultation with the student.

In most cases students will need to meet with a member of our Specialist Support Team to review their normal way of working and / or carry out an assessment of need to identify whether arrangements put in place at school are still relevant, or to carry out a formal Exam Access Arrangement assessment. Students will be notified of appointments for these assessments through their college emails; the responsibility to attend lies with the student and if they do not attend more than two booked appointments their EAA request will be declined.

Deadlines

For the 2022/23 academic year the deadline for notifying the need for Exam Access Arrangements to Colchester Institute was Friday 21st October 2022. *

Where additional information is required to assess or process an application for Exam Access Arrangements, for example evidence from a medical professional or specialist, this must be provided to Colchester Institute by Friday 4th November 2022.*

Failure to meet these deadlines, or a student not attending their booked assessment appointments, will result in EAAs being declined.  

*In cases of a newly identified specific learning difficulty or where a student has a temporary illness or injury at the time of the examination, the College can review cases on an individual basis.

Please read the Colchester Institute Exam Access Arrangement Policy for more information:

Exam Dates 2022/23

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 2023

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 1Monday 5th June 20239.30am1 hour 45 minutes
GCSE English Paper 2Monday 12th June 20239.30am1 hour 45 minutes
GCSE Maths   
GCSE Maths Paper 1 (Non-Calculator)Friday 19th May 20239.30am1 hour 30 minutes
GCSE Maths Paper 2 (Calculator)Wednesday 7th June 20239.30am1 hour 30 minutes
GCSE Maths Paper 3 (Calculator)Wednesday 14th June 20239.30am1 hour 30 minutes

Exam Contingency Days

It is important that you are available for all of your exam dates including the exam contingency days listed below.  In the event that an exam cannot take place due to significant disruption, it will be rescheduled to one of these dates so please avoid taking any holidays until after this date.  

8th June (afternoon)

15th June (afternoon)

28th June (all day)

Non-GCSE Summer Exam Series 2023

All other exams, including BTEC Nationals, take place across the Summer term (mainly in May and June 2023). 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 24th August 2023.

The provisional results day for most level 3 programmes will be Thursday 17th August 2023.

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/

Students will also be able to view their provisional results by logging into their Colchester Institute account online on the Learner Hub here: https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/XURDCoV92SXP9wWUzonmB?domain=apply.colchester.ac.uk

We recommend downloading the CI Connect App, or logging into your account using the link above in advance to avoid any problems on results day. If you are unable to log in, please contact iltservicedesk@colchester.ac.uk who can help you. We are anticipating that phone lines will be extremely busy on results days so it’s best to check that you can log in now and contact us in advance if you have any problems. 

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

Please choose your qualification from the drop-downs on the ‘Receiving your exam results’ tab for additional information regarding results, and certificates.

If you don’t see your awarding body listed here, don’t worry – details with regards to all other awarding bodies/qualifications will follow shortly. Please visit this page regularly for new and updated information.

Please contact iltservicedesk@colchester.ac.uk if you are having problems accessing your Colchester Institute account or have forgotten your password.

If you have any other questions, please contact the Exams Team on: examsofficecolchester@colchester.ac.uk

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/

Students will also be able to view their provisional results by logging into their Colchester Institute account online on the Learner Hub here: https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/XURDCoV92SXP9wWUzonmB?domain=apply.colchester.ac.uk

We recommend downloading the CI Connect App, or logging into your account using the link above in advance to avoid any problems on results day. If you are unable to log in, please contact iltservicedesk@colchester.ac.uk who can help you. We are anticipating that phone lines will be extremely busy on results days so it’s best to check that you can log in now and contact us in advance if you have any problems.

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/