Exam Booking Procedure

General Procedure

Oxford Open Learning will write to all students who we believe are sitting exams in the summer series in the preceding December. We will give you detailed instructions and supply any forms if you require them.

The deadlines for booking exams are;

GCSE/IGCSE, 21st February

A levels , 21st February

Please be aware that many popular centres get booked up very much in advance of these dates so you should start early. After these dates you may still be able to book an exam but your choice of centre will be very limited and you will have to pay expensive late entry fees.

If we do not know when you are sitting your exam, or you do not follow our instructions, then we cannot help you and things can go badly wrong. Please always keep us informed of your intentions and please return the Permission Form so that we know where you are sitting.

Exams with no Coursework/NEA

The Edexcel IGCSE and AQA GCSE courses that we offer, and most of our A Levels, do not have Board examined coursework/NEA.

The Introduction to your course will make it clear whether your course has Board-examined Coursework or not. Please be aware that your Tutor-marked Assignments are not Coursework.

If an exam does not include any coursework then the procedure is very simple, as follows;

  • Contact possible centres in January or before and when you have found one, fill in the exam centre’s own entry form, pay the fee and get a confirmation of entry.
  • There is nothing else to do except get the exam dates and starting times from the exam officer and remember to turn up at the correct time for any orals and your written exams.
  • No other exam board forms are required, although Oxford Open Learning will need your Permission Form, see below, to find out where you are sitting your exam and make any necessary enquiries on your behalf, particularly after results day.

Exams with Coursework/NEA

We only offer the following subjects with coursework/NEA;

GCSE English and A Level, English Language, English Literature and History. If you are studying any of these subjects you must make your exam entry with Oxford Open Learning and also find a local “host centre” to sit your written papers.

Board-examined Coursework/NEA is not the same as Tutor-marked Assignments.

For students sitting exams in the summer series, we automatically write to you in December with full instructions and the required forms.

Below are the stages of the procedure you must follow to register for your exam and submit your NEA:

  1. Contact the Oxford Open Learning Examination Officer, Mrs Jenny Booth (jenny@ool.co.uk tel; 01865 798022) to register for your exam entry. At the same time you also need to find a “host centre” near to you, by following our instructions for finding a normal exam centre. You will have to explain that OOL will make your exam entry but they must accept you as a transfer candidate from us for the written papers only.
  2. The local centre that agrees to allow your transfer of entry to sit the written papers is known as the “host centre”.
  3. Your coursework/NEA has to be authenticated by your Oxford Open Learning tutor. This will not happen until the tutor has seen at least 4 Tutor-marked Assignments. Make sure you have completed these in good time, they are crucial. You may want to at least agree a title/topic for your coursework before you have completed your 4 TMAs.
  4. Agree a topic/title with your tutor as soon as possible and then you can send draft coursework  to your tutor for comments and guidance. Make sure you allow plenty of time to do this and to make your final submission by our deadline, provisionally the 30th March but this may have to change. Coursework rules are shown on the back of the Enrollment Form that all students must sign before they can begin our courses.
  5. All final coursework must be with your Oxford Open Learning tutor for authentication by our stated deadline. Do not work to the AQA deadlines, ours have to be much earlier. Do not send any final coursework to your Oxford Open Learning tutor unless it is accompanied by a Coursework Record Form ,  signed by you and attached with a treasury tag. History A-level has its own unique version of this form, so make sure you have the correct one.
  6. We will send a form to you (sometime during February) known as the Permission Form . Please return it to us promptly.
  7. Other forms, for example, the History A2 Personal Enquiry form, will be sent to you at the appropriate time by Oxford Open Learning, as long as we know when you are sitting.

Winter Exams

There are no longer any winter A levels.

The procedures for winter exams, either a November resit (for AQA Maths GCSE only) or January sittings for Edexcel IGCSEs, are exactly the same as for the summer series. However, students wishing to sit at any time other than the summer series will be responsible for meeting the deadlines themselves. These are the 4th October for November Maths and the 21st October for January sittings. Oxford Open Learning will assist, but if you choose to sit at any time other than summer we do not guarantee automatically to send out information and forms.

The Permission Form

This is an internal OOL/OHS form which we send out in February to students who are sitting summer exams. You do not need it to book your exams, but we need it to establish where you are going to sit your exam papers and to get your results afterwards. Please return it promptly.

Below are a few suggestions about how to improve your chances of booking an exam place and maintaining good relations with your exam officer;

Very Important Guidelines for keeping your Exams Officer happy

  • Follow the instructions we send out in December carefully and make sure that you know your exam board, entry code and any unit codes for A level. Do not approach an exam centre with no information or the wrong information. You will find everything you need about procedure either on this website, in the December exam information we send out or in the Introduction to your course.
  • Once you have found a centre, please do not keep pestering your exam officer with questions which can be answered by reading your course folder, this web page, the exam board web pages or the letters we send to guide you through the exam process. If in doubt contact your OOL Student Adviser or your tutor first.
  • Make sure that you provide a reliable contact phone number and a current address. Exams officers who have to spend hours trying to contact a private candidate understandably get very frustrated. Always give them Oxford Open Learning’s phone number (01865 798022) and the information sheets we provide as well as your own details, so that they have at least one reliable contact during office hours.
  • Do not be late for exams or fail to turn up without telling anyone. If you are withdrawing from an exam or are unable to get there on the day, please make it a priority to tell your exam centre. Exam officers get extremely stressed if they have to delay the start of an exam for their own students while they try to make contact with a missing private candidate.
  • Always pay your fees even if you do not sit the exam. The exam officer will often have had to do as much work for candidates who have withdrawn as for those who sit their exam.
  • Please treat your exam officer with courtesy and respect. They are not obliged to help you and if they do they are trusting that you will not take up a disproportionate amount of their time.
  • If you provide a stamped addressed envelope the exam officer will always be able to post your results to you even if you are unable to collect them in person. Similarly results can be emailed to you but they are not given out on the telephone.
  • Please always say “Thank you”. Exams officers go to a lot of trouble to help you and they do this voluntarily, they are in no way obliged to help you or any other Private Candidate.

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