Doing exams

If your child is due to take exams, the school's examinations officer should be able to make special arrangements to help them.

Exam board rules

Exam board rules say that any change in arrangements should enable the young person: "to access the assessment without changing the demands of the assessment." (Joint Council for Qualifications).

Changes to exam arrangements

Changes to arrangements for exams are made to ensure that access to assessments are fair. These shouldn't give your child an advantage, just enable them to take the exam.

You will need a medical note, such as a letter from your child's consultant explaining their situation. Your CLIC Sargent Social Worker, hospital teacher or outreach nurse can arrange this for you.

Changes to arrangements might include:

  • Extra time to complete the exam
  • Someone to read or write for them
  • Use of a laptop
  • Taking the exam in hospital, at home or in a separate room at school
  • Supervised rest breaks if your child has fatigue or other side effects of treatment.
If your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, it cannot be used in its own right to award access arrangements for GCSE and GCE exams. However the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) or learning support officer may be able to supplement the EHC plan with evidence confirming a suitable way of working for your child and that the arrangements are fully supported by the teaching staff.

Special consideration and grade adjustment

Your child may also be able to receive 'special consideration'. This is a grade adjustment after an exam to reflect an illness or 'indisposition' at the time of the exam e.g. if a candidate was having chemotherapy.

The examinations officer at your child's school should be fully aware of this and can apply to the exam board.

Having lost a year at school, she did really well in her GCSEs considering all that she's been through.

Content last reviewed December 2015, next planned review 2016.