exams of different length

(39 Posts)
kitkat1968 Mon 30-May-16 11:34:13

what happens at your DC's school? Ds says people doing different length exams are in the same hall and the ones doing a longer exam are disturbed by the clatter of the ones doing a shorter exam leaving. This is going to be a big issue next week when DS has some 3 hour exams and will potentially be disturbed twice!

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Mon 30-May-16 11:38:05

Yes, everyone is in the same hall. The pressure on space and staffing invigilation at this time of year is immense. What do you think the solution should be?

swashbucklecheer Mon 30-May-16 11:43:44

That's what happens. It's part of exam life

Trills Mon 30-May-16 11:44:58

This happened when I was in school and I'm in my 30s now.

They arranged the seats so that those leaving earlier would not have to walk past those staying longer.

It really was not a big deal.

LIZS Mon 30-May-16 11:46:52

Normal as far as Ds is concerned . Apparently they just learn to deal with it!

MrsMushrooms Mon 30-May-16 12:04:00

It happens, it's just part of doing exams I'm afraid!

catslife Mon 30-May-16 12:13:17

As trills says, seats are arranged so that those taking the longer exam are at the front and those taking shorter exam at the back (nearer the doors) to minimise disturbance.

TiredOfSleep Mon 30-May-16 13:08:08

We had a rule where if it was 20 mins or less til the next exam finished you had to wait and all leave together.

kitkat1968 Mon 30-May-16 13:47:43

The pressure on space and staffing invigilation at this time of year is immense. What do you think the solution should be?

Well there should be lots of rooms spare where students would normally be having classes.Each exam entry fee presumably includes an amount for invigilators wages?
DS is doing 3 STEP papers and I really expect him and other STEP students to be in a separate room because presumably the school have received money from their £46 per paper fees , and these students will incur no extra costs above and beyond the A level candidates

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Mon 30-May-16 13:52:04

It isn't possible to use classrooms as the rest of the school is still working around them. I have one lad doing is his exams in my office as he has special arrangements and trying to keep the corridor quiet is a nightmare. At least in the exam hall there will only be one set of noise - we usually let them out a row at a time in silence so it is minimal

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Mon 30-May-16 13:52:51

Exam fees go to the exam board

marmiteloversunite Mon 30-May-16 13:54:34

My DD had to wait half an hour the other day as she was doing a shorter exam than some others. Must be distracting though if you have people leave halfway through.

IrregularCommentary Mon 30-May-16 13:56:11

I don't remember this being a big deal when I was doing exams. I've always done 3hr exams and had others leaving partway through. Schools minimise disruption pretty well I'd say and any disturbance is short lived.

Fees wise, these go direct to the exam board and pay for the setting/admin/marking of papers; the school don't receive money.

caroldecker Mon 30-May-16 14:11:50

Students can leave at any time (after 15 mins,I think), so there could always be disruption of people leaving even if they all have the same exam.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Mon 30-May-16 14:14:16

Yes, the exam fees are nothing to do with the school so whatever you've paid for your son's STEP papers, the school isn't seeing a penny of it.

It really isn't practical to hold exams in lots of classrooms rather than one big hall as, as others have said, the rest of the school is going on as normal with all the noise that that entails. Plus, the JCQ rules for how exams are set up and invigilated are very strict now: inspectors drop in unannounced and expect to be able to see where the exams are being held, check that all the instructions are being followed, quiz the invigilators about their training, etc. They would not expect to see exams being held in ad hoc locations without all the correct signage and so on.

noblegiraffe Mon 30-May-16 14:19:15

This page suggests it costs £48 per paper to enter a student for STEP so your school is making a loss.

www.admissionstestingservice.org/for-test-takers/step/dates-and-costs/

If you wanted separate rooms and invigilators, you'd have to pay far more than that.

ShanghaiDiva Mon 30-May-16 14:25:12

Standard procedure and students with shorter exams sit at the back. The problem with holding exams in different rooms is keeping these areas silent when the rest of the school is at break/lunch - this is far more disruptive that some students standing up and silently leaving the room.
It was the same when I was at school (over 30 years ago) and for my degree and professional qualifications.

NicknameUsed Mon 30-May-16 15:03:06

"Well there should be lots of rooms spare where students would normally be having classes"

And who is going to pay for the extra invigilators required? Not to mention the problems with noise distraction from the rest of the school.

It simply isn't practical to do this, and most schools don't just happen to have spare extra halls to seat students in.

MaureenMLove Mon 30-May-16 15:13:45

Speaking as the person that has to find rooms in a school when the exams are on, I can tell you it isn't as simple as just using a room that's free!

A room might be free for an hour, but then there's a class in there or the only rooms available at the ones that are used for that particular exam, so we can't use them because of the displays on the wall. Or the fact that it's a noisy corridor or the sun shines right through at that particular time of day or it's just not big enough. You can only get about 12 students in an exam room.

We might already have at least 4 classrooms being used for children with access arrangements or someone with a broken arm or someone in long term exclusion who is still allowed on the premises to do their exams.

Simply saying 'use a classroom' just doesn't work!

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Mon 30-May-16 15:21:04

There's even going to be students sitting the same exam who have extra time in the same room, and as has been pointed out you can leave at any point if your sure you've checked your paper and your happy with the answers.

I had extra time in all my exams the room was just laid out so I was at the furthest edge to the door.

A classroom doesn't work as there other classrooms surrounding it that will be being used for normal teaching and the bustle of other children. Unless of course your in Ireland and secondary school actually finishes next week for all but those taking state exams.

LunaLoveg00d Mon 30-May-16 16:29:16

This happened when I was in school and I'm in my 30s now.

This happened when I was at school and i'm 44! And at Uni. At the start of the exam the invigilator will make sure everyone has the right paper, is aware of finish times and will usually write end times on the board. The disruption is minimal.

catslife Mon 30-May-16 16:38:09

Students can leave at any time (after 15 mins,I think)
For GCSE and A level exams, JCQ regulations apply and pupils cannot leave the exam room until 1 hour after the official published start time for the exam. Most schools make pupils stay for the full exam time.

SAHDthatsall Mon 30-May-16 16:56:00

If you're focusing properly on the task in hand then nothing around you will disturb your concentration... So stop looking for excuses in advance hmm

Hassled Mon 30-May-16 16:58:43

I used to invigilate - it really isn't a problem. The shortest exam students are nearest the door and they were all, in my experience, thoughtful enough to leave completely silently. They're reminded that exam conditions remain until they've left the hall. I do see why you're anxious about it but you'd be amazed how efficiently and quietly it's done.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Mon 30-May-16 17:09:45

If you're focusing properly on the task in hand then nothing around you will disturb your concentration

DH (Maths teacher) did say that if he's so easily distracted that other students leaving the hall bother him, he shouldn't really be doing STEP...

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