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to want to complain about this exam invigilationr?

(317 Posts)
bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 20-May-19 17:21:00

One of my children was in an A level exam today.

They started 15 minutes late.

Without announcing it, the invigilator turned the clock back at the front of the hall to the time it should have started. So turned it back from 2.15 to 2.00pm.

She did this without announcing it, I'll just say that again.

However, there was another clock in the hall telling the correct time.

My child was completely distracted by the question of what was the correct time and when would the exam actually end throughout the exam.

In the event, it ended 15 minutes before she was expecting and she missed out on answering her final question properly.

AIBU to be livid?

user1471539385 Mon 20-May-19 17:24:28

It is normal practice to set the clock to the exam time, rather than having finish times like 11:03 etc. If your DD was unsure which time was correct, surely asking the invigilator would have clarified for her? By A Level, or even GCSE really, students need to ask if they have any worries.

bridgetreilly Mon 20-May-19 17:24:42

They should always have a board on which they write the end time of the exam and also give a verbal warning ten minutes before the end. But honestly, if your child wasn't certain, she should have put her hand up and asked for clarification.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Mon 20-May-19 17:24:55

Did anyone else get confused or have a problem?

RedHelenB Mon 20-May-19 17:27:12

Both clocks should read the same. Also the start and end time should be displayed.

However by A level I'd expect them to look at the clock they were intending to use and be able to plan accordingly

Hope it doesn't affect their overall result.

MindYourLanguage Mon 20-May-19 17:27:30

I hope someone will correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that in section 11 of the JCQ guidance the clock had to show the actual time the exam starts - rather than it being changed. I thought that changed this year?

Cornettoninja Mon 20-May-19 17:27:57

But the dd wasn’t unsure was she? She was going by the clock she could see.

I’d ring up for a discussion.

RedHelenB Mon 20-May-19 17:28:04

Actually you dont get a verbal warning 10 mins before end of exam any longer.

fedup21 Mon 20-May-19 17:29:25

My child was completely distracted by the question of what was the correct time and when would the exam actually end throughout the exam.

I’d expect that maybe from a younger child but not by 17/18.

Did they not give a ‘15 minutes to go’ warning?

MindYourLanguage Mon 20-May-19 17:29:25

Guidance is here: JCQ

CherieBabySpliffUp Mon 20-May-19 17:31:03

As far as I know both clocks have to show the same time. What was the point of turning the clock back? Sounds dodgy to me.

froomeonthebroom Mon 20-May-19 17:31:04

The clock is meant to say the time it started, you're not allowed to change it as from this year. Warnings of how long until the end have also been removed.

Whynotnowbaby Mon 20-May-19 17:32:45

The op says the exam actually was 15 minutes short so that is completely unacceptable (unless I have misunderstood what you have said). You need to contact the school exams officer and ask them what steps are being taken to make up for the missed quarter of an hour. At this point the reality is that they can’t do anything other than inform the exam board that this was the school’s error and ask it to be taken into account when marking. This is very unsatisfactory though and could have an impact on your dd’s and everyone else in the room’s results so the school should be taking it very very seriously.

RedHelenB Mon 20-May-19 17:35:05

I think she meant the exam was the right length but that her child had expected it to be an extra 15 mins due to clocks showing different times.

RosaWaiting Mon 20-May-19 17:35:55

"My child was completely distracted by the question of what was the correct time and when would the exam actually end throughout the exam."

so she could see 2 clocks? She should have asked.

I can see the problem if she only had sight of a wrong clock - but from what you are saying she was confused by the 2 clocks, so surely she should have asked for clarification.

OKBobble Mon 20-May-19 17:38:34

No the candidate had the right amount of time

eg. if it was a 2 hour exam which started at 2.15 (clock changed to 2, exam ended at 4 by clock (4.15 in reality) so had two hours)

she didn't realise clock had been turned back so was expecting to end at 4.15 by the clock and not 4 by the clock.

However, she probably should have asked if she was uncertain but it does appear that she saw the invigilator change the clock.

We do not do that. If we start a 2 hour exam at say 2.07 then the end time would be 4.07.

Other than CIE (which gives a 5 minute warning) the other boards I invigilate for AQA, OCR and Edexcel there are no time warnings.

For my own kids I tell them to write down the start time from their watch and do timings from that.

Millie2018 Mon 20-May-19 17:38:55

There is no harm in raising it as a concern.

Silversky70 Mon 20-May-19 17:41:41

Clocks are no longer permitted to be turned back and must show the actual time. Speak to the exams officer and they might be able to add something onto a report, and also cause the invigilator needs refresher training.

fedup21 Mon 20-May-19 17:42:20

The invigilator moved the clock without announcing it, but your daughter saw her do it??

If she was completely distracted by what time it ended, why didn’t she ask?

mycatisblack Mon 20-May-19 17:42:33

The chief invigilator should have told the candidates that she'd changed the time on the clock and should have ensured all visible clocks were showing the same time. (But she shouldn't have changed the time in the first place!)
I'd definitely mention it because at least the invigilator might be given additional training.

Haffiana Mon 20-May-19 17:45:40

Meh. She is making excuses.

fruitbrewhaha Mon 20-May-19 17:47:28

Well from the JCQ guidence they have not followed protocol.

Definately bring it up.

itswinetime Mon 20-May-19 17:48:13

I would complain if she was meant to have 2hrs to complete an exam but instead only had 1.45. The getting confused re clocks is red herring.

EugenesAxe Mon 20-May-19 17:50:43

But you would know how long you had for an exam; you would just work out the end time from whichever clock you could see at the start.

Was it clarified whether the end time is written on a board? That’s how I remember it being - so if she was looking at the ‘wrong’ clock she would theoretically be hurrying and then able to relax when she remembered it was fast, and if she was looking at the clock the examiner was using she would be working to time.

Harsh as it seems, it strikes me that she’s made more of this than necessary to hide her own shortcomings in the exam. If she’d not blown it out of proportion she should’ve been capable of managing this.

IamtheDevilsAvocado Mon 20-May-19 17:51:52

I remember similar happening at university level...3 clocks on a huge exam hall...the people at the back and sides could inly see different clocks...massive rumpus when exam is finished 12/15 mins 'early' wasn't. ..but the students only checked the clock when they were already into the exam...why on earth don't all exam halls have a countdown /time elapsed clock. ...then it won't matter exactly when the exam starts...the countdown would be manually started

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