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School Exam Officers - are they allowed to read GCSE exam papers before sending them off?

(53 Posts)
TessaTeacake Tue 23-May-17 19:01:24

Just that really.

DD has come home from school today, saying the School Exam Officer asked to see her today, and told her that she'd read her paper and that she might be disqualified from one of her exams. DD is incredibly stressed anyway, but is it normal for the Exam Officer to read exam papers before sending them off?


CherylVole Tue 23-May-17 19:02:27

god no imagine
Wonder if its a layout thing, or the wrong pen

MsHippo Tue 23-May-17 19:03:54

I don't think the read them but they do do a quick scan to make sure they are all named and signed etc

DoctorDonnaNoble Tue 23-May-17 19:05:05

No. They don't read them.

ASDismynormality Tue 23-May-17 19:05:06

Your poor DD. Did she tell her what the problem was.

teacher54321 Tue 23-May-17 19:05:37

What was the reason given?

ShinyGirl Tue 23-May-17 19:10:03


DumbledoresApprentice Tue 23-May-17 19:13:46

They wouldn't normally read them but the talk of disqualification seems to indicate that they may have had a particular reason to look at her paper. Did the invigilator of the exam potentially see your DD doing something she shouldn't have and alert the exams officer who then checked the paper? They won't have been reading through everyone's papers. They just wouldn't have time unless it's an exceptionally small school. Can you give any more information?

TessaTeacake Tue 23-May-17 19:40:20

Sorry, didn't mean to drip feed. She put a smiley face at the end of an answer. She says she didn't realise it wasn't allowed, she's done it in internal exams before and not been picked up on is so didn't realise it was such a heinous crime.

She's devastated now, she was stressed before, but now she's saying she doesn't want to go back into school at all...

noblegiraffe Tue 23-May-17 19:44:50

confused what rule does the exams officer think a smiley face was breaking??

Elledouble Tue 23-May-17 19:46:17

I'm sure that can't be a reason for disqualification. I drew pictures all over my GCSE exam papers (15 years ago, admittedly) and passed them all. Could it be a horrible joke?

Etymology23 Tue 23-May-17 19:46:18

I put smiley faces in exam papers frequently and was never disqualified. Can't believe the exams officer said that! There's a set of cross exam board exam rules somewhere let me see if I can find it.

Iris65 Tue 23-May-17 19:47:56

I was an examiner and am in secondary education. As far as I am aware a student is only disqualified for breaching one of the external rules which constitutes malpractice. Drawing a smiley face is not malpractice.
Hope this helps.

BertrandRussell Tue 23-May-17 19:49:01

I didn't think they were allowed to read them.

But surely a smiley face isn't going to disqualify her? Are you sure she understood properly?

Hulababy Tue 23-May-17 19:49:15

What rule does the smiley face break?

Etymology23 Tue 23-May-17 19:49:37

Exam rules - no way would a smiley face contravene them, unless the blurb on the question paper forbade smileys for some reason (highly unlikely!).

noblegiraffe Tue 23-May-17 19:50:01

I've just looked at the exam advice that Edexcel Maths sent out. It says
'Every minute counts – so don’t use them up producing elaborate (or indeed simple) doodles or writing long (or indeed short) notes to examiners. Crucially, don’t spend any time thinking about how funny you will be on Twitter after the exam. Just get on with it.'

I'm pretty sure that if doodles would get you disqualified, they'd have mentioned it here. Your DD's smiley face is fine.

TheFifthKey Tue 23-May-17 19:50:08

I've been an examiner and a smiley face is not cause for anything at all (other than maybe a smile on the examiner's face!)

BubbleBed Tue 23-May-17 19:51:21

You aren't allowed to write any messages to the person marking your paper. So no "I don't have a clue, please give me a mark anyway" or "I'm going to fail help me" type things. A smiley face isn't really in that remit, unless it was an emoticon at the end of a jokey sentance like above?

hmcAsWas Tue 23-May-17 19:52:26

Is your School Exam Officer some kind of a sadist? I can't imagine why one single smiley face is a problem....

TessaTeacake Tue 23-May-17 19:57:20

Ah. Just spoken to her. She couldn't answer a question and so put "I hope you're having a lovely day Examiner smile " as her answer. So that might be it BubbleBed. In her defence her mental health at the moment is really not great as a result of these exams...she genuinely thought it might make the examiner smile doing what she feels is a bleak job, marking her exam.

So not great then.

Allthebestnamesareused Tue 23-May-17 20:00:18

Exams Officers do not read the question papers. Perhaps you daughter misunderstood what the Officer was telling her.

It may be that she said she read the front of her answer booklet and if your daughter failed to put her candidate number on my understanding is that it is up to the awarding body whether they will accept the paper to be marked.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 23-May-17 20:00:56

One of my students wrote "Fuck this shit" on her paper (not my subject thank the Lord) and was disqualified. Bit different though!

Lapinlapin Tue 23-May-17 20:01:28

Ah, she probably will make the examiner smile with that!

She won't be in trouble. Probably better to at least attempt answering the questions rather than writing notes to the examiners, but no way will she be disqualified for it.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 23-May-17 20:02:01

We didn't know until the paper was returned though. Because we don't read them.

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