External Examinations

Understanding Your Exam Timetable

pupils on prize day

The Default Timetable

Your default timetable for the external exams is an opportunity for you to check you have been entered for the correct components. You also need to make sure your personal details, including the name on your certificate. are accurate.

Your timetable will look similar to this example:

default exam timetable
GCSE Default Exam Timetable

You might notice some anomalies in your timetable. For instance, the DAS Practical Skills and Mathematics Unit 7 Calculator papers would start at 10:45 and not 9:15am in the example above. There is only one English Literature Unit 2 examination, so do not panic when you see the two components on your timetable.

These “default” start times and component details are sent to all schools and are not specific to Bloomfield Collegiate School. You will get more precise information in your “official” timetable.

Resolving Clashes

An exam clash occurs when you have two or more examinations timetabled in the same session or multiple examinations timetabled for the same day.

If you have “two or more examinations in a session and the total time is three hours or less”, then you will be expected to sit the papers in one session. You will be given a supervised break of no more than twenty minutes between papers within a session. The order in which papers are sat is decided by factors such as the number of candidates and the length of the papers. If there is a listening or speaking component for an examination (e.g. Languages or Music), that examination should be sat with the rest of the candidates in its timetabled session and the other examination completed later in the same session.

However, if you are “are taking two or more papers timetabled in a session and the total time is more than three hours including extra time and/or supervised rest breaks”, you may take an “examination in a later or earlier session within the same day”.

If you need to sit an examination earlier or later than the published time, you will have to follow the School’s “quarantine” procedures.

Examination Timetable

When your entries are confirmed, you will then be issued with an “official” examination timetable. This print-out will detail the specific dates, times and duration of your exams.

Individual Candidate Timetable

Please double-check that you have been entered for the correct subject, unit and tier. If you are not sure, please ask your subject teacher. Also check that you are receiving extra time if you are entitled to that reasonable adjustment and that your re-sits have been included.

Some of the timetable’s other terminology can be a little confusing, but some of the key ideas are described below.

Your Exam Number

Every examination candidate has been allocated by the school a unique number which, together with the centre number, must be written on every exam paper submitted for marking.  This identifies the paper as yours so that you will receive the mark for the work you complete in each exam.  Remember, there are thousands of students taking the same exam at the same time all over the country, and you are responsible for making sure the paper can be identified as yours.

The exam hall will have designated seating. Therefore, you must learn your exam number to find your allocated seat quickly before the test begins.

Unique Candidate Identifier (UCI)

Every pupil has a 13-character code that’s unique to them. Its purpose is to enable all of your examination results which you have taken through any awarding body to be accumulated together, accurately and fully, under your name. For example, this number will your identifier for both your GCSE and A Level examinations.

Character positionMeaningExample UCI
1–5Your school or college centre number. Bloomfield is 71213712130170001X
60 (zero) for CCEA and AQA exams712130170001X
7–8The last two digits of the academic year when the UCI is allocated. For example 17 is used for the 2017/18 academic year712130170001X
9–12Your candidate number712130170001X
13A ‘check’ character used to verify the other digits and a letter is assigned to your UCI.712130170001X

Unique Learning Number (ULN)

The Unique Learner Number (ULN) is a 10-digit reference number which is used alongside and to access the Personal Learning Record of anyone over the age of 13 involved in UK education or training.

You will retain the same number for accessing your Personal Learning Record throughout your life, whatever your level of learning and wherever you choose to participate in education, training and learning. This includes examinations and certificates you might enter outside of school, such as a sporting qualification or speech and drama certifications.

The ULN can also help pupils throughout their lifelong learning, but it is up to you if you would like to share the information with our education organisations.


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