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    Frequently Asked Questions - Examinations


    FAQ: What is the new GCSE grading system like, and how will it compare to the "old" system?

    Please click here for OFQUAL's summary poster.  You can also find further information about the reforms to GCSEs and A-levels by selecting the GCSE and A-level Reforms tab in the Exams section.

    FAQ: Which Exam Boards does Notre Dame High School use?

    The Exam Boards for 2017-18 are shown below:


    GCSE Year 10 Year 11
    Art & Design Edexcel Edexcel
    Business Studies - Single Award Edexcel OCR
    Computer Science OCR OCR
    D&T: Graphic Products   Edexcel
    Design & Technology Edexcel  
    D&T: Resistant Materials   Edexcel
    Design & Technology AQA  
    Textiles Technology   AQA
    Fashion & Textile Design AQA  
    Drama Edexcel Edexcel
    English Language AQA AQA
    English Literature AQA AQA
    Food Preparation and Nutrition AQA AQA
    French Eduqas Eduqas
    Geography AQA AQA
    German Edexcel Edexcel
    History Edexcel Edexcel
    Japanese Edexcel Edexcel
    Mathematics AQA AQA
    Music Edexcel Edexcel
    Physical Education Edexcel Edexcel
    Religious Studies A                       Edexcel Edexcel
    Science AQA AQA
    Spanish Edexcel Edexcel


    GCE Year 12 Year 13
    Art (Fine Art) Edexcel Edexcel
    Biology AQA AQA
    Business Studies  Eduqas Eduqas
    Chemistry A OCR OCR
    Computer Science OCR  
    D&T: Textiles   AQA
    D&T: Fashion and Textiles AQA  
    D&T Product Design Edexcel Edexcel
    Drama Edexcel Edexcel
    Economics A Edexcel Edexcel
    English Language and Literature Eduqas Eduqas
    English Literature A AQA AQA
    French Eduqas Eduqas
    Further Maths  AQA Edexcel
    Geography OCR OCR
    Government & Politics   AQA
    Politics Edexcel  
    History A OCR OCR
    Maths AQA Edexcel
    Maths Studies Certificate AQA AQA
    Music Edexcel Edexcel
    Physical Education AQA AQA
    Physics A OCR OCR
    Psychology AQA AQA
    Philosophy & Ethics OCR OCR
    Sociology AQA AQA
    Spanish Eduqas Eduqas
    Extended Project AQA AQA
    AQA Baccalaureate AQA AQA


    FAQ: Where can I find a timetable of all the exams?

    A general timetable of written exams is posted on our website, just select the Timetables tab. Separate arrangements are made for oral and practical exams: your teachers will advise you of these.

    FAQ: How do I know when I have an exam?

    You will be issued with a Statement of Entry and a timetable via your Form Tutor.  You should check the Statement to make sure that you have been entered for the correct units (and that none are missing).  Also check your date of birth and that your name in spelt correctly. Sign and return the complete Statement sheet to the Exams Office by the date shown, but keep the timetable as you'll need to refer to this during the coming weeks!

    FAQ: How do I know where my exam will be taking place and where I should sit?

    Most A-level exams take place in L31/L32 and most GCSE exams take place in the Sports Hall. We place seating plans on the exams noticeboards on the outside wall of the Sports Hall (in the covered area) a few weeks prior to the exams, so you should check these ahead of time.  If your name doesn't appear, please contact the exams office immediately.

    FAQ: I've got two exams taking place at the same time. 
    What do I do?

    The exams office team will already be aware of exam clashes and will work out a strategy for you.  However if you notice a clash first, please contact the exams office. Special arrangements will be made for you to fit the exams into the day.

    FAQ: Am I allowed to take food or drinks into the exam hall?

    You are allowed to take a bottle of water into the exam with you; in fact it's recommended to keep good hydration levels.  However it must only be water and it must be in a clear bottle with no labels. Food will not be allowed, except if it's for medical reasons that you've discussed with us first.  Do ensure that you have a good breakfast and lunch on exam days.

    FAQ: What do I need to bring with me into an exam?

    It is each student's responsibility to have the correct equipment for each exam. Your teacher should talk this through with you prior to the exam. You should have black pens (biros, not gel pens), and it's a good idea to have a spare pen, too.  You may also need pencils, a ruler, a calculator (unless specified otherwise), erasers, compass and protractor and coloured pencils. If you bring a pencil case, it must be a clear plastic one, and should not contain any pieces of paper/notes. 

    FAQ: When do I need to arrive for an exam?

    Morning exams start at 09.00 a.m. and afternoon exams start at 1.00 p.m. You should assemble at least 15 minutes before the start of each exam.  GCSE students should assemble at Lady Julian Green if it's dry, or in the Gym if it's wet.  A-level students should wait in the stairwell of Lady Julian building for exams in L31/L32 and wait to be called into the exam. However, A-level students sitting exams in the Sports Hall should congregate by the astroturf area, or, if wet, go straight to S19 (the bags room).

    clock at 9 o'clockFAQ: What happens if I arrive late for an exam?

    If you realise you are going to be late, you should telephone the Exams Office, so that we know you are on your way.  What happens depends on how late you are, as the Exam Boards have very strict rules about whether you can sit the exam or not.  In some instances, you may be allowed to start the exam a little late, but, in the case of arriving very late, you may not be allowed to sit that paper, which would mean that you wouldn't get a grade.

    FAQ: What should I do if I am ill on the day of the exam and unable to sit it?

    Please contact the Exams Office as soon as possible so that we are aware. You will probably then need to provide us with medical evidence, such as a doctor's letter, to support our discussions with the Exam Boards.

    FAQ: What should I wear during an exam?

    GCSE students should wear their full school uniform.  A-level students should wear their normal school clothes, bearing in mind the suitability and comfort required for what might be a lengthy exam.  Hats, scarves and coats are not permitted.

    FAQ: How and when will I receive my certificates?

    If you sat your exams last Summer, you may collect your certificates from the Exams Office (during normal school hours).  If you are unable to collect them in person, we can post your certificates to you: please send a cheque (made payable to Notre Dame High School Norwich) for £2.00 to the Exams Office, with a note of your address, and we will send them to you by Recorded Delivery.

    FAQ: I sat my exams some time ago, and I can't find my certificates.  How do I get replacements?

    If you think you may not have collected your certificates from us in the first place, please contact the Exams Office to see if we're still holding them for you.  If you did collect them, we cannot, unfortunately, provide replacements.  The Exam Boards don't issue copies either, but "certified statements" instead.  Please use this link to the OFQUAL website, which has all of the details, and further links to the relevant forms you'll need to complete. The Exam Boards have all changed their names in recent years, so may have been known by a dfferent name if you took your exams some years ago.  The current and previous names are shown below:


    Current name

    Previous name


    AEB Associated Examining Board

    SEG Southern Examining Group

    NEAB Northern Examination & Assessment Board


    BTEC Business & Technology Education Council

    ULEAC University of London Examinations & Assessment Council


    UCLES University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate

    RSAEB Royal Society of Arts Examinations Board

    OCEAC Oxford & Cambridge Examinations & Assessment Council

    MEG Midlands Examinations Group


    CWB Central Welsh Board