Diary of an invigilator, GCSE exam learnings and tips


Exam prep, GCSE examinations

A lovely 7.50 am start today on day one and my first task was to take out the triplicate copies of the room plan and put them in various locations to prepare students for where they needed to sit.

The outdoor display case is particularly fun.   In the mocks, I was trying to pin 13 pieces of paper to the board as the wind blew and it rained on them.  I used an intricate method of pins and paperclips to try to clip it all together and stop it from blowing away.  Due to the design of the board, I also have to prop the hatch door up with my head while I put the papers out.  #schoolbudgets

The first paper today was Biology – four different papers were laid out (higher, foundation, trilogy, trilogy higher) meaning a jigsaw of papers to be put out in the correct places along with coloured paper, prompt cards, supervised break cards, and more.

We also had the assortment of missing rulers, pens running out, calculators on the blink or missing and blunt pencils.

With spares given out, it was time to begin!

Exam learnings/tips

  • Do an equipment check the night before.  It’s always worth bringing spare equipment to the exam – an extra pencil and pen.
  • Leave enough time to get to school in case of bad traffic/going to the loo/making sure you have everything you need.
  • You are not allowed to write on your paper until you are told to start.
  • You are not allowed to take a watch or phone into the exam hall.
  • You must only take clear bottles into the exam hall.  No coloured bottles or labels.
  • If you think you have made some mistakes on your paper, don’t panic!  Take some deep breaths and use the rest of your time to do the best you can.   That is all that you can/are expected to do.
  • If you can’t do a question, leave it and go back to it at the end.
  • Work out quickly how much time you can allocate to each section/the big questions.
  • Try to leave some time at the end to check everything through.

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