The Joint Council of Qualifications (JCQ) which is the main body that is concerned with administration and assessment of GSCE exams in the United Kingdom; has come up with various measures to ensure fairness to all candidates sitting the exam. Some of these include giving disadvantaged students special considerations and rescheduling examinations when they feel the environment will not be conducive. It is important for the students and parents to have an idea of when it is possible for students to get special considerations and reschedule their GCSE exams.
Who is eligible for special considerations?
The Joint Council of Qualifications gives directions on which candidates should be eligible for special consideration and must be applied for following a specific examination series. Candidates who are eligible for special considerations must have prepared and covered the whole of the syllabus but fail during the performance of the GCSE assessment. This could be due to the following adverse circumstances not under their control.
- A Candidate's illness, accidents and injuries during the GCSE assessment should make the candidate eligible for special consideration.
- If a case of domestic violence during the assessment of the GCSE exams occurs, a candidate can request special consideration as a result of trauma suffered.
- Events that are accidental and the fault of the exam supervisors or administrators such as being given the wrong GCSE exam material during the assessment.
- A candidate is eligible for special consideration if they suffered a disturbance during the exam assessment eg. Where a candidate or a supervisor may be using a recorded material in the examination room.
- If a student is participating internationally in a recognized competition during the duration of GCSE assessment, they can request the exam body to have them in line for special consideration.
Who is not eligible for special considerations?
The Joint Council for Qualification states clearly that a student will not be eligible for special consideration if the preparation or the performance of the GCSE exams is affected by any of the following reasons;
- Illness for a very long period of time or some difficulties during the covering of the course and preparation of the GCSE examinations.
- Learning problems that might be associated with permanent disabilities. eg. blindness
- Bereavement which could have occurred more than six months prior to the assessment of the GCSE examinations.
- Any minor domestically associated inconvenience, like moving house, lack of sufficient facilities, just around the period of the assessment of the GCSE examinations.
- A disturbance that is not major in the GCSE examination room caused by fellow candidates or exam supervisors, eg. the mobile phone ringing in the room.
- If a candidate makes a mistake of not taking the GCSE examination due to alcohol or drug abuse.
- If a student fails to attend the GCSE exam because of having a misleading timetable.
When can the GCSE examinations be rescheduled?
Though its relatively hard for the GCSE assessment dates to be rescheduled, there are certain major reasons that the Joint Council for the Qualification has set in order to have them rescheduled.
- The GCSE exams can now be postponed to avoid the clashing with important celebrations or events such as the Islamic holy month of Ramadhan. It was claimed by the Muslims candidates in the past that most of them could not comfortably tackle the exams since they were on fasting period of the month.
- In case of terrorist attacks, eg. bombing of schools and colleges or their vicinity, the Joint Council for the Qualification's board, sits down and comes up with ideas on whether or not the exams will be shifted to a new date.
As educators we want all our candidates to perform excellently at their GCSE exams, given the importance GCSEs have on their futures. It is the best to be aware of instances so that students and parent can take appropriate measures. This goes a long way in helping students prepare well for this great task ahead.