Students studying for their GCSEs, A levels and vocational qualifications will be preparing to sit their exams this summer. We know that there may be instances where students contract the virus during the exam period, as we continue to live with COVID-19.
Here we look at what students should do if they feel unwell or receive a positive Covid test result while taking their exams.
Exams have been spaced by a minimum of ten days between the first and last exam in any subject, to reduce the chance of students missing all exams in a subject because of illness.
Parents should, wherever possible, encourage their children to attend their exams. However, there may be exceptional cases though where this will not be possible, e.g., a temporary illness on the day of the examination.
Will I have to provide proof of a positive Covid test if I fail to sit an exam due to Covid?
No – there is no requirement for you to complete a COVID-19 test to provide evidence of your absence from an exam.
Instead, the JCQ awarding bodies will be adapting ‘Form 14 -JCQ/ME – Self-certification for candidates’ who have missed an exam to assist centres in dealing with candidates who are absent from an exam for an acceptable reason in line with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) guidance.
You and your parents/carers/guardians will need to complete the relevant sections of the form and the centre can then verify your circumstances, where provided in Form 14, to process an application for special consideration using the category ‘absent candidate’.
I am taking my A levels and have a high temperature on the day of one of my exams, what should I do?
UKHSA guidance advises you to stay at home and avoid contact with others, until you no longer have a high temperature and are well enough to attend your exams.
You will be asked to self-certify your illness using Form 14 and your centre will use this to submit an application for special consideration to the relevant awarding bodies using the category ‘absent candidate’.
As your exams have been spaced by at least ten days you will be able to receive A-level grades based on the other components completed.
I have taken a COVID-19 test under the direction of my GP and have a positive test result, what should I do?
The UKHSA guidance is that you stay at home and avoid contact with others for 3 days (if 18 and under) or 5 days (if 19 or older) after the day you took the test.
Your centre will ask you to self-certify the reason for absence using Form 14. You are not required to provide proof of a test but could keep a record of the test, such as a photograph, as evidence if it is available.
Your centre will then submit an online application for special consideration to the relevant awarding bodies using the category ‘absent candidate’.
I am taking my A levels and am feeling unwell and experiencing a high temperature, but I still want to attend my exam. Can I still sit it?
UKHSA guidance is to stay at home and avoid contact with others until you no longer have a high temperature.
JCQ guidance confirms that following UKHSA guidance is an acceptable reason to miss an exam, and you will be eligible to receive special consideration.