January sees the release of the papers for the art and design externally set tasks and teachers are starting to prepare their students for their art timed exams. With new regulations in place for the reformed GCSE, AS and A Levels, we are starting to receive a lot of queries on the regulations surrounding the timed exams.
Although all the components for art and design qualifications are non-exam assessments and will be externally moderated, the timed element of the externally set task, often referred to as the ‘timed exam’, needs to comply with the JCQ Instructions for Conducting Examinations.
So, below are the key things you need to be aware of when organising and running art timed exams. For more information, see our web page and please read the JCQ guidelines. You can also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any art-related queries and follow us on twitter @OCR_ArtDesign for up-to-date news, views and competitions.
For the new reformed qualifications, teachers are not allowed to see the exam paper until its official release date, when they will also be published on the qualification pages of the OCR website.
The art and design teacher is able to act as the invigilator for the art exams. However, JCQ guidelines suggest additional invigilators should be used so the teacher is free to give technical assistance to individual students (see below). This makes sure the supervision of other students is maintained at all times.
The required ratio is one invigilator for each group of 20 candidates. However, JCQ suggests for art timed exams that the ratio of invigilator to candidate should be higher so this is something for you to consider within your school or college.
Students may take any preparatory supporting studies, sketchbooks, journals or notes which they have produced into the exam room. These will be submitted for assessment along with the work produced during the timed exam. They may also take in anything they need to set up a still-life group.
Invigilators need to make sure any preparatory work a student brings into the exam room is their own work.
Students are not allowed to continue working on their preparatory work once the exams have started.
All preparatory work should be kept securely at the centre from the point of the first art exam period.
Art timed exams should be held under formal conditions. However, students are allowed to move around as necessary. Students are not allowed to listen to music during the exam.
They are not allowed to communicate with each other. They should not ask for help from or give help to another student while they are in the examination room.
If using a computer then access to the internet must be monitored and restricted as necessary.
You must remind students all the work they produce during the exam must be their own.
Invigilators are allowed to speak to students to provide technical assistance. This means helping students with processes, machinery or tools they require assistance with or the student is unable (perhaps for health and safety reasons) to do themselves.
This might mean sorting out a sewing machine, using a kiln, using dyes, sorting out computer problems plus replenishing materials: any job a technician would normally do as opposed to a teacher.
They must not give any help to students regarding the development of their work, or give them any specific advice on what materials or media to use.
As the timed exam will be held over a number of sessions, student work must be kept securely between sessions.
The work can be kept in the art room (in lots of cases it would need to be). The room must be kept locked between sessions and if other classes take place in the room then they must be fully supervised.
Students should not work on their pieces outside of the exam sessions.
Rebecca Wood - Subject Advisor
Before joining OCR, Rebecca taught in post 16 education for 17 years. She also worked as an examiner and moderator across a range of creative subjects. Rebecca has also run workshops for young people as far afield as Brazil and Russia. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, spending time with her two sons and walking her dog.