Exam booking information for students taking NEA subjects

What is NEA?

NEA stands for Non-Examination Assessment most people would still consider it to be coursework and often call it “coursework”. You prepare for and work on the NEA throughout your course but your final essay must be fully submitted by the 31st of March in the year you are sitting your examination. Oxford Open Learning tutors will help you prepare your NEA project and they will mark and carry out the initial moderation of your NEA.

Please note that if you are studying AQA English GCSE then your NEA is not written work, it is the oral endorsement. This is actually optional and it does not count towards your final grade. However, even if you choose not to take the oral you must still make your entry with OOL and arrange for your exam papers to be transferred to a host centre as below.

Arranging your exam if you are doing NEA

If you are studying AQA A Level English Language, English Literature or History or GCSE English, then your subject has an NEA component and the way you book your exams is different from any other subject.

Here is a summary of the exam process, read it carefully;

Oxford Open Learning (OOL) will be your “ENTERING CENTRE” i.e. the centre where you make your exam entry and you will pay us for this and for dealing with your coursework/oral and marking it.

You will not sit your written exam papers at OOL, you will sit these at what is known as a “HOST” centre. Your host centre will usually be somewhere that is closer to where you live. You must find your host centre first. In order to do this, you should follow the instructions under “Student Information” on our website and they are the same as for finding a normal exam centre.

When you speak to an Exams Officer you will need to explain that you are a Candidate with Oxford Open Learning (make this clear, it often helps) and that you are looking for somewhere that will accept you as a “TRANSFER CANDIDATE” for the written exams only.

Be clear that the host centre does not have anything to do with your exam entry or your  NEA/coursework, we deal with all of that. The host does not have to pay anything to AQA, they only have to fill in their centre details on the transfer form and offer you a place to sit the written exam. You pay them for this directly and this is a separate transaction from your actual exam entry with OOL where you are an Internal Candidate.

Please be aware that if you are also sitting a non-NEA subject at the same time you will need to make arrangements to book this exam as an External or Private Candidate, hopefully with your host centre but not necessarily with them. OOL cannot enter you for non-NEA subjects.

Here is the sequence of events;

  1. Look for a host centre, preferably well before the Christmas holidays as many places now get full very early. Use the instructions on our website to help locate a centre. We cannot take your exam entry until you can confirm and provide details of your host centre.
  2. For your own information only, look at a copy of the Transfer candidate form on the JCQ website. You will see that the host centre has very little to fill in (page 4). You may need to explain this to the exam officer and also that OOL will send this form to the host centre at the appropriate time.
  3. When you have found an exam officer to help, explain that you want them to host your written papers but not to deal with your coursework. Say that OOL will:
    • make the exam entry,
    • mark the NEA/coursework
    • sort out any enquiries about results.
    • send the exam officer the transfer form
    • pay the transfer fee
    • deal with any SENCO issues, but make sure both your host and OOL know if you do require special arrangements

    Jenny Booth, jenny@ool.co.uk or tel. 01865 798022, will be happy to speak to any exam officer to explain further if necessary. You may give them my details or contact me and ask me to speak to your host centre to explain.

  4. If the exam officer agrees to help you, ask for confirmation in an email, or even better find out their fee for hosting the exam and pay them straight away. You do not want to be in a situation where the exam officer gets very busy during February and changes their mind about helping you.
  5. When you have confirmed your host centre, immediately contact Jenny Booth at OOL and arrange to make and pay for your full exam entry. Do not arrange your host centre and then forget to make the full exam entry, this could be extremely expensive or even not possible at all. Entry fees are on our website.
  6. If you have any special access arrangements, require extra time etc. you should tell us when you first apply to join the course. If you do not we are unlikely to be able to help you.

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