How To - Tests and Examinations

What tests or examinations does TLM offer?

TLM's qualifications are based on learners carrying out web based coursework to acquire the necessary knowledge to prepare them for an examination.  The examination can be carried out on-line or can be paper based.  In addition, we are currently running a Baseline Testing service for the Computing curriculum at Key Stage 3.  This baseline test uses the same process as our regulated examinations.  The following information will help you to use this system for either of these purposes.

How do I let you know when I am ready for the regulated exams?

This can be done using the exam request system on the learning site. (see below) It helps if you can  e-mail TLM at least 6 weeks before the exam is to be taken so that we know you intend to set up groups to take the exam and we can support you in any way needed. It also enables us to make arrangements for marking so that there are no undue delays getting results back to you. 

How do I create groups for the regulated exam?

You will have carried out many of the processes below if you conducted the Baseline Tests.  This set of instructions, however, is specific to regulated exams.

Go to the Markbook and create a group called eg 6006688X_Day_Month_Year_mock and copy the learners who are to take the exam into that group. (This tells us which subject it is using the unique qualifications number without slashes, the target date, and purpose of the exam.) If you don't know the QAN number, you can find it on the Ofqual register at searching for qualifications with TLM in the organisation field.

Please Note: DO NOT change the names of the groups once the exams are requested!  If you need to add or remove learners from the exam group once set, please contact us.

Ofqual QAN number

See also How do I create groups for exams.

How do I put learners into groups for the exam?

Once you have created groups and named them for their specific purpose, you can then move your learners into these groups.

Log in to the Markbook Site and click on the School Admin tab.  School admin Check that you don't already have learners that are available for putting in to groups by clicking the View learners who are not in any group link which will be above the columns in the Groups tab. No learners link  If there are no learners from this section to add, go to the Add Learners tab.  Follow the instructions here.  You can either enter a small group manually, or upload a csv file.  Make sure the csv file has the correct headers.

CSV Upload headers 

Most MIS systems, such as SIMs, will export the DOB filed header as date of birth.  The Markbook will expect it to be dob. ULN and UPN are optional fields but please put them in if they are known as it will be tedious having to update them later if needed.

When you have some learners, go to your Group tab and click on the Edit link associated with the group you want to add your learners to.  You will see a list of learners.  Either click on the Select All button, or choose individuals from the list.

Markbook user selection 

Once you have made a choice, click the radio button to ADD learners to this group, and then select the Go button.  Go back to the Groups tab and click on the refresh icon Refresh icon and check that the learners are now in your group.

Adding learners to a group on the Markbook site will mean that you can track their work and assess them, as well as set them examinations.  Creating a group will automatically create the groups for you on the Learning Site as well.

How do I set the exam?

To request the exam, you need to be sure that all your learners are finished the coursework (achieved 17 credits) which include Level 2, Unit 1 and Level 1 or Level 2, Unit 4, otherwise the system won't let you register students for the exam.

You need to be sure all your learners have accounts in the Learning Site. Click on 'My Learners' - then on group which you need - then 'Check accounts' - then 'Create accounts'.  From this moment your learners have accounts in the Learning Site. 

To see login details for them go to 'My Learners' - 'Pupil ID Letter' (bottom of the page you will be able to download a spreadsheet with all the data).

As the Exams Officer or Principal Assessor, select the box to Show all groups.

This will show all of the groups available to all of the centre's assessors.

1. To set-up the exam for a whole group - click on 'Online Test' for the whole group - select the type of exam - Online or Paper based - chose the date - click Request.

2. To set-up the exam for individual learners - click on the group and then 'Online test' for the individual learner required - select the type of exam - Online or Paper based - chose the date - Request.

The following image shows the screen for chosing and requesting the actual test with dates and type.

Exam setting dialogue
We would suggest you create separate groups for the examination and move into this group all learners who are going to take the exam and request the exam for the whole group.
We specify 6 weeks notice before an exam can be taken but in less pressured times we will not have to enforce this rigidly. If you want to provide an examination at shorter notice you must ring or e-mail and clear it with TLM first.

How do I choose which exam students will take?

Click the on-line radio button if you want pupils to take the exam on-line and paper if you want it as a paper exam (see above graphic).

How does the mock, real, resit triage work?

The "Mock", "Real", "Resit" triage is designed to prevent the waste of public money through many blanket resits while reducing the chances of candidates getting unfair marks because of illness or uncharacteristic performance in the exam. If a school has a cohort of 200 pupils and is unsure whether they are ready to take a grading exam they can provide a "mock". This exam is one of the real exams and it will be treated in exactly the same way as the real exam but the marks and grades obtained from it will not count and can not be used for final grading. If the school took a sample of weak, middle and high attaining candidates, say 20 of the 200 it will give a good idea of how well the cohort will do in the real exam. On-line this will cost £120. Once the school is sure that the cohort is ready, they can take the real exam and the great majority should then obtain their predicted grades with reasonable certainty. If one or two candidates still under-achieve eg for reasons of health or other issues they have an opportunity to re-sit. We think this is a better approach than simply banning all resits or allowing unlimited blanket resits. At present the best grade from this process will count towards the school's performance figures but we can't be certain that the DfE will not change the rules. That is unlikely before 2018.

How do I administer the exam?

If it is a paper exam we will e-mail the exams officer (please make sure we have the email address of the exams officer) with the pdf of the exam shortly before the exam date (three days before).  You can then print the exam and give it to the students under suitably controlled conditions. You must keep the examination paper secure and all candidates in this sitting should do it at the same time under normal controlled conditions with seating arrangements that will minimise any likelihood of copying between candidates. At the end collect the papers, make a photocopy of all of them and send the originals to us using registered post. Keep the copies in a secure place until the marks and grades have been finalised and then destroy them with a shredder.

If it is the on-line exam, TLM will approve the exam request and when the date of the exam arrives log-in in the LearningSite - Online test for the group - select the exam - click the  button and then get candidates to login and start the exam. The start button will only appear if TLM has approved the request. If it is not there and you think it should be, contact us.  You need to make sure that screens are positioned to prevent neighbouring pupils copying from others close to them with the same principle as spacing out paper exam candidates.

How do I deal with problems that arise?

In the Baseline Test, and the regulated tests, the most common problem is pupils coming out of the on-line exam before clicking the finish button at the end. They can not rejoin the exam until the supervisor unblocks them from the on-going on-line test list in the right hand menu block on the home page of the web site. Once this is done they can login and resume from where they left off. With the Baseline Test, if 15 days passes they will have to start again.

Regulated Exams are different as students can't take the same exam on another day if they can't finish in the time allowed.  Supervisors of regulated exams must ensure that no candidate gets an unfair advantage from coming out of the exam without clicking the finish button. Normally the exam session should be completed for the whole group at the same time. If technical problems prevent a candidate from obtaining a result in the Regulated Exam, they will be allowed to resit as if they had not previously taken the exam, but it will be a different version of the exam so that they do not gain any advantage.

How will I receive the grades for a regulated exam?

When the exam is completed and marked the result will be presented on the Markbook in the Assessment section in the exam unit and in the past tests list in the assessor's account on the learning site. The assessor should check this list and notify TLM if there are any unexpected results. eg a very good candidate with an atypically low score or a weak candidate with an atypically high score. We will investigate any such cases before finalising the results. You can then select the candidates for whom you want to claim the qualification and click the request awards button Request Awards button. Once this is done the candidates with the qualification awarded can not retake the exam for at least 6 months and it is this grade that will count in the league tables. Those not selected can be put in for one resit before the result is finalised. 

How can I see the student's exam scores?

When they have finished the test their result will be returned in your account on the Markbook Site. When you login you will be on the Assessment page. Select the group, baseline test category and Progress test 1. You will see a list of your pupils in the group with their results. We will provide analysis and visual presentation of these in due course.   The students will be able to view their own progress.  This shows the Baseline, but it is the same for regulated exams.

The teachers can either look at their learners on the Learning Site and check their results, or login to the Markbook to see the overall results.

How do I print the student's certificates once they have been graded?

Once approved the certificates will be available from the school management section in the Markbook using the Print Awards Tab. You must use the official templates available from TLM to print all certificates. This is part of the agreements signed when gaining access to the Markbook site.

Print certificate

Select the candidate(s) and click Print Selected.