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Exam emergencies to prepare for

Exam emergencies to prepare forThings can go wrong on exam day, but if you prepare yourself then you won't need to panic.

If there's a mistake on the paper

Misprints on exam papers happen more often than you might expect, so don't worry if you spot one – you shouldn't miss out because of it. Simply raise your hand and point out the mistake to your invigilator. For exams that come from an exam board, like GCSEs or A-levels, your invigilator will report the error to the exam board, and they will take it into account when marking the paper. At university, you might be given a correction for the paper and a little extra time to complete it.

If you can, it's still worth trying to answer the misprinted question, but don't spend a long time trying to work out what it is supposed to say if this will affect your ability to complete the rest of the paper.

If your exam is interrupted

If your exam is disrupted by something, such as a fire alarm, you will normally be given extra time or extra marks to make up for it. Keep calm and, if you can, continue with the exam until you get further instructions from your invigilator.

If you have to evacuate the building, remember that the exam is still going on. Talking could lead to disqualification - but you can use the time to think about the questions that are coming up.

If you're worried that a disruption hasn't been properly dealt with, speak to your invigilator or exam officer as soon as possible.

If you feel ill

If you feel ill during an exam, the first thing to do is to raise your hand and tell your invigilator. If you can continue with the exam, then do so.

Whether you are able to complete the exam or not, you can get your illness taken into account when your results are decided. Your school, college or university should be able to help you with this. It's important to see a doctor who can give you a note confirming your illness, and to make sure you inform someone of your illness as soon as possible.

If your phone goes off

Unfortunately, there's not much you can do if your phone goes off during the exam, other than handing it in to your invigilator and explaining that you didn't mean to have it with you. The penalty varies, but you could potentially be disqualified from the exam. If you're at university, you may be fined, and you should contact your student union for help with any disciplinary processes that follow.

Luckily, this is one emergency that you can prevent very easily. Make sure you leave your phone at home when you go to your exam. If you realise before the exam starts that you still have your phone with you, tell your invigilator: you should be able to hand the phone in to them without any penalty if you do so before the exam starts.

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