Exams

Hello Everyone

I know there are a few people on here who like me are in the middle of exams. I had a 3 hour one today which was my first A Level module of this exam session. In January there was an issue about me having an inhaler on my desk but once the invigilator realised what it was everything was ok.

Today however thay seemed to be being stricter than normal. One girl had to pour her juice away, water only now in a clear bottle with no label and some one else was told to take her strepsils out of the foil packet and just have them loose on the desk. Then I was asked to take the label of my bricanyl by my year head who knows most things about my asthma.

Next thing about 5 minutes in, the exam officer walks in and confiscates my inhaler and told me to see her at the end. Which I did and she gave it back but said it is now against exam regulations for me to have it.

I don't know what to do as exams and this weather make me go splat so I wan't very happy. They have a medical note off my consultant and I have read the exam rules tonight and can't see anything in them. I guess I am just looking for advice. Has anyone else come across this?

Sorry to be a moan. I feel better for getting it out and hope you understand :-) Good luck to everyone with exams etc.

Love

Steph xxx

20 Replies

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  • Steph i would kick up a fuss about this one.

    This is not a carton of juice or strepsils!

    Yr inhaler is there for a reason and it could potenitally save your life if you have an attack during an exam.

    Good luck for the rest of them!

    Pink fluffy hugs

    Kym

  • I guess it would be best to ask examination officer at your school to contact examination board directly if they continue to make such a fuss. I am pretty sure that it is just invigilators at your school being extra keen. Other then that if you feel like you need to take your inhaler they must return it to you and all they can insist on is supervising you while you take it (as if one could hide some informmation it it somehow). I am pretty sure that they are not alowed to denay you prescription medication.

    Good luck with your exams. I am so happy mine are all over. My first exams at uni and I have broken my leg and ended up in a wheelchair for all of them including practicals. I must give credit to my uni though that they tried extra hard to make sure that they accomodated my new ""special"" needs. I don't have to add that none was atempting to take away my inhaler form me.

  • i am a secondary teacher maths and i have never heard of anyone having their inhalers removed beofre. The only thing i can think of is that instead of teachers rountinely invigilating exams from this year outsiders are used. they are probabbly new to this and may be taking the letter of the exam advice rules to the law. please see your head and explain the situation as this can not be against exam rules.

  • sorry me again which board or boards are you taking?

  • i was so fuming about your situation that i have just emailed edexcel, ocr and aqa and asked them for their replies. i will let you know on their reply. if it is a different board please let me know. i will also check our exam advice sheets at work tomorrow. good luck and try not to get too stressed.

    deb

  • Thankyou everyone for your replies. I have now managed to throw another spanner into the works and injure my right wrist and thumb and yes I am right handed oops! :-)

    Debbie - Thankyou. All of my exams are AQA and yes the invigilators are outside people and not teachers. However they have used outside invigilators since 2004 and the one doing the exam on Tuesday had done other exams I have been in in the past. It was the invigilator that was being fussy over the juice and strepsils but it was my year head that took the inhaler. I will see her tomorrow as I now need to discuss how I am meant to write next week, he he.

    What worries me about all this is that when I needed extra paper on Tuesday I put my hand up when I still had 2 spare pages and by the time she came over I had written on both of them. If I needed my inhaler I really couldn't wait that long. Sorry to be a pain.

    Love

    Steph xx

  • Thankyou everyone for your replies. I have now managed to throw another spanner into the works and injure my right wrist and thumb and yes I am right handed oops! :-)

    Debbie - Thankyou. All of my exams are AQA and yes the invigilators are outside people and not teachers. However they have used outside invigilators since 2004 and the one doing the exam on Tuesday had done other exams I have been in in the past. It was the invigilator that was being fussy over the juice and strepsils but it was my year head that took the inhaler. I will see her tomorrow as I now need to discuss how I am meant to write next week, he he.

    What worries me about all this is that when I needed extra paper on Tuesday I put my hand up when I still had 2 spare pages and by the time she came over I had written on both of them. If I needed my inhaler I really couldn't wait that long. Sorry to be a pain.

    Love

    Steph xx

  • I have hust finished my AS exams just one GCSE Maths left from last year when I was in hospital, mostly ill during exams but mamaged I think!

  • sorry to hear about your ripped tendons steph

    how are you supposed to write like that ?

    hope you are feeling better today and you get ur inhaler prob sorted out pronto cuz i wud get well paronioid if you had an attack n u didnt have ur inhaler

    hope your handwriting is eligable with that splint on

    hear from you soon

    hannah

    ###

    hannah hugs to make your wrist better

  • I'm doing my A levels as well, I have a sociology module tomorrow afternoon.

    I'm up doing sum last minute extra cram cos I concentrate better at nite than in the morn!

    I had my inhaler on my desk and no-one said anything, but they did wonder at first about my blue filter sheets b4 they looked and realised it was a dyslexia aid!

    Good Luck every1!

    Shadowcat xx

  • Those invigilators of yours Debi are moving extra slow if you have manged to feel in 2 pages before they came. I can understand perfectly in this situation that you are worried. If they try to take your inhaler again and insist on it I would ask them to put you just in front of invigilators desk so that if you get unwell it can be spotted and acted on immidiately. Maybe school nurse could put a word in for you or your parents? Do you get a scribe to write for you in exam becouse of your injured arm?

  • message from aqa

    aqa's reply was as follows. you might like to send it on to your school.

    Thank you for your email concerning candidates being allowed to have their inhailers in an examination. It is usual for candidates to be allowed to have access to their inhailers in an examination and to take responsibility for their own medication. It would not be usual for the inhailers to be confiscated. However, in some circumstances a school may choose to assiste candidates with difficult medical conditions with their medication or even protect the medication from falling into the wrong hands. This matter is best discussed with the examinations officer who should be aware of both school policy and examination regulations.

    Regards

    AQA Special Needs (Guildford)

    i have replied stating you are a sixthformer not a little child. hope this helps deb

  • Thankyou so much debi. Just out of curiosity, did the other boards reply? I really appreciate it :-) They told me today I could have extra time next week because of my hand but I need a medical note. So I now have a doctors appointment at 9.00 monday morning and an exam at 1.00 monday afternoon. What fun, I love rusing the doctors as if I have nothing better to do :-) Thankyou everyone for your replies they are much appreciated.

    Anna it took the invigilator so long to notice me because she was sat at the back of the room reading a book! It was only when the person behind me started going hum hum that she looked up. he he

    Love

    me xxx

  • Reading a book?! That a disgrace. She should ay close attention to all the students trying to cheat lol. I would like to have her job by the way.

    I hope that exams went well for you despite all the hurdles you had to jump through. :)

  • no answer yet from the other 2 main boards. the invigilator should not have a book. unless she was checking the exam rules booklet report her to your head. that way you might get a more asthma aware one next.

  • Hey,

    when i did my gcses quite a bit back, I had the same problem. My asthma wasn't particularly awful at that point so it didnt matter, but it did mean you had to put your hand up and physically ask for an inhaler.

    They eventually got round it by sitting me at the back and having my inhaler on the desk next to me (??) strange eh? I wonder if this is an old rule or something

  • same

    We had the same at our school during gcses... only water allowed in a clear plastic bottle with no labels, and i was also asked 2 take the label of my inhaler 2 but they didnt take my inhaler off me 'cos i was pretty bad b4 the exam and its a gd job they didnt cos i had 2 go out halfway through...the invigilators at skool are a bit slow 2

  • This is outrageous!

    When I read this thread I swore out loud... and I'm normally such a mild mannered type!

    How dare they deny you immediate access to prescription medication! I'm sure this is not within the regulations... and what possible benefit to your exam do they think having an unlabeled inhaler is going to be? They wouldn't deny a diabetic access to glucose. The stress of knowing that you haven't got immediate access to your inhaler is hardly going to help your asthma or your exam performance.

    I've taken my inhaler into every exam I've done since the age of 14, including GCSEs and A-levels (admittedly a while ago) and have nebulised in University exams - and this was studying medicine, where it could possibly help you cheat, eg if the question was 'give an example of a beta agonist' (like I'd forget the answer to that one anyway). One examiner did once object - til I showed her my emergency card with my medical history on it, when she quickly decided it would be far less disruptive to the exam to allow me to neb in peace!

    If I were you I would make the most almightly fuss about this one! If necessary, a sharp letter from your doc should sort them out!

    Good luck

    Em H

  • That is really bad, surly they must no that asthma can be a life threating illness, it is realy anoying that people don't relise how bad asthma can be for quite alot of people, i haven't had that happen 2 me yet but u never no.

    Anyway u should complain 2 make sure that it doesn't happen again!

    Good uck in your exams!

    xxx

  • I had exactly the same reaction emilyH!! its discusting, during my nursing studies i did awareness lectures to school workers re inhalers and asthma medications and a cant beleive things like this are still happening over 10 yrs later.Somethimg needs to be done,

    To all you at school or college make a fuss its well within your human rights

    Good luck with your exams

    Love Andrea xxx

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