Top tips: how to get exam entries right first time

Top tips for Exams Officers for making entries

Whether you’re a new or experienced Exams Officer, this collection of top tips about the exam entry process is here to support you.

First, always make sure you are using current OxfordAQA guidance.

You can always find the most up to date information on how to submit your entries, basedata, entry codes, key date information on late entries, tier changes and withdrawals and much more on our Entries page.

Second, decide how you will make your entries to OxfordAQA exams.

There are two ways of submitting entries to OxfordAQA. These are:

  1. Using Centre Services
  2. Submitting your entries via EDI/A2C using a Management Information System (MIS).

Find out more.

Top tip – if you are submitting your entries via EDI/A2C, make sure you have downloaded the latest basedata.

The Unique Candidate Identifier (UCI) is compulsory for all files sent via the A2C Transport Application. Make sure all students have a UCI number.

Find more information about UCIs here.

  • Where a student has previously been entered for a qualification, they will already have a UCI number.
  • If a student has joined your school, you should contact their previous school or college so that the correct UCI number can be used.
  • Alternatively, ask the student to supply their candidate statement of provisional results or their examination certificate which will show their UCI number.

We also strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the information produced by your chosen MIS provider. Unfortunately, as there are so many different MIS available, OxfordAQA cannot help with any specific MIS queries. However most MIS providers have FAQs and videos available to help you.

Third and most importantly! Make sure all student details are correct

You can use our check your entries guide to ensure everything is correct. You can also read more on our Information you need to submit student entries page.

One of the most common issues we see is around names. Remember that names submitted when processing entries will be printed on students’ certificates, so make sure you use the student’s full legal name.

If you need to abbreviate the name to fit in the 40 character limit or add in diacritic characters, you will need to complete a name variation form, details of how to do so can be found here.

It’s also important to ensure that students’ dates of birth are in the correct format:

  • DD/MM/YY – for entries made through EDI and basedata e.g. 01/01/22
  • DD/MMM/YYYY – for entries made through Centre Services e.g. 01/JAN/2022

Common errors/queries

  • For qualifications where there are different entry options within the specification, only enter each student for one option.
  • Wherever possible, with the support of the relevant senior leader, make sure that teachers make decisions before the submission of entries as to which option the student should be entered for.
  • Teachers should check option codes carefully in the OxfordAQA Entry Codes book. You can always find the latest version here.

Where a qualification is unitised, students will sit a number of units, sometimes across different examination series, to receive a qualification.

Make sure that you are familiar with the entry process for unitised qualifications.

  • Unit entries – entries must be made for each unit the student will complete in that examination series. This includes not just timetabled examined units, but also controlled assessment/coursework/non-examined assessment units.
  • Subject Award Codes – when a student wishes to obtain an overall qualification, an award code is also required. This will be at the end of the course in the final examination series. The award code must be entered in addition to entries for the individual units.

Before submitting the award code entry, make sure you check that each student has been entered for the correct combination of units.

How to submit your entries to OxfordAQA

After creating and saving your entries, please make sure you press the “submit” button located on the bottom left of the Entry Submission page.

Check that you have successfully submitted your files. Centre Services will generate one entry file per series. All subsequent files will be amendment files.

Check that you have submitted your entry files. Check the A2C sent log to make sure that you have sent the entry files.

Your Management Information System (MIS) will generate one entry file per series. You must send one EDI entry file for the series.  All subsequent files must be amendment files.

When submitting entry amendment files, the number at the end of each amendment file should increase by one each time. Failure to follow this convention can mean files are overwritten and previous amendments deleted.

As always, if you have any questions about making entries, you can get in touch or telephone us on +44 (0)161 696 5995.

You can make entries to OxfordAQA via Centre Services or EDI/A2C