Top tips: how to get exam entries right first time

A collection of tips and advice for Exams Officers to guide you in making entries to OxfordAQA exams.

Whether you’re a new or experienced Exams Officer, OxfordAQA is here to support you so you can deliver your vital role with confidence. While we can fix most mistakes without contacting you, this delays us in processing your entry files, so we’ve put together this collection of top tips about the exam entry process so you can be sure you get entries right first time.

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.

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.

How to submit your entries to OxfordAQA


  • After creating, editing or 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.

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.


  • Give each file a unique name in the A2C archive location – such as ‘AX.01’, ‘AX.02’ etc.
  • Check the A2C sent log to ensure that you have submitted your entry files, as A2C files can get stuck and not reach us if the file name is not unique.
  • 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.
  • Make sure you have downloaded the latest basedata.

The Unique Candidate Identifier (UCI) is compulsory for all files sent via the A2C Transport Application.

  • 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.

Find more information about UCIs here.


  • Make sure all students have a UCI number.
  • Use each student’s original UCI number whenever possible. Using more than one UCI for a student will delay your whole entry file as we need to fix it manually, which can cause problems when issuing results on results day.
Additional tips on submitting entries

Sending fewer files:

  • Ensure you are aware of the entry and amendment deadlines to avoid extra charges.
  • Update and save changes to a file locally, then send to us once a week to prevent mistakes and backlogs.

Entry codes:

  • Only enter a student for one option per subject (such as 9225E for Business Studies with Endorsement). Entering a student for multiple options causes delays.
  • You can change the option before the amendment deadline with no additional fee.
  • You should enter a student for an AS or A-level award code if you know they want to certificate in the series.

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.

Ensure 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.

Student details

One of the most common issues with entries is names.


  • Make sure you use the student’s full legal name, as the names submitted when processing entries will be printed on students’ certificates.
  • If you have a student whose name is longer than 40 characters, please use a suitable shortened alternative. Please follow our name variation process to ensure the student’s full name is displayed on results documents.

It is vital to ensure students’ dates of birth are entered in the correct format.

  • For entries made through Centre Services – DD/MMM/YYYY (e.g. 01/JAN/2024).
  • For entries made through EDI and basedata – DD/MM/YYYY (e.g. 01/01/2024).

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.

Entries flowchart

The below flowchart is a handy guide to the entries process.

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