The Student Room Group

Exam messed up

Hi, I don’t know how to start this because I don’t want to be weirdly vulnerable but basically for context I have a separate room (with others but it’s smaller) for exams because I have diagnosed autism and anxiety which means that I cannot really function in an overwhelming environment. However today, the invigilator for my exam literally started shouting at everyone (like proper angry shouting) because they didn’t come to the exam room ten minutes early. I also saw her deny someone their exam access arrangements. Although that wasn’t me it makes me feel really bad for them and so that’s why I want to know if there’s anything I can do. As someone with anxiety and autism I ended up completely fixating on this hostile interaction and (this is so embarrassing) cried all over my paper for the first hour out of two. I definitely messed it up but I feel like it’s her fault to some extent (mine too for the way my brain works lol) but I literally prepared answers for every single question that came up, I revised so so much and I cried and blanked in the exam. Is there anything I can do to fix this, like, is this grounds for a complaint or special consideration? Because all invigilators know thag someone in a smaller room is probably more emotionally volatile and I truly feel like she negatively impacted my exam. Any advice? sorry for the long message/rant.
Original post by Anonymous
Hi, I don’t know how to start this because I don’t want to be weirdly vulnerable but basically for context I have a separate room (with others but it’s smaller) for exams because I have diagnosed autism and anxiety which means that I cannot really function in an overwhelming environment. However today, the invigilator for my exam literally started shouting at everyone (like proper angry shouting) because they didn’t come to the exam room ten minutes early. I also saw her deny someone their exam access arrangements. Although that wasn’t me it makes me feel really bad for them and so that’s why I want to know if there’s anything I can do. As someone with anxiety and autism I ended up completely fixating on this hostile interaction and (this is so embarrassing) cried all over my paper for the first hour out of two. I definitely messed it up but I feel like it’s her fault to some extent (mine too for the way my brain works lol) but I literally prepared answers for every single question that came up, I revised so so much and I cried and blanked in the exam. Is there anything I can do to fix this, like, is this grounds for a complaint or special consideration? Because all invigilators know thag someone in a smaller room is probably more emotionally volatile and I truly feel like she negatively impacted my exam. Any advice? sorry for the long message/rant.

Hi im really srry to hear this. I heard on tiktok that if someone believes that their exam hasn't gone well due to things that they have totally no control over e.g Sickness, the environment, panick attacks... they can let the examiner marking their work know that their performance have been affected if the student genuinely believes they could have gotten a better grade if that thing did not happen. The student can talk to their form tutor or a trusted teacher. The teacher will then email the invigilators explaining why the student performance was affected. The invigilators will then flag the exam board about the student so that they will mark the student's work a lot more kindly or even give them extra marks as they will know smth has happened to the student during the exam. I suggest u talk to a teacher asap before is too late cuz i undertsand it can be frustrating knowing that ur whole exam and whole grade has been affected by some next up invigilators
Original post by Anonymous
Hi, I don’t know how to start this because I don’t want to be weirdly vulnerable but basically for context I have a separate room (with others but it’s smaller) for exams because I have diagnosed autism and anxiety which means that I cannot really function in an overwhelming environment. However today, the invigilator for my exam literally started shouting at everyone (like proper angry shouting) because they didn’t come to the exam room ten minutes early. I also saw her deny someone their exam access arrangements. Although that wasn’t me it makes me feel really bad for them and so that’s why I want to know if there’s anything I can do. As someone with anxiety and autism I ended up completely fixating on this hostile interaction and (this is so embarrassing) cried all over my paper for the first hour out of two. I definitely messed it up but I feel like it’s her fault to some extent (mine too for the way my brain works lol) but I literally prepared answers for every single question that came up, I revised so so much and I cried and blanked in the exam. Is there anything I can do to fix this, like, is this grounds for a complaint or special consideration? Because all invigilators know thag someone in a smaller room is probably more emotionally volatile and I truly feel like she negatively impacted my exam. Any advice? sorry for the long message/rant.

I don't particularly know much about the way complaints happen etc. However, the first thing is go and speak to any teacher or staff that you know will take action. Have they been assertive? Have they helped a friend with a problem of theirs? Go to them. I had an issue with the audio of my French listening, and immediately my tutor asked me if I wanted to put a complaint in. Baring in mind, this is a 'small' thing, so in comparison what happened to you was wildly unacceptable, and you should be allowed to contest it and at the very least make higher ups aware of this happening so it doesn't occur in a future exam of yours.

Second, don't belittle yourself!! What happened was not your fault, it wasn't embarrassing, and it most certainly is not the fault of your brain at all. The invigilators should have the utmost sympathy and accommodate for students the best they can. As a small room person myself that has also dealt with shouty teachers, they should be maintaining professional standards and have considerations for why these people may be late. I had an exam yesterday and my friend barely made it in time because she had a flat tyre, so the invigilator shouting just shows her small-mindedness. Exam time starts are NEVER that deep for them to start shouting at people with access arrangements.

If you know the person that was denied access arrangements, go and talk to them and see if they would be willing to go with you to see a higher up to talk about the behaviour of this invigilator. If not, don't stress, but let your parents know or friends and make sure you have support behind you (to both back up what you say and make sure you're okay despite what the outcome is).

I would very much encourage you to speak to someone and try and take this further in order to ensure you don't face this in the future. But the biggest priority is to maintain your own mental health. If the anxiety of doing this is too much, it might be a hit to take purely to preserve your mental health for future exams and to be able to maintain a steady revision schedule. On the flip side, if the anxiety of not doing anything will be unbearable, reporting it could do the world of good.

I'm really sorry this has happened to you!! Definitely outline to the person you're complaining to that you feel the invigilators behaviour adversely affected you and as a result you couldn't focus in the exam. I wish you all the best with your exams, and also, the times I've been most 'weirdly vulnerable' have been from anonymous posts on these forums. There's always help around :smile:

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