The custom built LMS for past papers, exam prep and more

Instant access to past papers for students, teachers and parents

    A host of learning materials and tools all in one place

    In advance of an expected surge in users, School Exams had a tight deadline in which to create a scalable system that could help students across the UK prepare for their exams in the wake of the global pandemic. Aimed at KS2 and GCSE students, this past paper library needed to be built from scratch on a flexible framework stable enough to host over 1 million users.

    With Drupal as our framework, we were able to deliver:

    • Simple design for students and teachers alike
    • Past paper library
    • Easy to navigate UI built for children of all ages
    • Next-to-no load times
    • Custom exam paper builder
    • Custom user management and reporting tools
    • Courses and quizzes
    • Saved question lists

    Past papers and questions

    Creating a repository of the fast 5 years’ of past papers, SchoolExams uploaded individual exam questions that could be searched for by curriculum level, subject and/or topic, making the content easily accessible to users of all ages.

    Each question consisted of three tabs; the question with a blank answer box, the answer and workings, and a teacher-lead video guiding students through getting full marks to the question.

    Usability and quick-loading was critical to keep learners subscribed to the pay-monthly platform. So we developed an interface allowing users to search for questions, work out their answers, watch supporting learning content, and then find another question, all without ever leaving the main screen.

    Creating unique mock exam papers

    SchoolExams wanted students and teachers to be able to create their own bank of questions by saving multiple questions to a list (just like saving songs to a playlist).

    The “save and print” function generated mock exam papers from the list of questions, allowing teachers to create brand new exam papers for use in mock tests and homework assignments.

    This was also exceptionally useful for individual students who needed extra support with specific types of, as mock exam papers could even be tailored to individual students and classes based on their current weaknesses.

    User management and reporting

    SchoolExams wanted to make the platform as easy to use as possible, particularly for schools and teachers, since school up-take of the service would be dependent on the service’s ability to make teacher’s lives easier.

    This started with allowing teachers to upload student data via a CSV file and manually add them to cohorts (or classes). With a CSV, teachers could add names, curriculum level and content access rights to a cohort or class. From there, the system would auto-create the student accounts and generate each student’s unique password to be passed on by school IT departments.

    In addition, SchoolExams wanted to help teachers track user progress and achievement so they can see the value of SchoolExams and identify students that needed extra support. In order to do this, we created a set of unique reporting tools, which could show data for a whole class or be filtered down to individual students.

    Courses

    Courses have been designed to mimic classroom’s guided teaching by helping students about specific topics with specific learning objectives. This was especially important during lockdown and the impact this has had on attendance where students weren’t able to access classes in the same way they normally would. This guided learning path progressively challenges students day-by-day with more difficult questions to help them prep for their exams, starting from scratch.

    English quizzes

    Designed to help students with exam skills, English comprehension quizzes start with a teacher-lead video, followed by a piece of text that students read and then answer questions about.