Identifying Basedata

Basedata for a particular series consists of a set of linked files. The names of these files follow an agreed standard, with the first letter denoting what information the file contains.

When basedata is first downloaded from the exam board the file will begin with a Z. Files starting with a Z are zipped files that combine all the required basedata files into one single file. This file will need to be unzipped and the contents copied into the EXAMIN folder.

The files within the zipped folder will start with S, O, C, L or D. 

Files starting with an S detail the different types of syllabus on offer from the awarding body in this series.

Files starting within an O describe the options for each syllabus, such as different tiers.

Files starting with a C describe the tasks that will be available for each syllabus – the components.

Files starting with an L describe how the information in the S, O and C files are linked together.

Files starting with a D are also sometimes present to describe what examinations cannot be sat in the same series, known as disallowed combinations.

An example of a zipped file would be Z6A16_70.exe. Within the file will then be S6A16_70.exe, O6A16_70.exe, C6A16_70.exe, L6A16_70.exe and possibly D6A16_70.exe.

The remaining characters in the file name denote the month, series, year, language and exam board.

For example, Z6A16_70.exe would stand for the following:

Z The first character is the file type as explained above.
6 The second character is the month. This file contains data for the June season. The numbers 1 to 9 represent January to September, with A, B and C used for October, November and December respectively.
A The third character is the series code specified by the exam board and is used to uniquely identify one series from any others produced by the award in the same time period.
16 The fourth and fifth characters denote the year of the exams. This file relates to exams in 2016.
_ The sixth character shows the language of the file. This basedata is for exams in English, C indicates exams in Welsh and B indicates bilingual exams in both Welsh and English.
70 The seventh and eighth characters identify the exam board. This file is from the AQA board and contains information regarding AQA exams.

This information can then be used to match your file to the correct exam board and season within Examinations organiser in order to be able to import.


Reviewed 07/04/2020

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