How to use the portal: teachers


How to log in

Note: If you receive UKLO email messages, then you’re already registered.

  1. If you haven’t yet registered yourself and your school with UKLO, please create an account.
    1. Go to the portal,
    2. Click on ‘sign up‘ (in the top line)
    3. Add your email address and create a password.
      1. If you forget the password you can always change it later.
      2. If you’re already registered with that email address, the portal will tell you; in that case just go back to the log in page and log in (if necessary asking for a new password).
      3. But if you have multiple email addresses, please make a note not to register again with a different email address!
      4. When you’ve provided an email address and password, the portal will tell you that it’s sent a verification message to your email account, so check your account and follow the instructions in the message.
      5. If the verification message doesn’t come, please do the following:
        1. Check your spam box in case your computer has put the message there instead of in your inbox.
        2. Tell us (schools@uklo.org).
    4. Add your centre (i.e. school or college).
  2. If you already have an account on the portal, just sign in.
    • Your computer may remember your login details and take you automatically past this step.
    • If you’ve forgotten your password, you can ask for a new one to be sent to your email address by clicking ‘Forgotten password’.
    • You should see a new page saying ‘Welcome X. You are a teacher.’ (where X is the bit of your email address before the @). This is your personal account.
  3. Register your ‘centre’ (a term intended to cover both schools and colleges). If you haven’t already done so, when you log in the portal will remind you that you haven’t yet registered your centre.
    1. In the little box, enter the centre’s name or postcode (just part of either will do) and the portal will search for it in its database.
      1. In theory, the portal will offer a list of centres that match your partial specification. Unfortunately this facility isn’t working at present, so just ignore it.
    2. If yours is on the list, select it and you’re done: your centre is already registered, and you’re now registered as one of its contact teachers. However, that means that another teacher is probably already registered there.
      1. If you know who they are, and you’re taking over from them, try and get them to hand over cleanly to you.
      2. If you don’t know who they are, contact us.
    3. If your centre isn’t on the list, or there’s no list, then enter the postcode, name and address in the boxes provided.

How to hand over to another teacher

Please log in to the portal and edit your profile. Change your name and email address to those of the teacher who is taking over organising the Olympiad in your school. Please also reset your password, and then tell the new teacher that password so that he or she can log in and access all information you have previously provided to UKLO.


How to close your account

Very simple:

  • Log in as usual.
  • Select ‘Profile’ in the left margin.
  • Hit ‘De-activate account’ (right at the foot of the page)

This should remove you from the mailing list, but if it doesn’t, please tell us so that we can investigate and do it manually.

How to add Advanced estimated numbers

We need to assign you a marker, so we need to know how many candidates you think you may enter. (Some people enter just one or two, while others enter hundreds, so it really matters!).  Your first task, therefore, is to tell us how many candidates you guess you’ll be entering. Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly how many, or even roughly how many; you can change the number at any time until the end of the notification period on the current calendar (when this facility on your login page will close).

  1. Click on ‘manage students’ (in the Advanced section at the top of your front page)
  2. Click on ‘edit estimate’  (near the top of the new page)
  3. Add your current estimate, if necessary deleting a previous estimate.
  4. Check success by reloading the page (using the little circular arrow by the address box at the top of your browser screen). The numbers just above ‘Edit estimate’ should have updated to your new numbers.
  5. That’s it – there’s no ‘Save’ button.

How to add Advanced entry details

You can enter candidates’ names and details as soon as you want; in fact, we recommend doing it earlier rather than later to reduce the last-minute pressures at the point where you have to scan the scripts and upload them.

If you already have these details, or at least the names, on a spreadsheet, no doubt you would prefer to simply upload this spreadsheet in one go, but unfortunately the portal will not allow this because the process of transferring the data from your spreadsheet to the portal’s own database is very fragile and error-prone. But, as explained below, the inconvenience of entering names individually now is offset by the fact that you’ll never have to enter those names again.

  1. To enter Advanced candidates, click on ‘manage students’ (in the middle of your screen)
  2. choose the exam you’re entering them for
  3. fill in the first name, family name, sex and academic year (e.g. Year 11).
    • or (from 2017 on): click ‘Add a past student’ and select one you entered previously
  4. click ‘+ Add’, and repeat as often as needed.
  5. You can add extra names at any point up to the time when you upload the scripts, and you can edit existing entries; the number you entered may be higher than the number you estimated, but please warn the marker coordinator if the difference is greater than ten so that extra marking capacity can be provided.

The system will remember candidate names from one year to the next, so, for candidates who enter in more than one year, you won’t have to enter the full name and details more than once.

How to download test material

  1. After logging in, find the relevant test level (Breakthrough … Advanced) lower down the page.
  2. Click ‘Download Exam questions’ and save the file to your computer.
  3. Unzip the file and select the files you need.

How to download solutions and mark schemes

  1. Scroll down your login page to ‘other exams’.
  2. Select the exams you need, and download the zip file next to ‘Download exam solutions’.
    • ‘Other’ is a complete set of problems #1-#7, for those who have created a DIY exam that doesn’t fit any of the standard exams.

How to upload Advanced script scans

  1. Please add the candidate names before trying to upload your scripts; if you haven’t registered any names  you may not be able to upload any scripts.
  2. When your Advanced level candidates have taken the test, please collate their scripts (i.e. their two-page answer sheet – not the test paper itself) and scan them all into a single pdf file (not jpg or any other format) saved on your computer. Most schools have a powerful printer/scanner that can do this automatically.
    1. NB if you prefer to save the scans in smaller bundles, it’s easy to combine them into a single pdf file.
    2. Your marker may choose to mark the scripts online, so please don’t:
      1. put each script in a separate file.
      2. bundle multiple files into a single zip file.
      3. print them upside down or landscape!
  3. Log in to the portal and find ‘Upload completed Advanced Papers’, with an up arrow.
  4. Click the arrow, and on the next page click ‘browse’ to find the pdf file on your computer that contains your scanned scripts.
  5. Select this. There’s no ‘upload’ button – if you see the file name, it is being uploaded, and you should see the first page displayed on the screen. If so, you should also be able to move through the pages with the left and right arrows.
    1. Troubleshooting: If the portal doesn’t seem to be uploading your file but gives a message saying it may take a while, then it probably isn’t uploading. This may be because you haven’t yet registered any candidate names! (See step 1 above.)

How to find your marker

Once the markers have been assigned to teachers, your marker will appear when you log in as a teacher, just beneath ‘Manage students’. You will also be notified of your marker by email.

How to add and edit non-Advanced names and results

If you’re a teacher, you mark your own non-Advanced scripts, but the scores you give are ‘points’, which don’t reflect the difficulty of the problem, in contrast with ‘marks’, which do. To turn your points into marks, and to eventually receive printable personalised certificates for each of your students, you need to enter the points into the portal.

If you already have these details, or at least the names, on a spreadsheet, no doubt you would prefer to simply upload this spreadsheet in one go, but unfortunately the portal will not allow this because the process of transferring the data from your spreadsheet to the portal’s own database is very fragile and error-prone. But, as explained below, the inconvenience of entering names individually now is offset by the fact that you’ll never have to enter those names again.

If you’ve found a mistake in names or points that you’ve already entered, you can change them at any time. (Just follow the instructions below and find the relevant items.) You can then re-generate the certificates using your corrected data.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Log in as usual, and on your main page hit ‘manage students’. (Inconveniently, this looks at present as though it only applies to Advanced entries; it doesn’t.)
  2. Choose the relevant exam in the drop-down menu.
  3. Enter the details (first name, family name, sex and age) for the students who have taken that exam, then change the exam if you entered students at other levels.
    1. For each student, you can choose whether to add a new name or a past student – to change this choice, just hit the blue wording above or below the name box. If you choose to add a past student, you’ll see a drop-down list of relevant names as soon as you enter one character; the list gets shorter as you enter more characters, and at any point you can select the one you’re looking for.
    2. Unfortunately, the portal sometimes misbehaves by refusing to accept more than one past student in this way. This may be because the server is overloaded, so if you’re unlucky enough to experience this, please give up and try again later. But if it continues to misbehave, please tell us (help@portal.uklo.org and/or chair@uklo.org) and we’ll investigate; this may give us a chance to solve the problem once and for all.
  4. When you’ve entered the details for all your students, hit the return button on your browser to go back to your main page.
  5. You should now see this in the middle of the page: ‘You can now mark exams for non-Advanced students. Enter points’. Hit ‘Enter points’.
  6. You’ll now see a list of the students you entered, classified by exam, with a column for each relevant problem. Enter your points here, using either tab or right cursor to move between columns.
    1. Beware: at least in Firefox, the up/down cursor arrows change the number in the cell!
    2. If students worked in teams (which they’re allowed to do), list the students individually and give the team’s marks to each of its members.
    3. When entering points, just enter the point – don’t include the maximum (which you’ll see next to the problem number at the top of each column). For example, if the point is 23 and the maximum is 24, enter ’23’, not ’23/24′.
  7. When you’ve finished, hit the  ‘save’ button at the bottom (but don’t panic if you forget, because data is automatically saved as soon as you enter it; nor should you panic if you do hit ‘save’ and the little wheel goes on spinning for ever – it’s not doing anything!). You can also edit any data at any time simply by repeating #5 and 6.
  8. When you’re back on your home page in the portal, it will look the same as before, but if you hit ‘enter points’ again you’ll see the points you added, which you can still edit.
  9. Your results are now part of our national database which we’ll use for:
    1. anonymized statistical analysis to give an overall picture which we’ll publish, so you can see how your pupils compared with the national average.
    2. converting your points to marks, which we’ll make available to you.
    3. generating personalised  certificates for you to print for each of your students, stating their classification (Bronze, Silver, Gold or Participation).
    4. remembering these individual names and details for future years, so you’ll never need to enter them again. (And of course the portal will automatically update the academic year.)

How to download Advanced results and certificates

  • Log in to your portal () as usual.
  • For results:
    • Click the big blue button ‘Download CSV’ next to ‘The results for your Advanced students are done!’ (In case you don’t know, CSV stands for ‘comma-separated values’, and it’s a very basic spreadsheet file.)
    • Open the CSV in a spreadsheet editor such as Excel, and there you are.
  • For a printable pdf of your certificates:
    • Click the big blue button labelled ‘Download certificates’, then choose between saving the file and opening it in your pdf reader.
    • Before printing it check for errors, e.g. in the school name or in the students’ names.
    • If you find an error, you can fix it yourself via ‘manage students’ or via your account (where you named the school).
    • Then repeat the earlier operations – the portal generates your pdf from scratch, so it will take account of your corrections.

The columns headed ‘Question 6’ etc show the marks, calculated to five decimal places by the portal from the points produced by the marker. If you prefer to ignore the decimal points,

  • select all the columns concerned (by clicking on the very top row above each column, in the cells labelled ‘E’ etc)
  • right click, choose ‘format cells’, then ‘Number’, then ‘Number’ again, then adjust ‘Decimal places’ to suit your taste.

The column headed ‘Total’ isn’t simply the sum of the previous columns, but a percentage. The column maximums actually add up to 105, so this is reduced to 100.

The last column, ‘Awarded’, shows any award (Gold, Silver or Bronze). This will be reflected in the printed certificates that we shall print out and send you. Anyone who participated but didn’t win an award will still get a certificate saying ‘Participation’. The awards are based on the total, reflecting thresholds calculated according to our usual formula: the first 5% get Gold, the next 10% Silver, and the next 20% Bronze.

The first column, ‘Student name’, shows the name exactly as it will be printed on the certificate. This is your last chance to check the name, and to correct it on the portal.

How to download non-Advanced certificates

When we tell you that the certificates for Breakthrough, Foundation and Intermediate entries are ready, you can download them. They consist of a pdf file for each level, which contains a separate personalised certificate for each candidate that you entered at that level.

  1. Log into your portal.
  2. Under ‘Non-advanced papers and solutions’ find a level where you entered candidates.
  3. Click ‘Download student certificates’ and open the file or save it.
  4. Check the file for accuracy, and print it.
    1. NB The awards are based on the students’ total marks, which the portal calculates as a percentage of the maximum total for that level; e.g. if the maximum total is 45, then the portal scales each student’s total marks up by multiplying by 100/45; so the total for a student who scored 30 marks is shown as 30/45 x 100 = 66.6%.
    2. Remember that the marks are in turn based on your points by a formula which takes account of the relative importance of each question; so the portal shows your points as a proportion of the maximum points for the question; so if you gave 11 points for a problem whose maximum points is 17 and whose maximum marks is 15, the mark for that problem is 11/17 x 15 = 9.7.
    3. The thresholds for Gold, Silver and Bronze are shown on the website page for the current year (e.g. here)
  5. If you find errors in the file, it’s because the relevant entry in your bit of the database is wrong, so find the relevant entry and correct it.
  6. Go back to #3 and repeat. Hopefully the portal will have corrected the errors in the file.