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Frequently asked questions - Examinations, Assessments, Progression and Awarding

FAQs

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FAQs

FAQs

FAQs

FAQs

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FAQs

Studyzone

Student Services are available to support you as you prepare for exams and assessments. Please access the Studyzone for guidance and support on revising and undertaking your examinations.

Your final exams timetable is now live and can be accessed via My Timetable.

Assessment Helpdesk 

The Assessment Helpdesk is run by a support team who are able to respond to queries on all online examinations (Options 1 and 2) whilst they are taking place and open. You can email the Helpdesk at examshelp@exeter.ac.uk

From Monday 10 January you can telephone the Helpdesk on +44 (0) 1392 72 6800. The Helpdesk is open between 8am - 8pm Monday to Saturday and 8am - 3pm on Sunday.

Our Continuing Commitment to Your Success and the Integrity of Your Degree in 2021/22

Although this year is very different from the last, we have continued to review our policies on, and approaches to, key elements of academic and pastoral student support. In doing so, we have ensured that the framework of ‘safety nets’ put in place going forward is proportionate to the improving circumstances, takes account of the legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic, and continues to support and deliver real benefits to students.

This framework is underpinned by the same commitment we made at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. That was to enable all students to succeed and gain the awards they deserve, whilst maintaining high academic standards and the integrity of their degrees. In making that possible, we have continued to work in partnership with Students’ Union in Cornwall and Students’ Guild in Exeter to ensure that the student voice both informs and guides our decision-making.

The ‘safety nets’ we have put in place for the 2021/22 academic year for all undergraduate and postgraduate taught students include the following:

  • We have introduced a new, more flexible approach to individual mitigation, including opportunities to apply for evidence-free, one week extensions for coursework, as well as evidence-based longer extensions for coursework or deferrals for exams;
  • We have retained the proactive approach to module/assessment scaling developed during 2020/21 for this academic year, ensuring that the overall mark distributions of your modules this year will have parity with those from previous years;
  • We will continue to use the expanded ‘Borderline Zone’, exceptionally applied in the 2020/21 academic year, when determining the most appropriate degree classification for students who undertook study counting towards their degree in the 2020/21 academic year. For all other students, we will apply the ‘Standard Borderline Zone’ in degree classification decisions, as outlined in the FAQs below; and
  • We will ensure that those students who may be entitled to consideration under aspects of the previous emergency policies have the appropriate measures applied when determining their degree outcomes this year.

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provided below for further information and signposting on how these ‘Safety Nets’ will be applied or, where appropriate, how you can apply for them.

It is also vitally important that we know about any individual challenges you are facing, so that we can do what we can to support you this academic year.  We, therefore, strongly encourage you to stay in touch with your Academic Personal Tutor, who can help you to access the right support, if and when you need it.

The advice services of the Students’ Guild and Students’ Union are also able to advise you on the options available to you. You can also talk to Students’ Guild and Students’ Union Student Representatives and Staff Student Liaison Committee (SSLC) members, who are pivotal in representing your views to the University. 

FOR POSTGRADUATES COMPLETING IN JANUARY 2022, PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE POLICY THAT APPLIES TO YOU. ‌‌ ‌

Mitigation

Sometimes when you’re at University things don’t go quite to plan. Our Mitigation Process is here for you if you need it, and can support you through unexpected situations that affect your ability to complete an assessment, or take an examination, such as illness or a family crisis. You may be able to get a short or longer term extension for a coursework assignment, or to take an examination at a later date to help you manage the situation and get back on track.

For the 2021/22 academic year and beyond, we have created a new and more flexible approach to mitigation.

For coursework assignments (not exams), you can add an extension of one week directly within the BART assessment submission system yourself, without providing evidence. This option is available once per assessment. You can use it up to four times over a 12 month period (this is unlimited for students with Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) supporting extensions). You may add an evidence-free extension before, or up to 24 hours after, the submission deadline.

For assignment extensions of longer than one week, or if you’ve used up all your self-certification options on BART, or if your assessment is not set via BART, you will need to provide independent, supporting evidence to support mitigation requests, as was needed prior to COVID-19. The same is true with regard to exam deferral requests. You can find a list of appropriate evidence examples here.

Extensions will be granted in weekly blocks, but please check whether your new deadline falls on a day when the University is closed (e.g. a UK Bank Holiday or University of Exeter Closure Days). You can still submit on those days but there won’t be anyone on hand if you have an issue.

You must still apply for mitigation within 24 hours of your assessment deadline, and you can apply no more than one month in advance. Some assignments aren’t eligible for self-certification because of the practicalities of the course, and/or because they must meet specific requirements (e.g. from professional, legal or regulatory organisations). If you can use self-certification, it will be noted on the BART link for the assignment.

Please read our dedicated Mitigation Webpages for more information. If you have any questions, please contact your Hub/Info Point.

Scaling 

Scaling is the systematic adjustment of a set of marks for a module/assessment by your Programme/Discipline Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee (APAC) in order to ensure that they properly reflect the achievements of the students in meeting the module learning outcomes. Some of the key principals that APACs apply when undertaking scaling are:

  • Scaling should be used only in exceptional circumstances;
  • Scaling should be used to correct instances where student marks do not accurately reflect their achievement and learning outcomes;
  • Scaling should not advantage students, but simply correct any unfair disadvantage or unfair advantage;
  • The action of scaling should be applied equally to all students within the relevant group;
  • Scaling should be applied anonymously; and
  • The application of scaling must not change the rank order of students within a module.

There may be a range of triggers that lead to scaling being considered and undertaken when justified in any given academic year. These might include:

  • The distribution of marks or pattern of marks for a module is highly unusual;
  • A significant difference between a cohort’s performance on a module compared with average performance on other modules taken;
  • The average module performance of students is significantly different to the average of student performance in the same module taken in previous years; or
  • It has been recommended by an External Examiner.

This academic year, there will be a continued focus on identifying and correcting any significant difference between students’ performance in their modules and that of students who completed the same or closely related modules in previous non-COVID-19 impacted academic years i.e. pre-2019/20.

A comprehensive reference data set has been developed covering all undergraduate and postgraduate taught modules that are being undertaken by students during 2021/22. This specifically excludes data from 2019/20 and 2020/21, which were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The reference data set generates two outputs: a historic mean, using three years of data (where these are available), and a composite mean using three years of data from closely related or ‘cognate’ modules. Both are differentiated by the campus on which the module was studied and is weighted for the number of students who undertook a module in a particular year. The composite means provide a ‘back up’ if there is insufficient historic data for an individual module (for example, if it has been running for fewer than two years).

We will apply a robust statistical test to determine if there is a significant difference between 2021/21 module data and that which makes up the reference data set. The outcomes will be reported to APACs and will enable them to identify which modules can be considered for upward scaling and apply the appropriate corrective action.

As identified in the response to question 2.1 above, the action of scaling should be applied to all students within group, sometimes referred to as a ‘cohort’. This can be achieved in a number of ways, for example, by:

  • The addition or subtraction of a fixed number of marks; or
  • The multiplication of all marks by a particular factor (e.g. 1.02 or 0.97).

The same adjustment factor does not necessarily need to be used throughout the entire distribution of marks, as long as care is taken to ensure that the rank order of students is not affected, i.e. no student will be able to ‘leap frog’ the mark of another student as a result of scaling being undertaken.

The decision to scale a module, and by how much, is based on the academic judgement of your APAC, informed by the extensive knowledge and experience of APAC members, including specific past and present knowledge of the modules under consideration. All scaling decisions must be recorded within the minutes of the Programme/Discipline APAC and reported to the College APAC in line with the requirements of Section 7 of the Assessment Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook.

There will not be any indication on your stage transcript as to whether or not a module has been scaled. However, as a result of our robust approach to scaling, students should assume that, where justified, their modules have been scaled to correct any significant deviation from the reference data set.

Expansion of  the ‘Borderline Zone’

Giving more detailed consideration to students who are very close to the border between degree classifications is normal practice in any academic year for Assessment Progression and Awarding Committees (APACs). The usual borderline zone is 2% from a classification boundary, for example, a final credit weighted mark that is equal to or greater than 58% for consideration for a 2:1 or 68% for consideration for a 1st class honours degree. For postgraduate taught degrees, the ‘borderline zone’ is 58% for a merit and 68% for a distinction.

If your final credit weighted mark falls within this ‘borderline zone’ you will be considered for the next level of degree classification provided that least 50% of your stage weighted credits have module marks greater than or equal to 60%, for a 2:1, or 70% for a 1st class honours degree. Similar rules apply to the classification of postgraduate taught degrees. This is also sometimes referred to as ‘preponderance’ i.e. the majority of a student’s marks are in the higher classification.

In 2020/21, the ‘borderline zone’ was expanded by a further 1% to 3% from a classification boundary. For example, if a final credit weighted mark that is equal to or greater than 57% for or 67%, the student could be considered for a 2:1 or a 1st class honours degree respectively. For postgraduate taught degrees, the ‘borderline zone’ was expanded to 57% for a merit and 67% for a distinction. This meant that a larger number of students could fall within the ‘borderline zone’ and have the ‘preponderance’ rules applied.

This measure recognises and mitigates the risk posed by potential variability in academic performance during the 2020/21 academic year. Data modelling has successfully shown a 1% increase will create a positive impact on a significant number of student awards.

For all students who completed credit weighted modules in 2020/21, the University’s APACs will continue to apply the expanded definition of the ‘borderline zone’, introduced in 2020/21, when the final degree classifications are considered. This will ensure that all students who are close to a degree class border are considered in detail.

This will include but is not limited to:

  • Undergraduate students on three year programmes completing in June 2022;
  • Undergraduate students on four year programmes completing in June 2023; and
  • Part time undergraduate and postgraduate taught students who have completed credit weighted modules in 2020/21.

Students to whom this applies will be identified to ensure that the correct information, guidance and recommendations are presented to APACs when their final degree classification is being determined. APACs then have authority to award to each student in this ‘borderline zone’ a higher class of degree where at least 50% of the student’s stage weighted credits lie in the higher degree class.

Application of emergency policy measures for study spanning COVID-19 impacted years

There are some students whose programmes of study will have spanned the COVID-19 impacted academic years, who will be entitled to consideration under some aspects of previous emergency policies and procedures when they reach their final year. This includes policies and procedures associated with: 

For example, if you completed part of an academic stage during 2019/20, you may have a partial benchmark. Benchmarks were calculated based on assessments and examinations completed pre-March 15th 2020 and provided a ‘safety net’ below which a student’s credit-weighted stage mean could not fall. When you complete the relevant academic stage, a firm benchmark will be calculated and your final credit-weighted stage mean for the stage will be the highest of your benchmark or the actual mark you achieve.

For example, if you completed all or part of an academic stage during 2020/21, you may still be entitled to be considered under the expanded ‘Borderline Zone’ in future years, as you complete your programme of study and your final degree classification is determined. See Section 3 above for further information on the application of the expanded ‘Borderline Zone’.

These students will be identified to ensure that the correct information, guidance and recommendations are presented to APACs when their final degree classification is being determined. Please contact your Hub/Info Point in the first instance if you are unsure whether or not this applies to you.

Table of Terms

TermMeaningFurther information
Credit Credit is awarded to a learner on successful completion of a module Teaching Quality Assurance Manual - Definitions
Academic Stage The sub-division of a programme of study into major steps of progression; stages are commonly consistent with academic years. Each stage provides a coherent learning experience and may be recognised with an interim exit award. Normally, modules within a stage will be at the same level, but modules at different levels may be taken within the same stage, as specified in the programme specification. Teaching Quality Assurance Manual - Definitions
APAC Body required to consider every examination for a degree, diploma, certificate or other award of the University of Exeter Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees
ELE Access for all of your course materials. Option 3 extended examinations and coursework assessments will be released from ELE. In-class tests, mid terms and oral examinations will be released from ELE. https://vle.exeter.ac.uk
BART Submission system for Option 1, 2 and 3 examinations, oral examination recordings (mp3 and m4a) and coursework. http://bart.exeter.ac.uk/
Exams ELE The system from which Option 1 and 2 exam papers will be released, and ELE Online Quizzes.

 

1. Examination procedures

The majority of January 2022 examinations will operate online, with some modules running on-campus exams.

Online examinations will usually take one of two online formats, which we refer to as Options:

• Option 1:
An open-book non-invigilated paper that must be completed and submitted within a 24 hour period following the examination start time written on your paper and on your examination timetable.

You can use as much of the available 24 hours as you wish, but we do not expect the paper to take the full 24 hours to complete. An indicative amount of time, and/or a maximum word count(s), will be stipulated in the examination rubric.

Students will need to download, complete, and upload/submit their paper within the specified 24 hour period.

• Option 2:
An open-book non-invigilated examination that must be completed and submitted within a fixed duration during a specified 24 hour period as defined on your paper and on your examination timetable.

As soon as you begin the download of your examination paper it will be time stamped, and the fixed duration of the examination will begin.

The duration will be adjusted, where appropriate, with respect to Individual Learning Plans.

Students are allowed an additional 30 minute window where submission is to BART. If your Option 2 paper must be submitted through BART (not submitted directly within ELE), please ensure you use the 30 minute window at the end of the fixed duration to upload and submit your work, contacting the Assessment Helpdesk should you have any problems during the examination.

Students will need to download, complete, and upload/submit their paper within the fixed duration and the specified 24 hour period.

Take a note of the time you started the paper. It is your responsibility to note the time you access your Option 2 examination paper, and keep track of when you will need to submit.

On-campus examinations will be held for some modules where this is a requirement of the learning outcomes. Examinations are being held on-campus where invigilation is required, and submission formats are difficult to capture online, such as formula-based/graphical exams, practical exams and oral exams.

The majority of on-campus examinations are fixed-time, closed book and set in an invigilated room. For information about arriving to an on-campus exam, conduct in an exam room, and procedure after an on-campus exam, please read section 8 of the Student Handbook for Examinations.

All Option 1 and 2 exam papers will be posted to Exams ELE, a platform for open book remote examinations; this looks and operates in the same way as ELE.

Papers are released from Exams ELE to allow for enhanced security and system stability. We have published the following document on finding your specific examination within Exams ELE: Accessing_exam_on_ELE.

Please review the Student Handbook for Examinations for detailed information on submission.

For Option 1 and 2 examinations (where a pdf assessment paper is downloaded):

You will need to submit your completed examination paper to BART. A technical guide to using BART can be found here. We have made a short video on submitting work to BART, which you can find here.

You won't need to write your student or candidate number on your examination, BART adds this automatically.

If a word count is specified on your examination rubric, you will need to enter your final word count on the BART submission screen. If a word count is not specified, enter zero.

Make sure you don’t write your name anywhere on your answer.

Please be patient, it can take a few minutes for your submission to upload to BART. If there are any issues with the system which could be affecting your ability to submit we will let you know by email on the day of your examination.

When you submit your completed examination paper to BART, you will receive a receipt notification to your University email address. This can take a few minutes to arrive. Please also check your SPAM folder if necessary.

After you submit your completed examination, double-check that you have submitted the correct document You can check if your submission has uploaded successfully to BART: details are in the Student Handbook for Examinations. If you’re still unsure, please contact your Hub team, who can check your submission for you.

For Option 1 and 2 papers, ELE timestamps the start of your examination and BART records the finish time.

For ELE Timed Quizzes – Option 2 (where the assessment is answered within ELE):

Your answers will automatically be recorded and submitted when you select ‘finish attempt’ on the quiz. This will end your quiz and send your answers for marking. Keep an eye on the time, if you go over the allocated time the quiz will close itself and submit your answers up to that point.

For all online examinations

Students who are encountering upload issues during their examination should contact the Assessment Helpdesk before their deadline has passed, and to ensure that the issue has been logged.

Students undertaking online Modern Foreign Languages and Foreign Language Centre Oral Exams should read the guidance on recording audio files as well as the Oral Examinations Process Guidance.

In a small number of cases your assessment submission method may be different from BART. If this is the case, you will receive direct guidance from your College.

You do not need to submit your paper to Turnitin for online examinations (Option 1 and 2 papers). Your paper will automatically be uploaded to Turnitin for a plagiarism/originality assessment.

Online examination will usually take one of two forms and be timed accordingly:

• Option 1:
An open-book non-invigilated paper that must be completed and submitted within a 24 hour period following the examination start time written on your paper and on your examination timetable.

You can use as much of the available 24 hours as you wish, but we do not expect the paper to take the full 24 hours to complete. An indicative amount of time, and/or a maximum word count(s), will be stipulated in the examination rubric.

Students will need to download, complete, and upload/submit their paper within the specified 24 hour period.

• Option 2:
An open-book non-invigilated examination that must be completed and submitted within a fixed duration during a specified 24 hour period as defined on your paper and on your examination timetable.

As soon as you begin the download of your examination paper it will be time stamped, and the fixed duration of the examination will begin.

The duration will be adjusted, where appropriate, with respect to Individual Learning Plans.

Students are allowed an additional 30 minute window where submission is to BART. If your Option 2 paper must be submitted through BART (not submitted directly within ELE), please ensure you use the 30 minute window at the end of the fixed duration to upload and submit your work, contacting the Assessment Helpdesk should you have any problems during the examination.

Students will need to download, complete, and upload/submit their paper within the fixed duration and the specified 24 hour period.

Take a note of the time you started the paper. It is your responsibility to note the time you access your Option 2 examination paper, and keep track of when you will need to submit.

All option 1 and 2 examinations will be offered in a 24 hour period – either of no fixed duration, or a fixed duration. This will allow you to complete the exams at a suitable time, wherever you may be. The 24 hour period exists to allow all students to engage with the assessment no matter in which time zone you are living. There is no expectation that these assessments should take longer than ‘normal’ examinations.

We aim to make to make appropriate adjustments for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students who are eligible for additional specific provisions during examinations or assessments in accordance with their Individual Learning Plan (ILP). Please see question 1.8 below for details of arrangements made for students who normally receive extra time or rest breaks.

If you wish to discuss your ILP and your ability to complete the January exams please contact us before 5pm on Monday 9 November 2021 GMT in order for any adjustments to be considered.

Exeter based students should contact Wellbeing@exeter.ac.uk for any queries related to a mental health condition, and contact Accessability@exeter.ac.uk for any queries related to any other disability or health condition.

Students based in Penryn should contact Accessibility@fxplus.ac.uk.

• For Option 1 examinations which are taken within a 24 hour time period with no fixed duration, students can take as long as they require within this 24 hour period to complete the examination. The expectation is that such papers will take approximately the same length of time as the originally-planned examinations, and thus the 24 hour time period allows for any extra time or rest breaks students would have previously taken in an invigilated exam on campus.

• If you are undertaking an Option 2 (fixed duration) examination and have an ILP requiring extra time then you can use this ILP Information table to calculate how much extra time you will be provided. You can find details of your ILP via the Student Record System here. You will also be emailed within seven working days of the timetable release with confirmation of your total writing time.

If you have been allocated any examinations falling under Option 2 (fixed duration) to be submitted to BART, please note that you will be allocated an additional 30 minutes on top of the examination duration to support you to complete the submission process should you experience any technical difficulties. This is also in addition to any timed adjustments based on Individual Learning Plans.

For on-campus exams, any extra time will be included in the duration(s) shown on your exam timetable and where appropriate, will be rounded up to the nearest 5 minutes in the exam room. Timed breaks are not included in any noted duration. If you have specific marking guidelines as part of your ILP, you must attach a sticker to your exam script. Please pick up these stickers from your Hub Info point.

Late submissions

Option 1 examinations are to be completed and submitted within a 24 hour time window. Option 2 papers are to be completed and submitted within a ‘total fixed duration’ within a 24 hour period.

Late penalties for option 1 examinations undertaken within a 24 hour window are as follows:

Examination TypeReduce mark by 5%Cap at pass mark Award mark of 0%
Option 1 Up to 59 minutes and 59 seconds late 1 hour to up to 47 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds late More than 48 hours late

Submissions exceeding the total fixed duration for an examination:

For option 2 papers, it will be stipulated how much time you have to complete your paper from the moment you select the relevant link within ELE and start your examination. In addition to this specified ‘examination time’, you will also be given:

• 30 minutes of ‘technical upload time’ in which to convert your document (along with any drawings / graphs) into the correct file format (usually pdf) and submit it; and, only where applicable,
• any extra time required as a result of recommendations contained within your Individual Learning Plan (ILP).

The ‘total fixed duration’ = (i) your examination time + (ii) your technical upload time + (iii) extra time required as per an ILP (only where applicable).

The download of your examination paper and upload of your completed work within this ‘total fixed duration’ will be monitored. Students that have exceeded this total fixed duration will be penalised as follows:

Examination TypeReduce mark by 5%Cap at pass markAward mark of 0%
Option 2 Submissions that exceed the ‘total fixed duration’ by up to 14 minutes and 59 seconds late Submissions that exceed the ‘total fixed duration’ by 15 minutes to up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds late Submissions that exceed the ‘total fixed duration’ by more than 30 minutes late

Where a student submits within the total fixed duration for their examination, but after the end of the 24 hour window, then the following penalties will apply:

Examination TypeReduce mark by 5%Cap at pass mark
Option 2 Up to 59 minutes and 59 seconds late More than 1 hour late

When is work late?

Option 1 – work submitted more than 24 hours after the examination paper release time will be marked as late, and penalties will be applied.

Option 2 - work submitted after the ‘total fixed duration’ available to complete and submit the examination will be marked as late. The total fixed duration for option 2 papers consists of: (i) the examination time (as specified on your paper); (ii) the technical upload time; and, only where applicable, (iii) the additional time conferred by a students’ ILP. OR work submitted within the ‘total fixed duration’ but more than 24 hours after the examination paper release time. You should therefore make sure that you start the paper in plenty of time.

You can resubmit papers to BART within the timeframe of an examination. Please see the Technical Handbook on submitting to BART for guidance on how to resubmit your paper.

For additional assistance contact the Assessment Helpdesk.

Where possible all students should complete their work on a computer or laptop unless they have a specific reason not to. Some modules may require you to handwrite parts of your exam; in this instance please refer to your individual discipline guidance for more information. If you must handwrite all (or parts) of your assessment we recommend you scan or photograph your work using a mobile phone. The image must show your work as flat as possible and in good light, with no shadows overhead.

There are mobile applications which can help you do this, but the simplest method is to photograph your work using your phone camera. Hold your phone over your work and make sure that all of it is in the image. You may find it useful to have the flash turned on. Ensure that the content is in focus.

You can’t submit photos separately in BART, you need to insert photos of your handwritten work on to one document with your answers, in the correct order for the marker, and then convert it to a pdf. If you have an iPhone you can scan documents directly into the Notes app and then copy them into your work – further information is available on the Apple support site.

If you need to handwrite all or parts of your assessment, please make sure you’ve tested scanning or photographing and uploading your work, and have the tools for this, in advance of your examination. Information on converting documents to pdf is available in the BART manual here.

In the event that you hand write your answers for an examination, it is your responsibility to provide a script that is clearly legible. Candidates who submit scripts which examiners are unable to read will be invited to produce a word-processed transcript. This transcript must be a true copy of the original. If any embellishments are found, this will be treated as suspected academic misconduct following guidance under Chapter 12 – Academic Conduct and Practice.

If an answer sheet is provided on the examination, you can choose to handwrite your answers on separate paper but make sure you clearly label which question you are answering.

If you experience IT issues during your exam, you must contact the Assessment Helpdesk, so they can log that the issue has occurred and give you urgent assistance. You can email the Helpdesk on examshelp@exeter.ac.uk

Mid-term exams

From Monday 18 October you can telephone the Helpdesk on +44 (0) 1392 72 6800. The Helpdesk is open between 9am – 6pm on the days where Mid-term exams are running.

January exams

From Monday 10 January you can telephone the Helpdesk on +44 (0) 1392 72 6800. The Helpdesk is open between 8am - 8pm Monday to Saturday and 8am - 12:30pm on Sunday.

If you experience IT issues (including internet problems) that prevent you from successfully completing your examination, you can also apply for mitigation once you have contacted the Assessment Helpdesk. Be aware that the only mitigation offered on examinations is deferral to the next available assessment period, for January this will be August 2022.

You should complete the online mitigation form within one working day of the affected assessment submission date.

Illness/Disruption during an exam

If you feel ill during an exam you should inform an invigilator immediately. Similarly, any other form of distraction, e.g. excessive noise causing an adverse effect on your performance should also be reported at the time of occurrence.

Exam paper queries

Should you feel the need to raise a query concerning the content of an exam paper, you must first raise your hand to obtain an invigilator’s attention.

Unfortunately it is not always possible to schedule different exams on separate days; this is because of the wide range of modules we offer at the University. Students normally have more than one exam per day, the January 2022 examination period is no different.  If you have more than one exam scheduled in a day, it is essential that you plan your timings in advance, so you have time to complete the exams with sufficient breaks and rest periods.

2. Marking your examinations

Students can access their books and notes during an ‘open book’ exam and no invigilation is possible. No one will be marked more generously or harshly as a result of the changes to delivery. All marking will continue to comply with the University’s rigorous marking and moderation procedures that are externally scrutinised.

All examinations will be marked in accordance with published assessment criteria (or equivalent criteria to reflect new assessment formats), to ensure we uphold the standard of our degrees. University Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees (APACs) will then scrutinise all of the results, both at the level of modules and individual students, to assess the impact of the extraordinary and challenging circumstances in which you have undertaken your examinations and assessments.

At the end of the January examination and assessment period, all results are scrutinised at the level of each module and of each individual student at the University’s Assessment Progression and Awarding Committees (APACs). Throughout this process, our aim is to ensure the fairness and integrity of the Exeter award, as well as to support our students through this difficult situation in a way that allows them to progress or be awarded.

Academic honesty is fundamental to the values promoted by the University and no student should be allowed to obtain for themselves, or for someone else, an unfair advantage as a result of academic dishonesty - whether this is by plagiarism, collusion with another, cheating, or other means. Students are expected to do their own work and abide by the University’s Code of Academic Conduct and Practice. In the process of submitting any examination paper, students will be asked to declare their acknowledgement of, and compliance with, this code.

These assessments will be subject to our normal processes for the detection of plagiarism, such as the use of plagiarism detection software. We are aware, however, that remote examinations (open book and online timed assessments) present the potential for an increase in academic misconduct, particularly around authorship issues. Due to this, the University has introduced a viva process to support academic staff in marking assignments where they have concerns over the authorship or originality of the work.

The primary purpose of the viva voce is to ascertain whether the work submitted by a student is based on their knowledge. This is achieved by assessing the student’s understanding of the submission, and their ability to explain and justify its contents using their knowledge of the subject, by way of a video interview as part of the moderation process. If there are any concerns about a submission, students will be notified and invited to attend a viva.

All examinations and assessment marks are subject to internal moderation, external examination and confirmation by Assessment Progression and Awarding Committees (APACs). Until all of these verification process have been completed, examination and assessment marks are deemed to be PROVISIONAL. In non-Exceptional Years, marks may be adjusted following internal moderation, in response to External Examiner recommendation and by the application of scaling by APACs. In this Exceptional Year, with the introduction of additional policies and procedures under the No Disadvantage Guarantee, you may also see changes in marks as a result of:

  • Your application for Exceptional Circumstances; and/or
  • The implementation of the University’s commitment to upward scaling.

In addition, you may see that you have been awarded a different classification to that anticipated as a result of:

  • The expansion of the borderline zone for the application of preponderance rules in respect of degree classifications; or
  • The power of APACs to adjust the degree classification of individual students, who have experienced Exceptional Circumstances, where they are close to the borderline and there is evidence of them being impacted across their programme of study.

You can find more information on how these policies might affect your marks, module grades and/or degree classification in the FAQs relating to specific aspects of the No Disadvantage Guarantee.

3. Mitigation (deferrals and extensions)

You can apply to defer an examination should you be unwell, experiencing significant personal circumstances that prevent you from completing assessments, or experience IT or technical issues during an examination (including ELE Timed Quizzes in the January assessment period).

Please note extensions are not offered for examinations. To find out about how to apply for a deferral, and whether or not a deferral is the right option for you, view the information on our Mitigation webpages.

Deferred January assessments need to be completed at the next available assessment opportunity - for examinations this is usually August 2022. 

You can find out about the University Mitigation procedures on these webpages.

We ask you to carefully consider any decision to apply for mitigation. Students can seek impartial and confidential advice from the Students’ Guild (Exeter) and Students’ Union (Cornwall).

Any student can apply for mitigation or deferral should you experience technical issues or IT failure during an examination. Requests must be received either before the examination or within one working day of sitting.

Online exams

You will still need to apply for mitigation if you are unable to complete an assessment while self-isolating; an extension or deferral won't be automatically granted. Please be aware self-isolation alone is not a reason for mitigation. You can find more information and valid examples of mitigating circumstances here.

On-campus

If you are unwell or self-isolating on the day of your on-campus examination, please inform your Hub Info point, who can advise on mitigation procedures.

4. Student Support

In line with the current social distancing regulations, we are now running a booking system for on campus study spaces. To book a study space, please visit our Coming to Campus webpages.

To support you as you prepare for the exams there’s lots of guidance available via the Study Zone

You can also book a 1:1 appointment with a Study Skills Adviser if you require further help with your studies or revision.

We have published a Student Handbook for Online Exams, which we advise all students read before the exam period.

The Assessment Helpdesk will be available to offer students support during examinations on things such as submission difficulties, clarification questions on paper content, problems with locating papers or students experiencing IT issues.

During live examinations you can contact the Helpdesk on examshelp@exeter.ac.uk or by telephoning +44 (0) 1392 72 6800 

If you have queries about your dissertation or coursework items, please speak to your relevant Hub Info point.

The Assessment Helpdesk is run by a support team able to respond to queries on all online Option 1 and 2 examinations whilst they are taking place and open. You can email the Helpdesk on examshelp@exeter.ac.uk

Mid-term exams

From Monday 18 October you can telephone the Helpdesk on +44 (0) 1392 72 6800. The Helpdesk is open between 9am – 6pm on the days where Mid-term exams are running.

January exams

From Monday 10 January you can telephone the Helpdesk on +44 (0) 1392 72 6800. The Helpdesk is open between 8am - 8pm Monday to Saturday and 8am - 12:30pm on Sunday.

The Helpdesk can advise on queries about the examination question or rubric, as well as IT-related queries during your examination, liaising directly with the IT Helpdesk if necessary. They will also log that you have experienced an issue during an examination should you need further assistance.

This Helpdesk is only available for students taking current online exams. If your exam is sitting on-campus and you have any queries or concerns, please contact your Hub Info Point.

If you have a question concerning the content of an exam paper during an on-campus exam, you should raise your hand to obtain an invigilator's attention; they will then liaise with the Exams Office, who will ensure your query is addressed.

If bringing your own computer to University is financially difficult, you can apply for funds to buy computer equipment through the University's Success for All Fund. If you are disabled and need help to buy specialist equipment, we may also be able to help. You can find out more and apply on our website. You should investigate these routes of assistance well in advance of the examinations week.

We will make sure you have access to any specialist software you need for your studies virtually.

Website Privacy Policy

The University of Exeter recognises the importance of protecting personal privacy. Whenever personal data is collected via your use of this website, that information will only be used in accordance with the University’s privacy policy and relevant legislation. The University may occasionally amend this policy by updating this page. You should revisit the page from time to time to review any amendments.

The information we collect and how it is used

We will ask you to provide personal information to enable us to provide a specific service that you have requested, in this case, the consideration of an application for Exceptional Circumstances. All personal data collected in this way will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and will only be used for this purpose. The information you provide is confidential and will only be shared with a limited group of University staff who are directly involved in the Exceptional Circumstances process. This does not include members of your APAC or External Examiners who will consider anonymised grades and grade profiles only. You may view the University’s full Website Privacy Policy online.