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Frequently asked questions - Examinations, Assessments, Progression and Awarding

FAQs

FAQs

FAQs

FAQs

FAQs

FAQs

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.

You can view your examination timetable at mytimetable.exeter.ac.uk.

Frequently asked questions

The frequently asked questions are arranged in the following themes:

The No-Disadvantage GuaranteeExam and Assessment Procedures and Marking | Mitigation (Deferrals and Extensions) | Student Support | The No Detriment Policy | Understanding Your Results 

The 2020/21 No-Disadvantage Guarantee 

In consultation with the Students’ Guild, Students’ Union and student representatives, the University has put into place additional measures to protect academic outcomes in the 2020/21 academic year, this is your no-disadvantage guarantee.

These additional measures are as follows:

• A positive commitment to upward scaling

For all year groups, the Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees (APAC) in each department will take a consistent approach, using data to compare the average marks for students across their programme, as well as comparing the distribution of marks achieved for each module this year with the equivalent results from previous years. They will then apply appropriate adjustments to correct any significant downward deviation. For example, should a module show a distribution of student attainment significantly below that of previous year groups, the APAC will scale the cohort results to bring them into line with the attainment in years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Where a module has been run for the first time in 2020/21, a cognate module(s) will be used for the comparison.
Only in exceptional cases, with senior authorisation, will APACs be permitted to deviate from the commitment above. In any such circumstance, they will be required to explain explicitly to students why scaling cannot be justified.

Note: Professional or regulatory requirements mean that specific modules require a particular standard to be attained and so scaling is not permissible.

• Additional individual adjustments

We know that some students will have personal circumstances that mean they require additional support. We will support you through a range of measures which, together, create a safety-net for individual students. These include:

  • The option to apply for mitigation, enabling you to defer assessments, or apply for coursework extensions, without the need to provide evidence
  • The revision of our policies on appeals, to reduce the burden of evidence required. To read more about the revision of these policies please visit FAQ ‘what are the revisions to the student academic appeals policy this year?
  • Further empowering departmental exam boards to take decisions and make adjustments, where justified, to account of the circumstances of individual students, recognising the particular challenges of this year

• Expanding our definition of the ‘borderline zone’ for classification

For finalists and taught postgraduates entering the job market or applying for further study this year, we will ensure students close to a degree class border are considered in detail. APACs will have the authority to award each student in this borderline zone a higher class of degree, where at least half the student’s weighted credits lie in the higher class. The definition of the ‘borderline zone’ will be expanded, ensuring that all students who are close to a degree class border are considered in detail, with a greater range of final weighted marks being considered for preponderance than in previous years. Students resitting or deferring final year assessments from 2020/21 to 2021/22 will also be considered under the revised definition. We are discussing the final detail of this safety net and will update you with exact specifications as soon as possible.

We will share more details of the arrangements in place and the support available soon; this will include information on how we will define borderline zones as described above.

Useful Webpages

Full information on the APAC is published within the TQA manual at https://as.exeter.ac.uk/academic-policy-standards/tqa-manual/aph/assessmentprogression/

The current rules for classification of Exeter awards can be found at: http://as.exeter.ac.uk/academic-policy-standards/tqa-manual/aph/classification/

The Academic Appeal Procedure is available at: Procedures Relating to Student Academic Appeals - Calendar - University of Exeter and further information on student academic appeals is available at: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/students/administration/complaintsandappeals/academicappeals/

Further information on mitigation can be found at https://www.exeter.ac.uk/students/infopoints/yourinfopointservices/mitigation/mitifaq/

Our no-disadvantage guarantee protects your outcomes, it ensures that attainment this year will be comparable with that achieved by previous year groups - including those not impacted by the pandemic - by utilising a positive commitment to upward scaling (where marks across the module are identified as impacted compared to previous years) at departmental Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee (APAC) level. Each department will take a consistent approach and will compare average marks, and the distribution of marks, achieved by each year group this year with the equivalent marks from previous years. They will then apply appropriate adjustments to correct any significant downward deviation.

In addition, individual adjustments at student level will be, or have been, introduced, such as:

  • The option to apply for mitigation, enabling you to defer assessments or extend coursework deadlines, without the need to provide evidence
  • Increasing the length of the August assessment period, ensuring students can spread their deferrals and referrals over a period longer than the currently specified one week
  • The revision of our policies on appeals, to reduce the burden of evidence required.
  • Further empowering departmental APACs to take decisions and make adjustments - where justified - to account for the circumstances of individual students, recognising the particular challenges of this year, such as:
    • Setting aside an assessment mark or module mark when considering progression, classification or condonement
    • Substituting a proxy mark for an affected assessment where there is sufficient evidence of a student’s performance in other examination/assignments
    • Applying retrospective mitigation in the form of deferral (uncapped reassessment)
    • Using viva voce examinations (where necessary) to determine which (if any) of the above outcomes to apply

Note; the use of a proxy mark may be prohibited for degrees with professional qualifying status.

We are protecting the integrity of your degree by maintaining our high academic standards and introducing a suite of measures to account for any possible additional impact resulting from COVID-19; you will be well-placed to compete in the employment market, or in applications for further study, on an equal footing with other graduates, from this year and any other year.

Supporting you and ensuring that you are treated fairly with respect to your peers and previous and future generations of students, while also recognising the particular circumstances in which you are studying, is central to well-established and rigorous policies that the University has in place.

Although the pandemic continues to disrupt our lives, the conditions at the start of the 2020/21 academic year are different from those in spring 2020 in which we were faced with the immediate emergency of the pandemic’s escalation and the imposition of a sudden and unprecedented lockdown.

The main difference between last year and this year is that this year we are unable to create a benchmark for each student. The benchmark is what provided the ‘safety net’ for individuals in last year’s No Detriment Policy. Each benchmark was calculated using the record of achievement for each student during that year of study prior to the escalation of the pandemic. We do not have such a pre-pandemic record of achievement for each student in the current year of study. We cannot create a benchmark now for the whole year based on last year’s performance alone - or based on qualifications obtained outside Exeter (1st years and postgraduates with no University of Exeter record of achievement), because that would risk undermining our academic standards and the value of our degrees.

However, a key consistency is our commitment to Success for All Our Students. While it is not possible to implement the No Detriment Policy of last year, our well-established core policies and processes will provide you with similar protection, both as a whole cohort and individually, as well as the range of measures outlined as part of our no-disadvantage guarantee introduced for the 2020/21 academic year. This approach is in line with the Russell Group, who released the joint statement on No Detriment on 7 January 2021.

Our students do not sit public examinations overseen by external examining bodies. Our students complete examinations and assessments set by their university lecturers, approved using long standing, rigorous scrutiny measures and external examiners within the appropriate academic field. Our assessments are proceeding as normal in the sense that the lecturers who teach courses are setting assessments, and then marking the students’ work to assess achievement of the module’s intended learning outcomes.

With A Levels, students were not able to sit their public examinations, and an algorithm based on teacher assessments was used to generate a proxy mark for those external assessments. We do not need to generate and use proxy marks across the cohort - we can use actual attainment. However, we won’t simply award students the marks that result from assessments without rigorously scrutinising their validity and applying scaling wherever we need to in order to ensure they properly reflect the achievements of the students in meeting the intended learning outcomes (ILOs) and taking into account the circumstances in which the module was completed.

At the University we appreciate that each student faces an individual set of circumstances, with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting each student differently.
We have committed to supporting students by introducing a range of additional individual adjustments for this academic year. These include:

  • The option to apply for mitigation, enabling you to defer assessments or extend coursework deadlines, without the need to provide evidence
  • Increasing the length of the August assessment period, allowing students to complete their deferrals and referrals over a period longer than the currently specified one week
  • The revision of our policies on appeals, to reduce the burden of evidence required
  • Further empowering departmental Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees (APACs) to take decisions and make adjustments - where justified - to account for the circumstances of individual students, recognising the particular challenges of this year, such as:
    • Setting aside an assessment mark or module mark when considering progression, classification or condonement
    • Substituting a proxy mark for an affected assessment where there is sufficient evidence of a student’s performance in other examination/assignments Applying retrospective mitigation in the form of deferral (uncapped reassessment)
    • Using viva voce examinations (where necessary) to determine which (if any) of the above outcomes to apply

Note; the use of a proxy mark may be prohibited for degrees with professional qualifying status.

The University APACs take place twice yearly, one is held in June after the May examination period, and another in September - after the August assessment period.

We will provide further detail to explain these powers as soon as we are able, and the circumstances in which an APAC would be justified in invoking these new powers.

We recognise that where a student has experienced health and/or wellbeing issues, the current requirement that a student provides evidence from a healthcare professional that they were not only ill, but also unable to engage in the mitigation procedures at the time they were impacted, can be difficult to evidence.

Therefore, in this exceptional year, the following adjustments will apply:

In circumstances where a student has been unable to engage with the mitigation process at the time they were impacted, rather than the current requirement of evidence from a health professional that a student was unable to engage in the mitigation procedure at the time, this will be adjusted to ‘the provision of evidence that the student was ill or receiving treatment from a healthcare professional at the time they were impacted’.

In circumstances where a student states in an appeal that they were too unwell to sit their referred/deferred exams in August, students will automatically be given a second attempt at the deferred/referred assessment(s). This will not require medical evidence. It must be noted that such an outcome would impact a student’s progression.

Where a student is being put forward by the APAC for referral in an assessment, and they provide evidence from a health professional that they were ill at the time of the original submission, consideration will be more readily given than at present to lifting the cap on that reassessment.

The Academic Appeal Procedure is available at: Procedures Relating to Student Academic Appeals - Calendar - University of Exeter and further information on student academic appeals is available at: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/students/administration/complaintsandappeals/academicappeals/

Students completing deferred assessments in the academic year 2020/21 will have the education commitment measures (safety nets) applied during the September Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees (APACs), provided all assessments are completed during the August assessment period.

This means that:

  • The positive commitment to upward scaling (where marks across the module are identified as impacted compared to previous years) will be undertaken after August assessments have been completed. Each department will take a consistent approach and will compare average marks, and the distribution of marks, achieved by each year group this year with the equivalent marks from previous years. They will then apply appropriate adjustments to correct any significant downward deviation.
  • • Finalists and taught postgraduate students entering the job market or applying for further study this year, will be eligible for an additional safety-net on their final classification. The definition of the ‘borderline zone’ will be expanded, ensuring that all students who are close to a degree class border are considered in detail, with a greater range of final weighted marks being considered for preponderance than in previous years. This is effective because APACs have authority to award each student in a borderline zone a higher class of degree - where at least half the student’s weighted credits lie in the higher class. Students resitting or deferring final year assessments from 2020/21 to 2021/22 will also be considered under the revised definition. We are discussing the final detail of this safety net and will update you with exact specifications as soon as possible.

In response to feedback from students we have recognised the need for increased guidance on:

  • The Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees
  • The Student Academic Appeals Process
  • Mitigation, including the long-term impact of deferrals

To this end, the Student Communications team have started a project with the following aims:

  • To raise awareness of the support available and how to access it
  • To make sure information is as clear as possible and well signposted
  • To help to explain how things work and what they’re for – such as APACs and mitigation

We will utilise a range of platforms including social media, University Updates newsletters, website, podcasts etc. It is anticipated that the guidance documents and communication tools will be available from March onwards.

Throughout the process by which we made the decisions outlined above, we have liaised closely with the Students’ Guild, the Students’ Union, the Students for Academic Mitigation group, as well as a number of course representatives from all campuses and other Russell Group Universities. We have developed our policies alongside ongoing discussion and taking into account direct feedback.

If you are concerned about the additional measures that have been put in place, please liaise with your Academic Personal Tutor in the first instance.

For finalists and taught postgraduate students entering the job market or applying for further study, the definition of the ‘borderline zone’ for preponderance will be expanded, ensuring that all students who are close to a degree class border are considered in detail. This policy is only for the current finalists and PGTs, and there is no current intention to roll out in the future. This will be reviewed at the end of the academic year as we better understand the impact the pandemic has had on student performance (if any), as we understand more about the progress of the pandemic, and the roll out of the vaccine.

For all year groups, including second years, we will ensure a commitment to scaling, where marks across the module are identified as impacted compared to previous years. Scaling will be undertaken after June assessments have been completed. Each department will take a consistent approach and will compare average marks, and the distribution of marks achieved by each year group this year with the equivalent marks from previous years. They will then apply appropriate adjustments to correct any significant downward deviation.

This safety net means that your year group will suffer no detriment when compared to those who came before you, and those who will follow.

We will do everything we can to make the case to professional bodies to be as accommodating as possible under these circumstances.

In some circumstances we may not be permitted to apply the additional measures to programmes subject to professional, statutory or regulatory requirements, because of the standards of professional competency that must be evidenced, for example the weighting and completion of core modules and assessments. Please note: Professional or regulatory requirements mean that specific modules require a particular standard to be attained and so scaling is not permissible.

Colleges responsible for programmes subject to professional, statutory or regulatory requirements will be in touch with students directly in due course.

Students on postgraduate taught programmes in the academic year 2020/21 will have the education commitment measures applied during the Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee (APAC) that is considering their complete body of work. Depending on when you started your programme (October or January) and when you hand in your final piece of work, this will take place either in the September APAC or the June APAC.

This means that:

  • The positive commitment to scaling (where marks across the module are identified as impacted compared to previous years) will be undertaken. Each department will take a consistent approach and will compare average marks, and the distribution of marks, achieved by each year group this year with the equivalent marks from previous years. They will then apply appropriate adjustments to correct any significant downward deviation.
  • Taught postgraduate students entering the job market or applying for further study this year, will be eligible for an additional safety-net on their final classification. The definition of the ‘borderline zone’ will be expanded, ensuring that all students close to a degree class border are considered in detail, with a greater range of final weighted marks being considered for preponderance than in previous years. This is effective because APACs have authority to award each student in a borderline zone a higher class of degree - where at least half the student’s weighted credits lie in the higher class. We are discussing the final detail of this safety net and will update you with exact specifications as soon as possible.

We are committed to ensuring students on all Exeter awards are not disadvantaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. The University is undertaking discussion on the application of the additional measures and safety net for students with a year abroad or placement, and will be communicating further detail as soon as possible.

Throughout the development of our additional adjustments for the 2020/21 academic year we have had continued discussions with other Russell Group Universities, to ensure continued high academic standards, fairness for our students and equality across the sector.

We anticipate other Universities in the sector will be announcing a similar and comparable campaign of measures in due course, in line with the joint statement released by the Russell Group on 7 January.

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 for January exams. https://exams.exeter.ac.uk

1. Examination procedures

Almost all of our examinations and assessments will now be delivered online. The January examinations will take one of three 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.

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.

• Option 3:
An extended examination to be taken over a maximum of two weeks. Option 3 extended examinations are designed to be manageable alongside other time pressures, including other assessments.

Option 3 extended examinations will be released to students on Monday 4th January 2021 and will have a submission deadline no later than Monday 18th January 2021.

 

All Option 1 and 2 exam papers will be posted to Exams ELE, a platform for open book remote examinations. You can find Exams ELE here or by typing https://exams.exeter.ac.uk into your browser. This platform looks and operates in the same way as ELE. We release the papers from Exams ELE for enhanced security and system stability. We have published the following document on finding your specific examination within Exams ELE: Accessing_exam_on_ELE.

Option 3 extended examinations will be released on ELE, which you can find here. You can also access your course and revision materials on ELE. 

We have published a Student Handbook for Online Examinations with detailed information on submission.

For Option 1, 2 and 3 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.

You can check if your submission has uploaded successfully to BART: details are in the Student Handbook for Online 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 Online 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 examinations

Students who are encountering upload issues during their examination should contact the Assessment Helpdesk to receive guidance and assistance before their deadline has passed, and to ensure that the issue has been logged. We will post the contact details for the Assessment Helpdesk closer to the January examinations period.

Students undertaking 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 the January online examinations (Option 1, 2 and 3 papers). Your paper will automatically be uploaded to Turnitin for a plagiarism/originality assessment.

All of our assessments will now be delivered online or remotely, your examination will take one of three 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.

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.

• Option 3:
An extended examination to be taken over a maximum of two weeks. Option 3 extended examinations are designed to be manageable alongside other time pressures, including other assessments.

Option 3 extended examinations will be released to students on Monday 4th January 2021 and will have a submission deadline no later than Monday 18th January 2021.

Please be aware, during the January assessment period you will not be able to apply for an extension to an option 3 extended examination. This is because option 3 assessments are still to be treated as examinations, and therefore students will have to apply to defer should they not be able to complete the assessment in the allocated weeks.

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.

Option 3 examinations are taken over usually a two week period.

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 9th November 2020 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 Option 3 extended examination alternatives, no extra time or extensions will be granted. Students will usually be advised to apply for a deferral should they be unable to complete the assessment, further information can be found on the Mitigation webpages.

We will work closely with the Wellbeing Service, Disability Advisors and students on a one-to-one basis to consider any challenges arising from the change in delivery of assessments.

If you have any queries or concerns about your adjustments for the upcoming January assessment period, you will need to make contact with the relevant service by no later than 5pm on Monday 9th November 2020 GMT in order for any additional 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.

Where circumstances still prevent you from undertaking your examinations, you have the option to request a deferral.

The following late submission regulations have been adopted for the 2020/21 January assessment period, to reflect the online delivery of examinations.

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, and option 3 coursework assessments undertaken over longer time frames within the examination period 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
Option 3 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.

Option 3 - work is late where is has not been uploaded by the deadline, as is the case with coursework.

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, we will post their contact details closer to the January examination period, when they will reopen.

Students are permitted to hand write their exams, you will need a smartphone camera, digital camera or equivalent device to scan or photograph your handwritten work and then insert it into a PDF to submit to BART - full guidance is in the Student Handbook for Online Examinations. 

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

The Helpdesk is open between 8am - 8pm GMT Monday to Saturday and 8am - 1:30pm GMT 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 for examinations is deferral to the next available assessment period, for January examinations this is usually August.

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

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 2021 examination period is no different; however this year you will have more flexibility as you are free to start your exam at any point during the 24 hour period as long as you submit by the specified time.  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 May 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.

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 Online 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 2021.

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.

You will still need to apply for mitigation if you are ill 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.

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.

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

The Helpdesk is open between 8am - 8pm GMT Monday to Saturday and 8am - 1:30pm GMT on Sunday.

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 Option 1 and 2 examinations whilst they are taking place and open.

The Assessment Helpdesk can be contacted by email on examshelp@exeter.ac.uk and by telephoning +44 (0) 1392 72 6800

If you have enquiries about any non-examination assessments please speak to your relevant Hub Info Point.

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.

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 during Term 1 before January examinations week.

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

 The Assessment Helpdesk will be available to offer students support during February in class tests with matters such as submission difficulties, clarification questions on test content, problems with locating assessments or IT issues.

You can contact the Helpdesk by telephoning +44 (0) 1392 72 6800. Please don’t contact the Helpdesk by email during this time.

The Helpdesk will be open on Monday 1 February and Tuesday 2 February from 8am to 8pm, and on Wednesday 3 February from 8am to 12.30pm.

5. The 2019/20 No Detriment Policy

In the 2019/20 academic year, the University introduced the No Detriment Policy (.pdf). This policy included all assessments submitted in the 19/20 academic year, including referred or deferred assessments and postgraduate dissertations.

We have published the No Detriment Policy in full online, here. You will see that this was a complex policy, which took time to develop and is not always simple to explain, but we have published it in full to give you transparency on how we calculated your benchmark, and how the policy was used as the basis of a ‘safety net’, for assessments relating to the 2019/20 academic year.

The benchmark calculation looked at academic stage marks achieved before 15th March 2020, when the coronavirus caused disruption to all of us.

Please note that some programmes are subject to professional, statutory or regulatory body requirements, and therefore were not permitted to apply the no detriment policy. If this is the case students will be communicated with separately by their respective College.

The No Detriment Policy may seem complex (although at its heart it is fairly simple) and, therefore, we want to provide you with some hypothetical examples to illustrate how it worked. Please note, this policy is only relevant to assessments that took place in the 2019/20 academic year.

These are some undergraduate examples for a typical 3 year programme in which the final year mark has a weighting of 2 and the second year a weighting of 1 in the degree classification calculation.

Results ProgrammeWhat the benchmark means for you

Finalists

I have got consistent 2.1 marks in my second year and final year UG three year programme in which the final year mark has a weighting of 2 and the second year a weighting of 1 in the degree classification calculation You don’t need to worry about calculating the benchmark because it will be in the 2.1 class and, when combined with your 2.1 performance in the 2nd year, your degree mark will be in the 2.1 degree class as long as you complete and pass the year and are not subject to academic misconduct penalties
I have got consistent 1st class marks in my second year and final year UG three year programme in which the final year mark has a weighting of 2 and the second year a weighting of 1 in the degree classification calculation You don’t need to worry about calculating the benchmark because it will be in the 1st class and, when combined with your 1st class performance in the 2nd year, your degree mark will be in the 1st class as long as you complete and pass the year and are not subject to academic misconduct penalties
I have a stage mean of 68 for the second year, and completed 25% of my final year credits by 15th March with a mean (weighted by credits) of 75 UG three year programme in which the final year mark has a weighting of 2 and the second year a weighting of 1 in the degree classification calculation Your benchmark for the final year is 71.5 [(68 * 0.5) + (75 * 0.25 * 2)]. If you don’t improve on the benchmark, your degree mark will be in the 1st class [(68 + 71.5 + 71.5)/3 = 70.3] as long as you complete and pass the year and are not subject to academic misconduct penalties
I have a stage mean of 58 for the second year, and have completed 50% of my final year credits by 15th March with a mean (weighted by credits) of 65 UG three year programme in which the final year mark has a weighting of 2 and the second year a weighting of 1 in the degree classification calculation Your benchmark for the final year is 65 (you have completed enough credits). If you don’t improve on the benchmark, your degree mark will be in the 2.1 class [(58 + 65 + 65)/3 = 62.7] as long as you complete and pass the year and are not subject to academic misconduct penalties
I know I am borderline, have a stage mean of 68 for the second year and have completed 50% of my final year credits with a mean (weighted by credits) of 71 UG three year programme in which the final year mark has a weighting of 2 and the second year a weighting of 1 in the degree classification calculation Your benchmark for the final year is 71 (you have completed enough credits). If you don’t improve on the benchmark, your degree mark will be in the 1st class [(68 + 71 + 71)/3 = 70] as long as you complete and pass the year and are not subject to academic misconduct penalties
I know I am on the 2.1 borderline; I have a stage mean of 58 for the second year and have completed 25% of my final year credits by 15th March with a mean (weighted by credits) of 60 UG three year programme in which the final year mark has a weighting of 2 and the second year a weighting of 1 in the degree classification calculation Your benchmark for the final year is 59 [(58 * 0.5) + (60 * 0.25 * 2)]. You are still borderline and on these marks, if you don’t improve on the benchmark, your degree mark will be in the 2.2 class [(58 + 59 + 59)/3 = 58.7] as long as you complete and pass the year and are not subject to academic misconduct penalties. However, remember the benchmark is a safety-net and you have a lot of summer assessments in which to achieve the improvement you are looking for. Furthermore, exam boards (APACs) always look carefully at borderline candidates and, naturally, will give these special focus this year given the exceptional circumstances

Second year students

I have a stage mean of 55 for the 1st year but have completed 50% of my second year credits by 15th March with a mean (weighted by credits) of 65 UG three year programme in which the final year mark has a weighting of 2 and the second year a weighting of 1 in the degree classification calculation Your benchmark for the second year is 65 (you have completed enough credits). If you don’t improve on the benchmark, your stage mark will be 65 as long as you complete and pass the year and are not subject to academic misconduct penalties
I have a stage mean of 55 for the 1st year and have completed 25% of my second year credits by 15th March with a mean (weighted by credits) of 65 UG three year programme in which the final year mark has a weighting of 2 and the second year a weighting of 1 in the degree classification calculation Your benchmark for the second year is 60 [(55 * 0.5) + (65 * 0.25 * 2)]. Of course, you can still improve on this in the summer assessments as you have several to come and once you have a full set of second year marks, we don’t need to use the 1st year marks. However, if you don’t improve on the benchmark, your stage mark will still be in the 2.1 class because it will be set to your benchmark as long as you complete and pass the year and are not subject to academic misconduct penalties

First year students

I have completed 35% of my first year credits with a mean (weighted by credits) of 65 UG three year programme in which the final year mark has a weighting of 2 and the second year a weighting of 1 in the degree classification calculation You have a provisional benchmark of 65. It is provisional because you haven’t completed 50% of your credits. The June APAC will look at your performance in the summer assessment and as long as it is close to your provisional benchmark they will set your overall stage result at whichever is higher, your credit-weighted mean for the year (stage) or your provisional benchmark. This is all so long as you complete and pass the year and are not subject to academic misconduct penalties. If the APAC considers that performance between March and June is significantly lower than the provisional benchmark they have discretion to set your overall stage result at a mark lower than the provisional benchmark; if they do, you will be provided with the justification for this decision

Postgraduate programmes are more complicated but here are 2 examples for a typical 1 year programme:

I am a postgraduate student and I have completed 35% of my credits with a mean (weighted by credits) of 55, I will complete another 35% of credits by June and submit my dissertation, which is worth 30% of my credits, in September; what does it mean for me?

• You have a provisional benchmark of 55. It is provisional because you haven’t completed 50% of your credits. The June APAC will look at your performance in the summer assessment, by which time you will have completed more than 50% of your credits. As long as your performance between March and June is close to the provisional benchmark they will set your firm benchmark at whichever is higher, your credit-weighted mean for the year up to that point or your provisional benchmark as long as you are not subject to academic misconduct penalties. If the APAC considers that performance between March and June is significantly lower than the provisional benchmark they have discretion to set the firm benchmark lower than the provisional benchmark. However, if they do so, you will be provided with the justification for this decision.
• When you have completed your dissertation, as long as you have completed and passed the year and are not subject to academic misconduct penalties, your degree mark will be set to whichever is higher, your credit-weighted mean for the whole year or your firm benchmark.

I am a postgraduate student and I have completed 50% of my credits with a mean (weighted by credits) of 65, I will complete another 20% of credits by June and submit my dissertation, which is worth 30% of my credits, in September; what does it mean for me?

• You have a benchmark of 65. The June APAC will compare your credit-weighted mean for the year (stage), based on all your assessments to that point, with the benchmark. As long as you are not subject to academic misconduct penalties, if your credit-weighted mean is higher than your benchmark the exam board will increase your benchmark to your new, higher credit-weighted mean mark; otherwise your benchmark will be unchanged.
• When you have completed your dissertation, as long as you have completed and passed the year and are not subject to academic misconduct penalties, your degree mark will be set to whichever is higher, your credit-weighted mean for the whole year or your benchmark.

We hope that these examples help you understand and gain assurance about the way that we are seeking to support you to succeed.

The No Detriment policy cannot be applied until students have completed and passed their academic stage. Where you had not completed your academic stage by the end of 2019/20, the impact of COVID-19 on your results will be reviewed at a later point in your programme, once you have completed your current academic stage.

The final exam board (APAC) of your academic stage will apply the benchmark to assessments completed in the COVID-19 impacted period between 15th March 2020 and the end of September 2020.

An example of how this will work in practice is below:

• An undergraduate student has not yet completed any assessments in Stage 3.
• The student achieved a mean of 55% in Stage 2 – so their benchmark is 55%. (This will be referred to as a partial benchmark.)
• The student has 50% of their stage credits being assessed in summer 2020 which will be covered by the ’No Detriment’ policy, and associated benchmark. They achieve a mean of 51% over those credits.
• The student will then undertake 50% of their credits during 2020/21. They achieve a mean of 65% over those credits.
Their Stage 3 mean would be calculated as follows:
• 0.5 x 55% (i.e. the credits covered by the ‘No Detriment’ policy and benchmark) + 0.5 x 65% (i.e. the credits achieved in 2020/21) = 60% mean for the stage.

Where you do not have enough credit completed prior to 15th March 2020 to have a firm benchmark calculated by the end of September 2020, then a future APAC will exercise other existing powers to ensure that your academic outcome is not negatively impacted by the COVID-19.

In our No Detriment policy we have stated that provisional benchmarks became firm benchmarks at June 2020 APACs (exam boards) provided there was no ‘significant difference’ between the provisional benchmark and the credit weighted mean including assessments completed from 15th March to June 2020. Additional guidance has been provided here to explain how provisional benchmarks were used and how they were factored into final calculations.

To be clear:

1. If the credit weighted mean for the year is higher than the provisional benchmark, then the credit weighted mean for the year will be used instead of the provisional benchmark.
2. If the credit weighted mean for the year is lower than the provisional benchmark, then a formula will be applied to create a firm benchmark.

Exam boards (APACs) will use the following formula to calculate whether there is a reliable benchmark that can be used where the credit weighted mean is lower than the provisional benchmark.

Definitions:
• P = the provisional benchmark,
• A = the number of partial credits obtained up to 15 March 2020,
• M = the credit weighted mean for the stage,
• μ = A / 60 (for UG) or A / 90 (for PGT),

We compute a firm benchmark B by:

B = μ P + (1 – μ) M.

The final stage mark should be taken as the higher of B and M.

The formula interpolates between two extremes and provides a continuum. In the case where a student has attained almost no credits in the stage, the quantity μ will be close to zero, so B will be close to M (the stage credit-weighted mean, including post 15th March marks). However, if a student has attained almost 60 (or 90 for PGT students) credits, then μ will be close to 1, so B will be roughly P, the provisional benchmark (including only pre-15 March marks).

Here are some case studies to help explain this further:

1. A UG student who has completed 30% of their total 120 credits for the year by 15th March. The credits taken by 15th March gave them a provisional benchmark of 55.

After completing all of their assessments for 2019/20 they achieved an overall credit weighted mean of 56.

As this is higher than their provisional benchmark, they receive a total score for the year of 56.

2. A UG student who had completed 25% of credits by 15th March, corresponding to A = 0.25 × 120 = 30 for UG and achieved a provisional benchmark of 69.

After completing further assessments after 15th March they had a credit weighted mean of 65.

As this was lower than their provisional benchmark, a firm benchmark score would need to be applied. To ensure that the impacts of COVID-19 mitigation are taken into account and a fair score is reached, the formula will be applied (as provided above):

We compute a firm benchmark B by first computing μ = A / 60 = ½. The formula is:
B = μ P + (1 – μ) M.

In this case, B = ½ × 69 + (1 - ½) × 65 = 67.

The student achieves a firm benchmark of 67.

3. A Masters student who had completed 43% of their credits by 15th March, corresponding to A = 0.43 × 180 = 77.4 for PGT, and achieved a provisional benchmark of 68.

The remainder of their assessments were taken online after 15th March and gave them a credit weighted mean of 66.
As this was lower than their provisional benchmark, a firm benchmark score would need to be applied. To ensure that the impacts of COVID-19 mitigation are taken into account and a fair score is reached the formula will be applied. We start by computing μ = A / 90 = 0.

B = μ P + (1 – μ) M.

In this case B = 0.86 × 68 + (1 – 0.86) × 66 = 67.72.

After rounding, the student would achieve a firm benchmark of 68.

Section A: Understanding your results

In calculating stage averages, module results are weighted according to the module’s credit value and the overall credit total for the stage.

Take the example of a standard UG student who completes 120 credits per stage:

• The Weighting is obtained by dividing the Credits Awarded for the module by 120 credits.
• The Weighted Mark is obtained by multiplying the Weighting by the Module Mark.
• The sum of all of the Weighted Marks provides the Stage Average.

In the example below:

• Module XXX1001 has a weighting of 15 credits / 120 credit total for the stage = 0.125
• 0.125 (Weighting) x 57 (module mark) = 7.13 Weighted Mark for module XXX 1001
• The sum of all Weighted Marks = 53.125, rounded to 2 decimals places = 53.13 which represents the Stage Average.

Module CodeModule MarkCredits AwardedWeightingWeighted Mark
XXX1001 57 15 0.125 7.125
XXX1002 52
15 0.125 6.5
XXX1003 47 15 0.125 5.875
XXX1004 64 15 0.125 8
XXX1005 63 15 0.125 7.875
XXX1006 71 30 0.25 17.75
         
      Stage Average 53.125 rounded to 2 decimals places = 53.13

For most PGT programmes, the stage average is defined by the overall credit requirement for the programme, i.e. 180 credits for a standard Masters, 120 credits for a Postgraduate Diploma, and 60 credits for a Postgraduate Certificate.

Looking at the example above, module XXX 1001 would have a Weighting of 15 credits / 180 overall credit requirement = 0.083.

These are listed in the University’s Teaching and Quality Assurance manual. See Academic Credit Requirements for Award for details.

The University’s Teaching and Quality Assurance Manual provides the necessary details on stage weightings and classification rules for each type of programme and degree, to enable you to determine your final credit-weighted average and degree classification.

See Classification of Awards for details.

Transcripts will display the average credit-weighted mark for the stage and this average will have been calculated based on marks attained from modules. These marks will have been through a number of quality assurance processes during exam board (APAC) ratification. These processes may include scaling or perhaps having penalties for academic misconduct or late submission applied. The final component and module marks may not always correspond with the benchmark or stage average you calculated in advance.

PGT results were reviewed in June in order to increase the partial benchmark or set firm benchmarks; these will be for internal use and not be communicated to students at the time. The benchmarks will be factored into awarding at the final APAC of the programme, which for most PGT programmes takes place in the Autumn, and will be included in the calculation of the degree classification and will be displayed on the final transcript. Transcripts will display the average credit-weighted mark for the stage and this average will have been calculated based on marks attained from modules. These marks will have been through a number of quality assurance processes during exam board (APAC) ratification. These processes may include scaling or perhaps having penalties for academic misconduct or late submission applied.