Frequently asked questions - Examinations, Assessments, Progression and Awarding

Studyzone

Student Services remain open and available to support you as you prepare for summer exams and assessments. Please access the Studyzone for guidance and support on revising and undertaking your examinations this year.

1. The 'No Detriment' Policy

Through the detailed process required to operate the ‘safety net’ across the wide diversity of our undergraduate and postgraduate taught degree programmes. We are pleased to be able to let you know that we have extended the No Detriment Policy (.pdf) so that it includes all assessments submitted in the 19/20 academic year. Therefore, postgraduate dissertations will be included in the policy (please see the detail for how this will be handled) and deferred and referred assessments taken in August will also be covered.

Our aim continues to be to ensure the fairness and integrity of your Exeter degree, as well as to support you, our undergraduate and postgraduate students, through this difficult situation in a way that allows you to progress or be awarded. We are very grateful for your continued patience while we have worked through these details to achieve the best outcomes for all our students.

We have now published the ‘no detriment’ policy in full online, here. You will see that this is a complex policy, which has taken time to develop and which is not always simple to explain, but we have published it in full to give you transparency in relation to how we will calculate your benchmark to be used as the basis of your ‘safety net’.

We are very conscious that students who have undertaken industrial placements, study or work abroad placements during 2019/20 are requesting further clarity about how these policies apply to them. We are continuing to work through a number of complexities in relation to this, and will provide further guidance to these students via the FAQs on Thursday 9th April. We will, of course, be seeking to find the best way to give you as much security with respect to marks as other students.

Please note that in some circumstances programmes subject to professional regulation may not yet be permitted to apply the no detriment policy. If this is the case students will be communicated with separately by their respective College. Now that we have completed development of the policy, we will propose it to the regulatory bodies for approval.

The key principles of the policy are summarised as follows; please refer to the policy document for further elaboration:

  • The benchmark will be based on actual achievement from the current academic stage as far as possible.
  • In order for the benchmark to be reliable, it will be based on a mean mark derived from sufficient credit (equivalent to half the total credits of the relevant stage; a stage equates to an academic year for full-time students).
  • If insufficient credit has been accumulated in the current stage, achievement in the previous University of Exeter-based stage will be included within the calculation.
  • If there was no prior University of Exeter-based stage, then the benchmark will be provisional until, in the case of first-year Undergraduates or Postgraduate Taught students (PGTs), sufficient credit has been accumulated to confirm the benchmark.
  • The benchmark will be calculated and applied after all other normal assessment processes have been completed (e.g. condonement, mitigation, scaling, and late penalties). Please see the relevant policies for further details.
  • For students who pass the current stage during 19/20 academic year, the credit-weighted mean for all assessments contributing to the stage (academic year for full-time students) will be compared to the benchmark, and the higher of these two results will be used as their overall result for the stage.
  • The student transcript will be annotated to reflect this policy.

The 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 will work. You can find more here and the policy, including the formula to calculate a benchmark, should you wish to do so. We have also included some example of how the policy will apply to undergraduate and postgraduate students in the FAQ below [How does the no detriment policy work in practice?].

The No Detriment Policy (.pdf) 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 will work. The APACs referred to in some of the descriptions are the Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees; these are essentially boards of examiners – your lecturers - in your department and college.

Dr. Gihan Marasingha (Mathematics) has kindly produced two useful videos to guide you through estimating your ‘safety net’ benchmark. The first video summarises the key points of the policy, and the calculations for undergraduate students, where they either have sufficient credit this year for a benchmark to be calculated, or where a credit from a previous Exeter-based stage can be used to make up a shortfall in credits this year. The second video covers the cases of postgraduate taught students, and students for whom it is not possible to use credit from a previous Exeter-based stage to contribute to a benchmark (i.e. first-year undergraduates). 

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.

I have got consistent 2.1 marks in my second year and final year, what does it mean for me?

  • 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, what does it mean for me?

  • 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 have completed 25% of my final year credits with a mean (weighted by credits) of 75; what does it mean for me?

  • 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 with a mean (weighted by credits) of 65; what does it mean for me?

  • 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; what does it mean for me?

  • 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 with a mean (weighted by credits) of 60; what does it mean for me?

  • 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.

I am a second year and have a stage mean of 55 for the 1st year but have stepped up this year because I know it counts towards my degree classification; I have completed 50% of my second year credits with a mean (weighted by credits) of 65; what does it mean for me?

  • 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 am a second year and have a stage mean of 55 for the 1st year but have stepped up this year because I know it counts towards my degree classification; I have completed 25% of my second year credits with a mean (weighted by credits) of 65; what does it mean for me?

  • 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.

I am a first year and I have completed 35% of my first year credits with a mean (weighted by credits) of 65; what does it mean for me?

  • 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, even if the policy is necessarily technical these examples, help you understand and gain assurance about the way that we are seeking to support you to succeed. We hope that over the remaining months of the academic year you will be able to focus on looking after yourself and those about you and on preparing for the summer assessments that are the capstone of your learning through the academic year. We wish you every success.

 

If you have submitted all assessments in a module prior to March 15th then you have achieved all credits available for that module. This means that a 30 credit module where you have completed all your assessments prior to March 15th contributes 30 credits towards your benchmark.

Any assessment that you have submitted this year prior to March 15th contributes to your benchmark. Even if you have not completed all assessments in that module.

You can calculate how many credits an assessment is worth using the total Credit weight of that module. Express the percentage of the assessment weighting as a decimal and multiply that by the total credit weighting of the module.

Example if you completed an essay worth 40% of a 30 Credit module. (0.4*30 = 12 Credits)

The no detriment policy allows a benchmark to be calculated for the majority of students, and this provides a safety-net in terms of student performance.

We are aware that in some cases (e.g. where students do not have prior University of Exeter-based study at a prior stage, and have deferred some or all of their assessments during 2019/20 beyond March 15th 2020) it will not be possible to create a benchmark.

In those exceptional cases, the Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees (APACs) will closely scrutinise individual student profiles and use all of their existing powers to make individual adjustments to student outcomes as appropriate to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Since publishing full details of the ‘no-detriment’ policy we have received queries from some finalists regarding the use of marks from study or work abroad, or industrial placements, in the calculation of the ‘safety net’ benchmark. Having reviewed this aspect of our policy, with a focus on giving these students as much security with respect to marks as others, we have revised our approach as follows:


In the current policy it is stated that where ‘students have completed less than half of their stage credits through assessments submitted on or prior to 15th March 2020, we will use all of their 2019/20 credits (double weighted) and, where possible, we will make up the remaining credits necessary to calculate a benchmark by using their credit-weighted mean mark for the last academic stage studied at the University of Exeter.’ This meant that for those finalists who had studied abroad or undertaken a placement last year, we would not use the credit-weighted mark for this year abroad or placement in the calculation of the benchmark. Instead, we would use the credit-weighted mean mark from their last Exeter-based year of study (usually the second year).

Under the amended policy, under circumstances in which insufficient credits have been completed in 2019/20 to create a benchmark for students who studied abroad or undertook placements in the preceding stage, the remaining credits will be derived from the credit-weighted mean marks for the preceding academic stages. These marks will be used with the same relative weighting for the study abroad year as is used in degree classification calculations. We believe that this approach recognises the importance of credits gained through ‘years out’ (i.e. any form of study outside the University), while recognising the variability between programmes and placements, and also ensuring consistency with our existing policies regarding the weighting of academic stages.

In all cases the ‘year out’ will be factored into the benchmark calculation such that it is consistent with our usual method for calculating degree classifications. The information provided here is by way of an example which covers the majority of cases. The precise formula for this varies between programmes (such as where the ‘year out’ does not take place in the 3rd year of a 4 year programme, or for 5-year integrated Master’s programmes). You can find details of degree classification weightings in the Teaching Quality Assurance Manual here under 9.2 and 9.8.

As an example,

Consider a student in the 4th year of a 4-year programme, who spent the 3rd year abroad and who has completed 30 credits (of the required 60 credits for benchmark calculation) in 19/20 academic year prior to 15th March.

They are on a programme where the weighting of marks used in degree classification for years 2, 3 and 4 is: 2:1:4.

Their benchmark can be estimated as follows:

Benchmark=([(M4*30)+(M3*10)+(M2*20)])/60

Or

Benchmark=[(M4*1/2)+(M3*1/6)+(M2*1/3)]

Where :

M4 = credit-weighted mean of marks gained in 19/20 academic year before 15th March
M3 = credit-weighted mean of marks in year 3 (study abroad)
M2 = credit-weighted mean of marks in year 2

 

Under the ‘No Detriment’ policy, if your benchmark is higher than your final award calculation, your benchmark will supersede this and will be used for preponderance calculations.

In cases where a student’s final weighted mark is very close to the boundary for the higher award classification we use a calculation method called preponderance.

For example, a student achieving a final weighted mark greater than or equal to 59.50% will qualify for an upper second class honours award (2:1).

However, if a student had a final weighted mark greater than or equal to 58.00% but at least half of their stage weighted marks were greater than or equal to 60%, they would also qualify for an upper second class honours award as this demonstrates that they have been performing at the upper second class (2:1) level.

These principles apply to the undergraduate boundaries for lower second class honours awards, upper second class honours awards and first class honours awards, as well as to the boundaries for awards of merit and distinction relating to Taught Postgraduate awards. These calculations only take place at the end of the final year of study when all module grades have been agreed; it will not be used to calculate year averages for earlier stages.

For more detail on preponderance and classification of awards, please visit the Assessment, Progression and Awarding Handbook for Taught programmes.

Yes, preponderance will still apply, taking into account all the stage weighted credits, not just those used to calculate the benchmark.

No, preponderance is only calculated at the end of the final year of study, when all module marks have been agreed. It will not be used to calculate year averages for earlier stages.

If you are an Exeter student who is currently undertaking study abroad, then the safety net policy will apply. However, there are a couple of differences in how this can apply:

  • The cut-off date for calculating your benchmark is different, in light of the earlier disruption experienced by students who were overseas this term. Your benchmark will be calculated based on all work that you submitted for your host university's first semester.
  • If you have not already completed 60 credits this academic year, then we will make up the remaining credits (up to the total of 60) using the credit-weighted average from your previous Exeter-based year of study. This is the same as for all other students. For Modern Languages students, please see the specific FAQ below.
  • Where you have been provided with alternative assessments, either by Exeter or by your host institution, we recommend that you attempt these assessments as you may be able to improve upon your benchmark. You should have received details of alternative assessments from your module lead/department so please do get in contact with them if you have any questions.
  • All students will be able to progress to next academic year based on their benchmark, and the number of credits they have completed. The only exception to this is Modern Languages where completion of sufficient credits for the year is required, as the year abroad is an integral part of the programme. Modern Languages students are already in receipt of details of their requirements. Please see below FAQ.
  • Where your benchmark falls below a pass you will be able to progress but will need to move to the non-study abroad variant of your programme.
  • In addition to the above and to acknowledge the additional disruption experienced by study abroad students, we will also take the events of this year into consideration when calculating your final degree classification. We will award you based on either the three year or four year stage weighted average – whichever is the higher. This will not affect your degree title.

If you are a student of a partner institution currently studying at Exeter, then the safety net will also apply. But again, there are a couple of deviations from the current policy.

  • The cut-off date for calculating your benchmark will be the same as all other Exeter students, 15th March.
  • In order to calculate a firm benchmark, you need to have completed 50% of the credits that you are studying with us. For example if you are studying 60 credits, you will need to have completed 30.
  • Where you have not completed 50% of your credits prior to 15th March then your benchmark will be provisional.
  • In the event that your benchmark is provisional, the APAC (equivalent to an exam board) will look at your performance in your remaining summer assessments and as long as it is close to your provisional benchmark they will set your overall result at whichever is higher, your credit-weighted mean for the all assessments or your provisional benchmark. 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.

 

The principles of the safety net policy as applied to other study abroad students will apply, however as the year abroad is an integral, as opposed to optional, part of the programme for Modern Language students, the completion of alternative assessments is critical.

The Modern Languages department has put in place arrangement for these alternative assessments, and all cohorts have received communications about what is expected.

If you do have any questions about this, please contact your module lead.

If you are undertaking a short-term placement, then we are able to apply the safety net policy in the same way that we are applying to all other students. Your mark for your placement module will be covered by the safety net policy.

If you are on a year-long placement, then we cannot apply the safety net policy to your mark for this academic year as the majority of the assessment for this stage is set to take place after 15th March, and your performance in previous stages of study are not equivalent to the learning gained whilst on placement. This will however not impact your progression to your final stage. However, where you have not passed the year, you will be placed on the three year variant of your programme.

In order to take account of the impact that covid-19 may have had on your performance, we will instead look to mitigate this impact when considering your final degree classification. We will award you based on either the three-year or four-year stage weighted average – whichever is higher. This will not affect your degree title.

For Modern Languages students, the department has put in place arrangement for alternative assessments, and all cohorts have received communications about what is expected. If you have not yet heard anything, please contact your module lead or the ELE page for further information.

Along with other Russell Group universities, we are doing everything we can to make the case to professional bodies to be as accommodating as possible under these circumstances. Please note that in some circumstances programmes subject to professional regulation may not be permitted to apply the ‘safety net’ policy. If this is the case you will be communicated with separately by your College.

In relation to the no detriment policy, the University and colleagues from the Exeter INTO Centre have reviewed the curriculum of International Year One (IYO) programmes. These courses are specifically designed to match the University’s own first year programmes; they are also quality assured through University appointed external examiners, and through the University’s and INTO’s Joint Academic Boards.

For these reasons the University can have high confidence in the robustness of any marks achieved by students on IYO programmes.

Therefore the University will, where there are not enough pre-March 15th assessment credits for the current stage to determine the safety net benchmark for an individual student, the University will use the marks achieved on their INTO IYO stage in combination with their current stage pre-March 15th assessment credits.

This is only possible due to the close nature of the relationship between the University and the Exeter INTO Centre, and cannot be applied to other partners or INTO Centres, as the University is not as involved in the design and delivery of the curriculum.

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

The final 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 crisis.

For instance this questions relates to participation marks for a seminar series that a student was unable to complete, or marks from a series of in-class tests that it hasn't been possible to finish.

Your benchmark will be calculated from complete assessment marks. Where only part of an assessment was undertaken, for instance where the assessment mark is made up of multiple components like class tests or seminar participation, these marks will not form part of the benchmark calculation as it is not possible to prejudge what the final, complete, mark may have been. 

Where an assessment has multiple submission dates, for instance for a presentation given in sequential seminar groups, these marks will not be included in the calculation unless all students have had the opportunity to submit their assessment. Therefore, if some students have submitted prior to 15th March but the remainder of their group did not have the opportunity to do so, students who have undertaken the assessment should not expect this mark to be included in their benchmark calculation.  As it was not within students’ control to schedule the timing of the assessments, factoring in these marks could create an unfair advantage or disadvantage for some members of the cohort. 

2. Exam and assessment procedures and marking

All of the summer assessments will now be delivered online, your assessment will take one of three forms:

  1. An open-book non-invigilated paper that must be completed in the specified 24 hour period following the exam start time of your paper. The expectation is that the paper will take approximately the same length of time as the original planned examination to complete, but students can use as much of the available 24 hours as they wish.
  2. An open-book non-invigilated paper that must be completed and submitted in the specified 24 hour period but with a fixed duration (as defined in the exam paper). As soon as you download the paper it will be time stamped and the duration of your examination will begin. The duration will be adjusted with respect to relevant Individual Learning Plans.
  3. An alternative coursework assessment taken over a number of weeks. The form of coursework will be of a kind with which you are already familiar, and will be designed so as to be manageable given other time pressures, examinations and assessments.

Make sure you check the date and time of when your examination paper will be released, and the type of examination, on the examinations webpage. A few examinations will have changed their dates and times so it is very important that you please check the latest version. All times are in British Summer Time (BST).

Your examination paper will be found in the following locations:

  • Option 1 & 2 examination papers will only be posted on https://exams.exeter.ac.uknavigate to your module page to find your paper, just like you would on ELE.
  • Option 3 assessments and all Modern Foreign Languages and Foreign Language Centre Oral Exams will be on your module page on ELE at https://vle.exeter.ac.uk 

Please take time to read the Examinations Process Guide for Students, which outlines in more detail what you need to do and what to do if things go wrong.

You should also read the Technical Guide for Students,which gives detailed guidance on downloading your examination, saving your completed paper as a PDF, and uploading it to BART.

Accessing your exams will be different depending on what types of assessment you are undertaking.

  • Option 1 & 2 examination papers will only be posted on https://exams.exeter.ac.uk, navigate to your module page to find your paper, just like you would on ELE.
  • Option 3 assessments will be on your module page on ELE at https://vle.exeter.ac.uk 
  • Modern Foreign Languages and Foreign Language Centre Oral Exams will also be on your module page on ELE at https://vle.exeter.ac.uk.

You can review what type of examination you will be undertaking and information about when it will become available on the examinations webpage.

If you’re taking an examination, it’s really important that you record the time you download your examination paper, track your time as you’re completing your examination, and submit it to BART before the deadline. This is particularly important for Option 2 examinations, where your exam time will start when you click on the ‘Attempt quiz now’ button. As soon as you click on the link your start time will be logged and the duration of your exam will begin. Please make sure you are ready and have everything you need before you click on the quiz. You will then be taken to a page to download your examination paper. Please close ELE once you have downloaded your examination paper.

For Option 2 examinations ONLY an extra 30 minutes of additional time is provided for uploading completed examination papers to BART. You may find it useful to set a timer that will allow you plenty of time to save and submit your work to BART before your examination deadline. Please read the Technical Guide for Students for more information. 

Please note: When accessing your module pages in Exams ELE you will notice a label in the top-left corner that says ‘not available.’ This will appear below the module title. This label does not mean there is any exams information missing; unfortunately this is an automatic feature we cannot disable. To access your examination simply scroll down and you will be able to see the required information.

Submitting your examination and assessment paper will be different depending on what type of exam and assessment you are undertaking.

Please review the guide to the Examinations process, which outlines what you need to do and what to do if things go wrong.

You should also read the Technical Guide for Students, which gives detailed guidance on downloading your exam, saving your completed paper as a PDF, and uploading it to BART. Watch the short videoon how to upload your completed work to BART. When submitting your paper you will need to add a word count. If a word count is specified on your examination then please enter the word count of your paper. If it is not specified, then enter zero. You do not need to add your student number to your paper, BART will add your details to the cover sheet when you submit.

For Option 2 examinations, all students will be allocated an additional 30 minutes at the end of their examination period to support them with the submission process. This will be shown on the examination rubric for option 2 exams, and is in addition to any adjustments based on Individual Learning Plans (ILPs). If you encounter any technical difficulties whilst submitting your paper the extra 30 minutes should give your enough time to resolve the problem.

Please be patient, it may take a few minutes for your submission to upload to BART. If there are any issues with the system 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 may take a few minutes to arrive if the mail server is busy. Please also check your SPAM folder if necessary.  

You can also check your submission has uploaded in BART: details are in the Technical Guide for StudentsIf you’re still unsure, please contact your Student Hub who can check your submission.  

If you submit your completed examination paper late you will be contacted by your Hub Education Support team in due course who will advise you of the penalty for late submission and next steps. Students who are encountering upload issues during their examination should contact the Assessments Helpdesk to receive guidance and assistance, but please note that the Helpdesk cannot advise on late submission penalties.

Note: You do not need to go back in to ELE to click ‘finish’ on your assessment. For Option 1 and 2 papers, ELE timestamps the start of your examination and BART records the finish time.

Students undertaking Modern Foreign Languages and Foreign Language Centre Oral Exams should read the Orals Exams guidance and the Technical Guidance on recording audio.

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 should read the Technical Guidance for information on how to submit your paper. The majority of papers must be uploaded to BART.

You do not need to submit your paper to Turnitin for the May online examinations or assessments (this includes Option 1, 2 and 3 papers).

This includes Penryn examinations and assessments. Penryn students should submit completed May examination and assessments papers in BART only. All Penryn non-exam assessments (coursework and dissertation) should be submitted using dual submission as normal.

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.

A sample of papers submitted will be uploaded to Turnitin by Education Support staff to complete plagiarism checks.

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.

Emergency IT Loan Scheme

We are extremely aware that for some students the transition to online learning and assessment, or working from home, has introduced particular challenges due to the requirement for a suitable computer and internet connection. To address this issue, the Emergency IT Loan Scheme has been set up to mobilise a response to students who, without such help, are unable to access online learning and assessments, or continue work on research degree programmes in a home-working environment.

If you are experiencing serious difficulty or inability to access online learning and resources, and would like to apply for the Emergency IT Loan Scheme, please email a brief explanation of the IT issues you are facing and your student number to coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk

A team of colleagues will contact students who have reported issues - to discuss solutions such as the offer of funds to purchase a laptop and/or 4G mobile internet device. In most situations, this would be loan equipment to be returned to the university (or costs repaid) at a later date.

We recognise that this solution may not work in all cases, and continue to work hard to devise ways to support our students in these unprecedented times.
We encourage students who have difficulties with IT hardware or internet connectivity to contact us on 01392 725000 (international: +44 300 555 0225), or on coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk

Please see ‘How will summer examinations and assessments operate?’ for the three categories into which examinations and assessments will fall. These include
1. Papers that must be completed in the specified 24 hour period following the exam start time of your paper. The expectation is that the paper will take approximately the same length of time as the original planned examination to complete, but students can use as much of the available 24 hours as they wish.
2. Papers that must be completed in the specified 24 hour period but with a fixed duration (as defined in the exam paper). As soon as you download the paper it will be time stamped and the duration of your examination will begin. The duration will be adjusted with respect to relevant Individual Learning Plans.

We have endeavored to stick to the original examination timetable wherever possible; however, we have had to make some adjustments to prevent anyone from having two examinations in one day and to reduce the pressure on our IT systems.

Please check the date and time of your exam on the examinations webpage

All assessments, excluding those that will be replaced by coursework assignments, 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. To repeat, there is no expectation that these assessments should take longer than ‘normal’ 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. We have also expressed our commitment to your success through the introduction of a ‘safety net’ policy – see – ‘Will our exam answers be marked in consideration of all the disruption we have faced through strikes and now COVID-19?

All examinations will be marked in accordance with previously published assessment criteria (or equivalent criteria to reflect new assessment formats). This is important in ensuring we uphold the standard of our degrees. However, we 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.

Given these circumstances, we have also decided to introduce a ‘safety net’ policy. We will use the concept of the safety net to do what we can to ensure that you receive an award or year average that accurately reflects your academic attainment during your time on the course unimpaired by the current Covid-19 crisis.

Since we communicated the no detriment policy on 25th March we have been working through the detailed processes required to operate the ‘safety net’ in practice across the wide diversity of our degree programmes. This work is continuing; however, we have provided an update on progress in the ‘No Detriment Policy’ Tab. We are seeking to establish a fair mechanism by which to calculate the benchmark against which we will compare your summer performance. We are grateful for your patience while we undertake this complex work; we will update these pages with further detail on 3rd April.

Transcripts will be annotated to explain the reported results.

Please note that in some circumstances programmes subject to professional regulation may not be permitted to apply the ‘safety net’ policy above. If this is the case you will be communicated with separately by your College.

Please see FAQ ‘How are examination marks reviewed and scrutinised?’ for more information.

At the end of the summer examination and assessment period, all results will be 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. Under the current circumstances, we will be moving back the dates of these APACs sufficiently to allow colleagues to undertake marking, and enable us to make considered recommendations in all cases. APACs will take place from 22nd June to 1st July. This means you will receive your grades and outcomes from summer assessments slightly later than originally planned, on 8th July.

Due to the disruption caused by COVID-19, the release of results from summer assessments will be slightly later than planned, on 8th July.

We work with detailed guidelines on the equivalencies between essays and exams and do not believe any student will be at a disadvantage if one or more of their assessments changes from an exam type to essay. We ensure that any alternative assessment has been designed in the context of the original intended learning outcomes for the assessment.

You also have the option to apply for a deferral of your examination or assessment if you are concerned (see FAQ ‘What will happen if I am unable to take online/remote exams due to disruption or sickness relating to coronavirus?’). We urge you to consider such a decision carefully. If you defer until later this summer, the form of the assessment would remain the same, e.g. an open-book remote examination, rather than an invigilated on-campus examination. If you defer until the next academic year, then the form of the assessment may revert back to its original form; however, we cannot predict that far ahead.

We know that some students choose their modules depending on the type of assessment. We work with detailed guidelines on the equivalencies between essays and exams.

The Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee considers all student performance across modules at the end of each year. The Committee will have all of your marks for assessments at its disposal, and will be considering the impact of these exceptional circumstances, including changes to assessment format.

Any impact or amendment to a previously agreed alternative assessment will be made on a case by case basis, please contact your Info Point for further information.

Appropriate adjustments will be made 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). We will ensure no student eligible for specific provisions within examinations or assessments will be disadvantaged, adjustments for Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) will be managed on a case-by-case basis. Where examinations are taken within a 24 hour time period with no fixed duration, this allows for students to take as long as they require within this period to complete the examination. The expectation is that such papers will take approximately the same length of time as the originally-planned examinations. Where examinations are taken within a 24 hour time period with a fixed duration, this duration will be adjusted to account for ILPs if these include additional time or rest breaks.

If you have any concerns about your ILP and your ability to complete the May exams please contact us before 5pm on Thursday 9th April. 

Exeter based students should contact AccessAbility Service or Wellbeing Services (for mental health conditions. Students based in Penryn should contact Accessibility. 

 

For Postgraduate Research students with ILPs, the Doctoral College has put in place a policy to enable viva voce examinations to go ahead using video conferencing (e.g. Microsoft Teams), and recognises the importance of giving consideration to appropriate adjustments for students who are eligible for additional specific provisions during viva examinations in accordance with Individual Learning Plans (ILP). All students with forthcoming vivas have been contacted to discuss the option of a virtual viva. Students should refer to the guidance available within the Postgraduate Research Handbook, and consider whether their ILP may need updating (the deadline above does not apply for PGR students, but requests for specific adjustments pertaining to the viva should be made as early as possible, and normally prior to thesis submission).

Our teams will respond as soon as possible and work with you to ensure you receive the most appropriate support and guidance. 

If you have an ILP requiring extra time and are undertaking an Option 2 (fixed duration) examination 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 SRS. 

For Option 1 examinations which are taken within a 24 hour time period with no fixed duration, this allows for students to take as long as they require within that 24 hour period to complete the examination. The expectation is that the content of such papers will take approximately the same or similar length of time to answer as your examination which would have been sat on campus. Therefore extra time does not apply for these exams because you already have a 24 hour period to complete paper content for which the answers are expected to take you only a few hours.

For option 3 extended exam alternatives students will not receive additional time in which to complete their assessments unless this has already been granted via the ILP consideration process (see FAQ 30) before 5pm on 9th April. 

If you have any further questions contact AccessAbility@exeter.ac.uk or wellbeing@exeter.ac.uk (for mental health conditions) for Streatham queries and accessability@fxplus.ac.uk for Penryn queries.

If you have been allocated any examinations falling under Option 2 (fixed duration), please note that in response to feedback 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.

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

If you think your disability will prevent you from taking remote examinations and coursework online please contact us before 5pm on 9th April.Exeter based students should contact AccessAbility Service, Students based in Penryn should contact Accessibility. 

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

If you are undertaking a final year Modern Languages module you will undertake your oral exams via the use of audio recording. You will be asked to self-record on your preferred device (e.g. PC, laptop, tablet, mobile phone) and upload your recording via an online form.

The following modules will undertake examinations this way: MLF3111, MLG3111, MLI3111, MLM3111, MLP3111, MLR3111 and MLS3111.

Guidance on completing Online Examinations is available here- www.exeter.ac.uk/studyzone/examsandassessments2020covid-19/.

We are asking all students to retain a copy of their recording. You will receive details of the precise format of the task directly from your module convenors. It is anticipated that materials will be made available on ELE on the day the oral exam was originally scheduled to take place during the week beginning 27 April 2020. Once you accesses the relevant materials on ELE, you will have one hour, within a 24-hour window, to complete your audio recording and upload it (with appropriate time adjustments where specified in ILPs).

We will be able to log the time you start to upload your recording. Even if it takes a long time for your file to complete upload for technical reasons beyond your control, this won’t have a negative impact. The important thing is to start the upload process within the specified time limit.

Should you require assistance during your oral examination, an Assessment Helpdesk will be available as a first point of contact (phone (01392) 726800).

If you submit your completed examination paper late you will be contacted by your Hub Education Support team in due course who will advise you of the penalty for late submission and next steps. Students who are encountering upload issues during their examination should contact the Assessments Helpdesk to receive guidance and assistance, but please note that the Helpdesk cannot advise on late submission penalties.

Yes, where work has been submitted late, penalties will be applied.

• For option 1 examinations, work submitted more than 24 hours after the examination paper release time will be marked as late, and penalties will be applied.
• For option 2 examinations, work submitted after the ‘total fixed duration’ available to complete and submit your work will be marked as late and penalties will be applied. The total fixed duration for option 2 papers consists of: (i) the examination time; (ii) the technical upload time; and, only where applicable, (iii) the additional time conferred by your ILP.
• For option 3 examinations, work is late where is has not been uploaded by the deadline, as is the case with coursework.

You can resubmit your paper within the timeframe of your examination. Please see the Technical Guide for guidance on how to resubmit your paper.

Where you realise you have submitted your work incorrectly, and it is not within the timeframe of your examination, you should contact the Assessment Helpdesk on +44 (0)1392 726800 as soon as possible. They will be able to advise how you can submit the correct work, and if any late penalties apply.

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.

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 Technical Guide for Students

If you experience IT issues (including internet problems) that prevent you from successfully completing your examination you can apply for mitigation.

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

3. Mitigation (deferrals and extensions)

Due to the changes to examination and mitigation arrangements for summer 2020 assessments, the referred/deferred period of examinations will extend from Monday 3rd August to Friday 21st August. Students who are required to take a deferred or referred examination should expect to be available for examination for the full duration of this period. Specific timings per student will be released the week commencing Monday 20th July. Note that these examinations will follow the same formats as those described for the May examination period.

For coursework assessments due in Term 3 (including those extended from Term 2), if you are unable to submit those assessments you can request a further extension or deferral. No evidence will be required to support the request and we will grant extensions where we can. Where extensions are not possible or appropriate we will offer you a deferral of the assignment to the next assessment window (August 2020) or to next academic year (May 2021). To request an extension or a deferral please use our Mitigation webform.

If you are an Exeter student currently studying abroad, but your assessments have now been set by Exeter rather than your host institution, you can apply for deferrals and extensions to these assessments. The only exception is that you cannot defer your assessments to the next academic year, or interrupt in order to return in the next academic year and take the assessments in their original form. This is due to the number of restrictions imposed by our partner institutions for the number of students that we can send to them per year.

If you are a student from a partner institution currently studying at Exeter, you can also apply for extensions and deferrals in the same way as other students. However, we also cannot offer you deferrals to the next academic year; any longer-term interventions such as interruptions would need to be discussed with your home institution.

Please see the separate FAQ on applying to defer examinations and assessments.

If you defer until later this summer, the form of the assessment would remain the same as if you were taking it in May, e.g. an open-book remote examination, rather than an invigilated on-campus examination. If you defer until the next academic year, then the form of the assessment may revert back to its original form; however, we cannot predict that far ahead.

Any student concerned about the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on their ability to perform may ask to defer all of their remaining assessments for this academic year until either the next assessment window (August 2020) or to next academic year (May 2021). No evidence will be required to support either request.

Students who successfully pass their required assessments this summer (either in May or August 2020), will be able to progress to the award (if they are a finalist or Masters student), or progress to the next stage of their degree (if they are a non-finalist), in time for the commencement of the 2020-21 academic year. Students who defer their assessments until the next academic year (May 2021) will not be able start their next stage in the 2020-21 academic year.

We would urge you to consider carefully before applying for a deferral, especially when opting to defer until the next academic year, and to talk any such decision through with academic tutors and your family and friends. You can also seek support from the advice teams in the Students’ Guild (Exeter) and Students’ Union (Cornwall).
In order to allow you to think this through carefully and in the light of what happens over the next few weeks, you have until Friday 1st May to make a request to defer all of your remaining assessments.

To request a deferral please see the information on these pages. From Monday 6th April the application form for deferral will also be available on these pages.

Students may request a deferral for one or more assessments after 1st May using the current standard mitigation form where short-lived circumstances impact on your ability to complete some assessments. No evidence will be required. 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.

If by August 2020 your circumstances are still unfavourable you can request a further deferral to next year, May 2021.

Colleges have given extensions for assessments that were due before the end of Term 2. If you need some additional time due to the symptoms you are experiencing, please follow the existing mitigation procedure online. 

It is however acknowledged that if you are self-isolating you may not be able to obtain a medical note as evidence to support your application. Mitigation will be considered in these cases on the basis of the statement in your application form only.

When accessing your module pages in Exams ELE you will notice a label in the top-left corner that says ‘not available.’ This will appear below the module title. The picture below shows what this looks like. This label does not mean there is any exams information missing; unfortunately this is an automatic feature we cannot disable. To access your examination simply scroll down and you will be able to see the required information.

You can access ELE Exams here. If you encounter any difficulties when taking an exam please contact the Assessment Helpdesk. For more information on the Assessment Helpdesk please see the FAQ ‘What is the Assessment Helpdesk and how can I access it?’ 

Image explaining Labels Issue in ELE Exams

 

4. Student Support

In line with the Government’s latest advice, we have closed all communal areas on our campuses. This includes all libraries, study spaces and shared spaces in halls of residence. Students living on campus must study in their rooms.

To support you as you prepare for the exams there’s lots of guidance available via the Study Zone. This now includes a helpful open-book exams guide and a technical guide on downloading and submitting your assessment via BART.

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

If you require assistance during examinations, an Assessment Helpdesk will be available as a first point of contact on (+44) 01392 726800. The Assessment Helpdesk will operate from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 12.30pm Saturdays BST. As examinations are also due to take place on Saturday 16th and Saturday 23rd May we will be providing extra support during these dates:

Saturday 16th and Saturday 23rd May - 8am - 8pm

Sunday 17th and Sunday 24th May - 8am - 12:30pm

During the May bank holidays the helpdesk will operate as follows:

Friday 8th May: 8am - 12:30pm

Monday 25th May: Closed

You can also email the Helpdesk out of hours on Exams2020@exeter.ac.ukand they will pick up your query as soon as they open. 

The Helpdesk can help with queries about the examination question or rubric, along with IT-related queries during your examination, liaising directly with the IT Helpdesk if necessary. The Helpdesk are able to respond to queries on all assessments (options 1, 2 and 3) that are currently open. 

The Assessment Helpdesk should only be contacted if you require assistance during an examination itself. As you will be under examination conditions, you should not contact your module lead or another module tutor during your examination under any circumstances. 

Please do not contact the Assessment Helpdesk outside of your examination window, as this will block phone lines for those sitting examinations and who require immediate help. Instead, please refer to the Student FAQs or contact coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk.

If you have enquiries about your dissertation or course work that are not part of the summer exams, please speak to your College Hub.

The Assessment Helpdesk is a support team able to respond to queries on all assessments (options 1, 2 and 3) that are currently open. If you have enquiries about your dissertation or course work that are not part of the summer exams, please speak to your College Hub. The Helpdesk can help with queries about the examination question or rubric, along with IT-related queries during your examination, liaising directly with the IT Helpdesk if necessary.

During your examination you can contact the Assessment Helpdesk on (+44) 01392 726800. The Assessment Helpdesk will operate from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 12.30pm Saturdays BST. As examinations are also due to take place on Saturday 16th and Saturday 23rd May we will be providing extra support during these dates:

Saturday 16th and Saturday 23rd May - 8am - 8pm

Sunday 17th and Sunday 24th May - 8am - 12:30pm

During the May bank holidays the helpdesk will operate as follows:

Friday 8th May: 8am - 12:30pm

Monday 25th May: Closed

You can also email the Helpdesk out of hours on Exams2020@exeter.ac.ukand they will pick up your query as soon as they open. 

The Assessment Helpdesk should only be contacted if you require assistance during an examination itself. As you will be under examination conditions, you should not contact your module lead or another module tutor during your examination under any circumstances.

Please do not contact the Assessment Helpdesk outside of your examination window, as this will block phone lines for those sitting examinations and who require immediate help. Instead, please refer to the Student FAQs or contact coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk.