Exams

ADMINISTRATION            LEARNING & TEACHING        SUPPORT
Timetabled exams    Preparing for exams   Special consideration and reasonable adjustments
In-department exams                  Exams & academic dishonesty                    Feedback on exams


Arranging timetabled exams

Most formal, end-of-semester examinations for units of study across the University are coordinated by the Examinations Office, which is part of the Student Centre. These are referred to as ‘Timetabled Examinations’.

  • On the Examinations Office site, you will find the guidelines for arranging timetabled exams, as well as a list of the steps involved.
  • All the forms you'll need to submit your timetabled exam specifications to the Examinations Office, as well as the Exam timetable and locations for the current semester can be downloaded from their site. There you will also find instructions for how to write your exam typescripts.
  • You will receive emails from the Exams Office within the first couple of weeks of each semester, alerting you to timelines, and asking you to inform them very soon about your proposed exams. Pay attention to this email, as it will give you the (always surprisingly early, but very important) date by which your exam scripts need to be finalised and sent to the Exams Office, in order to ensure that they can print them in time for end-of-semester exams.

Arranging in-department exams

Any exam that is not arranged by the Examinations Office is called an 'in-department' exam. This covers, for example:

  • mid-semester and in-class exams
  • end-of-semester exams for units of study with small numbers (generally those with less than twenty five students enrolled)
  • practical and oral exams
  • supplementary exams
  • exams for students who have been granted special consideration (whether for mid-semester or end-of-semester exams.


If you have a student in your class who is registered with Disability Services, see below on Special consideration and reasonable adjustments.

The Exams Office may be involved in organising some aspects of an in-department, end-of-semester exam. For example, they may organise the venue and timetable for a small cohort, but not provide supervision. Otherwise they will email students to let them know that they need to consult with the school or department for all information.

The Exams Office provides guidelines and helpful information on how to conduct in-department exams.


Special consideration and reasonable adjustments for disability

Students can be granted special consideration, due to illness, injury or misadventure, or special arrangements, due to essential community, cultural, legal, religious or other such commitments.

  • In these situations, you will need to make arrangements for them to sit ‘in department’ exams at a separate time from the other students. This usually involves preparing a replacement assessment or exam (see below).
  • See the information on Special Consideration Regarding Assessments: Policy and Procedures for more information on the procedures involved with special consideration.


In the case of students with a disability who have registered with Disability Services, any requests for reasonable adjustments should be communicated to you in plenty of time before the scheduled exam.

  • Students are required to submit their request at least a week prior to the exam, however there are times where requests are made at the last minute, due to events out of the student’s control. Disabilty Services will contact you as soon as possible to negotiate arrangements in such situations.
  • As with all arrangements through Disability Services, the unit of study (UoS) coordinator is required to make reasonable allowances for these students, nonetheless the coordinator of the unit is the final arbiter in assessment situations. If the coordinator feels that the extension or exam conditions will place unreasonable demands on the assessment processes (which may be the case in situations which require setting supplementary exams etc) they can then contact Disability Services to negotiate alternative arrangements.
  • If a student with a disability needs reasonable adjustments for an in-department exam, you will be responsible for organising these adjustments, using your department’s facilities. Your local administrative unit can help you with booking a venue and may be able to help with arranging supervision for the exam.
  • The Exams Office assists with reasonable adjustments for formal, end-of-semester exams, except where a student with a disability needs to apply for special consideration or special arrangements. In this case, as with all other students who apply for special consideration or special arrangements, they must be provided ‘in-department’.
  • See the Disability Services page on information for staff for answers to common questions about assessment adjustments.
  • For more information on examining and supporting students with disabilities, contact your Faculty’s Student Disability Liaison Officer.

Preparing students for exams in your unit of study

Exams

Students can feel a great deal of stress and anxiety regarding exams, particular if these comprise a large part of their assessment.

During the semester there are ways that you can help students to prepare themselves for exams. See our section on Feedback during semester, and on Managing student expectations on our Assessment page.

Before the end of semester, make a ‘dummy’ copy of the front page of your exam to show students in class or online. This will give them a chance to see the Instructions to Candidates, and to ask about anything that is unclear.

If you can, include a few sample questions and go over possible responses in class together, or provide model answers online. Explain to students what makes a good answer good, and how you will allocate marks for each question type.

Provide students with a link to the Exams Office info for students, which includes rules, approved materials, assessment policies, and so on. Let them know that they must check their own exam timetable, venues and seat numbers through MyUni – it’s sometimes the case, for example, that one cohort has to be spread over a number of venues, and the venue is likely to be one in which they have never had a class before.


Exams and academic dishonesty

Cheating can be an issue in multiple choice questionnaire (MCQ) exams. Gareth Denyer & Dale Hancock, both from the School of Molecular Bioscience, have devised a method for detecting dishonesty in MCQs.

See the topic Plagiarism in exams on our Academic honesty page for more information about their method.


Feedback on exam results

While it is not common practice to return marked exam papers to students, exam review days and online feedback are two ways that students can get some feedback on their exam results. See Feedback after semester for more information.