Taking an examination

In the information below, "exams" or "examinations" refers to formal University examinations sat under timed, invigilated, closed examination conditions. For all enquiries regarding open assessments (eg coursework assignments, projects, dissertation, deadlines, extensions etc) please contact your department directly. Please also note that any queries concerning your modules, marks or results also need to be directed to your department. 

Attendance

Attendance

Attendance at all University closed exams is compulsory, and anyone who does not attend an exam at the time and place published in the exam timetable will be deemed to have failed in that part of the assessment.

Exams are normally scheduled between 9.00am and 7.30pm, although they may be scheduled up to 9.00pm where necessary. Exams may be scheduled on Saturdays and bank holidays.

You will receive an automated email when your exam timetable has been published and after any changes have been made.  Please check your timetable and ensure you are always working from the most up-to-date version.

If you require individual arrangements in exams then you need to make arrangements with Disability Services to have these put in place. 

Illness and compassionate circumstances

If you are unable to attend an examination because you are ill, or for any other good reason, you must submit a medical certificate or a full report of any exceptional circumstance affecting assessment, to the chairperson of the relevant Board of Studies. You would normally report to the chairperson through your supervisor. This needs to be done before the Board considers the assessment results.

Please note that misreading of the examination timetable is not regarded as an exceptional circumstance.

Identity

University card and exam candidate number

The University operates an anonymous marking policy and only your exam candidate number identifies you until marking has been completed. Your exam candidate number is the 7-digit number shown on your university card. This must be entered on every answer booklet or answer sheet used in every exam. 

Your university card acts as an identity card during the exam, and you must bring it with you to each exam. It must be legible, undamaged and contain a clear photograph that is a true enough likeness to identify you. If your card is damaged in a way that makes it illegible or your photograph unclear you must replace it. If your appearance changes to the extent that the picture is no longer a true likeness of yourself (to the extent that an invigilator may not think it is you) you must replace it with an up to date photograph. 

You must display your card with the photograph facing upwards on the desk throughout the exam. Failure to bring your card to an exam (or bringing a card that does not meet the above criteria) will be considered a failure on your part to follow exam regulations and therefore may result in your script not being marked. 

Publication of results

Students can opt out from publication of their exam results. You must notify the Data Protection Co-ordinator in good time if this is your intention.

Behaviour

Behaviour in examinations

You must follow the instructions of the invigilators at all times, and any failure to do so will be considered to be academic misconduct.

When you take your seat you may fill in the ID slip and the details on the front cover of the answer booklet. You must not write anything else before the invigilator has annnounced the start of the exam. Writing anything else (eg jotting notes on the cover of the question paper or answer booklet), turning over or opening the question paper or attempting to start the exam before instructed will be considered academic misconduct. 

You cannot bring personal belonging, bags, coats or notes into the exam room. Where space allows, an area at the back or immediately outside of an exam venue will be provided for bags and coats.  Notes should be left in your bag.  The University cannot accept responsibility for any items left in these areas, so we recommend you do not bring anything of value to your exams. You are not allowed to have smart watches, mobile phones or any other items capable of storing data on your person in the exam room, nor are you permitted to have any items at all in your pockets. Invigilators may ask to check your pockets. If you are found with any items in your pockets it will be considered to be academic misconduct, even if they are not items that could have provided you with an advantage during the exam. Items such as wallets and keys can be stored underneath your chair for the duration of the exam.  If you leave an electronic device under your chair it must be switched off. Alarms or any audible noise (including that made by vibrations) from such items will be reported as a case of academic misconduct. If any electronic device capable of storing data is found to have been left switched on during an exam it will be treated as academic misconduct, regardless of whether or not you accessed the device during the exam.

You cannot bring any food or drink, except for a small (500ml maximum) clear bottle of still water into the exam room. For those exams deemed to require them, you may use your own calculator but it must be from the University approved list of calculators.  For the academic year 2019/0 the exams office can provide a calculator for your use.  You cannot request the use of a calculator if the rubric of the exam does not specify it. It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with university calculators in advance should you need to - invigilators will not provide assistance in using calculators during exams. 

If you are taken ill during an exam you need to tell the invigilator as discreetly as possible so as not to disturb other candidates. The invigilator will give you a form to take to your doctor or the Health Centre.

You should not talk to anyone other than an invigilator during an exam. If you do, it may be treated as academic misconduct.

At the end of the exam you must stop writing immediately on instruction from a member of the invigilation team. Do not finish what you were writing even if you were in the middle of a word or sentence. Wait for the invigilators to collect your answer booklet and advise you that you can leave. You must not leave the room without the permission of an invigilator. You must leave all exam materials on the desk. Do not remove any exams property (eg calculators) from the room. 

Smoking (including electronic cigarettes) is not permitted in any venues. 

You should refer to the ‌Guide to Assessment, Marking and Feedback for detailed guidelines on conduct in exams and other useful information about assessment.

Academic Misconduct

The University regards any form of academic misconduct as an extremely serious matter. You are not allowed to:

  • cheat  ie fail to comply with the rules governing examinations, for example by making arrangements to have unauthorised access to information
  • collude  ie assist another candidate to gain an advantage by unfair means, or receive such assistance
  • fabricate  ie mislead the examiners by presenting work for assessment in a way which intentionally or recklessly suggests that factual information has been collected which has not in fact been collected, or falsifies factual information
  • personate  ie act, appear, or produce work on behalf of another candidate in order to deceive the examiners, or solicit another individual to act, appear or produce work on your own behalf
  • plagiarise  ie incorporate within your work, the work (published or unpublished) derived from another person without appropriate acknowledgement

You are not allowed to bring written or printed material or equipment (including calculators) into the exam room unless specifically permitted for a particular exam. You are not allowed to have anything written on your hands, arms or elsewhere on your body, even if it is irrelevant to the exam. 

Any device capable of storing or displaying data, including smart phones and smart watches or any other wearable technology such as a bluetooth headset must be stored underneath your chair. Failure to place these items out of reach will be treated as academic misconduct (regardless of whether or not you access the device during the exam).

You must not communicate with anyone except an invigilator during an exam.

You must not start writing anything other than your details on the ID slip and the front of the answer booklet before the invigilator has instructed you to do so, and you must stop writing immediately when instructed to do so. 

If you breach any of the requirements given above, the examiners will take account of it in determining a mark for the work affected. This may result in a mark of zero with consequent effects on the evaluation of your overall performance, and this might lead to failure in the module as a whole.

If the examiners believe that the case is of particular gravity, they may also recommend that further disciplinary penalties be applied. The penalties available are:

  • suspension or exclusion from the University
  • a lowering of the class of degree to be awarded
  • failure of the degree
  • withdrawal of any entitlement to redeem the failure

The above extracts have been taken from Ordinances and Regulations (Regulations governing University Assessments [Regulation 5.2]). Candidates are strongly advised to read all the sections in this handbook dealing with the conduct of examinations and appeals procedures, particularly the regulations governing  academic misconduct [Regulation 5.7].

Exam Materials

Students are reminded that ALL answer books, statistical tables, databooks, calculators etc provided to candidates in exams are University property and MUST NOT BE REMOVED from examination rooms. Exam candidates are reminded that the deliberate removal of such materials constitutes theft.

Exam candidates MUST NOT WRITE in items such as statistical tables, databooks etc which are provided only for reference purposes within the examination.

Religion/Ramadan

‌Religious Observance (including Ramadan)

Religious Observance Form 2019/0

Students wishing to observe a religious commitment on a particular day during the published exam periods should complete the form above and return it to the Exams Office by email: exams@york.ac.uk 

We try to accommodate students' legitimate requirements but the University reserves the right to hold exams on such days if no alternative time is convenient.

During Ramadan, the University makes changes, where possible, such as:

  • exams either take place in the early afternoon or early in the morning
  • no more than one exam per day is scheduled

Arrangements are made in line with advice from a senior Imam, the Equality Challenge Unit recommendations, the current practices at a number of higher education institutions and the advice of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS).

Students must attend examinations in the locations allocated unless ill or unable to attend.

  • If students are unwell during any period of assessment, including exams, they should follow the University procedures for confirmation of illness.

Exceptional circumstances

The University recognises that obligatory fasting is an important event in many religious observances; however, religious fasting alone does not constitute legitimate exceptional circumstances for examinations. Acceptable exceptional circumstances occur if the act of fasting significantly affects a student’s health and/or a student has a medical condition which may impair their academic performance or prevent them from attending an examination during fasting. In such cases, the student will need to provide documentary evidence to support their claim for exceptional circumstances.

See also the University's Policy on Religion Belief and Non-Belief for Students.

Disability or condition

Disability and medical conditions 

Individual arrangements may be approved for students who are unable to sit formal University exams under standard exam conditions. This could be as a result of

  • A long-standing physical or mental impairment, illness or disability
  • A short/medium term condition eg pregnancy or recovery from an accident or surgery
  • A temporary illness or injury eg broken bones, temporary sports injuries 

Individual arrangements are designed to ensure that equitable exam conditions are provided to enable students to demonstrate their knowledge and competence notwithstanding their disability or condition.

Resits

Resit fee

All students sitting centrally timetabled resits will be required to pay a resit fee of £30 per examThe resit fee should be paid before the date of the exam. Communication via email and e:Vision will contain details of how and when to pay the resit fee. 

There is no resit fee for exams classed as first attempts. If you have any queries about whether your exam is a resit or a first attempt please contact your department. The resit fee contributes to the additional administration, printing, stationery and invigilation costs associated with resit examinations. 

Notification

Undergraduate candidates who are required to take resit or first attempt exams during the resit period will be contacted via e:Vision in July.  Postgraduate student resits may be scheduled outside of this period, and candidates will be contacted by their departments regarding timing.

Timetable

Undergraduate Resit exams usually take place in the third week of August. Dates can be found on the Assessment and Examination web page.  Postgraduate resit exams may be scheduled at other times by departments in order to allow students a firm decision on progression sooner than late August in order to facilitate dissertation and project work.

The resit timetable will be available in late July on students' individual teaching timetables.  It is not possible to provide precise information of exam dates (other than the week the exams will be scheduled in) until this time. Therefore all candidates required to resit exams should make themselves available in York for the whole of the resit week.

Accommodation

Candidates who wish to book temporary accommodation at the University during this period can do so by emailing the Accommodation Office (accommodation@york.ac.uk).

Results

Exam results are not issued by the Exams Office. For information on module results please contact your department.

Room layout

Your exam venue will be displayed on 'My Timetable'. If you have any problems accessing this please contact timetabling@york.ac.uk. You will be emailed your seat number for each exam the week before exams commence. You can check the room layouts below to see whereabouts in the room your seat is located. It is important that you attend the venue on timetable and sit in your allocated seat as failure to do so may result in you being marked absent. It is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of where your exam is taking place - missing your exam or being late due to not knowing your venue or going to the wrong place will not be considered an exceptional circumstance. 

If you have individual exam arrangements you will have been placed in a specific room to ensure your arrangements can be put in place. Attending the exam in a different venue (even if the same exam is taking place there) will mean that your arrangements will not be available. 

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