General exams information

Before your exams take place, take some time to familiarise yourself with the what is going to happen and when. Then prepare yourself using the guidance below.

How are exams timetabled?

Academic Registry produces a central timetable on behalf of all Schools and departments for exams in Semester 1, Semester 2 and the Special Assessment Period (SAP). The Examination Timetabling Policy linked below is approved by Learning and Teaching Committee.

Your timetable will be published to Learn, and we will send you an email when it is ready to view.

Familiarise yourself with your exam timetable and with any specific exam guidance provided for your modules. The timetable includes the start and final submission times planned for the online exam. For short window (1b) exams the final submission time takes account of any extra time including rest breaks which may have been agreed for you. If you have additional time for download/upload this will also be included.

Examination Timetabling Policy (PDF, 2019)

Reasonable adjustments and online exams

Support for students with a disability

The University's Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service offers a range of support for students. If you have a disability or medical condition that you think could affect your performance in examinations and assessments, SWAI will assess whether a reasonable adjustment should be put in place to enable you to demonstrate your true academic potential. The reasonable adjustments and how they will be accommodated when sitting online examinations can be found below.

Rest breaks and/or extra time in examinations 

For short window (1b) and Learn Quiz online exams, students with extra time allowed for Reasonable Adjustments will have this extra time added to the normal exam paper time. For (1b) exams students will receive the additional 30 minutes described above in addition to their extra time. Please note that this will only be applicable to the open book short window exams.  

Likewise, where applicable, additional time for rest breaks will be added to the total time allowed for the assessment. Rest breaks are taken during formal exams in the form of 30 or 60 minutes breaks. We would advise you to take these as you need within the recommended additional time you have been allocated. 

You have 23 hours to undertake long window (1a) online exams so there is no additional allowance for extra time and rest breaks as this is built into the 23 hour period already. 

Scribe or other human assistance when taking examinations 

Students will be contacted individually to let them know the arrangements for providing this reasonable adjustment during their examinations. 

Use of a computer when taking examinations.  

As all students are required to use a computer when sitting online examination papers, this adjustment is not currently required. If you have specific concerns about access to suitable IT facilities, please contact urgently to speak to an adviser in Student Support and Advice. 

Who can I contact to discuss support or adjustments?

If you have any concerns regarding your reasonable adjustments and how they will be accommodated when taking online examinations, please contact the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity's disability team at If you believe the adjustments made have not proved to be adequate for your needs and feel that you have been negatively impacted, you can submit a claim for mitigating circumstances. 

How should I prepare for my exams?

Before the exam

Online Exams are ‘open book’ but otherwise are as similar as possible to a ‘normal’ exam. You should therefore prepare largely as normal.

  • Practice how you are going to approach the exam, including knowing how you are going to prepare and submit your answers
  • Note down in advance how to get help if you have a problem on the day
  • Study your material as thoroughly as you would for any other exam – do not assume there will be time available to look up all the answers! Decide and organise what materials and resources you plan to use

For each exam, guidance will normally be provided on the exam paper regarding the preferred format for completing your answers – for example, word processed and/or handwritten. Please use the preferred format if possible, but ultimately this is your choice and it will of course depend on the nature of the questions. If handwriting your answers, make sure you have all the stationery you require (e.g. pens, pencils, paper, calculator etc.) to hand. You should also make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the guidance on uploading your work to Learn in advance of the day.

Whilst it doesn't affect students ahead of Semester 1 exams, we do have guidance on how to prepare during Ramadan.

Your exam environment

Find as comfortable and quiet a space as possible in which to complete your exam. If you have any long window (1a) exams, consider when would be the best time for you to undertake the exam within the 23 hour period allocated. The online exams will be ‘open book’ but otherwise will be as consistent as possible with a ‘normal’ exam and therefore you should prepare largely as normal.

All our study spaces on campus will be open for both revision and taking your exams online if you wish to access them. Some of these spaces can be booked in advance. Full details of how to do this will be available in January.

Your computer and technical setup

All students will need to use a computer to access their examination paper. For the majority of assessments, you will only need an internet connection to download and then later upload your work within the appropriate time window. If you are taking a test, quiz or multiple choice exam through Learn, you will need a connection throughout the duration of the test. If your connection fails, the system will have saved the last response which you submitted so you should be able to pick up where you left off within the duration of your test attempt.

You will not need access to a printer or dedicated scanner. Where answers are handwritten, they can be photographed or scanned with devices such as a mobile phone. Further details are available on the Preparing your answers for submission page.

If you need help setting up your computer for your assessments, please review the Working from Home advice on the IT Services Website If you need technical advice, you should contact IT Services directly for support. If you do not have access to a computer or internet access to study remotely and/or to complete your assessments online, please contact  as soon as possible to speak to an adviser in the Student Advice and Support Service.

Use the practice module on Learn

We have made a practice module available through Learn which replicates how you will interact with your exams during the actual examination session - linked below. Once enrolled you will be given instructions on what to do next. The module is available now.

You can access the practice module as many times as you like and we strongly recommend that you do so at least once in order that you can familiarise yourself with the process of downloading and uploading documents. You should also practice combining a variety of file types (hand written scanned/photos and computer files) before your exam to avoid problems at the time of submission/deadline.

If you have any queries please contact

Practice module on Learn

Conduct during online exams

The online exams are 'open book'. This means that during the exam:

  • You may, but are not expected to, consult teaching materials, on-line library resources, academic papers, books, book chapters, dictionaries and/or internet information etc. to inform your answers, unless any additional materials have been specifically provided to you for the exam.
  • You may use any calculator (not just those on the University’s approved list).
  • You may, but are not expected to, use relevant computational/algebraic software packages. Exam questions will not normally require their use and it is possible that spending time doing so will be detrimental to your performance. Marks are generally awarded when full working and appropriate explanations are provided as answers. If you choose to use a computational software package, and only give the final answer, it is likely you will get a low mark for that part of the question.

Other than the points above, normal expectations around academic integrity, exam conduct and cheating remain unchanged.

  • Your answers must be entirely your own work. You must not use answers/content provided wholly or in part by others/other sources.
  • You must not share any information or discuss how to interpret or do the questions with anyone else whilst you or they are still taking the exam.

The University has a number of measures in place to ensure students cannot cheat in assessments, including in online exams, and any attempts to do so and/or gain an unfair advantage will be taken very seriously.

Academic Misconduct: Plagiarism and Cheating