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University Rules - 2. Conduct of Examinations

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Note: in this Rule 'Student Records and Examinations Office' ('SREO') refers to members of staff and 'Examinations Office' refers to the location in Wessex House.

Examination schedule

1. The examination periods are determined by Senate as part of the academic year chart.  The Student Records and Examinations Office (SREO) shall request details of Faculties’/the School's/partner organisations’ examinations in accordance with the schedule set in the Academic Administration Calendar.

2.  The SREO shall produce and circulate to Faculty/School/partner organisation administrators an initial schedule between four and twelve weeks in advance of the examination period.  The schedule shall specify:

a.      examination timings;

b.     examination locations (wherever possible);

c.      the number of invigilators required per location and which Faculty/School/partner organisations are to provide them.

3.  Following review by Faculty/School/partner organisations, the final schedule, including examination timings and locations, the students registered for each examination, the names of the invigilators and the material requirements for the examination, shall be published by the SREO.  The final examination schedule shall normally be circulated not less than one week before the start of the examination period.

4. At the same time the SREO shall provide all Invigilators with a copy of University Rule 2 and a list for each examination indicating:

a.      the number of candidates and their desk numbers;

b.     examination materials provided by the Director of Academic Registry;

c.      additional materials to be provided by the Faculty/School/partner organisation;

d.     the names of the Invigilators.

Preparation of examination papers

5. Strict security shall be observed by the SREO, Faculty, School, Imaging Design & Print Services and partner organisation staff in the drafting, printing and storage of all examination papers and materials.

6. Each Faculty/School/partner organisation shall nominate a member of staff to be responsible for examination papers.  Faculty, School or Partner Organisation Administrators or Nominated Members shall be contacted on all matters relating to examination papers within their Faculty or School. The nominated member shall normally submit the examination paper master, accompanied by a Question Paper Requisition Sheet, to the SREO in the timeframe specified in the Academic Administration Calendar and no less than three weeks before the examination date. The Requisition Sheet shall specify details of how the paper is to be printed, the number of copies and the materials which the candidates will require during the examination, including details of calculators where appropriate.  At certain examination-peak periods nominated members may be asked to submit their material with a longer time interval before the examination date. Papers to be printed outside the University shall be forwarded by the nominated member to the SREO no less than twelve weeks before the examination date. If a half-tone photograph is to be printed in an examination paper or in an accompanying diagram sheet, it shall be the responsibility of the Faculty/School/partner organisation to have the photograph reproduced by the University Imaging Design and Printing Service before the normal three-week question-paper submission date, or at a comparably earlier date at an examination-peak period.

7. Details of any special provision shall be made known to the SREO by the last teaching day prior to Christmas for Semester One examinations and the last teaching day prior to Easter for Semester Two examinations.

8. Final and Progress papers set by Servicing Faculties or School shall be submitted to the SREO by the nominated member in the Servicing Faculty or School, after such papers have been sent for comment to the Faculty or School responsible for the programme. Such papers with comments must be returned to the Servicing Faculty or School within seven days of receipt.

9. The nominated member shall be responsible for arranging checking of masters and final copy of all examination papers and no other person shall be allowed to take examination matter away from the Examinations Office. The nominated member shall also be responsible for the addition of any necessary diagrams before final printing.

10. A checking copy of the printed examination paper shall be made available to the relevant Faculty/School/partner organisation Administrator or Nominated member three working days in advance of the examination.  This shall be shown to the setter of the paper.  If there are any corrections at this stage, the setter is advised to make the corrections in the Examinations Office.

11. All question-paper copy shall incorporate a rubric at the start which shall include a reference to the status of the paper in relation to the use of calculators.

12. Examination headings and layout shall conform to the specification obtainable on request from the Director of Academic Registry.

13. Each paper shall be accompanied by a Question Paper Requisition Form, giving details of how the paper is to be printed, the number of copies and the materials required by candidates sitting the examination.  The Requisition Form shall also include an instruction as to whether university calculators are required, whether students may use their own calculators, or whether calculators are not required.  Where students are permitted to use their own calculators, the Faculty/School/partner organisation shall make arrangements for the approval and marking of each calculator.  Students who do not possess a suitable calculator shall be told to make arrangements with the SREO to borrow a calculator (subject to availability) for their examination period.

14. Where additional materials are to be provided by the Faculty/School/partner organisation, a copy of the list shall be forwarded to the Faculty/School/partner organisation before the examination.

15. The SREO shall prepare packets in which all examination papers shall be accompanied by a front sheet giving details of the examiner, contact telephone number, other venues and instructions for students.

16. Examination papers and packets shall be retained securely in the Examinations Office until collected by the Invigilator.

17. Marks lists shall be produced by the SREO and sent to the designated administrators in the week preceding the examination period.

18. File copies of the question papers shall be sent by the SREO to the Faculty/School/partner organisation after the examination.

Examination venues

19. The location of and facilities for written examinations taken within the University shall be determined by the SREO on behalf of the Director of Academic Registry in consultation with the appropriate Faculty or the School.  A clock, visible to all candidates, shall be provided in each venue.  Dictionaries shall be provided by SREO for use by any candidate upon request, in accordance with Regulation 15.6.

20. When more than one examination is held in the same room, each examination shall have the same commencing time and the same terminating time.  In the case of certain specified rooms, Senate may from time to time permit the concurrent sitting of 2 hour and 3 hour examinations within the room.

21. The location and invigilation of practical examinations shall be arranged by the appropriate Faculty or School.

Appointment of invigilators

22. The number of Invigilators required in each room shall be determined by the SREO on behalf of the Director of Academic Registry, who will ask the Faculties/School/partner organisations to nominate Invigilators at least four weeks before the examination. Every examination venue requires one Chief Invigilator, and an Assistant Invigilator unless there is only one candidate.  Where there are more than eighty candidates, a second Assistant Invigilator is required.  If more than one Invigilator is required in a room, one shall be designated Chief Invigilator by the SREO.

23. Faculties/School/partner organisations provide names of the invigilators they have appointed, as requested by the SREO.  Chief Invigilators shall be members of academic staff [1] except in cases where there is only one candidate to be invigilated.  Exceptions to this shall be approved by the University Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee. Faculties/the School/partner organisations may choose to appoint as Assistant Invigilators suitable persons who are not members of academic staff.  Faculties/the School/partner organisations are responsible for any costs incurred and for ensuring that such persons are aware of their duties and are trained appropriately

[1] These may be full-time, part-time, academic related or teaching fellows if they have the necessary experience.


Before the examination

24. Each Chief Invigilator shall collect the examination packet(s) and where applicable a key to the examination venue from the Examinations Office in sufficient time to arrive with the papers at the venue not less than thirty minutes before the commencement of the examination; other invigilators shall be at the examination location not less than twenty minutes before the commencement of the examination.

25. The Chief Invigilator shall be responsible for ensuring that, with help as necessary from any other Invigilators in the venue, the appropriate examination papers are placed on each desk together with any material provided by the Faculty/School/partner organisation  before the candidates are admitted and at least ten minutes before the examination is due to commence. Examination material provided by the Director of Academic Registry shall have been laid out by a porter, or other designated member of staff

Starting the examination

26. Candidates shall be admitted to the room not later than five minutes before the examination is due to commence to enable them to be seated and all instructions to be read out so that the examination can commence at the designated time. On entering the examination room candidates shall deposit all bags and unauthorised sources of information in a place indicated by the Invigilator and place their Library Card on their examination desk. No candidate shall have access to a mobile phone or similar device during the examination, and all bags or cases for pencils, pens etc placed on examination desks must be fully transparent.  Candidates should avoid bringing mobile phones or other portable communication devices to examinations.  Any mobile phone which is brought into the examination venue shall be switched off and left at the front of the venue, either in any bag brought by the candidate to the venue, or on the invigilator’s desk.  Although candidates are permitted to take bottles of water into an examination venue, other refreshments including all forms of alcoholic, hot, and canned, drinks are not permitted.

27. Normally the Chief Invigilator shall be the sole person to make any announcements in the examination room.

28. Candidates may read the rubric on the front of the question paper but may not turn over the front cover to read the questions or start writing until the Chief Invigilator announces the commencement of the examination.

29. The University operates an examination anonymity policy. A candidate’s name must not appear on an examination script (except for the front of answer books and pink covers, where names are covered by a foldable flap which is then secured by removing the protective strip).

30. All candidates will have been personally notified of their examination candidate and seat numbers. In the event of any confusion about an examination candidate number, the Chief Invigilator shall make sure that the candidate starts the examination with the other students and shall then contact the Examinations Office (ext 5707) as soon as possible.

31. The Chief Invigilator shall instruct candidates to write their name and provide their signature on the front cover of their script and secure the foldable flap by removing the protective strip. S/he shall also ask candidates to ensure that their Library Card is clearly displayed on their desk.  Candidates shall be asked to sign and detach the attendance slip, which shall be collected after the first thirty minutes of the examination.  The Chief Invigilator shall make a note of absent candidates or Library Cards on the Invigilation Certificate.

32. The Chief Invigilator shall announce the commencement of the examination at the appointed time.


During the examination

33. It shall be the prime duty of Invigilators to ensure that no improper practices occur within the examination room. Invigilators shall:

a.      ensure that candidates are seated in their correct places;
b.      ensure that each candidate has the papers required;
c.      ensure that no unfair means are used by candidates;
d.      conduct an unobtrusive visual check to verify that each candidate’s Library Card is displayed and matches the candidate on whose desk it is placed;
e.      complete an Invigilation Certificate in duplicate;
f.       ensure that no candidate is admitted to the room more than thirty minutes after the commencement, that no candidate leaves the examination until thirty minutes after the commencement, and that no candidate leaves an examination during the last fifteen minutes of the scheduled time.
g.      ensure that any candidate who needs to leave the examination temporarily, for example to go to the toilet, is accompanied by a member of the invigilation team. The invgilator shall keep a log of all candidates who leave the examination temporarily, including the the seat number and the times at which the candidate left and re-entered the venue.

34. Throughout the duration of the examination all Invigilators shall be constantly vigilant both of the possibility of cheating and of the requirements of candidates.  Invigilators shall walk around the venue at frequent intervals in a way that does not distract candidates.  This provides an opportunity for invigilators to conduct an unobtrusive visual check of candidates’ Library Cards.  Invigilators shall compile a list of candidates (identified by seat numbers) for whom either there is no Library Card displayed, or there is doubt about the identity of the candidate.

35. If the candidate does not display a Library Card, or if the Library Card appears not to match the candidate, the Invigilator shall, at the end of the examination, ask the candidate to remain behind to complete an Identity Verification form, or to show their Library Card if it is available within the venue.  If such a candidate leaves the examination before the end, the Invigilator shall, where possible without disruption to other candidates, ask the candidate to complete the form.  If the candidate leaves the examination without completing the form, the seat number shall be reported on the Invigilator’s Certificate.  Where cheating has been suspected, or there has been any problem with establishing the identity of the candidate, a full report shall be included on the Invigilator’s Certificate

36. Where there is more than one Invigilator, one shall be positioned at the back of the examination venue, to ensure the better supervision of the candidates. The duties for such Invigilators shall be the same as for any located at the front of a room.

37. In accordance with Regulation 15.5, candidates shall not be permitted to bring calculators into examinations unless the rubric of the examination specifically permits it. In such cases, only calculators approved by the Faculty/School/partner organisation shall be permitted, and Invigilators shall check that each calculator has been marked to indicate approval by the Faculty/School/partner organisation of the use of the calculator.  Any calculator not so marked shall be removed and the candidate given a University calculator. Where the rubric specifies the use of University-supplied calculators, candidates shall on no account be allowed to use their own calculators even where the model is alleged to be identical to those supplied by the University.

38. Calculators shall operate quietly and cause no disturbance to other candidates; invigilators are empowered to remove offending machines.   Where students are permitted to use their own calculators they use them at their own risk and no account can be taken by the Examiners of any malfunction.

39. All forms of instruction manual, operating guide or aide memoire, and written or printed program record or listing, are prohibited.

40. Candidates supplied with University calculators shall be required to quote the calculator number on each cover page of their script. Failure to quote the number and/or to return the calculator supplied may result in disciplinary action which may include the imposition of a fine.

41. In accordance with Regulation 15.6, candidates may ask an invigilator at any time during the examination to provide a dictionary.  English (only) dictionaries shall be provided in the venue by the University and the Chief Invigilator shall be responsible for ensuring that each dictionary is checked after each use for annotations or other alterations.  Electronic dictionaries may only be used in examinations if their use has been approved by the appropriate Board of Studies/Standing Committee as a special need for a named individual.

42. No power supply shall be made available to candidates other than to those using equipment in a practical examination, or to support examinations conducted under special arrangements.

43. Where an Invigilator suspects a candidate of cheating the Invigilator shall, after informing and consulting the other Invigilator(s), warn the candidate that a report will be made. The candidate shall then be permitted to finish the paper. A full report shall be made on the Invigilator's Certificate

44. Invigilators may require a candidate to leave the examination room but only if the candidate's conduct is disturbing other candidates

45. The Chief Invigilator shall announce when five minutes of the examination remain.

Procedure in the event of a fire/emergency during an examination

46. The Chief Invigilator shall ask candidates to leave the room quietly with their examination scripts by the exit(s) assigned by her/him, and accompany them to a suitable Assembly Area for that location (see below). There the invigilators shall collect the scripts from the candidates.

47. In the case of examinations held in large halls (e.g. the University Hall or the Sports Hall), where there are several emergency exits, the Chief Invigilator shall ensure that an invigilator accompanies the candidates leaving by each emergency exit assigned by her/him, so that there is supervision over all candidates until the scripts are collected at the Assembly Area.

48. The emergency/fire alarm shall be reported to the Examinations Office (Ext. 5707) as soon as possible.

49. If the candidate group is a small one, where it is possible to ensure a complete control of candidates, it may be in order on the cessation of the alarm to resume the examination. Before continuing, candidates shall be asked to draw a demarcation line across the scripts. If it has not been possible to supervise the candidates adequately, then it is likely an assessment will have to be made on the basis of work completed up to the time of the alarm.

50. The appropriate Assembly points for various buildings are listed below. The alarm sound is either a continuous tone or a warbling sound.

1 EAST Woodland North of 3 EAST
2 EAST Area East of Lake
3 EAST Woodland North of 3 EAST
4 EAST Area East of lake
6 EAST Area East of the East Car Park
LIBRARY Woodland North of 3 EAST
1 WEST Grass Banks in Front of Westwood Residences
1 WEST/NORTH Woodland North of 3 EAST
UNIVERSITY HALL (2 WEST) Area East of Lake
3 WEST Grass Banks in Front of Westwood Residences
3 WEST/NORTH Grass Banks in Front of Westwood Residences
WESSEX HOUSE/NORTH Grass Banks in Front of Westwood Residences
5 WEST Grass Banks in Front of Westwood Residences
8 WEST South of 8 WEST, by the West Car Park
CHANCELLORS' BUILDING Grass area towards Marlborough Court

Ending the examination

51. The termination of the examination shall be announced at the proper time by the Chief Invigilator.

52. At the end of the examination the Chief Invigilator collects the scripts, and any university calculators, ensuring that a full set is taken from each student.  The Chief Invigilator checks that the number of attendance slips is equal to the number of scripts.

53. Candidates shall remain seated until all their scripts and calculators (if supplied) have been collected by an Invigilator. The Chief Invigilator shall then dismiss students in an orderly fashion, but shall ask any candidates (identified by their seat numbers) for whom there is a query of any kind about the identity check to remain behind after the other candidates have left the examination venue.  These candidates shall be required to complete a short form to provide details which shall be checked against the candidate’s SAMIS record by the Student Records and Examinations Office.  Candidates who had brought their Library Card to the venue but omitted to display it may simply show the Library Card to the Invigilator, who shall mark the form to indicate whether the check was satisfactory.  Completed form(s) shall be attached to the Invigilator’s Certificate. If such a candidate does not remain behind, this information, including the seat number, shall be clearly recorded on the Invigilator’s Certificate.  Candidates are not permitted to remove any stationery from the venue. Candidates may take out the examination paper at the end of the examination unless the paper expressly forbids this.

54. The Invigilator shall place the scripts in numerical order as directed and return them, together with attendance slips, Invigilation Certificates, venue key where applicable and spare question papers, to the Examinations Office or other agreed location, as specified on the front of the examination packet. Where applicable the invigilator shall lock the examination venue. If it has been agreed with the SREO that an invigilator will retain the scripts for marking, these must be returned first to the Faculty/School/partner organisation Administrator or Nominated Member who shall exchange the attendance list for a number-only marks list.

55. In the Sports Hall or University Hall the Chief Invigilator shall return the calculator stock to the porter/supervisor concerned immediately the candidates have been dismissed. In all other locations the Chief Invigilator shall follow instructions given by the SREO to return calculators directly to the Examinations Office or to the Security Office at the end of the examination.

56. Summary timeline:

Timeline of an exam


57. SREO shall notify the Faculty/School/partner organisation Administrator or Nominated Member when the scripts are ready for collection.  The scripts shall be stored securely until collection. Scripts returned to the Examinations Office shall be collected by the nominated person of the Faculty/School/partner organisation and transferred to the Internal Examiner for marking.

58. After marking the scripts, together with completed Mark Sheets, shall be passed to the Head of Department or School responsible for the programme. The Head of a Servicing Department or School shall pass a copy of the Mark List to the Head of Department or School responsible for the programme.

59. For an externally assessed examination the Faculty or School shall forward the scripts together with two Mark Sheets to the External Examiner by recorded post or personal delivery. The External Examiner shall return the scripts with one copy of the Mark Sheet with amendments and comments to the Head of the Department or School by a prescribed date.

60. The preparation of Mark Lists for Boards of Examiners shall be the responsibility of the Faculty or School.

61. Marked scripts of final examinations shall be kept within Departments and the School for not less than one full academic year after either entry into next stage of programme or the point of leaving/award in accordance with the Retention Schedule at http://www.bath.ac.uk/library/services/records/policy/07-learning-and-teaching.html



62. The general rules of examination procedure shall apply, with the following exceptions:

a.      Faculties/the School/partner institutions shall inform the SREO of the details of candidates who are required to sit supplementary examinations;

b.     Faculties/the School/partner organisations are responsible for the printing of their own papers and delivery of the papers to the Examinations Office

c.      If Faculties/the School/partner organisations wish to organise their own examinations entirely, they may do so provided that they ensure that the polices and procedures set out in this Rule are implemented at the local level.

63. If University-supplied calculators are required in a Supplementary Examination, Faculties or the School shall submit not less than 15 working days' notice to the SREO of this requirement.

JH October 2014
In accordance with Regulation 15.4