Student Records & Examinations Office

Examinations Office


Examinations Office

Information and guidance for examinations candidates

Examination procedures

Frequently-asked questions (FAQs) and answers


General informationTop of page

The rules and procedures for examination candidates are set out in the University Regulations, QA28 and University Rule 2. If you have any queries not covered by this page, please contact the Examinations Office (

Ensuring examinations are fair for everyone

The University recognises and takes seriously the need to make cheating as difficult as possible.  Invigilators carefully monitor all activity during exams, including recording the times at which any student taking a toilet break leaves and re-enters the exam, as well as ensuring that students taking such breaks are accompanied as far as possible.  Additionally examination venues are secured between exams.  Robust procedures are in place to deal with any student who attempts to cheat, and include the provision to require a student to leave the University without a degree.  These are set out in document QA53 Examination and Assessment Offences and in Regulations 7 and 8.

Examination timetablesTop of page

The dates of the University's formal assessment periods are found on the academic year charts. You will have access to your personal examination timetable via SAMIS-on-the-web approximately seven weeks before the assessment period begins. Your timetable will contain the date, time, location and seat number for each examination – please check it carefully and regularly in case any changes are made.

Please be sure to check your seat number before you go to each examination and, if you are in the Sports Hall (Founders Hall), please check which quadrant you are in. You will have a different seat number for each exam, and numbers can be checked via SAMIS-on-the-web.

If you are due to sit examinations for some postgraduate programmes, distance-learning programmes, for our partner colleges, or undergraduate class tests, these might fall outside the main assessment periods and your Department will communicate this information directly to you.

Start times of examinationsTop of page

Most two-hour examinations start at 09:30, 13:00, or 16:30. Distance-learning examinations, or examinations with an alternative duration, may commence at different times.

Locations of examinationsTop of page

Please check your locations carefully on your personal timetable. Examinations are often split across several locations, so you might be sitting an examination in a different location to other people on your programme.
The main locations used for examinations at the main University campus (Claverton Down) are:

Please be sure to check your seat number before you go to each examination and, if you are in the Founders Hall, please check which quadrant you are in. You will have a different seat number for each exam, and numbers can be checked via SAMIS on the Web.

Alternative examination arrangementsTop of page

If you have learning or support needs and think you may require alternative examination arrangements please seek advice from Student Disability Advice and inform your Director of Studies as early as possible. They will need to communicate the resulting information to the Examinations Office by the last day of teaching prior to Christmas for Semester 1 examinations and the last teaching day prior to Easter for Semester 2 examinations, so please allow plenty of time.

Further information is available from Student Disability Advice.


Individual Mitigating CircumstancesTop of page

The University has principles and procedures for dealing with Individual Mitigating Circumstances (IMCs) which affect students' assessment.

These have been in effect since 2 November 2009 and are designed to ensure that all students are treated consistently. Please visit the IMCs webpage for full information, and ensure that any claim(s) you submit are fully in accordance with the stated procedure and timescales. In particular, do not 'wait and see' what your result is before submitting an IMC claim: by then it will almost certainly be too late for your claim to be considered.

Use of University CalculatorsTop of page

Where the rubric for an examination permits you to only use a University Calculator then you will be provided with a University Calculator, which will be on your desk when you enter the examination venue. You will not be allowed to use your own calculator in these circumstances.
In all cases where the use of University Calculators is required, candidates supplied with them will be required to quote the calculator number on each cover page of their script. Failure to quote the number and/or return the calculator supplied may result in disciplinary action which may include the imposition of a fine.
Where you are permitted to use your own calculator, your Department will have made arrangements for approving calculators. Your calculator should be marked to show that approval has been given for its use in examinations. Invigilators will check for the presence of this marker to ascertain that approval has been given.
Further information is available in University Rule 2, paragraphs 38 - 41.

Use of a dictionaryTop of page

University Regulation 15.6 states that:

1. Dictionary provision may be made as follows: Senate has resolved that all candidates should be allowed access to an English (only) dictionary, except in cases where this is inappropriate because part of the purpose of the examination is to test the use of language. It is the responsibility of the Board of Studies concerned to determine which examinations are excluded from this provision.
2. English (only) dictionaries will be present in each examination venue and provided to students upon request during the examination.
3. Electronic dictionaries may only be used in examinations if their use has been approved by the appropriate Board of Studies as a special need for a named individual. The Board of Studies will determine the procedures necessary to ensure that such a named individual does not have an unfair advantage over other students
through use of an electronic dictionary.

Examination candidate numbersTop of page

If you are due to take a formal university examination you will be sent a email advising you of your examination candidate number before the start of the Semester 1 examination period. Your number will last for the whole academic year and will be required to access your results, so please take care to retain your email. In accordance with the University's anonymous marking procedures, you will need to enter your candidate number on your examination answer script, but as it will always be printed on your desk label you will not need to remember your number.
If you do not receive an email, please contact the Student Records & Examinations Office ( to obtain this information.

Examination proceduresTop of page

On the day of the examination:

At the start of an examination:

During the examination: