When your exams will happen
Exam format and duration
All exams in 2020/21 will be by nature ‘open book’ and will have instructions (a rubric) confirming what material you can access or use. Most exams will have a 24-hour timeframe in which they can be attempted. There are some departmental exceptions to this so you should check the schedule carefully and speak to your Director of Studies if you have any questions or need clarification.
The normal expectation is for an exam to take two hours to complete. This means that there is plenty of time within a 24-hour period if you need to attempt two exams.
The 24-hour period in which each exam takes place provides sufficient time to fulfil Disability Access Plan (DAP) requirements. Students with more complex exam arrangements in place, such as support workers (readers or scribes), alternative software or specific schedule requirements should contact the Disability Service as soon as possible so that we can help to anticipate and resolve any concerns.
Taking your online exams
In the 2020/21 academic year your exams will be online, and you will take them in your own space. In most cases, you’ll access and submit your exams through a dedicated assessment platform called Inspera. This is a specialist tool that is helping us plan, design, deliver and mark your exams online.
Our Digital Assessment Platform (Inspera)
You will soon be able to access Inspera using your University log-in via Single Sign-On.
You will need an internet connection and a web browser to take your exams. You may need additional writing software (such as Microsoft Word) and PDF software (such as Acrobat Reader) depending on the requirements of the exam. Your department will confirm whether any of your exams will require you to upload your submission. The University will not be using any form of remote invigilation to monitor student activity using artificial intelligence or any other method this academic year and you won’t need to install any additional software from Inspera for online exams in 2020/21.
Your submission in Inspera will be anonymous (we can see when a student submits but not who the student is) and it will be marked anonymously as has been the case in previous years with paper-based exams.
Exam question types
The following question types will be used during the January 2021 exams. Your department will confirm which question types to expect:
Multiple choice - Choose one answer from several alternatives.
Multiple response – Choose more than one answer from several alternatives.
Essay – Produce longer text answers with the opportunity to use formatting such as tables, LaTex, special symbols and mathematical symbols.
File upload - Answer the question by uploading a PDF file. For example, the candidate hand-writes an answer on paper, takes a photo of it and uploads the final answer as a PDF file in the question.
Over the coming weeks we’ll provide links to further guidance on taking your online exams including information about academic integrity and how the University expects you to complete your exams. We will also provide more information about the support available before and during the assessment period, and what you can do if you have circumstances that affect your ability to take your exam.
We’ll also have a dedicated ‘Exams and Assessment’ web page linking you to this and other relevant content from across the University.
You can expect notifications of more information via your university email over the next few weeks and in the run-up to the exams, but if you have any questions or concerns that you feel need to be addressed please contact your unit convenor or Director of Studies.