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January Exams FAQs

January Exams FAQs

We are aware of some anxieties and questions raised around exams next week...

We are aware of some anxieties and questions raised around exams next week - thank you for using your voice and reaching out to us about this. We have put together some FAQs together with the University to answer some of your queries. We organised a Q&A event on Friday 7 January 2022 with key members of University staff so that they could answer your questions directly. You can watch back the recording from the event here. Our FAQs will be updated early next week with additional information from the University based off the session.

If you have any feedback about your experience with exams, please use our anonymous form here. (please note that this is just information gathering for student insights to inform future change and communications, and not a place to have individual queries answered). Alternatively, you can contact your Student Rep who you can find here.

You can find the University's most recent communications here and University's FAQs. 

~ Bella, your VP Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my teaching/exam on campus or online?

Based on current Government guidance, all plans for teaching and exams in the Spring Term will go ahead as planned. You should refer to your timetable to see how this applies to you.

You should continue to test regularly when you are coming onto campus, including before attending any on campus examinations. You can find test kits on campus.


What steps have been taken to ensure my safety during my on campus examinations?

All students should undertake a lateral flow device test (LFD) before their on-campus exam. You should not attend the exam if your LFD result is positive, or if you need to self-isolate as a result of a positive PCR test. If your period of self-isolation is likely to affect your ability to sit your examinations then support is available. You can find out more about the options available to you here.

All students taking on-campus exams must wear a face covering unless exempt. If you are unable to wear a face mask then a visor will be made available to you in the exam room.

All examination rooms have undergone the same COVID-19 safety reviews as the University's teaching and research spaces, in consultation with Public Health colleagues.

You can watch this video from the University on how in-person exams will work. 


How is the University ensuring students have actually received a negative lateral flow test?

The University won’t be requiring evidence of a negative lateral flow test because under the Government’s guidance, exams are not included in the Covid passport scheme. We expect all students to exercise their personal responsibility and act in the collective best interest if they get a positive lateral flow test result and to follow all national guidance around self-isolation.


Why can’t my exams be moved online?

The January exams have been designed specifically for particular mode of delivery. There is a difference in how the university approaches exams designed for closed-book, invigilated on-campus settings, and those designed for open-book, un-invigilated remote settings, so it is not possible to simply move exams designed for on-campus delivery online. Most exams in January are being sat online (and have been designed with this in mind), but there are a minority that are being sat in person for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Where professional accrediting bodies (PSRBs) require in-person and/or invigilated examinations.?
  • Where electronic submission presents challenges; e.g. for?formula-based / graphical exams, languages (translations), practical exams, lab-based assessment, oral exams.?
  • Where the validity of the assessment of ILOs necessitates a closed-book format because students must be able to demonstrate attainment (i.e.? knowledge, skills, competencies, etc.) without reference to external sources of information or other resources.


My exam is in person but my friends’ is not, am I at a disadvantage?

All students on the same courses and modules will be sitting the same examinations, students have not been offered varying modes of assessment. The exams which are going ahead in person were chosen as such due to pedagogic reasoning that these subject areas are best assessed in this way or due to external requirements determined by professional, statutory and regulatory bodies (PSRBs). In addition, there are rigorous quality-assurance processes that ensure there is fairness between students on different modules/programmes and also consistency with previous cohorts of students who have studied the module.

The steps taken to ensure fairness within and between student cohorts include careful assessment design, rigorous marking criteria, thorough moderation, scaling of module marks to correct significant deviations in performance, and in-depth External Examination by academics from other institutions.


I am in my final year, if I defer my exam due to isolation it could affect my graduation and job opportunities- what do I do?

You are still able to attend graduation this summer if you defer a minimal amount of credits. At undergraduate level you will need to have achieved 300 credits, with 60 credits in your final year to attend graduation with an Ordinary Degree. You will receive a temporary graduation certificate and transcript in July along with your peers. Once you successfully complete your remaining credits your full certificate and transcript will be released in September confirming an Honours Degree. You can check with your info point for more details, or contact the Guild’s Advice Service.

You can get advice about job applications/future study options by contacting the university Employability team (Career Zone | Career Zone | University of Exeter).


I'm not happy, what can I do about this?

You are able to contact your college to complain about this and potentially use the complaints process, however the University are clear that those exams that are set to be in person will continue to be. The complaints process is one that takes time and, bearing in mind that exams start next week, we would not expect things to change at this stage. If you are not able to do your exam in person at this time, you may wish to see if you are able to defer this via the mitigation procedure.

If you would like to make a complaint, we highly recommend you going through the University process which you can read in full here. If, once going through the University’s process, you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can go externally to the OIA with the process here. Our independent Guild Advice Service can support you with making a complaint too.


I am an international student and I am concerned about covid and the cost of coming back to the UK just for one exam.

The University do have support systems in place to support students facing financial hardship which you can find more information on here. The fund is open to all registered undergraduate and postgraduate University of Exeter students, irrespective of your fee status.


What about wearing face coverings on campus?

Unless exempt, all staff and students must wear face coverings when in shared spaces inside all buildings, including all teaching rooms, laboratories, meeting rooms, shared offices and communal areas. It is mandatory to wear a face covering in all shops on or off our campuses and face coverings are also mandatory on public transport, including University minibuses. You can read more about the latest Higher Education COVID-19 guidance.


What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms – it could just be a cold?

The main symptoms of COVID-19 include a high temperature, new continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell. Reports have also suggested that symptoms of the new Omicron variant may include those more regularly associated with colds and flu, such as a scratchy throat, lower back pain, runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing, night sweats and other body aches. Taking a test remains the best way to determine whether your symptoms are Covid-19 or a cold.

Regular testing remains the most effective way of identifying cases regardless of the symptoms. You should take a test before you come to campus or meet people outside the home helps to protect those around us from infection.

The University Assisted Testing Sites (ATS) will reopen later this week in Exeter (Streatham Car Park B and St Luke’s Baring Court) and will be available to those who need them over the coming weekend, and throughout January. The university continues to monitor the situation in Cornwall with our public health partners and will seek to establish further Assisted Testing Sites as and when they are needed.

If you receive a positive result and are required to self-isolate, then please complete the

Take a look at the mitigation question for more information about how to defer your exam. 


I am really struggling with exam and/or Covid stress, what help is available to me?

We know that this can be a difficult time of year and, with the added concerns around COVID-19, it is important that we all take steps to support your wellbeing


Applying for mitigation 

There are two types of mitigation, you can find details of both here. If you’ve tested positive and need a deferral for your examination, you can find the information on your Info Hub webpage here.  Thanks to work from Bella, your VP Education, you now have up to 48 hours after your assessment deadline to apply for evidence-based mitigation. This extension from 24 to 48 hours applies only to the January 2022 examination period. 


Specific module queries

If you have a specific module query about why your module’s exam is in-person, you will need to speak to your module convener or head of department.


What we’re doing to represent your voice

We hosted a Q&A with the University on Friday 7 January for the University Management Team to answer your questions or worries about the exam periods, you can watch the recording back here. We’ve also produced these FAQs to provide more targeted information based off questions we’ve been receiving. We’ve been a variety of feedback from both sides so we’re trying our best to ensure that all views are represented. We’re in conversations with the University about what can be done to support you, including alternative deferral options, and will update you if we have any further news or information.

UPDATE: Your VP Education, Bella has met with University staff to negotiate an extension to post-assessment mitigation. This means you now have up to 48 hours after your assessment deadline to apply for evidence-based mitigation. This extension from 24 to 48 hours applies to the January 2022 examination period only. Thanks to your feedback, Bella has been able to make this change happen. 





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