Examination Regulations

1. Introduction

This Section refers to all summative examinations that form part of a student’s assessment for an award or for determining progression. These regulations do not refer to class tests or other formative assessments.

2. Rubric of Examination

The rubric on the front sheet of each examination paper will provide, in standard format, the following details:

  • name of institution
  • home Division
  • Programme(s) using this examination paper
  • level at which assessed
  • module / subject title
  • module / subject code
  • examination title (if different from module / subject title)
  • academic session
  • date of examination
  • duration of examination (and indication of allocation of reading time)
  • instructions to candidates
  • clear instructions as to the allocation of questions per answer book
  • paper setter

3. Conduct of Examinations

3.1 Examinations are conducted according to the published diet of examinations timetable. The confirmed timetable will be published for each diet of examinations at least three weeks before the start of the diet and displayed on the University website.

3.2 An examination pack, containing the appropriate examination papers, script books and other materials, as well as a list of candidates eligible to take the examination, will be prepared by the Registry Examinations Officer, for collection by the Senior Invigilator thirty minutes before the start of the examination.

3.3 The responsibilities of candidates undertaking examinations offered by Queen Margaret University are detailed in Section 5 below

4. Arrangement of examinations outwith the university

4.1 Except in cases of extreme difficulty, students are required to be available for every diet of examinations, including retrieval examinations. The following procedure is applicable to all students and all diets of examination. Requests for special arrangement of examinations outwith the University should be considered only if exceptional circumstances apply. Senate has agreed that being an international student (broadly defined to include an EU citizen domiciled at distance from the UK) may be considered as an exceptional circumstance.

4.2 The procedure for special arrangement of examinations to be held outwith the University is as follows:

4.2.1 Any request for an examination outwith the University requires to have the written approval of both the Programme Leader and the Head of Division/Dean of School:

  • Approved requests for examinations outwith the University should be forwarded in writing to the Registry Examinations Officer, who shall make all subsequent arrangements. The Registry Examinations Officer should normally be informed of any approved requests for special arrangements at the earliest opportunity and no less than six weeks before the relevant diet of examinations is due to take place.
  • Students are asked to nominate a local centre willing to undertake the examination and to conform to the University’s examination procedures and regulations, but this has to be confirmed as suitable by the Registry Examinations Officer. In addition, the Registry Examinations Officer will act as the official contact point for arrangements with the local centre and with the student.
  • Any examinations organised at a designated local centre should normally take place at the same date and time (GMT) as the same examination at the University. Where this is not possible, and there is a possibility of contact between students, Registry may require the relevant paper setter to set an alternative examination paper.
  • The Registry Examinations Officer will notify the student of all finalised arrangements in writing at least ten days before the scheduled date of the examination(s) in question.
  • There will be an administration charge made by the University (currently set at £75) which will normally be payable by the student. This is intended to cover the costs of the arrangements. Where Programme requirements (such as placements) necessitate such arrangements, this charge will be waived. In addition, the local centre may make a further charge to cover any incurred costs, for which the student may be liable.

4.3 Further advice regarding the arrangement of examinations outwith the University is available from the Registry Examinations Officer.

5. Instructions to Candidates for Examinations

5.1 General

5.1.1 Candidates must ensure that they are aware of the published examinations timetable for both first and second diet examinations and their requirement to attend.

5.1.2 Candidates must notify any change of permanent address through the Student Portal. This is essential for mailing of assessment results (student academic transcript) and information about graduation.

5.1.3 Candidates must arrive at the examination venue at least 15 minutes before the published start time. The examination timetable (published on the Registry website) should be checked to confirm the location.

5.1.4 Candidates must complete and sign the signature sheet and/or an attendance slip, as directed by the Senior Invigilator.

5.1.5 A candidate who is unable to attend an examination because of illness, or another valid reason, must submit an extenuating circumstances form with relevant documentary evidence.

5.1.6 A candidate who requires provision of additional examination arrangements must inform their Programme Leader as soon as possible and normally not later than four weeks before the first examination.

5.1.7 Candidates are referred to the Programme Regulations for specific details relating to their Programme assessment procedures, and to the general Assessment Regulations.

5.2 Late admission of candidates

5.2.1 A candidate who arrives late will be admitted without question during the first half hour of an examination.

5.2.2 Admission after the first half hour may be allowed with the prior permission of the Senior Invigilator and the Registry Examinations Officer.

5.2.3 No extra time will normally be allowed to a candidate who arrives late for an examination session, unless extenuating circumstances are accepted by the Senior Invigilator and the Registry Examinations Officer.

5.3 Conduct in the Examination Room

5.3.1 Candidates must retain only authorised materials on their desks during each examination. All other belongings should be placed either at the front or the back of the room. The use of hand held personal technology, including smartwatches, personal organisers, electronic dictionaries and mobile phones is not permitted. All mobile telephones must be switched off prior to entrance into the examination room and retained in candidates’ bags at the front of the examination room. The use of programmable calculators and those with text, symbolic or graphic capabilities is not permitted unless their use is expressly authorised by the examiners, as stated on the front cover of the examination paper.

5.3.2 Candidates are advised that they should complete the front cover(s) of examination answer book(s) before the start of the examination. Candidates should ensure that they have completed and sealed the fold-down edge to maintain anonymity. You must also ensure that your name is not shown anywhere else on the examination answer book.

5.3.3 Candidates should ensure that they have been issued with the correct question paper and note the duration of the examination.

5.3.4 Once the examination has started, communication or any other irregular practice is not allowed between candidates.

5.3.5 For the duration of reading time (where allocated this will normally last 5 minutes), candidates should not commence writing in the answer books, but may be permitted to write on the question paper (unless they are required to answer on this paper) or on scrap paper. The invigilator will instruct candidates when to commence writing in the answer books.

5.3.6 Questions on the content or presentation of the examination paper may only be asked during the specified reading time. The answer to any question asked will be repeated to all candidates taking the examination.

5.3.7 If a candidate wishes to attract the attention of the invigilator at any time during the examination s/he should do so by raising her/his hand.

5.3.8 No candidate should leave the examination room during the first 30 minutes or the last 15 minutes of the examination, other than for personal reasons. Any candidate wishing to leave the examination room temporarily must be accompanied by the invigilator.

5.3.9 Candidates will be reminded of the time 30 minutes and 15 minutes before the end of the examination.

5.3.10 A candidate who becomes ill during an examination must inform an invigilator who should record the details on the invigilators report. Candidates should submit an extenuating circumstances form as soon as possible thereafter.

5.4 End of the Examination

5.4.1 Candidates must obey the Senior Invigilator’s instructions either to remain in their seats until answer books are collected or to leave books on desks.

5.4.2 All answer books and other relevant material to be submitted should be clearly marked with the candidate’s name.

5.4.3 It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that all relevant material for marking is submitted to the invigilator.

5.5 Procedures in the event of network disruption

5.5.1 In the unlikely event of network disruption that affects an examination completed on a computer, the University will put in place alternative arrangements for the examination. The precise nature of these arrangements will be determined on a case by case basis. In all cases, the priority will be not to disadvantage students.

5.5.2 In the event of network disruption, the examination will be handwritten, where possible and appropriate. Students with Individual Learning Plans who would normally use a computer to take an examination will be given the option of handwriting the examination. They will also be given extra time to complete the examination. Should this not be appropriate, attempts will be made to reschedule the examination.

5.5.3 Should a network disruption coincide with an examination on the HUB, the examination will be rescheduled.

5.5.4 Students are expected to check the University’s Facebook page and Twitter feeds for updates in the event of network disruption. Should there be a need to identify an alternative room for an examination affected by network disruption, physical signage at reception will provide details of the location.

5.6 Procedures in the event of an evacuation due to a fire alarm activation or other emergency

In the event of the fire alarms being activated and candidates for an exam being evacuated during an examination, the following action will be taken in line with QMU Fire Regulations:

5.6.1 Invigilators will act as temporary fire wardens responsible for the orderly evacuation of the examination room.

5.6.2 Without delaying the evacuation of the candidates unduly, the candidates will be:

  • instructed to stop writing;
  • informed that the examination has been suspended and that further instructions will be given on re-admittance to the examination room;
  • Informed that examination regulations still apply, and that candidates should not communicate with one another.
  • asked to check that her/his name is on at least one answer book;
  • instructed to evacuate the room, leaving question papers, answer books and personal
  • belongings in the examination room
  • asked to proceed as a group to the nearest the assembly point.

5.6.3 The invigilator will be the last person to leave the examination room and will record the time of the fire alarm activation and evacuation of the examination room.

5.6.4 Invigilators will return to the examination room when authorised by the Security Wardens and will re-admit the candidates.

5.6.5 If the alarm is activated at a point up to two-thirds of the way into the published time provided for the examination, the examination will re-start, and the period the examination will be extended by the period of disruption.

5.6.6 If the alarm is activated at a point within the last third of the examination period, the examination will not be re-started. The examiners will take the extenuating circumstances into account in determining the performance of candidates.

5.6.7 The period of disruption is from the time the alarm sounds until candidates are re-seated in the examination room. Should the period of disruption extend beyond one hour, then the examination will be considered null and void, and rescheduled at a time to be notified by the Registry Examinations Officer.

5.6.8 On re-admittance to the examination venue, the Senior Invigilator will instruct candidates as to whether or not the examination will be re-started, or has been declared null and void [in line with paragraphs 9.6.6 and 9.6.7 above].

5.6.9 The Senior Invigilator will record the disruption on the Senior Invigilator Report so that the examiners can be advised to take this into account when assessing performance.

5.6.10 During the period of evacuation the Regulations for Examinations should be considered to be upheld until the examination is re-started or ended. Conversation between candidates may mean that the examination has to be rescheduled.

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