Examinations

INTRODUCTION

There are several stages of administration leading up to and following examination days:

  • Timetables – the Examination Operations team emails draft timetables to the Chair of Examiners. These must be checked thoroughly; once they have been approved they will be published on the Oxford Students website.
  • Papers – these should be checked thoroughly before being either hand delivered to the Examination Schools or delivered electronically via a secure Weblearn site set up specifically in conjunction with the Examination Operations team.  Comprehensive instructions and an example of exam paper are available in the Examinations and assessments framework (EAF).
  • Invigilation - Invigilators are recruited externally from the University and trained annually by the Examination Operations Team. 
  • Examination day – the Examination Operations team is responsible for the management of examination days, including alternative arrangement provision, invigilation management, room management and script delivery.
  • Resits – these generally take place in the first two weeks of September. A reduced examination board may be used, but the Examiner Appointment and Payments team must be informed.
  • Archiving and script retention - The University's central examination script and submission archive store is located at the Examination Schools. Archived work is typically held for 6 months after results depending on the duration and structure of the course.
TIMETABLES

Draft examination timetables are emailed to the Chair of Examiners, and copied to the Administrator, after examination entry statistics are issued by ARO. Chairs are requested to check and confirm the timetable, which will then be published on the Timetables page of the Oxford Students website. Please note that timetables must be published online at least five weeks ahead of the examination. More information is available in the Examinations and assessments framework (EAF).

Shared content papers

If papers share content, please inform Examination Operations ahead of time so they can ensure these examinations are timetabled to be sat simultaneously. This should be done as soon as possible, and always before final timetables are published.

If you have any queries regarding timetabling, contact exam.arrangements@admin.ox.ac.uk

PAPERS

The deadlines for the receipt of examination papers are as follows:

Standard Examination Papers: No later than five weeks before the first day of the Examination.

Enlarged Examination Papers: No later than seven weeks before the first day of the Examination.

Brailed Examination Papers: No later than nine weeks before the first day of the Examination.

Preparing papers - comprehensive details on preparing the examination are provided in the Examinations and assessments framework (EAF). An example examination paper can be found here.

Examination Papers can be submitted in either hard copy or electronically:

Hard Copy:

Two single-sided originals (not photocopies) of the camera-ready copy (a final master which is completely ready for reproduction) should be delivered by hand to the Examination Schools (Monday – Friday, 8.30 am – 4 pm).

Electronic copies:

Electronic copies should be submitted in pdf format. 

They can be submitted in person via a USB drive or via a Secure Weblearn site set up specifically in conjunction with the Examination Operations team.

Electronic copies of papers should never be emailed or uploaded via a standard Weblearn site.

Script Delivery - after the examination, Examination Schools are happy to deliver scripts, within approximately one working day, to colleges and departments within the Oxford City limits. There are no deliveries to private addresses. Please complete and return the blank spreadsheet included with your draft timetables to inform the Examination Operations team where you would like your scripts delivered.

If you have any queries regarding papers, contact exam.arrangements@admin.ox.ac.uk

 

INVIGILATION

Invigilators for exams taking place at the Examination Schools (or Ewert House) are recruited externally from the University and trained annually by the Examination Operations Team. 

  • Invigilators’ duties include:
  • Laying out exam papers and exam materials
  • Invigilating the candidates
  • Recording and reporting any incidents during the examination
  • Checking candidates’ identity and reporting any absentees
  • Collecting exam scripts at the end of the examination

These invigilators also cover the rooms for candidates with extra writing time and the word processing suite.

College invigilator training sessions are held in Hilary term each year. Further information is available on the College Invigilation WebLearn site regarding:

  • List of approved invigilators
  • Invigilator training notes

Administrative and academic staff are welcome to become invigilators, but must attend College Invigilation training, held by the Examination Operations team every three years.

Graduate students who are interested in becoming an Invigilator must hold Probationer Research Student status or status for one of the following degrees: M.Sc. by Research, M.Litt., or D.Phil.

EXAMINATION DAY

The Examination Operations team is responsible for the management of examination days. This typically involves preparing examination rooms for examination sittings, confirming the identity of every candidate sitting an examination, ensuring examination regulations are adhered to, and reporting any cases where regulations have not been adhered to, and script control and delivery. The team are also responsible for contacting colleges regarding candidates missing from their examination, managing arrangements for candidates with alternative exam provisions, last minute changes to examination arrangements (incl. alternative arrangements) and resolving paper queries and corrections.

Presence of examiners - Chairs must arrange for an examiner or assessor be present for half an hour at the start of an examination to address any questions concerning the paper. Examiners should arrive at least 20 minutes before the start of the examination to do a final check of the examination paper. Lists of examination locations are provided in the entrance hall of the Examination Schools.

More information is available in the Examinations and assessments framework (EAF) and on the student pages.

If you have any queries regarding examination days, contact exam.arrangements@admin.ox.ac.uk.

RESITS

Summary of regulations:

  • Chairs must ensure that examiners are available for invigilation, marking and for the meeting of the board of examiners at the appropriate time. Long vacation resit exams are held in the first two weeks of September at Ewert House.
  • Resit examinations must cover the same material as the original examination. If the examination regulations have changed, the resit should reflect what the candidate was originally taught.
  • Candidates are not permitted to resit an assessment unit that they have passed unless the whole qualification or Examination has been failed.
  • Draft examination timetables for the September exams are emailed to the Chair of Examiners, and copied to the Administrator, after examination entry statistics are issued by ARO. Chairs are requested to check and confirm the timetable, which will then be published on the Timetables page of the Oxford Students website.

Using a reduced examination board

For resits where only a subset of papers are taken, the chair may nominate a subset of the original examiners. An external examiner, if appropriate, must be included in this subset.

The Examiner Appointment and Payment team MUST be notified if a reduced board is to be used; a nomination form for this purpose is available on the Examiners WebLearn site (Resources > For Administrators). Individuals who have previously been approved as assessors will require further approval if they are to act as examiners on the reduced board. Failure to notify the Examiners team will delay release of results and payment of examiners.

More information is available in the Examinations and assessments framework (EAF).

TRANSCRIPTION

The Exam Administration and Services Team coordinates transcription sessions of illegible examination scripts, providing accommodation and trained invigilation and typing staff. Further information relating to booking a transcription session is available in the College Transcription Guidelines.

Students required to transcribe exam scripts must pay an administrative fee of £40.00 ahead of the transcription session plus the invigilator and typist time at £12.00 per hour each for the invigilator and the typist, totalling £24 per hour. Payments should be made via the Transcription online shop.

ARCHIVING AND SCRIPT RETENTION

Script and submission archive store

The University's central examination script and submission archive store is located at the Examination Schools. Archived work is typically held for 6 months after results depending on the duration and structure of the course.

Students are not permitted to view or retrieve examination scripts or submitted work. Appeals regarding marks or results should be made via the Proctors. Data Protection requests to view comments should be made via Council Secretariat and carry a £10.00 administration fee. Comments held on candidates should be retained by the relevant department.

Examiners/Departments submitting work should ensure that:

  • you have booked a time slot to deposit work at the Examination Schools via email exam.services@admin.ox.ac.uk
  • work is separated by candidate and stored in candidate number order to ensure work can be easily located in the case of an appeal
  • each archive box is labelled clearly with the course, candidate numbers, and year, using the Archive Label template 
  • all comment sheets and mark sheets are removed and retained by the relevant Department to ensure comments can be easily located in the case of a request made under the Data Protection Act for a candidate to read all written comments about their work

Examinations and assessments framework (EAF) provides clarity on department responsibilities for the retention of examination scripts and submissions in the event of an academic appeal or complaint by a candidate. The Proctors’ Office will notify the relevant department on receipt of a complaint or appeal, confirming that all of the papers completed by the candidate in that academic year should be located and retained. Please refer to the Script Archive Guidance when preparing work for storage. 

Related documents: Script Archive Guidance

 
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