Academic Manual


Section 4: Examinations

Published for 2021-22

Looking for the regulations relevant to the Late Summer Assessment period? Please click here to view the 2020-21 version.

The Examinations regulations outline UCL’s threshold expectations for students sitting unseen written examinations.

4.1 Overarching Principles4.10 Question Papers
4.2 Examination Timetable4.11 Answer Books and Examination Envelopes
4.3 Examination Adjustments4.12 Exam Answers
4.4 Illness during the Exam4.13 Students Arriving Late for an Exam
4.5 Unauthorised Absence from an Examination4.14 Leaving the Hall during an Exam
4.6 Identification4.15 At the end of the Examination
4.7 Items Permitted in the Examination Hall4.16 Emergency Evacuation Procedure
4.8 At the Start of the Exam4.17 Examination Misconduct
4.9 Candidate Numbers 

4.1 Overarching Principles

Principle 16:    Students must follow the examination conduct regulations and protocols set out in the Examination Guide for Candidates which is published annually on the Examinations and Awards website.

4.2 Examination Timetable

 Module Verification
1.Students must verify whether their modules on Portico are correct by the deadlines published by UCL Student Records each year to ensure they are entered for the correct examinations:
 a)September start students: Students must verify their modules by Week 11 of term 1
 b)January start students: Students must verify their modules by Week 2 of term 2
2.Where a student is not registered on the correct modules by the stated deadlines, their module choices will not be reflected in the examination timetable. Consequently, the student may have a timetable clash and/or there may not be room in the examination venue on the scheduled examination date. In such circumstances, students may be required to undertake the examination in their Department.  
3.UCL Examinations is responsible for publishing the Examination Timetable for students.
4.Some Departments or non-UCL colleges may also schedule additional examinations at other times of the year. Departments and colleges are responsible for notifying students about the arrangements for any such examinations.
5.Wherever possible, Departments should set examination durations to last one, two, three or four hours and avoid utilising half-hour intervals to reduce disruption in the exam halls.
6. Students must sit the examination at the date, time and location scheduled in the Examination Timetable, whether organised by central UCL Examinations or the Department, and must ensure that they are available to sit all scheduled examinations. Students who cannot attend due to illness or other difficulties may be permitted to defer their examination to a later date under the procedures in Section 6: Extenuating Circumstances. Applications must be submitted within one week of the circumstance taking place.
7. Students must notify their Department of any timetabling inaccuracies at the earliest possible time.
8. Students must attend examinations at the venue designated in the UCL Examination Timetable. UCL examinations are held in a number of different locations, many of which are away from the main Bloomsbury Campus. Detailed information about the venues in use each year, including location codes and maps, will be made available to view online when the timetable is published.
9. Practical and oral examinations will normally be held in departmental accommodation. Students should contact the teaching Department for information about the date, time and location of such examinations. 
10. Only students with approved Examination Adjustments are permitted to sit examinations in one of the UCL special facility venues (see Section 4.3 below).
11. Intercollegiate examinations are usually held at the college where the module is taught. Intercollegiate candidates with Examination Adjustments will usually sit examinations at their home college.
12.UCL students taking examinations at other colleges or institutions must abide by the regulations of the college they are attending. Similarly, students from other colleges taking examinations at UCL are subject to UCL’s regulations for examinations as detailed herein.
 Alternative Venues
13.A student will only be permitted to undertake an examination at a venue other than that designated in the UCL Examination Timetable if:
 a)The student is enrolled on a distance learning programme, or
 b)The student is unable to extend their visa to take a reassessment without attendance.
 c)The assessment is in a format which can be offered at an alternative venue (for example, it may not be possible to make alternative arrangements for practical or oral examinations)
14.Applications for alternative venues must be made to the UCL Examinations Office by the published deadlines. UCL Examinations will then liaise with the Department about the suitability of taking the assessment in question at an alternative venue.
15.If a student is unable to travel to the UK due to Extenuating Circumstances, the student will not be permitted to sit the exam in an alternative venue but must submit a claim for Extenuating Circumstances to obtain a Deferral, Alternative Method of Assessment or other appropriate mitigation.
16.Where UCL Examinations approves an application for an alternative venue, a fee will be charged by UCL and by the host institution.
17.It may not be possible to provide Examination Adjustments at alternative venues.

4.3 Examination Adjustments

1.Examination Adjustments are adjustments to central or departmental/ divisional written examinations which can be made for students with a disability, medical or mental health condition.
2.Examination Adjustments can include, but are not limited to:
  • Extra time
  • Rest breaks
  • Specialist equipment
3. Students must contact the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team in Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) who can help them to complete an application and advise them on gathering the required documentary evidence.
4.UCL Examinations is responsible for confirming and implementing the necessary adjustments.
 Application Deadlines
5.Examination Adjustment applications must be received by the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team by 4.00pm UK time, three weeks before the examination period in question.
6.After this deadline students must apply to defer their assessment to the next opportunity (normally the Late Summer Assessment period) if they require mitigation, under the regulations in Section 6: Extenuating Circumstances.
 Other Reasonable Adjustments
7.Examination Adjustments only apply to unseen written examinations. UCL supports students undertaking other assessment methods, including coursework, via the provisions in Section 5: Reasonable Adjustments.

4.4 Illness during the Exam

1.If a student is taken ill during an exam they must alert the invigilators for help as soon as possible. Where appropriate, the invigilators will file a report of the student’s condition and the impact on the examination (e.g. lost time, terminated attempt) which can be used as evidence towards an Extenuating Circumstances claim. All EC claims must be submitted within one week of the affected examination, following the procedures in Section 6: Extenuating Circumstances.

4.5 Unauthorised Absence from an Examination

1.If a student is absent from an examination or other form of assessment without permission or, although present at an examination, either does not attempt the paper or attempts so little that it cannot be assessed, and provides no evidence of Extenuating Circumstances, then the student will be awarded a mark of 0.00%/ Grade F for the missed/non-attempted examination.
2.For further details see Section 11: Consequences of Failure.

4.6 Identification

1.To gain admission to the hall, students must present one of the following:
 a)UCL ID card
 b)Home college ID card (intercollegiate students)
 d)Driving licence with photograph
2.If a student fails to produce an approved means of identification on the day, they must sign a declaration of identity form and a label will be included in the examination envelope to notify the examiner.

4.7 Items Permitted in Examination Halls

1.Students must not have unauthorised items on or under their desk or about their person. All unauthorised items will be confiscated for the duration of the examination.
2.If a student finds that they have inadvertently brought unauthorised items into an examination the student must inform a member of invigilation staff immediately.
3. The following items are permitted in a written, practical, oral or other examination: 
 a)ID card or other approved means of identification
 b)Candidate number card
 c)Question papers and examination stationery
 d)Other materials approved by the examiner
 e)Calculators (approved models only – see below)
 f)Mathematical instruments
 g)Clear pencil cases containing pens, pencils (for MCQ examinations and diagrams only), highlighter pens, correction fluid/tape, erasers, sharpeners and small bottles of ink
 h)Bottles of still (non-carbonated), non-alcoholic, cold drinks only.
4.The following items are prohibited in a written, practical, oral or other examination:
 a)Revision or course notes
 b)Books, statutes or dictionaries (except where approved by the examiner – see below)
 c)Paper for rough work
 d)Laptops, audio players, or devices with internet or data storage capabilities
 e)Opaque pencil cases or staplers
 f)Food, hot drinks, alcoholic drinks or carbonated drinks (except on medical grounds (prior approval required))
 h)Ear plugs (except UCL-issued ear plugs provided on medical grounds (prior approval required))
 i)Headgear (except that which is worn on religious or medical grounds (prior approval required for the latter)
5.Students should leave all non-essential items at home as UCL cannot accept responsibility for the loss of property or guarantee its safety.
6.Students must follow the directions of the invigilation staff in regards to bags, coats, revision notes or other prohibited items.
7.All valuables, including wallets and travel cards, must be placed under the examination desk in the plastic wallet provided.
8.Students are not permitted to keep their examination timetable on their desk during examinations. Timetables must be placed under the desk in the plastic wallet provided.
 Mobile Phones and Communication Devices
9.All mobile phones, smart watches and other communication devices must be switched off before students enter the examination hall.
10.Students must not have mobile phones, smart watches or communication devices on their desk or about their person and must instead place them under the examination desk in the plastic wallet provided.
11.Students must not send or receive calls or messages during an examination, or allow ringtones or pre-set alarms to cause a disturbance.
 Electronic Calculators
12.Boards of Examiners will determine whether students are permitted to use an electronic calculator in a particular examination.
13.At all other examinations, the unauthorised use of electronic calculators is not permitted and will be treated as examination misconduct. Random checks will be made during examinations to ensure that these regulations are complied with.
14.UCL has approved a standard calculator for use in examinations. Students will be committing examination misconduct if they are found using the wrong model. Further details are available in the Examination Guide for Candidates published each year on the Examinations and Awards website.
15.Exceptionally, a Department may approve the use of non-standard calculators for one or more of its examinations. In such circumstances, the Department will inform all students taking the examinations concerned what type of calculators will be permitted in the examination hall. If students are in any doubt, they should consult their tutor. Students may still need a UCL-approved calculator if they are taking examinations for modules taught by other Departments.
16.Students must indicate the make and model of calculator used on the front of their examination envelope. 
17.Students must ensure that their calculator is in good working order and provide themselves with an alternative means of calculating should the calculator fail during an examination. Spare calculators will not be available at the hall on the day. 
18.Where credit may be given for using the correct method when a final answer is wrong, the student must provide the examiner with sufficient information about the process of derivation. Further details are available in the Examination Guide for Candidates published each year on the Students website.
19.The use of material stored in the pre-programmable memory of a calculator will normally constitute examination misconduct.
 Reference Materials
20.For some examinations reference materials may be provided by the examiner. There may also be occasions when students are instructed, in advance of the examination, to bring specific documents with them to the hall. Such documents must be unmarked unless the examiner has indicated otherwise. 
21.The use of paper or electronic dictionaries is not permitted for the purpose of helping students overcome any deficiency in their command of the English language. Dictionaries will only be permitted for other purposes where the examiner has notified UCL Examinations in writing before the examination.
22.At all other examinations, the unauthorised use of dictionaries is banned and will be treated as examination misconduct. Random checks will be made during examinations to ensure that these regulations are complied with.

4.8 At the Start of the Exam

1.UCL morning and afternoon examinations start at 10.00am and 2.30pm respectively unless otherwise indicated on the timetable; students must note any exceptions that apply to them.
2.Students should arrive at the hall between 10 and 20 minutes before the start of the examination.
3.Students must observe any instructions given on the day by invigilation staff, examiners or other staff responsible for the conduct of examinations.
4. Students must sit in their allocated seat. Seat numbers will be used to verify attendance and to ensure that marks are awarded to the correct candidate.
5. Students must not speak to other candidates once they have entered the hall.

4.9 Candidate Numbers

1.All UCL written examinations must be examined anonymously by candidate number instead of name. 
2.Students must display both their candidate number card and their identification (see Section 4.6 above) on the desk at each examination. 
3.Candidate number cards must not be marked or annotated.
4.Students must enter their candidate number in the space provided on all examination envelopes (with the exception of Multiple Choice Question [MCQ] papers, where the student number should be used) unless instructed otherwise on the day.

4.10 Question Papers

1.Students must not begin reading the question paper before the start of the examination. However, students should check that the examination code and title on the front cover of the question paper are correct. Students must alert a member of invigilation staff immediately if they have been given the wrong paper.

4.11 Answer Books and Examination Envelopes

1.Prior to the start of the examination students may enter the following information on the front cover of the examination envelope: 
 a)Candidate number
 b)Student number (MCQ cards only)
 c)Seat number
 d)The examination title and code
 e) The date and venue
 f)The make and model of the student’s calculator (if applicable)
2.Students must not write anything else on their examination envelope, answer book or question paper, or any other materials present on their desk, before the start of the examination unless told to do so by the supervisor (for computer users, this includes typing).
3.Students must write only in blue or black ink (or in the case of MCQ examinations, pencil).
4. Pencils may be used for drawing diagrams, charts, graphs or other illustrations.
5. Students should only request a supplementary answer book when their main answer book is full.
6.Students must not write their name on any examination envelopes, answer books or materials submitted for marking, to ensure their anonymity is maintained.
7.Students must enter the following information on the front cover of the examination envelope in the boxes provided: 
 a)The number of answer books used
 b)The question numbers answered in the order attempted
8.Students must enter the following information on all used answer books:
 a)Candidate number
 b)Seat number
9.Students must ensure that all answer books, supplementary books and any other materials to be submitted for marking (except MCQ cards) are secured in their examination envelope. MCQ cards should be handed in separately.
10.When the time permitted for the examination has passed, students will be given one extra minute to prepare their examination envelopes and answer books for collection. When the end of the one minute allowance is announced students must stop writing immediately. It is examination misconduct to continue writing after the one minute allowance has passed.
11.When time is called, students must not speak to other candidates and must remain silent in their seat until all examination envelopes have been collected.
12.With the exception of those papers clearly marked not to be removed from the hall, students may take away their copy of the question paper. However students must not take out of the hall any used or unused examination envelopes, answer books, restricted question papers, or other items of examination stationery.
13.If a student removes a completed examination envelope or answer book from the examination hall this will constitute examination misconduct and the work will not be marked.

4.12 Exam Answers 

1.Students must write clearly in English, or the language specified for the examination.
2.Examiners may refuse to mark any answers which are deemed to be illegible. Where a script is illegible, the student will be required to re-write or type out an exact copy of their answers under examination conditions in the Department.
3.Students must read the examination instructions carefully, including any rubrics or instructions on how many questions to answer.
4.Students must cross through any work which they do not wish to be marked.
5.All rough work must be done in the answer book and crossed through; scrap paper must not be used. 

4.13 Students Arriving Late for an Exam

1.Students arriving less than 45 minutes late will be allowed into the hall to sit the examination but will forfeit any time already elapsed. The student must report to an invigilator so that the time of arrival can be recorded and any instructions provided.
2.Students arriving more than 45 minutes late will not be allowed into the examination hall.
 a)If the late arrival is due to illness or other valid Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) the student should submit an Extenuating Circumstances Form as soon as possible and no more than 7 calendar days after the exam. If the student is granted a Deferral it will take place at the next normal occasion (normally the Late summer Assessment Period). See Section 6: Extenuating Circumstances for more details.
 b)If there are no Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) the student will receive a mark of 0.00%/ Grade F and will be considered to have made an attempt (see Section 3.11: No Attempt or Minimal Attempt at Assessment). The student will be required to Resit at the next normal occasion (normally the Late Summer Assessment Period) or, if they fail in more than 60 credits the student will be required to Repeat the failed modules in the following academic session. See Section 11: Consequences of Failure for further details. 

4.14 Leaving the Hall during an Exam

1.Students must not leave the hall during the first 45 minutes or the last 15 minutes of the examination. Toilet visits are not normally permitted during these times.
2. At all other times, students must not leave their seat without first seeking permission, except in cases of illness or emergency. Students must notify the invigilators by raising their hand if they have a query, feel unwell, need more stationery or the toilet, or want to leave the hall permanently after the first 45 minutes or before the last 15 minutes of the examination.
3.In case of illness or emergency, students must only leave their seat if accompanied by a member of invigilation staff.
4.All candidates must be accompanied on toilet visits and each visit will be recorded on the attendance sheet. 
5.If a student wishes to leave the hall permanently after the first 45 minutes but before the designated finish time, they must raise their hand and remain in their seat until their examination envelope has been collected.

4.15 At the end of the Examination

1.Each examination will include 15 and 5 minute warning announcements.
2.Once the final 15 minute warning has been announced, students must remain in their seat until the examination envelopes for all candidates have been collected and students are told they may leave.
3.Students should leave the hall quickly and quietly when told to do so by the supervisor as there may be longer examinations taking place in the same hall.
4.Students must collect their valuables from the plastic wallet under their desk and place the empty wallet on their desk before leaving the hall.

4.16 Emergency Evacuation Procedure

1.In the event of an emergency, the hall supervisor will tell students to leave all materials on their desks and direct them to the nearest exit. Examination conditions will still apply and students must not speak to any other candidates on any topic.

4.17 Examination Misconduct

1.UCL takes matters of academic misconduct very seriously. Examples of actions that constitute examination misconduct include but are not limited to:
 a)Cheating, attempting to cheat or assisting someone else to cheat 
 b)Having unauthorised items on or under the desk or about one’s person
 c)Writing before the start of the examination or after the one minute allowance has passed
 d)Writing notes on hands, arms or other parts of the body
 e)Leaving the hall unaccompanied or without permission
 f)Tampering with examination envelopes, answer books, question papers or other examination stationery
 g)Committing plagiarism or self-plagiarism
 h)Causing a disturbance or disrupting the examination process
2.Full details of what constitutes examination misconduct are located in Chapter 6, Section 9: Student Academic Misconduct Procedure.
3.Anyone suspected of academic misconduct will be reported to the UCL authorities and may be called to appear before a Student Academic Misconduct Panel. Penalties for academic misconduct include, but are not limited to, a mark of zero for the component or module concerned, and, for the most serious offences, exclusion from UCL.