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Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not addressed here, please contact lib-exams@ucl.ac.uk.

Which exam papers are available?

An archive of 5 years of past exam papers is made available online. Exceptions are:

  • Medical School. We do not receive any Medical School papers; their policy is to provide sample papers / questions only, and these can be found on the Medical School intranet.
  • Intercollegiate papers. We only provide papers set by UCL departments. If you are looking for an intercollegiate paper try the University of London Library, or contact your department.
  • University of London. Some exams are set by the University of London; these exam papers are kept at the University of London Library at Senate House, shelved in the Middlesex South reading room, and are for reference use only.
  • Mechanical Engineering has requested their archive of past papers be limited to 3 years.
  • The MAPS faculty has requested their archive of past papers be limited to 3 years.
  • For MAPS and Mechanical Engineering, please consult with the relevant department if you would like sample questions to help your study.
Are there any paper copies in the library?
  • There are no paper copies of exam papers on open shelves in UCL Libraries. Please ask in your department if you wish to have additional sample questions for revision.
  • An incomplete paper archive is held in the library Store (with the College Collection) which academic departments are welcome to request for research or teaching.
How do I find a specific exam paper online?
  1. Search for the module code or module title using the search box. [NB: UCL module codes typically consist of 8 digits - 4 letters to identify the department, e.g. HIST, plus 4 further digits, usually numbers]
  2. Use the 'A-Z by department' and browse the departmental list. Select a department then click through to the level (undergraduate / postgraduate) and year of exam.
  3. If your Moodle course contains the 'Library Resources' block, this will have a direct link to the exam papers for that module. The Moodle administrator for each course is able to activate the Library Resources block.
Why can't I see the exam paper I need? Why are some years' papers not available?
  • The paper may not have been made available to the Exam Papers Service. We do not automatically receive copies of papers taken within departments as these are not administered by the Examinations Office.
  • Multiple choice papers are often not made available because of the limited question pool for such exam papers.
  • The paper may not have been set in that year, or the department may have chosen to withhold the paper for other reasons.
  • The paper may contain copyright material, such as extracts from books or journal articles, photographs or other images, which we do not have permission to reproduce. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 allows fair dealing use of such extracts for the purpose of examination, but this is not valid beyond the duration of the examination itself. Where possible, permission will be sought, or a full reference to the extract made.
  • If you are searching the list of departments, is it possible that the paper was set by another department? Try all possible departments, or try using the search box to find your paper by module code.
  • For all of the above, if you think your paper should be available, please contact your departmental administrator or use the missing paper form. Departments are able to send us exam papers to add retrospectively.
Are solutions or mark schemes available?

UCL Library Services does not receive answer sheets or mark schemes: please contact the department which set the paper.

How do I view/print the papers?

Navigate to the paper you wish to consult and click on the PDF icon. On the following 'Copyrights Information' screen, click on 'Continue' to open the file.

PDF format

The papers are provided as PDF (Portable Document Format) files. To view them, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer. This is installed on all UCL cluster PCs and those managed by Information Systems. If you are using another type of PC you can download the reader free of charge from the Adobe website. Users with visual difficulties may wish to visit the Adobe accessibility web page for information on improved accessibility with Adobe products.

Papers can be printed from within the exam paper viewer, using either the printer icon on the toolbar or 'File/Print' from the menus.

I have problems accessing the electronic exam papers off-campus

If you experience any difficulty accessing the exam papers off-campus then you are advised to log in to the Digital Collections Service using the 'Log in here' link in the top right corner of the screen.

If problems persist, using UCL Desktop will emulate on-campus access and will eliminate any issues to do with browser or Acrobat incompatibilities.

I am getting an error message

Please report any error messages to lib-exams@ucl.ac.uk. It is helpful if you can copy the error message into the email so that we can diagnose the problem swiftly.

I can't see some parts of the paper when it opens in Acrobat

Some of the exam papers, particularly those written in mathematical typesetting programs, may look illegible. Use Acrobat Reader's magnifying glass (zoom tool) to increase the magnification on screen, or print out the paper to reveal the text.

Occasionally whole lines of text seem to be missing. This seems to be a bug in Acrobat Reader. Try scrolling on past the problem area and back again - this may be enough to trigger the display of the 'missing' text.

Occasionally we are requested to redact part of the paper, for example Multiple Choice Questions. In this instance a section or a page may appear to be missing. Check with your department or get in touch with us.

I think I have found a mistake in an exam paper; what should I do?

It is possible that errors may have arisen when the paper was set, for example an inaccurate mathematical formula. If you think this is the case, please notify the department who set the paper.

An error could be introduced during digitisation of the exam paper - though effort has been made to ensure that papers have been digitised accurately. In this instance consult the printed version of the exam paper in the Library, or contact lib-exams@ucl.ac.uk.

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