UCL News


How your online exams will work during the main examination period

18 February 2021

When to expect your timetable and an outline of how exams will run during the main exam period, 26 April – 28 May 2021

UCL students

As you know, the COVID-19 outbreak means all centrally managed examinations are being delivered online as open book exams. UCL has also issued a package of COVID-mitigation measures for 2020–21 exams and assessments to make sure you are not disadvantaged by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Examinations Team have now published further details of how centrally managed exams will operate this year. We’ve shared a summary below but full details are available on the Examinations at UCL 2020–21 webpage. Please make sure you consult that page regularly. 

Examination Period and Timetable 

The examination period for centrally managed exams is 26 April – 28 May. This will be for all your examinations that are showing on your exam timetable. You may also have other assessments that are being run by your department, they will advise you about these.

On 1 March, you will receive an email to your UCL email account notifying you that your exam timetable is available. The email will include a link to login and view your timetable. 

Your timetable will indicate what kind of exam you are sitting. There are two types of exams: 24-hour exams or timed exams (e.g. two or three hours) in a 24 hour window.

Add your timetable to calendar

This year, you will be able to add your exam timetable from the system directly into your calendar. This enhanced functionality means that you won’t be sent an email listing all your exams and the days of logging into Portico to view your timetable are over – you can transfer all your exam dates and times to your email account in one quick step. 

Examination Adjustments

If you have a disability or any other health condition that may affect your exams, you should apply as soon as possible for exam adjustments to support your assessment.  

If you have been assessed and have a SORA granting you additional time and/or a rest break you will have 24 hours to complete your examination whether you are taking a timed exam or a 24 hour exam.  

AssessmentUCL platform

Last year, all centrally managed online exams took place in Moodle. This year, these exams will be delivered on a new digital platform called AssessmentUCL. AssessmentUCL is a student-friendly, easy-to-use system, purpose-built for managing digital assessments.   

In early March 2021, you will have a chance to access a practice environment within AssessmentUCL to help you familiarise yourself with the platform in advance of your exams.

Summary of how AssessmentUCL exams will work 

  • Your examination timetable and AssessmentUCL will indicate whether your exam is a 24 hour open book or a timed exam in a 24-hour period.
  • If you have been granted additional time and/or rest breaks as exam adjustments, the duration will automatically be set as a 24-hour exam.
  • The exam link will be visible before the examination period but the exam paper will NOT be accessible before the start time indicated in the timetable.
  • You will be required to download the PDF exam paper and work locally, once you have completed your exam you will need to convert your document into a PDF to then upload onto AssessmentUCL.
  • A link to an examination paper query form will be made available for you to complete if you have a query on the exam or need to report a serious technical failure. This information will then be passed to teaching departments/faculties to be taken into account when grading your paper.
  • You will be required to complete an online cover sheet stating your word count and/or number of pages. You will also need to acknowledge a Declaration of Honesty on the online cover sheet to state that you are in compliance with UCL’s regulations on Academic Integrity and Plagiarism.


Further guidance on accessing and using the AssessmentUCL platform will be available shortly. Please ensure you regularly refer to the Examinations at UCL 2020–21 webpage.  

If you have any queries, please contact the Examinations Team via askUCL.