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Assessment planning: a guide for UCL students

At UCL you will experience a high volume of assessment, as coursework, in class tests, and exams. Your course work deadlines and exam dates may be close together, so good planning is essential.

Changes to assessment during the coronovirus outbreak

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the university is adopting alternative teaching and assessment methods for students. Find out more about how this may affect you

You should start planning at the beginning of First Term. The timetable for UCL’s Main Exam Period  is published in Second Term at the beginning of March.

Scheduling coursework deadlines and exam dates

  • Create a schedule of coursework deadlines and in class assessments, formative and summative, so you can plan your workload.

You will be able to get the information from Module/Programme Handbooks and your department.

Find useful planning tools in our Exam Success Guide 

Work through our Person Productivity playlist on getting things done, time management, improving your focus and overcoming procrastination.

  • Check your exam timetable as soon as you receive your email from Portico notifying you that it is available.

Add your exam dates to your study schedule. This will help you identify opportunities to complete some of your coursework early, for example, so that you have time to study for your exams. Build in some contingency time for unexpected events. 

  • Stick to your schedule.

Make sure it reflects all the different due dates – coursework and exams - that you have.   

Two Exams on One Day

Producing the exam timetable is a very complex task, coordinating over 2,700 different exam papers for 87,000 exam sittings for individual students.

  • Plan for multiple exams in a short period, perhaps even two exams on one day.

If you have two exams scheduled on the same day, it’s really important to plan it into your study schedule. If you are being examined at ExCel London and you have two exams on the same day, you will be given priority when leaving the exam hall at the end of your first exam to maximize the time between exams.

Watch our video about exams at ExCel London.

Exams outside the Main Exam Period 

  • Make sure you’re available for exams outside the Main Exam Period in Term 3.

Most UCL exams are centrally organised and take place during the Main Examination Period but you may also have exams during the Late Summer Assessment Period or exams that are arranged by departments which could take place at any time during the academic year. Late Summer Assessment (LSA) takes place in late August and early September. Wait for your exam results from the Main Exam Period before you book late summer travels, in case you need to be available for LSA. 

Exam Adjustments

  • Request any reasonable adjustments needed.

If you have a disability or other ongoing medical or mental health condition, make sure UCL knows about it, so we can make reasonable adjustments to support your assessment.  

Find out more about exam adjustments.

Unexpected events

  • Make sure you know what to do if things do not go to plan.

Sometimes, things happen that might affect your performance in assessments (exams or assignments). 
Use UCL’s Extenuating Circumstances process to request a deferral.

Industrial Action

  • UCL will make sure that you are not disadvantaged in your assessment by industrial or strike action.

UCL knows about the classes that have not taken place due to the industrial action and will take this into account either in the exam paper that we set for you or when we consider your marks. Our examination boards have procedures that they can use to make these decisions.

Read the FAQs for students about 2019-20 industrial action 

More Information

  • Find answers to many frequently asked questions like “What should I do if I have lost my UCL ID card?” 

Read the Examinations Candidates Guide for Candidates

Read the ‘Exams and assessments’ website 

Our comprehensive Exam Success Guide provides advice and resources to help you make the most of your revision and perform at your best in exams. 

Further questions

  • Don't forget you can ASKUCL

If you still have questions related to your exams after reading the information online, we recommend that you visit the AskUCL student enquiry system to read the FAQ’s and submit an enquiry.