Regulations and Procedures for the Operation of Examination
These regulations shall govern the conduct of all formal examinations associated with the assessment of any modules offered within a programme of study at the University. Any deviation from these regulations must first be approved by the Academic Regulations and Cases Board and the Learning Teaching and Quality Committee.
These regulations should be read in conjunction with the regulations approved for the programme of study in question including Taught Masters programmes.
In an emergency or in exceptional circumstances, the University may amend, vary or replace these regulations but shall notify all parties concerned.
The College Swansea University: Where Examinations Office is referenced in the below, students should instead refer to The College, Swansea University, College Services Office. The College Services Office is responsible for all examination arrangements for students of The College, Swansea University.
All University examinations, including supplementary examinations, shall be taken in Swansea. There shall be three official examination periods, January (end of first semester), May/June (end of session) and August (supplementary examinations).
All Formal examinations shall be of one of the following durations:
- 1 hour
- 1 ½ hours
- 2 hours
- 3 hours
All candidates shall be informed of the following:
- The methods of assessment to be used in each module including the weighting given to the various assessment components;
- The dates of the examination period;
- The timetables for formal examinations and submission of other assessed work, including dates, time, venue and duration of the examination;
- Regulations relating to conduct in examination venues;
- Information concerning the procedure to be followed in the event of allegations of unfair practice arising;
- The procedures approved by the University for the release of marks/grades and final results;
- Information concerning the University's Accuracy of Published Marks Procedure and Academic Appeals procedure;
- The procedures relating to the consideration of exceptional personal circumstances, as outlined in the policy on Extenuating Circumstances Affecting Assessment.
The University will inform students of the dates of the official examination periods at the beginning of each academic session, and timetables for specific examinations within these periods will be notified to students at least four weeks in advance (subject to 2.4 below).
The University reserves the right to alter Examination timetables at short notice in response to unforeseen events (e.g. weather conditions, venue or equipment failure). All candidates affected by any such alterations shall be notified as soon as practically possible.
The University reserves the right not to process marks if candidate identity has not been confirmed.
Candidates are to attend examinations and submit work for assessment as required. If a student fails to attend examination(s) or submit work for assessment, without good cause, the College examining board should normally decide that the student has failed the assessment concerned.
Candidates must inform the Examinations Office in writing if they are unable, on religious grounds, to take examinations on certain days by the 31st October for January examinations or the 1st February for May/June examinations. The University Examinations Officer shall, as far as possible, take account of this information during the compilation of the examinations timetable.
Candidates must make sure that Colleges are made fully aware, in writing, of any extenuating circumstances which might have affected their studies and preparatory work leading up to assessment periods in accordance with the Policy on Extenuating Circumstances Affecting Assessment. It is imperative that candidates speak as soon as possible to their Academic Mentor or other member of staff in the College in order that the facts can be brought to the attention of the College Examining Board well in advance of the Award/Progression Board meetings. Failure to inform their Colleges of their difficulties and to provide evidence in good time before the College Examining Board meeting may well result in the alleged circumstances being disregarded. ‘Extenuating circumstances’ could include personal or academic-related problems or issues involving difficulty in accessing facilities or materials relevant to the course.
Candidates are responsible for checking their examination timetables carefully when they are published to ensure that all the examinations that they are due to sit are scheduled.
Candidates must ensure that that they present themselves at the examination venue in good time before the examination is due to begin.
Candidates must not enter the venue until instructed to do so by an Invigilator.
Additional time for any candidate arriving after the start of the examination will not be given.
Candidates must not leave their desks without the permission of an Invigilator.
A candidate whose script has been collected will not be re-admitted to the examination venue.
Candidates must ensure that they take their Identity Card to the examination venue on all occasions and display it clearly on the desk during the examination. The University reserves the right not to process marks if candidate identity has not been confirmed. Candidates must also fully complete an attendance slip.
Candidates must ensure that they do not engage in any form of academic misconduct, whereby they take action which may result in them obtaining for themselves or others, an unpermitted advantage.
Candidates shall only be allowed to take permitted aids for their examination in to the examination venue. These aids (e.g. pencils, biros) must be carried in a clear and transparent pencil case or “poly pocket” which shall be examined on entry to the examination venue.
Candidates are not permitted to take coats, bags, electronic devices or other similar items into the examination venue. The University reserves the right in its absolute discretion to exclude other items from the examination venue not otherwise listed.
These should be stored safely by candidates at their residential address rather than being brought to the examination venue. If a candidate chooses to bring such items to the examination venue then those items must be left in the designated area (normally outside the examination venue) and are left at the candidates own risk.
The University does not accept liability for any personal items lost, damaged or stolen (including electronic devices) inside or outside of the examination venue and candidates should ensure that those items are protected by their own personal insurance against a range of normal risks including loss, theft and accidental damage.
Electronic devices are not permitted in the examination rooms (this includes the main examination room and any other room which the candidate may have access to, including public toilets) unless specified in the rubric of the examination paper. Being found in possession of an electronic device which is not permitted in the rubric of the examination paper and where there is no evidence that the device has been used will be considered a breach of examination regulations.
Candidates must not start writing, other than to complete the identification details on the attendance slip and answer book, until given permission to do so by the Invigilator.
Candidates shall use only the official stationary provided – all rough work shall be done on the stationary provided and handed in with the completed script. No script, rough work or official stationary may be removed from the venue. Candidates must not have in their possession in the examination room, nor make use of, any book, manuscript, electronic calculator or any other aid which is not specifically allowed in the rubric of the examination paper. Only University calculators are permitted unless specified on the rubric by the College and they must not contain any user-recorded data or program and must be incapable of electronic communication.
Candidates must conduct themselves in a dignified manner and respect the interest of other candidates at all times.
Candidates suspected of having engaged in academic misconduct or assisting another candidate, which is in breach of the regulations governing examinations will be informed in writing that the incident will be reported to the Director of Academic Integrity and further action may be taken against them. The candidates will however, be allowed to continue with the examination in question and subsequent examinations without prejudice to any decision that may subsequently be taken.
Candidates who have been observed acting in breach of examination regulations and where their behaviour in the examination has been considered unacceptable will be given a formal written warning, since their actions may well have caused a distraction likely to disadvantage other candidates. They shall be warned that if they continue to be disruptive and persist to act in a manner that is likely to disturb further other candidates, they will be required to leave the venue immediately. Such candidates will not be readmitted for this examination. Breaches of examination regulations will be reported to the Director of Academic Integrity.
Candidates must stop writing immediately when they are instructed to do so at the end of the examination. The Chief Invigilator will determine the end of the examination.
At the end of the examination, candidates must remain seated and silent until all scripts have been collected and until dismissed by the Chief Invigilator.
The University shall appoint a Director of Academic Integrity who shall be responsible for the conduct, probity and security of examinations/assessments. The Director of Academic Integrity or Examinations Officer shall be responsible for:
- the nomination of invigilators and the making of arrangements for the invigilation of examinations so that normally one invigilator acts for each group of forty candidates or fewer;
- the making of appropriate arrangements for dealing with absentees from examinations/assessments in accordance with the provisions of these procedures, including notification of cases to College Examining Boards and the recording and reporting of such cases;
- sending to Senate, at the close of examinations, a report on the manner in which they have been conducted, specifying any difficulties which may have arisen, and incorporating any suggestions for improvement in the conduct of them. This report should also detail any special arrangements made in relation to cases of absence from examinations and, in accordance with the paragraph below, in relation to examinations conducted at another institution/approved place.
For open-book examinations, candidates may bring materials of their choice into the examination as hard paper copies only. Electronic equipment (iPads, tablets, etc) containing the supporting materials will not be permitted.
English/foreign language dictionaries shall not be allowed into examination venues unless it is clearly indicated on the rubric that they may be used. Invigilators shall have a supply of English only and English/Welsh dictionaries at each venue which candidates shall be able to refer to, provided the rubric allows this.
Candidates shall not be permitted to use their own calculators. The University shall provide standard calculators for use at each venue. Colleges shall also be authorised to allow students to use calculators, either their own, or supplied by the College, provided that such a statement is clearly indicated on the rubric of the individual paper. Invigilators will not be expected to check personal or College calculators for the possibility of students’ gaining an unfair advantage. This responsibility rests with the examiner or College.
Electronic devices shall not be permitted in the examination rooms unless specified in the rubric of the examination paper. Candidates having been observed acting in breach of examination regulations by bringing an electronic device in to the examination venue shall be issued with a formal notice regarding their conduct.
No food may be consumed in the examination venues.
College Examinations Officers or nominee shall be responsible for ensuring that the relevant examination papers are produced in time for the assessment period, and make sure that sufficient numbers of papers are produced for the examinations.
College Examinations Officers or nominee shall also satisfy themselves that the question papers have been thoroughly proofread and scrutinised by the originator(s) and preferably, in conjunction with another member of staff. The question papers shall be checked for clarity, legibility and be complete, and the College Examinations Officer shall also check that any instructions given on the rubric referring to additional material, e.g. tables etc, are attached or enclosed.
The College Examinations Officer or nominee shall ensure that, if appropriate, the question papers have been approved by the External Examiner.
The College Examinations Officer or nominee shall ensure at all times, the security of the examination papers prior to their delivery at the Examinations Office.
The College Examinations Officer or nominee shall be responsible for the safe delivery of examination papers to the Examination Office well in advance of the examination period.
The University shall make reasonable adjustments for candidates with specific requirements, in compliance with the requirements of prevailing legislation, notably the Equality Act 2010.
Students who have been assessed and registered as requiring a specific provision shall be referred to the Examinations Office by the University’s Disability Office or Wellbeing Services. The Disability Office or Wellbeing Services shall make recommendations to the Examinations Office regarding the provisions which are to be made for each referred student.
Members of academic staff may also seek help directly from the Examinations Office for candidates who are experiencing problems or difficulties (medical or otherwise) that may necessitate specific provisions being made for them. Such student cases shall be assessed and dealt with on a case by case basis.
The Examinations Office shall, if necessary, arrange for question papers to be brailled for visually impaired students. The question papers must be submitted to the Examinations Office at least six weeks before the start of the examination period for transcribing.
All candidates requesting a specific provision must ensure that they have informed their College Examinations Officer of their arrangement.
A Chief Invigilator shall be appointed for each venue and shall have overall responsibility for the venue. All Assistant Invigilators are answerable to the Chief Invigilator.
The Chief Invigilator shall be responsible for delegating the respective tasks including allocating the areas of the venue to be observed and looked after.
The Chief Invigilator (or delegate) shall be responsible for reading out the appropriate announcements at the start of the examination.
Assistant Invigilators shall be available to assist the Chief Invigilator in the task of setting up each venue. As this requires great care and attention, it is essential that all Invigilators be punctual and be in the venue not less than THIRTY minutes before the start of an examination.
Before the start of an Examination
The Examinations Office shall supply the Chief Invigilator and the College Examinations Officer with a list of candidates who are sitting examinations elsewhere (i.e. those for whom specific provisions have been made).
The Chief Invigilator shall collect examination papers, seating plans and other material from the Examinations Office not less than thirty minutes before the examination is due to start. For examinations held off Campus (e.g. the Sports Hall) the examination papers shall be taken there directly by a representative of the Examinations Office.
Examination papers shall be distributed in accordance with the seating arrangements supplied for each examination room. Invigilators must ensure that each desk allocated has on it answer books, attendance slips, labels, treasury tags and the appropriate question papers with any other material in accordance with the rubric. Special care must be taken to ensure that the instructions on the rubric are adhered to regarding the use of calculators, access to dictionaries etc.
Candidates shall be admitted a few minutes early so that they can be in their places by the time scheduled for the start of the examination provided that the room is completely ready. As this may vary considerably depending upon the number of candidates, the Chief Invigilator will determine when the students can be admitted.
When candidates are seated, they shall be told to check that they are sitting at the appropriate desk and have the correct question paper. They shall be told to read all of the instructions on the cover of the examination book, to complete all of the sections, and to also read the instructions on the question paper. They shall be warned of the consequences of committing academic misconduct and reminded that it is an offence to take to their desks any unauthorized books, notes and papers, as is communication (by talking or by other means) with other candidates. They shall also be reminded not to remove pages from examination answer books for making rough notes and given instructions on how to proceed to, and the location of, the muster point in the event of a fire alarm sounding.
Starting the Examination
Candidates shall be allowed to settle down and to complete their attendance slips and answer book covers. The examination shall then be started formally by means of an announcement such as “You may now start writing”.
During the Examination
Attendance slips shall be collected systematically in one operation, in groups corresponding to each module/examination paper. As each attendance slip is collected the Invigilator should check the candidate’s name against the candidate’s ID Card and that the correct module code, date and venue have been entered correctly onto the slip. The slips shall then be checked against the official candidates’ list provided for the examination, and a note made of those who were present and absent. Any candidate who attends an examination but whose name does not appear on the attendance sheet should be checked with the Examinations Office immediately.
It is a Senate requirement that the member of staff responsible for a particular examination question paper, or a deputy, must be available by telephone during the duration of the examination to address any queries from candidates. Staff are required to have with them a hard copy of the examination question paper and any other relevant material for the examination in question. In exceptional circumstances, staff may be required to attend the examination venue. Should the member of staff be unable to attend the venue there must be a deputy in place to attend in their absence. The University Examinations Office must be provided with a list of members of staff responsible for each examination paper and their contact telephone numbers in advance of the examination period. Any special requirements for the examination must be included in the rubric of the examination question paper.
For each paper being sat in an examination room, the title and number of candidates shall be entered on the invigilation form provided. The number of candidates present for each examination must be verified by checking the number of attendance slips against the names of those marked present on the register.
No candidate shall be permitted to enter the room after the examination has been in progress for thirty minutes and no candidate may leave the room until the examination has been in progress for forty-five minutes.
Students are not allowed to leave the examination hall within the last fifteen minutes of the examination.
Action in various contingencies
Preferably in the presence of a witness, the Chief Invigilator shall quietly inform any candidate suspected of engaging in any academic misconduct or of assisting other candidates, that the circumstances will be reported to the Director of Academic Integrity and the University Examinations Officer. A Student Warning Note will then be issued by the Chief Invigilator. Candidates so warned will be allowed to continue that and subsequent examinations without prejudice to any decision which may subsequently be taken. The Chief Invigilator shall, where appropriate, retain all evidence relating to the suspected unfair practice.
If, in the opinion of an Invigilator, a candidate is causing a disturbance or has been observed acting in breach of a regulation, e.g. talking to or communicating with another in an examination, he/she shall be warned. If the candidate continues to be disruptive or continues to act in breach of the regulations, he/she shall be required to leave the venue and shall be issued with a Student Warning Note. The candidate shall not be readmitted for that examination. Breaches of examination regulations will be reported to the Director of Academic Integrity.
Any suspected academic misconduct or disruptive behaviour must be reported on the appropriate Examination Report Form.
If a disruption (for example a continuous sounding alarm bell) should occur after the start of the examination, the Chief Invigilator must instruct candidates to leave the examination room in an orderly manner leaving their examination papers and scripts on their desks and to refrain from discussing the examination paper with other candidates. Candidates should assemble at the delegated muster point to await further instructions. All possible steps should also be taken by the Chief Invigilator to preserve the security of the room. (An Instruction Sheet is available on the Chief Invigilator’s desk is every exam room giving details of the assembly point).
During each portion of the examination, the Invigilator shall have power to exclude from the examination room all persons save the officers of the University and the candidates under examination and shall prevent any communication on the part of the candidates either among themselves or with any other person.
At the end of the Examination
At the end of the appropriate period, candidates shall be formally asked to stop writing. They shall be informed by the Chief Invigilator to ensure that:
- their names appear on each answer book used and that the top left-hand corners of books are sealed down to ensure anonymity;
- all answer books used, together with any other materials, should be securely fastened together with the treasury tags provided;
- all answer books are left on desks;
- they must remain seated in silence until all examination scripts have been collected and the Chief Invigilator announces that they may leave the examination venue.
As soon as the room is cleared, only the Invigilators and, if required, the Director of Academic Integrity, or a representative of the Examinations Office, shall be allowed in the room.
The examination scripts in each group shall be counted and the number of scripts checked against the number of candidates previously entered on the invigilation form. The Chief Invigilator must only sign the invigilation form when all scripts have been accounted for.
Collection of Scripts
Examiners (or their College representatives) may collect scripts for marking from the examination room. Each collector must provide proof of identity and sign the invigilation form for the scripts collected. Postgraduate students acting on behalf of members of academic staff are not allowed to collect completed examination scripts.
Examination answer scripts not collected by Examiners or their College representatives
All uncollected scripts (with unused question papers), together with:
- all attendance slips
- all lists of candidates
- the invigilation forms
must be returned to the Examinations Office.
A candidate may be deemed absent with good cause from an examination or assessment because of documented illness, accident, and close bereavement or on closely-related compassionate grounds.
A College Special Circumstances Committee (or the equivalent) shall consider all cases of absence prior to the College Examining Board and make recommendations to the College Board.
Detailed regulations relating to resit examinations shall be published in the various Assessment Regulations.