Changes to examination format can be made by the course convenor, with recommended approval from either the Department Teaching Committee Chair or Exam sub-board Chair, and recommended consultation with the External Examiner.
This might include changes to the following:
- the duration of the examination
- introduction or removal of reading time
- the duration of reading time
- the number of questions available for students to choose from
- the number of questions students must answer
- the number of sections in the paper
- any substantive change to the style of questions or how the student should answer the questions
- weighting of questions
Changes to existing permitted materials or the use of calculators do not always need approval; however, departments must ensure that the Exams Team is notified of these changes by the examination question paper submission deadline.
Departments should liaise with the Exams Team about examination format changes that impact permitted materials or examination set up in advance of considering format changes.
Departments are asked to consider examination format modifications by the end of Week 6 of MichaelmasTerm for the January examination period and by the end of Week 2 of Lent Term for the Summer examination period. Consultation with the external examiner for the course is considered good practice.
Although changes to exam format can be considered during the academic year, as detailed above, changes to the duration of the examination, introduction or removal of reading time or the duration to reading time should be considered as part of the annual course guide review and finalised prior to publication of the course guide. Exam duration, including reading time, should not be changed in-year.
If the change is approved, the department must give all students on the course clear advance warning in writing of the examination format changes. A sample examination paper, or a mock examination in the new format must be provided for students to revise from.
For more information on changes to exam format and other course and programme modifications, please see the table of modifications and devolved responsibilities.