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What to do it your exams don't go well

Sometimes exams don't go well.  The first thing to do is to try not to panic.  Take a deep breath and follow this step by step guide to find out what to do next and who to speak to, you may also need a Personal Circumstances Form.

What to do if...


...something happens on the day of your exam:

If you are affected by personal circumstances on the day of your exam and are not physically, mentally or emotionally capable of taking your exam you (or someone on your behalf) need to speak to your department and Student Business as soon as you can and let me know the situation.  If you are struggling to get hold of someone and are not able to keep phoning phone The Advice Hub and they will take your details and keep trying to phone on your behalf or email the relevant staff with a message for you and when you first tried to contact them.  You will need evidence to confirm your personal circumstances for example a doctor's letter, accident report etc.  If you aren't sure what you need speak to the Advice Hub, The Advice Centre or your department once the situation has improved and they will advise you on what to do and how to apply to have their personal circumstances considered by the exam board.  If the circumstances mean you aren't able to sit the rest of your exams you need to let your department know.

If something has happened but you decide to sit your exam try to inform the exam invigilator before the start of the exam so that if something happens and you begin to feel like you can't complete your exam they know why you are leaving and get you support if you need it.


...you take your exams but something has affected your performance:

Under the University's Personal Circumstances policy if there are circumstances that have affected you during your exams (whether it have been in the run up to them or during them) and you want these to be considered by the exam board when they look at your marks you must complete, provide evidence for and submit a personal circumstances form.  If you don't mention the issues affecting you through this process they University is unlikely to hear them as an appeal.  You can get advice on what to write on your form from The Advice Hub or The Advice Centre (see their advice leaflet below).  If you're not sure if you have a case or not sure how to explain your situation give one of us a ring or drop in and ask.  You have until 5 days after the end of the exam period to submit this form.  The form you need is available at the bottom of this page.


...you are disappointed by your results:

In the first instance you should reflect on the effort you put in over the year/semester and revision period and whether the results are disappointing but realistic.  If you're confused about why you got a certain grade you're first stop should be your department as they are best placed to let you know what they were looking for in the answer.  Departments will not sit and go through your exam paper with you but they can give you information that you can use to think about what you wrote and how that matches up with what they were looking for.  If your information was accurate but the way you have expressed it has let you down it can be a good idea to speak to someone from Study Skills to that you can improve next year or in resits if you have failed and been given resits (normally scheduled for August).  If you are a Science or Engineering student who is struggling with the maths element of your course you can get support for the future from the Maths Skills Support Centre.


...you want appeal:

You can only appeal against a University decision not individual grades.  So if you have passed but aren't happy with your results that isn't something you can appeal, that is academic judgement which can't be challenged.  You can challenge the following:


Decisions which change your student status:  Withdraw, Academic Suspension, Registration with Attendance, Repeat a Year

Decisions which change your course: Hons to Pass degree, MSc to PG Dip or PG Cert, Phd to MPhil etc

Your overall degree classification if you are in the borderline of a higher grade


If you are in this situation you need to look at the grounds on which you can appeal and see if there they apply to your situation. If they do get in touch with an adviser at The Advice Hub or The Advice Centre to have a chat about your case.  The Advice Hub will also help you structure your case and organise your evidence.

UoS Exam Stress Leaflet.pdf114.45 KB

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