In Cambridge the term ‘examination’ covers all forms of assessment, including theses and dissertations. So please follow all instructions regarding examinations, even if you have no seated, hand-written exams.
The University Board of Examinations oversees the whole process.
The Tutorial Office co-ordinates examination matters at Hughes Hall.
(a) Entry for examinations
Undergraduates: Your Director of Studies is responsible for entering you for the appropriate exams. You will be sent an Examination Entry Verification Form, which you must check carefully. Notify any corrections or changes to the College Administrator immediately, which must be entered before the last day of Full Lent Term. In due course you will be given a University Exam Number, which you must keep with you throughout the exam period.
Graduates: These vary according to Department and Faculty. Make sure you follow the instructions you are given.
(b) Preparing for exams
The Cambridge exam system can be daunting, but help is available. The document below provides information on sources of academic support, resources available, practical preparation, taking the exam and getting your results.
Document: Preparing for Exams
More useful information can be found on the University Counselling Service webpage.
(c) Conduct in exams
See the University rules.
(d) Special Exam arrangements
See the Examination Arrangements: Student Guidance Notes and the page on exam access arrangements. If you think you need special exam arrangements, you must complete the College Form and arrange to see your tutor to discuss your needs. You will require a proper assessment and certification, e.g. from the Disability Resources Centre, your GP or the College Nurse depending on the condition.
There is neither shame nor disadvantage in seeking special arrangements, so please don’t be put off from making enquiries. However, you must do so at the start of the year, since the college must inform the university early in the Lent Term. The Disability Resources Centre offers a free initial assessment. In most cases the university makes the special provisions, while in some cases the College makes the provisions. There is no charge to you for this.
(e) Difficulties during exams
Occasionally students have major difficulties like ill health before or during the exam period. If this happens to you, contact your tutor immediately to discuss it. Your tutor may then recommend that the college enters an Exam Warning and/or applies for an Exam Allowance. There is useful information about exam allowances for Graduate students on the University website.
Occasionally also students experience problems with anxiety or health during an exam and need to leave the exam room. If this happens to you, an invigilator will phone the college, and the Duty Tutor will come to collect you. In some cases you may be allowed to continue the exam in college. Note that if you leave like this during an exam, you normally have to sit your remaining exams in college.
(f) Notification of results
Degree Classification (i.e. BA and LLM): On the day these are released, your class will be recorded on Camsis in the morning, and class lists will be displayed at the Senate House in the late afternoon. If you do not wish to have your name included on the published list you can apply to have it removed. The Tutorial Office can advise on how to arrange this.
Other results: Are communicated to you directly by your faculty, and marks on individual papers are normally released through Directors of Studies.
(g) Assessment of Results
Good results. The college awards prizes to congratulate all who gain a First Class degree and in some cases for a Distinction.
Disappointing results. All BA students are expected to get a 2.1 grade. If you fall significantly below this, the Senior Tutor will follow it up with you, and may want to see you along with your Director of Studies.
Failure. If you fail your exams you will normally have to leave the college and the university. Note that to be ‘allowed an Ordinary Examination’ (i.e. non-Honours) counts as failure in this context.