Alternative assessment during the COVID-19 outbreak

Updated: Thursday 7 May 2020 - 5.30pm 

We are in unprecedented times and the University has had to move quickly to respond to the impact of COVID-19. In developing our plans, our primary concern is the health and wellbeing of our students and staff. The arrangements we have in place are designed to minimise the spread and impact of the COVID-19 virus while ensuring that students can continue and complete their programmes of study.

We have agreed that, wherever possible, we will not run examinations that require students to be physically present on campus during the summer term. This applies to all groups of taught students, both undergraduate and postgraduate. We have agreed alternative methods of assessment to replace our standard campus-based exams.

We are committed to our students’ success and are continuing with assessment in order to provide you with the required opportunities to demonstrate your learning and to continue and complete your programmes of study. Please be assured that the assessment will cover content delivered during the course but the method of assessment is likely to change. 

 

The University's 'No Detriment' approach

Safety Net 1

Expanded Opportunities for Reassessment

  • If you do not pass a module because you were unable to complete an assessment in the upcoming exam period, you will be offered reassessment. 
  • These resits will be treated as first sits and will be uncapped and free of charge. 
  • We have also increased the number of credits that you can be offered reassessment in. For UG students, reassessment will be offered over the Summer/in September, which will help to ensure that you can meet the requirements to progress to your next year of study.  

Safety Net 2

A Streamlined Approach to Extenuating Circumstances and Examination Absence

  • If you are unable to complete an Alternative Assessment please tell us using the Notified Absence from Exams form found on your MyEssex portal. You do not need to make an extenuating circumstances claim or provide any evidence. Safety Net 1 means that regardless of why you were unable to complete the assessment, if you do not pass the module you will be offered another attempt for uncapped marks.
  • Our Exam Boards will be taking a holistic approach when making outcome decisions this year. We therefore ask that you do not submit extenuating circumstances for the general disruption caused by Coronavirus.
  • However, if your circumstances present individual difficulties to your ability to perform, we ask that you submit extenuating circumstances via the form found on your MyEssex portal.
  • We understand that you may not be able to obtain evidence to support your claim, and so we will not require it. You can self-certify.

Safety Net 3

More Flexibility in the Management of Marks and How they Contribute to the Module Outcome

  • Where you have already met the learning outcomes for a module based on assessment you have already passed, the Alternative Assessment can only improve your module aggregate.
  • Where you have not yet completed or passed enough assessment to meet the learning outcomes for a module, you will need to complete the upcoming assessments to be able to pass this module. Safety Net 4 means that all students’ performance in the module will be reviewed.

Safety Net 4

Monitoring Module Cohorts Against Previous Three Years

  • We will be actively comparing module marks this year with the previous three years to ensure that the marks are in line with previous achievement.
  • The Board of Examiners will look at the performance of students on your module as a whole. If your module cohort performs more poorly than we would expect based on the last three years of students taking that module, we will consider the marks to ensure that you are not disadvantaged.

 

The University's 'No Detriment' approach

Is the University implementing a 'No Detriment' approach in response to COVID-19?

Yes, the University is committed to ensuring that the COVID-19 pandemic does not affect your academic performance unfairly. We have in place an approach that responds to the exceptional circumstances we are facing while recognising the needs and requirements of individual students, modules and courses, and reflects accurately your academic performance.

We have agreed a number of temporary changes to our undergraduate and postgraduate policies to enable you to demonstrate your learning while recognising that many things may be uncertain and you might not be at your best. These changes are in direct response to the pandemic and provide us with a greater range of options to ensure that you are not disadvantaged.

These include:

  • expanded opportunities for reassessment before 2020-21
  • a streamlined approach to extenuating circumstances and examination absence 
  • more flexibility in the management of marks and how they contribute to the module outcome and
  • monitoring module cohorts against previous years.

We want to support you to succeed in these difficult times.

How will the 'No Detriment' approach work?

Our approach will be applied for all taught students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, and all assessment you have or will undertake in this academic year.

The University already has in place robust procedures for managing any circumstances beyond your control that have an impact on your assessed work. Known as Extenuating Circumstances, they can fall into the following categories:

  • Circumstances which cause you to perform less well in the assessment
  • Circumstances which cause you to miss an assessment event or not to submit an assessment

We are strengthening and streamlining both the extenuating circumstances and exam absence notification processes to ensure that we identify and support all students who experience or have experienced difficulties this year in their coursework or alternative assessment. While we expect you to undertake the required assessment during the summer term, if you are not able to do so, we are committed to offering you another opportunity over the summer for uncapped marks.

How will the alternative assessment be treated in my module?

Learning outcomes are set when a module is created. It is not your responsibility to check whether you have met the learning outcomes and you are not required to provide evidence that you have met the learning outcomes for your module. This is determined by the Board of Examiners as a result of the assessment you undertake.

The Academic Registrar confirmed in his email on 3 April 2020 that, where your marks achieved during a module this year already demonstrate that the learning outcomes have been met, undertaking the alternative assessment during the summer term can only improve your module mark and there will be no disadvantage to your marks. However, this only applies to some modules. There will be modules where the learning outcomes can only be met by taking and passing the alternative assessment for exams or other scheduled assessment. Many of you will have already completed a number of pieces of assessed work and coursework during your modules, but this does not guarantee that you have met all learning outcomes for the module.

We need to assess all students fairly. This means making sure you have met the learning outcomes for a module in order to pass it. It also means ensuring that the mark you achieve is a fair reflection of your ability, based on your performance in the module.

All decisions by the Board will take into account the impact of the pandemic and you will not be disadvantaged by the difficulties created by COVID-19. One way it will do this is by looking at the performance of students on your module as a whole. If your module cohort performs more poorly than we would expect based on the last three years of students taking that module, we will consider the marks to ensure that you are not disadvantaged. This is a no detriment approach.

What do we mean by alternative assessment?

Under our No Detriment approach ‘Alternative Assessment’ relates to any piece of work that has been set as a replacement for an Exam that was due to take place this Summer. This could be take home exams or MCQs set on Moodle. If you are unsure whether a piece of assessment you are undertaking is an Alternative Assessment we would advise you check whether it is listed on your Exam Timetable, all assessments listed on this will be counted as pieces of Alternative Assessment.

What will happen where learning outcomes have already been met?

Many of you will have already completed a number of pieces of assessed work and coursework during your modules. Where you have passed these assessments and they constitute a significant proportion of the assessment for the module, the Board of Examiners will determine if you have already met the learning outcomes for the module. Where this is the case, the alternative assessment that you undertake during the summer term cannot reduce your module mark. The Board of Examiners will ensure that your final module mark is the same as or higher than the mark you have attained through the assessment you have already undertaken. Your module mark can increase, which is why the alternative assessment is an opportunity for you to improve your marks and fully demonstrate your learning but, in this scenario, it cannot have any negative impact.

What will happen where learning outcomes require further assessment in order to be met?

In cases where you have not yet completed enough assessment to demonstrate that you have achieved the required learning outcomes, or you have not achieved sufficient marks in those assessments, the alternative assessment will be important in giving you the opportunity to pass the module. We have many modules where almost all of the assessment for the module is scheduled to be undertaken via a final exam, which will now be done via the alternative assessment. The outcome of the assessment will be used by the Board of Examiners to determine the next steps for you. The Board will apply our No Detriment Policy. 

If you are not able to take the assessment at this time, the Board has the authority through the changes we have made to offer you another opportunity over the summer for uncapped marks.

If your course is accredited by an external professional or regulatory body, there may be some constraints on the flexibility that we can exercise due to their requirements. Please contact your Department or School for further information.

What reassessment opportunities will be available?

In all cases, where you cannot participate in the assessment or you believe your performance has been affected negatively by extenuating circumstances related to the pandemic, where you have not passed the module you will automatically be offered reassessment for uncapped marks.

When offering reassessment to undergraduate students who have not met the requirements to progress, for students who would normally be offered a repeat year, the opportunity to undertake reassessment over the summer ahead of 2020-21 will also be offered. This will provide you with the opportunity to meet the requirements to proceed to the next year of study.

We have increased the number of credits in which you can be offered reassessment.

What happens if I submit my assessment late?

If the duration of the alternative assessment is less than 23 hours 59 minutes and delivered on FASER, an additional hour has already been added to the standard time for the assessments now that they are being delivered online. This is to allow time for you to download and upload the assessment. There will be technical support available in case you have any difficulties and you are encouraged to use the practice test available in advance. Should you still experience difficulties uploading your completed work, you should email your work within the allotted period to submitexam@essex.ac.uk Should the work be submitted late, your late submission will be treated as a missed assessment and will not be marked (see the information about extenuating circumstances). You will not need to notify us and you will not need to make an extenuating circumstances claim.

If the duration of the alternative assessment is 23 hours 59 minutes or more, you should upload your answer to FASER and submit a late submission claim using the online Extenuating Circumstances form. You should submit your work no later than 24 hours after the published deadline. You should explain the extenuating circumstances that caused you to submit your work after the deadline. We understand that you may not be able to provide evidence to support your claim. Your school/department will decide whether to accept your claim. If your claim is accepted your work will be marked. If your claim is not accepted, you will receive a mark of zero and your late submission will be treated as a missed assessment (see the information about extenuating circumstances).

How does the University’s approach affect other forms of assessment planned for during the summer term?

Boards of Examiners will apply the No Detriment Policy to all assessment to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by the pandemic.

How does the University’s approach affect coursework and dissertations?

If you have been unable to complete an assessment due to COVID-19 (excluding alternative exam assessments) or you think that your performance in assessment has been affected, you should submit an extenuating circumstances claim. The main summer deadline to submit an extenuating circumstances claim is 4pm on Monday 8 June 2020. All deadlines are published on the extenuating circumstances webpage. We understand that you may not be able to obtain evidence to support your claim, and so we will not require it. You can self-certify. 

Do I have to do the alternative assessment?

All students are advised to undertake the assessment in the same way that you would have been expected to sit the exams that were planned before the COVID-19 pandemic started. We do recognise the difficult circumstances that some students may be facing, which is why we are reviewing and streamlining our extenuating circumstances and examination absence process.

For some modules, the final piece of assessment will be needed to make sure you have covered all the learning outcomes or to meet accreditation requirements where these apply.  Your department will let you know where this is the case.

 

Extenuating circumstances

How do we notify the University about our extenuating circumstances and what will the extenuating circumstances process look like for this time period?

We are streamlining the extenuating circumstances and exam absence notification processes to ensure that we are able to identify and support all students who experience or have experienced difficulties this year.

What should I do if I can’t complete the alternative assessment due to extenuating circumstances?

We expect you to undertake your assessment during the summer term. However, we understand this these are difficult times and the University is committed to ensuring that the COVID-19 pandemic does not affect your academic performance unfairly.

We recognise that you may experience difficulties that mean you are unable to take one or more of the assessments. If you are not able to undertake the required assessment we will apply our extenuating circumstances policy to support you. There may be a number of reasons why you can’t attempt assessment including ill health, caring responsibilities, lack of suitable quiet space to revise or sit exams, or technical barriers. Whatever the reason, if you are unable to complete the alternative assessment in the summer term, all you need to do is complete a Notified Absence from Exams form by logging into My Essex. You do not need to submit an extenuating circumstances claim or provide any evidence. We will use the information you provide to inform our planning to support students and to help us to identity any immediate support that we should be offering you. Your reason for not completing the assessment will have no impact on the action that the Board of Examiners takes – all reasons are valid reasons.

In summary: if you can’t take the alternative assessment, for whatever reason, all you need to do is tell us by completing a Notified Absence from Exams form on MyEssex. 

What decision will the Board of Examiners take if I am unable to complete the alternative assessment?

In all cases, students who are not able to undertake assessment, and as a consequence do not pass the module(s), will be offered another attempt at the assessment over the summer/in the September resit period. This will be for uncapped marks and there will be no resit fee. The Board of Examiners will also have some other options available to them in certain circumstances and where it is clearly to your benefit.

The Board may be limited in the action it is able to take where there are external professional or regulatory requirements. Contact your department if you are unsure whether your course has such external requirements.

What should I do it I have attempted alternative assessment but I believe my performance has been impacted due to extenuating circumstances?

We expect you to undertake the required assessment during the summer term.

However, we understand this these are difficult times and the University is committed to ensuring that the COVID-19 pandemic does not affect your academic performance unfairly.

We recognise that many things may be uncertain and you might not be at your best. If you believe that your performance in an assessment(s) has been impacted by extenuating circumstances, you should submit an extenuating circumstances claim using the online form on My Essex. We understand that you may not be able to obtain evidence to support your claim, and so we will not require it. You can self-certify.

The main summer deadline to submit an extenuating circumstances claim is 4pm on Monday 8 June 2020. All deadlines are published on the Extenuating Circumstances webpages.

What decision will the Board of Examiners take if I submit an extenuating circumstances claim?

If you have not passed the affected module(s), you will be offered another attempt at the assessment. If you have passed the affected modules(s) the Board of Examiners may offer you a voluntary attempt at the assessment. Where another attempt at the assessment is offered, this will be over the summer/in the September resit period. This will be for uncapped marks and there will be no resit fee. The Board of Examiners will also have some other options available to them in certain circumstances and where it is clearly to your benefit.

The Board may be limited in the action it is able to take where there are external professional or regulatory requirements. Contact your department if you are unsure whether your course has such external requirements.

How will the Board of Examiners treat extenuating circumstances claims this year?

All extenuating circumstances decisions, either for missed assessment or where performance is affected, will take into account the impact of the pandemic and you will not be disadvantaged by the difficulties created by COVID-19.

If you have been unable to complete an assessment due to COVID-19 (excluding alternative exam assessments) or you think that your performance in assessment has been affected, you should submit an extenuating circumstances claim. The main summer deadline to submit an extenuating circumstances claim is 4pm on Monday 8 June 2020. All deadlines are published on the Extenuating Circumstances webpages. We understand that you may not be able to obtain evidence to support your claim, and so we will not require it. You can self-certify.

Where you have missed any assessment this year and you have not passed the module, you will be offered reassessment. This will be for uncapped marks and there will be no resit fee.

 

Exam timetables

Who do I contact with a question about my exam timetable?

To report a problem with your exam timetable, you should go to your online exam timetable and use the link to the form to report a problem. This could be an exam clash; an exam that is not showing; or an exam that you are not expecting to sit. Alternatively, email examschg@essex.ac.uk

If you are unable to sit the exam, please use the Notified Absence from Exam form on My Essex.

What should I do if my exam timetable has assessments that overlap?

If you have two exams of less than 23 hours 59 minutes that overlap, please email the Exams Office at examschg@essex.ac.uk immediately, and we will investigate for you.

If your exams overlap, but one or more of these exams is 23 hours 59 minutes or longer, then please be aware that you are not expected to spend all of the allocated time on the exam. You should only be spending a similar amount of time to that which you would normally spend in an exam hall - usually two or three hours. The extended time period has been provided, where possible, to give you the flexibility to plan your time and work on your exam at a time that suits you and your circumstances, and to allow you time to download the question paper and upload your answers. If you have, for example, a 24-hour exam that overlaps with a 48-hour exam, this is considered reasonable for scheduling purposes, because both of those exams should take you between two and four hours to complete (approximately), and it is normal practice for a student to be assigned two exams within a 48-hour period.

If, however, you feel that the scheduling of two exams with overlapping completion windows negatively impacts your performance in either exam, please complete an extenuating circumstances form.

What does the information on my exam timetable mean?

Your exam timetable lists all the modules for which you have an alternative assessment to take in the summer term. The Module Title column tells you how you will be assessed for each module and how the exam will be published. 

Online assessments will be available via one of the following:

  • Most exams will be released on FASER
  • Some exams will be delivered on Moodle
  • A small number will be set using Questionmark Perception

Types of assessment: 

  • Most exams will be a take-home exam via FASER
  • Some exams will be in the form of a Moodle Quiz or Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) (on Moodle or Questionmark Perception)

The timetable shows the date and time when the exam will be released, and the date and time when it is due to be submitted. For each module shown on your timetable there is a link to FASER/Moodle/Questionmark Perception where you will be able to access the question paper at the time shown. 

What is a take-home exam?

A take-home exam is made up of a number of questions that you can answer over a limited time period. The exam timetable will make it clear how long you have to complete the exam. It is an open-book exam, which means you can refer to books and your notes to help you to write your answers. However, it is important that it is your own work so you may not get help from others. Please see the section below on academic integrity.

The form of take-home exam will vary. Your school/department will provide you with more information about these assessments; what is expected of you; and how to prepare.

How long do I need to spend on the exam?

For many exams you will have longer to write and submit your answers than you might have experienced for exams in the past, for example 24 hours. You will not need, and are not expected, to spend all this time on the exam. The extended time period has been provided so that you have flexibility to plan your time and to work on your exam at a time that suits you and your circumstances. The duration also allows time for you to download the exam and to upload your answers. Your school/department will provide you with guidance on how long you might expect to spend on writing your answers/the expected length of an answer. You should normally expect to be able to write your answers in the same period of time that a standard exam would take, however, you do not need to do this all in one block of time.

I have heard that everyone has been given extra time - what is this for?

Extra time has been added to the standard exam length for exams that are less than 23 hours 59 minutes in length. It is an allowance for the time spent uploading your completed work to FASER and any for any technical issues you may encounter.  Where an exam is entirely based on Moodle, you may not have this allowance.

Do I need to submit any rough or planning documents as we would in an exam on campus?

No – unless you want to, or are instructed otherwise by the question paper.

Complete your alternative assessment on FASER

 

Preparing for alternative assessment

How should I revise for a take-home exam?

Your school/department will provide you with advice and guidance on preparing for alternative assessment.

Your school/department will provide you with advice and guidance on preparing for alternative assessment. 

Your school/department will provide you with information on the support that is available to help you to revise.

You can also contact your Personal Tutor for advice and guidance.

The Skills for Success team is offering Academic Skills Appointments. You can talk to a tutor for support with any aspect of exam preparation, academic study or English Language. You can book an appointment via CareerHub. See the information on support for revision.

Talk to our library team, they are there to help you and provide advice about online resources.

 

IT problems

I don’t have the IT equipment/Internet connection to be able to sit an exam remotely

We understand that right now you may not have access to the facilities at home to be able to complete your assessment remotely. Do not worry. This will be covered by our extenuating circumstances process. 

Please also see our Hardship Fund for support that might be available to help you to purchase the equipment you need.

What happens if I have a problem with my IT equipment?

You are advised to familiarise yourself with FASER and any other platforms (Moodle or Questionmark Perception) in advance. You are also advised to take the usual safeguards, and save your work continuously and not leave it to the last minute to upload to FASER.

While the exam is live, you will be able to access technical advice and support. This will be clearly publicised.

If the worst happens and your technology fails and/or you can’t upload your answers, don’t panic. This will be covered by our extenuating circumstances process. 

What support will there be if I have a problem with FASER/Moodle/Questionmark Perception?

If you need technical help, our support staff are available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. You can contact us by:

  • Live chat (button in the bottom right hand corner of this page)
  • Email: exams@essex.ac.uk
  • Phone: +44 (0)1206 873926

Additional support will also be available on:

  • Friday 8 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 16 May 8am to 1:30pm
  • Sunday 17 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 23 May 8am to 2:45pm
  • Sunday 24 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 30 May 8am to 2:45pm
  • Sunday 31 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 6 June 8am to 10:30am

If you’re not familiar with using FASER, Moodle, Questionmark Perception, we have set up some practice areas for you to try out ahead of your exams:

 

Sitting assessments outside of the UK

At what time should I sit the exam?

The times shown on your timetable are in British Summer Time (BST). Please check online for a conversion to your local time if you will be undertaking your assessment outside the United Kingdom. This will tell you at what local time you will be able to download the exam questions; and the local time when you need to submit your answers.

What do I do if I am in a different timezone?

We recognise that some students will be sitting exams in different timezones and that this may have an impact on your ability to undertake the alternative assessment, in particular for assessments with short durations. If the timing of the assessment means that you cannot take the exam, you should complete our online Notified Absence from Exams form by logging into My Essex. You do not need to submit an extenuating circumstances form or provide any evidence. See the information on extenuating circumstances for how your notification of absence will be treated. 

For take-home exams that last for 24 hours or more, we hope that you will be able to take the assessment at a convenient time for you. We advise that you try and make time to download the paper and read through the questions while our support staff are available, in case you need help or have a question. You will then be ready to work on your answers at a time that suits you.

However, if you think that you have been disadvantaged by sitting the assessment in a different timezone, for example if you were unable to access timely support and advice, you should submit an extenuating circumstances claim. 

 

Who to contact for help

Who can I call for advice/help?

Contact points for both technical and content queries will be provided on the question paper and elsewhere.

Our support staff are available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. You can contact us by:

  • Live chat (button in the bottom right hand corner of this page)
  • Email: exams@essex.ac.uk
  • Phone: +44 (0)1206 873926

Additional support will also be available on:

  • Friday 8 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 16 May 8am to 1:30pm
  • Sunday 17 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 23 May 8am to 2:45pm
  • Sunday 24 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 30 May 8am to 2:45pm
  • Sunday 31 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 6 June 8am to 10:30am

I am struggling with my mental and/or physical health 

Please contact the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Services team if you need support dealing with your current circumstances. You can find more information about support with mental and emotional health on the Student Directory.

Who can I contact for help while I am taking an assessment?

You can contact our support staff, available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. You can contact us by:

Additional support will also be available on:

  • Friday 8 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 16 May 8am to 1:30pm
  • Sunday 17 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 23 May 8am to 2:45pm
  • Sunday 24 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 30 May 8am to 2:45pm
  • Sunday 31 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 6 June 8am to 10:30am

If you are feeling anxious while taking your assessment contact your Student Services Hub

See our advice on exam anxiety.

What should I do if I cannot access my exam?

You should contact our support staff, who are available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. You can contact us by:

  • Live chat (button in the bottom right hand corner of this page)
  • Email: exams@essex.ac.uk
  • Phone: +44 (0)1206 873926

Additional support will also be available on:

  • Friday 8 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 16 May 8am to 1:30pm
  • Sunday 17 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 23 May 8am to 2:45pm
  • Sunday 24 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 30 May 8am to 2:45pm
  • Sunday 31 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 6 June 8am to 10:30am

What happens if I have a question about the exam paper/questions?

Your school/department will advise you who to contact if you have a question that relates to the content of the take-home paper/assessment. 

When can I access help?

Our support staff are available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Additional support will also be available on:

  • Friday 8 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 16 May 8am to 1:30pm
  • Sunday 17 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 23 May 8am to 2:45pm
  • Sunday 24 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 30 May 8am to 2:45pm
  • Sunday 31 May 8am to 10:30am
  • Saturday 6 June 8am to 10:30am

We recognise that you may be planning to work on your answers outside of these times, perhaps to accommodate caring responsibilities or when you are able to find a quiet time to work at home. We advise that you try and make time to download the paper and read through the questions while our support staff are available, in case you need help or have a question. You will then be ready to work on your answers at a time that suits you. 

 

Individual exam arrangements

How will my Individual Exam Arrangements be applied to Alternative Assessment?

If you have agreed Individual Exam Arrangements in place, they have been included as part of the arrangements for alternative assessment as follows. Your online exam timetable will tell you if you have IEAs in place. 

Extra writing time

Extra writing time has been applied for exams of less than 23 hours 59 minutes in duration. For assessments of 23 hours 59 minutes or longer, all students have been given extra time so that you have flexibility to plan your time and work on your exam in a way that suits you and your circumstances. Your Department will provide guidance on how long you might expect to spend on writing your answers and/or the expected length (i.e. word count) of those answers, and you can add your extra writing time to those guide times. If you feel that this arrangement has a negative impact on your performance in the exam, please submit an extenuating circumstances claim form

Extra non-writing time

Extra non-writing time has been applied for exams of less than 23 hours 59 minutes in duration, but has not be applied for exams of 23 hours 59 minutes or over as you will be able to take more frequent and longer breaks during the exam. If you feel that this has a negative impact on your performance in the exam, please submit an extenuating circumstances claim form.

Students who have extra equipment they now don't have access to (ergonomic chair, a fan etc)

The University won't be able to provide this equipment for remote exams.  If you feel that this has a negative impact on your performance in the exam, please complete an extenuating circumstances form.

Students who usually have a purple book

A purple book is not provided, but you can complete a cover sheet in the same way you would for coursework assignments.

How to download your coversheet

  1. Log on to FASER with your username and password
  2. Click the 'Help and Support' tab on the left-hand panel
  3. Click on 'Student Support' on the drop down menu
  4. Download your coversheet
  5. Submit this by uploading it alongside your exam

 

Will my rest break time be in place?

Yes, if your exam is under 23 hours 59 minutes in length - though rest break time is not included in the exam length shown on your exam timetable as it is programmed into the submission times on FASER or Moodle. If your exam is 23 hours 59 minutes or longer, then you will be able to take more frequent and longer breaks during the exam.

How can I record my rest break time and have this added at the end of the exam?

Your submission deadline on FASER or Moodle will be adjusted automatically to take account of your rest break time for assessments under 23 hours 59 minutes in length.

I have an examination scribe/reader in exams how will this be provided? 

Exceptionally in these timed take-home assessments, you will be able to use your assistive software and other strategies you would when completing your coursework assignments. We anticipate therefore that you will not need a human examination scribe or reader in place and will be able to use a computer.  If you have questions or concerns about this please contact your named adviser in SWIS by emailing include@essex.ac.uk as soon as you review your exam timetable.

Can I use my assistive software?

Yes, you can use any assistive software which you would use when completing coursework.

Can I ask a family member to act as my examination scribe?

No, as they are not trained to carry out that role.  You should use assistive technology alternatives. If you have questions or concerns about this please contact your named adviser in SWIS by emailing include@essex.ac.uk as soon as you review your exam timetable.  

Will my extra exam time be in place and in addition to any additional time for all students?

Yes, if your exam is under 23 hours 59 minutes in length. For exams of 23 hours 59 minutes or longer, all students have been given extra time so that you have flexibility to plan your time and work on your exam in a way that suits you and your circumstances. Your Department will provide guidance on how long you might expect to spend on writing your answers and/or the expected length (i.e. word count) of those answers, and you can add your extra writing time to those guide times. If you feel that this arrangement has a negative impact on your performance in the exam, please submit an extenuating circumstances claim formPlease also see the 'How long do I need to spend on the exam?' question in the Exam Timetables section of this FAQ.

How will markers be aware that I have a disability that may require them to consider sensitive marking guidance?

You can complete a cover sheet in the same way you would for coursework assignments.

How to download your coversheet

  1. Log on to FASER with your username and password
  2. Click the 'Help and Support' tab on the left-hand panel
  3. Click on 'Student Support' on the drop down menu
  4. Download your coversheet
  5. Submit this by uploading it alongside your exam

I have a recent injury that is going to impact on taking the exam, what should I do? 

If you have an injury please contact SWIS by emailing include@essex.ac.uk and provide further information and medical evidence so any adjustments required can be considered.

 

Academic integrity

What do I need to know about plagiarism and collusion?

You should use your own words to answer questions, and should not cut and paste material.

If you refer to external sources such as books or journal articles, you should reference them in the way that you normally would in a typical exam situation.

Answers should be your own work and should not be attempted with the help of other people. If there is a suspected case of academic misconduct this will be treated in the same way as all plagarism and collusion cases at the University and will be taken very seriously.

Library resources and support

Can I use online library books and journals during an exam?

Yes, you can access and consult online library resources but you are advised to do this in advance of the exam as part of your preparation, rather than relying on having access when the exam is live.

What if I can't get access to a particular ebook or other online library resources?

You should not rely on the availability of a particular ebook, journal or database while the exam is live. Access to these resources is dependent on a number of factors, including limits on the number people who can read it at the same time, so you are advised to consult key library resources in advance of the live exam.

Where can I get help using library resources during the assessment period?

From Monday 11 May to Saturday 30 May, our chat service will be available Monday-Friday 9am-6pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm. We’ll also be monitoring and responding to emails Monday-Friday 9am-8pm and Saturday-Sunday 9am-5pm.

Contact us
Contact us
Examination Office Our support staff are available 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. You can contact us by:
Live chat (button in the bottom right hand corner of this page)
Telephone: 01206 873926