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We know that sitting exams online and at home will be a new experience for many students. We have therefore put together a list of a few things to look out for when completing your exams this spring.

Manage your time

It can be difficult to manage your time when sitting an exam at home, so make sure to check the start time of your exam and be clear on how long you have to complete each of your assessments. Some of your exams may last for 24-hours, whilst others may run with a shorter duration within the 24-hour window, so always double check the timings of each exam in advance. It’s also really important to remember to allow enough time to upload and submit your work within the given time frame, so try not to leave it until the last minute.

You can find some further tips to help you plan and prepare for your exams in UCL’s Exam Success Guide.

Report any difficulties

If you experience technical difficulties during your exams, you should report this to UCL as soon as possible. If you have more than 30 minutes before the submission deadline, you can use the self-service query form on Remedyforce to ask for some assistance.

If you have been unable to submit your exam due to a technical issue, you should complete an Exam Query Form. UCL’s Exams team will then pass on your report and submission data to the relevant Extenuating Circumstances panel. If your claim is successful, you will be able to defer your exam to the next normal occasion (usually the Late Summer Assessment Period). Your claim must be supported by evidence, so make sure to include any screenshots of error messages or network failures. You can find further details about this in UCL’s Technical Failures in Online Exams Policy.

You can also use the Exam Query Form to report any confusing or incorrect questions, so don’t hesitate to submit a form if you encounter something in your exams which doesn’t feel quite right.

Stick to the rules

Whilst you don’t have invigilators watching you when taking your exams at home, it’s still important to stick to the rules. UCL can monitor your online activity during your exams, and this information could be used against you if you are suspected of academic misconduct. For example, UCL can track the IP address you use to connect your computer to the internet, and can see both the pages you’ve viewed and searched for, and the length of visits to certain pages. You can find confirmation of this in the Privacy and Cookie policy when you log into the AssessmentUCL platform.

Avoid plagiarism

UCL expects students to apply high academic standards in all of their assessments, including in all exams. This means that UCL’s plagiarism rules still apply during the exam period, and you may be found guilty of academic misconduct if you present someone else’s ideas or words as your own without appropriate referencing or acknowledgement. You should therefore make sure to provide accurate and clear references in all of your online exams. If you need any guidance with this, UCL Library Services has a useful tutorial on referencing and avoiding plagiarism here. It also may be helpful to read through UCL’s Academic Integrity requirements, so you know exactly what is expected of you in your exams.

It’s also important to remember to work alone during the exam period, unless otherwise permitted, as sharing notes or answers could lead to the work you produce in your exams as being very similar to that of your course mates. If you are unsure about the work which is being asked of you, contact your module leader or personal tutor to ask for some support.

If you are found to be guilty of academic misconduct, you could incur penalties, such as a lower grade or being given a Fail mark in your module. You may then be required to resit your exam with a capped mark, potentially delaying the progression of your degree programme. You can find more information about the possible penalties here, in UCL’s Academic Misconduct Procedure.

If you are suspected of academic misconduct, and would like some further advice and support with the process, you can contact the Advice Service using our online form.

Get help

If you are struggling with your exams or finding it difficult to work remotely, speak to someone about it. UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing team can offer support, or you could contact the UCL-affiliated telephone and online counselling service Care First.

If outside factors are having a negative impact on your work, you can apply for Extenuating Circumstances. The Advice Service can offer some support with this process, so feel free to contact us if you would like to speak to one of our advisers about your situation in more detail.

We also have two Peer Tutors from our Language + Writing Support Programme who are on hand to offer guidance to non-native English speaking students with their academic writing and speaking. If this sounds like it may be helpful, you can schedule an appointment on our bookings page.