UCT Student Exam Timetable

UCT Student Exam Timetable

UCT Student Exam Timetable,

1.1       Formal examinations and their schedule

The University has formal examinations in May/June, and in October/November, at such othertimes as the Senate decides, and in January (supplementary and deferred examinations).

1.2       Examinations by course

Examinations are held in all courses to assess work done by students.

1.3       Formative and summative assessment

Examinations can take the form of formative assessment or summative assessment and can consist of written examinations, class tests, essays, assignments and other forms of assessment.

  • Formative assessment typically refers to assessments used as part of the teaching and learning process where the marks do not, and are not intended to, contribute to the result for the course.  Examples include class tests and essays.
  • Summative assessment is used as a part of the formal final assessment.  Marks obtained will contribute to the result of the course in such proportions as may be determined by Senate.

1.4       Definition of examination

All tests that contribute to the final result in the course are defined as examinations for the purposes of this procedures manual.

1.5       Definition of final examination

As used in this document, ‘final examination’ describes the summative assessment, comprising a single examination for each course, that is scheduled to be held during the June and November examination periods (or at such other times as Senate decides) and which is written under invigilation.

1.6       Class work contributing to the final exam


The composition of elements of the final mark is decided by the Faculty Board on authority delegated by Senate.  Where groupwork contributes to the final mark, this must be madeexplicit.

For undergraduate courses where a faculty has not determined otherwise, at least 50% of the final result must be derived from the formal invigilated examination.  Where classwork and other forms of assessment are to contribute more or less than 50%, explicit permission must be obtained from the Faculty Board for that course, and at least 50% of the examinable work must be made available to the external examiner.

1.7       Proportion of work to be externally examined


At least 50% of the work that constitutes the final mark is to be externally examined.  Wherethe invigilated examination constitutes less than 50% of the final mark, coursework must be retained and submitted to the external examiner.

1.8       Opportunities for sitting an exam in the same series

A candidate should not have more than two opportunities of sitting an examination in the same series.  A series is defined as a normal examination and the deferred/supplementaryexamination that follows.  A deferred or supplementary examination is itself the second opportunity of sitting the examination.  No candidate may be granted a supplementary examination based on the result obtained in this second opportunity (be it a deferred or a supplementary examination).

No department may refuse a student a deferred examination if this has been granted by the Deferred Examinations Committee.

Where a candidate is granted a supplementary examination, the Course Results Schedule (CRS) records both the result of the second-opportunity examination, and the fact of its beinga second opportunity result.  (See 2.4 Supplementary examinations and 8.5 Classification of results.)

Where a candidate is granted a deferred examination, the CRS will show only the final result, and not the fact that it was taken as a deferred opportunity.

1.9       Eligibility for examination

Departments are responsible for ensuring that only registered students participate in andsubmit work for assessment in a course.  No work submitted by an unregistered student may be marked or returned.


2.1       Invigilated examinations in the June and November examination periods

An invigilated exam is one taken under supervision.  Invigilated examinations are held in May/June and October/November and at such other times as Senate decides.

No coursework (e.g. essays, assignments) may be scheduled in the examination period or thepreceding consolidation period.  The only exception to this is June class tests for courses with a W, H or Z suffix. (See 2.2 Class tests, essays and other forms of assessment as examinations.)

Unless Senate gives special permission, no more than one final examination in an undergraduate course is allowed in any examination period.

(Where a course allows students to select optional modules, each module will beexamined.  This may mean that more than two examinations will be required for the course;but it may not be arranged in such a way that any one student has to sit more than oneexamination for the course.  If this necessitates a course having to use more than onetimetable slot, it may be only organised with the permission of the Senate Teaching and Examination Timetable Sub-Committee).

2.2       Class tests, essays and other forms of assessment as examinations (PC294)

Class tests may serve two purposes: formative and summative.  First, a class test may beused simply as part of the teaching and learning process, where the marks do not, andare not intended to, contribute to the result for the course.  Second, a class test may, inaddition to its part in the teaching and learning process, be used as a part of the formal finalassessment.  In such cases the marks obtained in the class test will contribute to the result ofthe course, in such proportions as may be determined by Senate.

The above apply equally to essays and other forms of assessment.

The Examinations Officer may schedule June class tests for W and H suffix courses in theJune examination period.  No coursework other than tests for W and H suffix courses may be scheduled in the June examination period or the preceding consolidation period.

June examinations (as opposed to class tests) may be scheduled during the June examination period for courses that run over the whole year i.e. H and W suffix courses).

2.3       Deferred examinations

2.3.1    A deferred examination is a further final examination opportunity granted on medical, compassionate, religious or political grounds.

2.3.2    The form of a deferred examination is to be the same as the form of the originalexamination to which it relates, but if a department should propose to alter the form ofthe examination in exceptional circumstances (e.g. from written to oral), such proposalwill be subject to the prior agreement of the Faculty Board and all the candidates concerned.  (PC408)

2.3.3    The rules for deferred exams are set out in the General Rules for Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates.  (See also 10.2 Hierarchy of principles in construction of the examination timetable.)

In all applications for deferred examinations in courses where no Due Performance (DP) requirement is set, the opinion of the department, particularly concerning thestudent’s academic record, is requested and taken into consideration In courses where a DP requirement is set, the student’s DP status will stand as an indication of thestudent’s academic record and the department will not be asked to give a furtherindication of the student’s standing.  A student wishing to apply for a deferredexamination must complete the application form and submit it, together with any substantiating documents, to the Student Records Office no later than seven days afterthe scheduled examination.

2.3.4    Authority for awarding deferred examinations

Applications for deferred examinations are considered by the Deferred ExaminationsCommittee in terms of the general university rules for degrees, diplomas and certificates.  No department may refuse a student a deferred examination if this has been granted by the Deferred Examinations Committee.

2.3.5    Provisions relating to deferred examinations for student leaders

(Senate 4/1983, PC06/1988)

(a)        The Deferred Examinations committee, sitting with the Executive Director responsible for student affairs present, may grant a deferred examination in special circumstances where the student has been involved in official bona fideactivities related to the administration of student affairs or the Universitygenerally.

(b)        In considering an application for deferment in such cases the Committeeshall satisfy itself that the student’s contribution has been substantial.  Senateenvisages that few students, perhaps no more than two or three each year, willbe allowed such a deferment of examinations.

Eligibility for receiving a concession is not confined to particular Student Representative Council (SRC) office bearers.

2.3.6    A supplementary examination cannot be deferred.  If, for any reason, a student is notpresent to take a supplementary examination, he or she forfeits the opportunity and theoriginal fail mark stands. (See also 8.5 Classification of results.)

2.3.7    An examination without attendance (EWA) cannot be deferred.

2.3.8    Notifying students about the award of a deferred examination

To ensure that the student is advised in time, information is sent by email to theaddress provided by the student on the deferred examinations application form.

Students must be given notice of a deferred or supplementary exam two weeks in advance.


Note: Where departments arrange the supplementary and deferred examination dates, it is recommended that they follow the practice, used in the Examinations office, of publishing the date on a website (Vula) and informing the students by email.

2.3.9    Scheduling of deferred examinations

Deferred examinations are normally held in January with the supplementaryexaminations, but may also be scheduled at another time arranged by the department.  Alternatively, Senate may allow a deferred examination to be held at some otherdate.  (PC410)

Where a department arranges a deferred examination outside of the Januaryexamination period, the department must notify the students of the date, time and venue of the exam at least 2 weeks prior to the actual exam.  A shorter notice periodagreed upon by the department and student/s will be allowed provided that thestudent/s is made aware of the right to at least two weeks’ notice of the exam.  Thestudent must be notified in writing and the date, time and venue must be communicated to the Examinations Office for posting on the exams website.

The General Rules on deferred examinations are to be published on departmental noticeboards with the examinations timetable.  (PC386)

2.4       Supplementary examinations

2.4.1    A supplementary examination is a further examination granted on academicgrounds to a student who has failed the course.

2.4.2    Supplementary examinations are not available on all courses.  In courses in which they are allowed, supplementary examinations are granted on behalf of Senate by the Faculty Examinations Committee (FEC), within the eligibility rules of the Faculty and after considering the recommendation of the academic department concerned.  The FEC decides on the awarding of a supplementary examination on recommendation of the department.

2.4.3    Forms of supplementary examination

The form of a supplementary examination is decided by Senate and must be thesame form as the original examination to which it relates.  (PC408)

The results for students who are granted supplementary examinations can be calculated in one of the following ways depending on the form of the examination.  How the results are to be calculated must be decided by the Faculty Board on the recommendation of the Head of Department and conveyed to the students.  Forms of supplementary examination include:

                                    (i)        As a stand-alone examination: the final mark is based only on the outcome of the supplementary examination and no coursework is included in the calculation.

                                   (ii)        As a composite which includes the coursework: the supplementary mark replaces the examination mark while retaining the proportion that coursework and the examination contribute to the final mark.

                                  (iii)        As a composite which includes coursework and the original (failed) examination result: the original and supplementary examinations are averaged to establish ‘the examination’ mark, and this is then combined with the coursework to determine the final mark.

In cases where the supplementary examination examined only a particular section of the work covered by the original examination, the supplementary examination may be used to substitute for the failed section in the examination.  (This could only be usedwhere the student passed overall but failed to get a sub-minimum on a section.)

In deciding the result of a course for which a candidate took a supplementary examination, the original result as well as the class work which did not form part of the examination may be taken into account.  (PC01/2007) (See also Section 8 on calculating results.)

2.4.4    No supplementary examination will be granted on a deferred examination.

2.4.5    No supplementary examination will be granted for an examination without attendance (EWA).

2.4.6    Supplementary examination are not offered for third term (summer term or winter term) courses.

2.4.7    Scheduling of supplementary examinations

All supplementary examinations for year and second semester courses are heldduring January or, where this is not a suitable time, at such other time as may bedecided by Senate.  Supplementary examinations for first semester courses may beheld in the second semester, January or in the November examinations session wherethis can be accommodated.  (PC410)

Where a department arranges a supplementary examination outside of the Januaryexamination period, the department must notify the students of the date, time and venue of the exam at least 2 weeks prior to the actual exam.  A shorter notice periodagreed upon by the department and student/s will be allowed provided that thestudent/s is made aware of the right to at least two weeks’ notice of the exam.  Thestudent must be notified in writing and the date, time and venue must be communicated to the Examinations Office for posting on the exams website.

The General Rules on supplementary examinations are to be published on departmental noticeboards with the examinations timetable.  (PC386)

Note: Where departments arrange the supplementary and deferred examination dates, it is recommended that they follow the practice, used in the Examinations office, of publishing the date on a website (Vula) and informing the students by email.

2.5       Third Term (winter and summer term) examination periods

Final examinations for third term courses are normally held immediately after the completionof the course in July (for winter term) and December (for summer term).  Where summer term courses finish in finish in January, the examinations are held then.

No supplementary examinations are granted on third term courses.  A deferred examinationmay be granted in terms of the rules on deferred examinations for third term examinations.

2.6       Take home examinations

Examinations which include a component outside of invigilated conditions are permitted where a faculty  has  decided  on  a  sound  practice  and  the  examination  has  received faculty endorsement.  (e.g.  A case study is handed out the day before the exam and students bring this with them to the examination venue where they receive the requirements and sit the written component of the examination under invigilation.)

2.7       Examination without Attendance (EWA)

Senate may allow a student who is repeating a course to take the examination in the course without re-attendance at classes, under special circumstances.  In such cases, Senate willspecify which (if any) of the course requirements the student will be required to complete, inaddition to the examination(s).

No supplementary or deferred examination is granted on an EWA.

2.8       Online examinations

Online examinations are permitted where the exam will be taken under invigilation.

The same rigor applied to paper based invigilation rules must be followed to ensure the integrityof online tests.  (See Appendix A: Instructions to Principal invigilators)

Due diligence must be applied in considering possible risks and technical measures to prevent cheating.  (See Appendix E: Online examination guidelines for risks to be considered.)

Online examinations should preferably take place during office hours but where required afterhours, a technician must be present to assist with any technical queries and/or problems thatare reported.

The setup and configuration of online examinations must be conducted in consultation with CILT, ICTS[1] and faculty IT staff in advance.  (See Appendix F: Guidelines for submission of electronic examinations.)

2.9       Location of examinations


Examinations are held on campus, but may be held at locations elsewhere for students taking distance or block release offerings.  In all locations examinations are to be conducted under the conditions specified by Senate to ensure their integrity and security.  (See also 10.11 Venues for examinations and class tests.)

Individual students seeking permission to write on-campus exams elsewhere must do so in terms of General Rule G20.10.


3.1       External examiner requirements for courses

All examinations, in all courses, must be externally examined.  This applies to semester courses, whole year courses, and third term courses (summer and winter terms); and to class tests, deferred examinations and supplementary examinations.

An external examiner is ordinarily somebody who is external to the University and has no current or recent affiliation to the University.  In rare cases where it can be shown thatno suitably qualified person, external to the University, can be found to examine a particularcourse, Senate may approve the appointment of an examiner external to the departmentconcerned.  Such a person must not have taught the students to be examined.

An external examiner is appointed for each course, or where appropriate, group of courses.  It is also desirable that an external examiner of a course in the regular examination also serves as externalexaminer for the summer term, winter term, supplementary and deferred examinations of that course.  Itis desirable that in courses where oral re-examination happens, the external examiners form part ofthe panel that hears the oral examination.  It is further appropriate that the external examiners be present on campus for discussion with the internal examiners and Head of Department where this is possible.

3.2       The use of external examiners for deferred and supplementary examinations


Deferred and supplementary examinations will be externally examined in the same manner as all other final examinations. It is desirable that the external examiners for regularexamination of a particular course should also be the external examiner for the deferred andsupplementary examination in that course.  Where this is not possible, a second externalexaminer who is available at the required times, must be found for the deferred and supplementary examinations.  (See section 2.3 on Deferred examinations and 2.4 on Supplementary examinations.)

3.3       Appointment of external examiners

External examiners must be approved in advance by the Faculty Board acting on authority delegated by Senate.

An external examiner should be appointed for a period of no more than five consecutive years, but may be reappointed after a break.

3.4       Instructions to external examiners

(PC04/1989, PC05/1992)

Instructions to external examiners are approved by the Faculty Board, and issued to all external examiners by the Faculty Office (Academic Administration).  Faculty instructions must be basedon the Senate-approved memorandum for external examiners.  (See Appendix C: A guide for examiners, section on ‘The role of the external examiner’)

3.5       Examination papers delivered to a third party

Where a set of examination papers is sent by courier or other means to an externalexaminer, the department must record all marks beforehand.

3.6       Reports on departments by external examiners


All external examiners are required, as part of their function, to present a confidential report on the quality of the curriculum of the department, as far as they can judge from the estimationsof the undergraduate, honours and postgraduate students in the department.  These mandatory, confidential reports are to be sent to the Head of Department in the first instance,who forwards them, with a brief commentary, to the Dean or his or her nominee, who then reviews and sends a summary report to the responsible Executive Officer.


Reports are also required for courses in coursework masters’ programmes.


This procedure serves to keep Deans and Executive Officers informed annually ofdepartmental functions and allows remedial action, if necessary, before serious and perhaps permanent damage is done to students in training and the department as a whole.  It is aquality assurance procedure.

3.7       Examiners’ names on questions papers


A Head of Department may decide whether or not to publish internal and/or external examiners’ names on his or her department’s examination questions papers.  It is expected that external examiners give consent before their names are published.

3.8       Availability of names of examiners of PhD theses and master’s dissertations

The names and full reports of examiners are given to successful candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.  The Doctoral Degrees Board Office informs potential examiners of this policy when inviting them to accept appointment, and asks them whether they would object to this practice.

3.9       Payment of external examiners


An external examiner is paid a fee if he or she is external to the University.  A member of the University staff is not paid a fee for acting as an external examiner.

To receive payment, the external examiner must have been duly approved and appointed by the Faculty Board acting on authority delegated by Senate, and must have submitted the claimform as described in the payment process.


(SENATE 8/9/1970, PC422, PC431)

(See also Rule GB9, General Rules and Policies, Handbook3)

4.1       The conditions for the award of a Duly Performed (DP) certificate for a course shall be approved by the relevant Faculty Board.

The conditions governing the award of DP certificates shall be published in the Faculty Handbook and course outline issued at the start of the course.  If the DP conditions need tobe changed for any reason after the start of the course and the Dean allows this, all studentsmust be informed in writing of the change, and sign acknowledging the written notification ofthe change.

4.2       Departments must publish a list of those who have been refused or granted DP certificates (or both depending on what is most practicable) on their departmental or electronic noticeboards (Vula) on or before the last teaching day of the semester or year.


5.1       Preserving security and confidentiality of examination and class test question papers

(See also Appendix C: A guide for examiners.)

The Head of Department (HoD) is responsible for preserving confidentiality and security in formal examination or class test papers prepared in his or her department.  The Deputy Registrar holds responsibility for maintaining security and confidentiality in the Examinations Office when copying of formal examination papers is conducted there, and when question papers are dispatched from the Examinations Office.

Senate makes provision for the HoD to appoint a person to act in specified ways to ensure the security of examinations written off-campus.  (PC09/2014) (See Appendix E: Online examination guidelines for guidance on security arrangements for off-campus examinations.)

The Examinations Office is not responsible for the security or copying of class tests.

The Head of Department is responsible for compiling examination papers, and the Head of Department or the Deputy Registrar is accountable for copying, storing, and dispatching the papers to examination venues.  This includes the following:

5.1.1    Security in the compiling and dispatching of draft formal examination or class test examination papers to external examiners.  The use of email is acceptable provided thatthe document is password-protected and the password is sent separately.  If thedocument is not password-protected, this must immediately be reported to the Head of Department or Examinations Officer, who will investigate and decide whether therehas been a breach that compromises security.  The departmental administrator whosets up the password must circulate the password to affected Examiners in a separate communication.

5.1.2    Once the paper has been approved, the HoD must keep a paper trail related tothe formal examination or class test examination papers for auditing and quality assurance purposes.  HoDs may wish to use a similar checklist for papers printed in departments.  (See Appendix G: Examination question paper checklist for the checklist to be completed for all formal examination papers printed by the Examinations Office.)

5.1.3    Heads of Departments must ensure that copies of formal examination or class testexamination papers are securely locked away at all times, and that no persons have unauthorised access to them.  Duplicate keys must be under the sole control of the Head of Department.  Care must be taken to ensure that the type of lock used willprovide security.  Ordinary cupboard and filing cabinet locks are unacceptable.

(Heads of Departments should contact the Deputy Registrar if in doubt about adequate physical security arrangements.  Heads of Departments should pay particularattention to the security of examination questions stored electronically: for example,these should not be stored in a form to which others may obtain access.)

5.1.4    Heads must ensure that the copying of formal examination or class testexamination papers does not happen off campus, nor is contracted out to third parties.  Only departmental machines, the Examinations Office or the University’s copy services may be used.  If the latter, the paper may not be left with the copy services.

5.1.5    The number of persons engaged in the typing and/or duplicating of formal examinationor class test examination papers must be kept to the absolute minimum.  A minimum of two people is required for the printing of formal examination or class test examination papers to ensure that a second count of printed papers takes place.  If papers areprinted by the University’s copy service, a representative of the department must bepresent for the duration of the printing.  Students and student tutors may not assist withthe printing of formal examination or class test examination papers.  All staff presentmust sign a register indicating their attendance.

5.1.6    The process of copying formal examination or class test examination papers must be supervised at all times.  Care must be taken that all copies of formal examination orclass test examination papers (including master and spoilt copies, whetherintermediate draft or final) are removed from the copier, and securely locked away untilthey are destroyed.  This includes master and spoilt copies of papers whether intermediate draft or final.  A register must be kept of the number of copies made and this should be reconciled against paper copies to maintain track of each paper.  In cases where a printer stores print jobs in the memory, the main file must be deletedfrom the memory after printing.  (See Appendix H: Examination paper printing log sheet for a copy of the reconciliation register used in the Examinations Office.)

5.1.7    Spoilt or surplus formal examination or class test examination papers must be appropriately destroyed (e.g. by shredding or incinerating the papers).  This includes all master and spoilt copies, whether intermediate draft or final.

5.1.8    Relatives, or persons with any close personal relationship with a student writing an examination, must not be involved in the compiling, typing and/or copying of examination papers.

5.1.9    In the case where a department printing its own formal examination papers doesnot have secure storage facilities, the papers must be delivered to the ExaminationsOffice for storage immediately after printing.  All papers must be delivered at least 48hours prior to the relevant formal examination, and be packed in the format requestedby the Examinations Office.

5.1.10  With the exception of Multiple Choice Question (MQC) papers, all previous formal examination question papers must be made available to students to help them prepare.  Departments are responsible for uploading a PDF version of their examination papers to the tab on course Vula site called “Electronic Exam Papers”. A hard copy of all examination papers printed by the Examinations Office will be sent to Archives.

5.2       Identification at examinations

(PC437, PC0719/1991)

Students are required to present their student registration cards at all University examinations.

(See Rule G20.13, Examinations Rules, General Rules and Policies, Handbook 3)

5.2.1    If a student fails to present his or her student registration card at an examination written on campus, and cannot be identified by a departmental representative, he or she will be required to produce his or her student registration card within 5 working days to the relevant department.  If the student fails to do so, his/her results for that examination in the subject involved will be cancelled.  The warning of this penalty will be printed on the EO01 form (Failure to produce a student card) which he or she is required to complete in the examination room.)

5.2.2    If a student fails to present his or her student registration card for an examination written off campus, he or she will be required to produce satisfactory alternative identification (identity document, passport, driver’s license) to the Principal invigilator, complete the standard documentation for the record, and be photographed by the Principal invigilator.

The Principal invigilator must submit a scanned copy of the alternative identification offered, and the photograph taken at the examination, to the Head of Department or nominee within 24 hours of the examination.

The Head of Department or nominee will match the scanned alternative identification and photograph to the certified identification held on system for that student to authenticate the writer.

5.2.3    A student whose examination result is cancelled because he or she has failed topresent his or her registration card in terms of 5.2.2 may apply for the reinstatement ofhis or her result by application in writing to the Registrar by no later than the 28February next (in the case of an examination held in the second half of the previousyear) or 31 July next (in the case of the examination held in the first half of the year). Such application must be accompanied by the prescribed fee (non-refundable) foreach course involved.  The result will be reinstated if he or she can show to the satisfaction of the Registrar (or officer designated by the Registrar) that he or she is theperson who wrote the examination in question.

5.3       Presence of academic staff at examinations

(Senate 11/6/1968)

The course convener or an authorised representative able to deal with substantive issues relating to the paper must be available to attend each venue where the paper is being written (including the extra time venue) when papers from his or her department are handed out, and must collect, or make adequate arrangements for the collection, of scripts from all venuesafter the examination.

The course convener or authorised representative should at least be on call telephonically throughout the duration of the examination.  His or her contact details must be listed on the Examinations website along with all invigilators’ details.

5.4       Additional time for reading question papers

(PC288, PC433)

As there are advantages in having consistency in examination procedures, examinations involving extra time for reading should not normally be held at the same time and venueas examinations which do not include this allowance.

5.4.1    This extra time must be clearly shown on the question paper and recorded on the Examinations website as part of the duration of the paper.

5.4.2    The Examinations Officer must be informed prior to the preparation of the timetable so that the full length of the examination may be shown on the timetable.

5.4.3    If it is necessary to hold such examinations at the same time and venue asexaminations which do not have this allowance, all such examinations must startsimultaneously so that those candidates who have not received extra time will leave the hall before those who have.


5.5       Electronic devices: Use at examinations


The nature and use of programmable electronic devices is to be decided by the courseconvener and/or examiner and indicated on the cover of the examination paper.  Studentsare to be advised of this in advance.

The unauthorised taking of stored information in a device into an examination is a dishonest practice in respect of which disciplinary action will be taken.

All examiners must ensure that there is no breach of integrity through the use of any device during the examinations.

5.6       Formula sheets and other printed material

Formula sheets and other printed material may be used in an examination if allowed bythe examiner.  If printed material or formula sheets are allowed, the cover page of the examination question paper must specify clearly what may be used.

If formula sheets are to be used, it is advisable that these are issued to the students in the examination venue.  Where students are allowed to bring formula sheets into the examination:

  • students must have been given a clear indication in advance of what may be includedon a formula sheet;
  • all formula sheets are to be handed in with the answer script.

Dictionaries are not allowed unless the examiner has indicated otherwise.

During an examination candidates are prohibited from having on their persons any electronic device other than what has been specifically allowed.

5.7       Dishonesty at examinations

(See also Rule G20.11 & G20.12 of the rules for examinations, General Rules and Policies, Handbook 3).

Departments which consider it probable that dishonesty has occurred in any form of examination must submit a report on students involved to the Vice-Chancellor for action in accordance with the rules on disciplinary jurisdiction and procedures.

Note: A class test and any other form of assessment contributing to a final result is an examination for the purpose of this rule.

5.8       Examinations written in languages other than English

A candidate in a language and literature department may be required to answer in thelanguage of the subject.  A candidate for any other examination must answer in English.


5.9       The retention of examination scripts


The Head of Department must keep examination scripts until 01 April for all examinations/class tests (including deferred and supplementary examinations) taken in respect of the previous academic year.  The decision to keep scripts beyond this date rests with the Head of Department.  All class tests are handed back to the student unless they are to be retained forthe external examiner.  (See rule G24.3 of General Rules and Policies handbook.)

5.10   Extra time in examinations

Senate recognises that a student with a learning or physical disability may require extra time.  Senate will consider, in its absolute discretion, applications from students for extra time in examinations and may grant extra time to a student who has a learning or physicaldisability.  (An examination for the purpose of this rule includes class tests that contributeto the final result in a course.)

5.11   Misreading of the timetable

(GB31/10/19 77, PC11/88)

Misreading of the timetable will not be condoned or accepted as grounds for a deferredexamination.  Where appropriate, a department may recommend an examination without attendance (EWA) to the Faculty Examinations Committee.  (See rule G20.9 in General Rulesand Policies.)


6.1       Rules for invigilation

(PC 9/2006, PC1/2007 and PC12/2009)

The rules regarding invigilation are as follows:

6.1.1    The Examinations Officer will advise the departments of the number of invigilators needed for each examination and venue (see 6.1.5).  The nomination of invigilation sessions is done by the Head of Department (HoD) or nominee (the responsibleperson in the department).

In the case of examinations written off campus, the HoD may appoint invigilators who are employees at another university, or of a third party provider.

The Examinations Officer must be informed of the names of all invigilators and the Principal invigilator for each examination and venue by the set date.

6.1.2    Every member of the academic staff shall be required to undertake invigilation duties as specified by his or her Head of Department, the head having ultimate accountability for the examination.  Full time members of staff should be required to invigilate examinations only in the courses for which they teach.  No remuneration is paid for the fulfilment of these duties.

6.1.3    Remaining invigilation tasks may be assigned to staff outside of their jobdescriptions, tutors, and other part time staff, and must be remunerated at a fair rate.  These payments will be made from faculty funds.

6.1.4    Invigilators are to be provided for each session as per the following guidelines:  Two invigilators for the first fifty students and one additional invigilator for every additional fifty students (or part thereof).  At least one male and one female invigilator must be present in each venue.  This ratio should be used as a guideline for providing invigilators for class tests.

6.1.5    The Principal invigilator or an appointed nominee is responsible for the collection of the exam papers from the Examinations Office before each examination session.  If there is a lockable safe in the department the Principal invigilator or nominee is allowed to collect the examination papers for the entire examination period.

6.2       Instructions to Principal invigilators

(See Appendix A: Instructions to Principal Invigilators)

6.2.1    ‘Instructions to Principal Invigilators’ are revised and approved by the Senate Examinations and Assessment Committee from time to time and will be issued to the Head of Department (HoD) before each diet of examinations.  The HoD is to ensure that all Principal, and other, invigilators receive the instructions in advance.  The Principal invigilators are responsible for ensuring that other invigilators at that examination session, and students, are aware of and observe the rules that govern student and invigilator behaviour during examinations.  The HoD is to arrange for appropriate training when needed.

6.2.2    Principal invigilators are required to report any irregularity to the Vice-Chancellor or nominee in writing immediately after the session.


7.1       Publication of Examination requirements

(Senate 9/1970)

Departmental requirements for examinations, e.g. sub minima for certain specified papers must be approved by the Faculty Board and Senate and published in the Faculty Handbook and the course outline issued at the start of the course.

7.2       Anonymous marking


Scripts of final written examinations taken under invigilated conditions are to be markedanonymously, on the basis that the method to be used may be determined at faculty level tobe approved by Senate.

7.3       Marks for Examination Questions


Where a question is divided into smaller parts, marks must be clearly allocated to each subdivision.

7.4       Accountability for final results


The course convener is accountable for the final results and must ensure that appropriate steps are taken to validate the accuracy of all uploaded results.

7.5       Range of results in undergraduate courses


To counter the long-standing and continuing reluctance on the part of many to use thewhole mark range (of between 0 – 100), both at the bottom and the top ends, examiners are asked to make use of the full range when examining.



8.1       Calculation of examination results

(Senate 03/07/2017, PC08a/2017)

The calculation of the final result is the final step in the examination process and thus forms part of the academic activity of assessment.

Calculating the mark includes tallying marks for individual questions or exam components, checking that formulae used to derive the final result from the weighting of course components are accurate, and deciding the final mark or course result. (See separate guide for dissertations and PhD theses.)

Administrators may assist by transcribing the final mark into the PeopleSoft course results record.

8.2       Approval of examination results and award degrees, diplomas and certificates by Faculty Examinations Committees (FEC)

(PC02/1987, PC09/1988, PC04/1992)

8.2.1    Senate may appoint one or more Faculty Examinations Committees in each faculty andwill delegate power to those Faculty Examinations Committees to:

  • decide examination results;
  • award degrees (other than the PhD and all other doctorates) diplomas andcertificates within the terms of Senate approved rules;
  • decide whether, or not,  to refuse readmission to a student who fails to satisfy the minimum requirements for readmission;
  • re-admit students who have not met the minimum requirements for readmission;
  • assign a progression status to all students;
  • award supplementary examinations.

8.2.2    Each Faculty Board proposes to Senate the composition of its Faculty Examinations Committee(s).  (This could be the full Faculty Board or a smaller committee).

8.2.3    Faculty Examinations Committees are required to report the names of qualifiers to the Juneand December meeting of the Senate Executive Committee (SEC).  Deans and the Chair ofthe Doctoral Degrees Board (DDB) are required to report to this meeting any:

  • outstanding results subject to a Senate concession;
  • potential qualifiers not approved by the Faculty Examinations Committees;
  • proposals for concessions.

8.2.4    The Senate Executive Committee has power delegated to it by Senate to

  • confirm examination results;
  • award degrees, diplomas and certificates;
  • grant concessions;
  • finalise the lists of qualifiers for admission to degrees, diplomas and certificates atthe April and December ceremonies.

8.2.5    Any proposed result, not subject to a Senate concession, which is not reported to the Faculty Examinations Committee, is to be reported to the Dean.  A Dean has power delegated to himor her to:

(a)        approve results, not subject to Senate concessions, received after the Faculty Examinations Committee meeting;

(b)        award degrees (other than the PhD and other doctorates) diplomas andcertificates, where results are received: after the SEC meeting where the Senate List of Qualifiers (SLQ) was approved; after the January supplementary and deferred examinations; during the year when the Faculty Examinations Committee (FEC) is notscheduled to meet.  Degrees, diplomas and certificates so awarded must be noted forinformation in the Dean’s Circular, and / or reported at the next meeting of the FEC;

(c)        refer any such proposed result to a full meeting of his or her Faculty Examinations Committee.

8.3       Changes to provisional results


A result is provisional until confirmed by the Faculty Examinations Committee (FEC), theSenate Executive Committee (SEC), the Doctoral Degrees Board (DDB), or the Dean as the case may be.

The authority confirming a provisional result may change the result if:

  1. a)        aclerical error has been detected;
  2. b)        anexaminer’s error has been detected;
  3. c)        theexternal examiner proposes a change;
  4. d)        thedepartment proposes a change;
  5. e)        amember of the Faculty Examinations Committee, after considering the student’s performance in other courses, proposes a chan

8.4       Changes to final results

A result is final once confirmed by the Faculty Examinations Committee (FEC), the Senate Executive Committee (SEC), the Doctoral Degrees Board (DDB), or the Dean as the casemay be.

The Dean may change a final result if:

(a)        a clerical error has been detected; or

(b)        an examiner’s error has been detected,

but must report any such changes in the Dean’s Circular.

Any correction to student results must be submitted to the Faculty Office (Academic Administration) or the Examinations Office for capturing.  This must be accompanied by a signed “Change of result” form.

8.5       Classification of results

Results are classified and published as follows in all courses for bachelor and honours degrees and for diplomas and certificates:

75% to 100%              First Class

70 – 74%                      Second Class (Division One)

60 – 69%                     Second Class (Division Two)

50 – 59%                     Third Class

Under 50%                  Fail

Where a percentage result is not obtained, a student’s status may be reflected as:

Pass results symbols

PA                   Pass

UP                   Unclassified Pass (a condoned pass or a supplementary examination written on academic grounds is graded as an Unclassified Pass)

SP                   Pass result obtained via a supplementary examination

Fail results symbols

F                      Fail

FS                   Failed, but permitted to write a supplementary examination on academic grounds

SF                   Supplementary examination failed

ASF                 Failed, absent from supplementary examination

UF SM            Unclassified fail, sub minimum not met

OSS                Sub minima failed, supplementary examination awarded

Other results symbols

DPR                Duly performed certificate refused (not permitted to write the examination)

AB                   Absent from the course or examination

DE                   Permitted to write a deferred examination in this course on medical, religious, political or other good cause

OS                   Result not yet available

GIP                  Course still in progress, result expected in a subsequent term

LOA                 Leave of absence

ATT                 Course attended

INC                  Incomplete: course not completed

EXA                 Excluded from assessment

NOTE: DPR, AB and INC are fail results.


9.1       Official publication of results

The only results published and entered on a student’s record are:

(a)        The result for the course approved by the Faculty Board or ExaminationsCommittee, and

(b)        The result for the course approved by the Faculty Board or ExaminationsCommittee following a deferred or supplementary examination.

9.2       Form of publication of examination results

(Senate 18/8/1987)

Until and including 1987, examination percentage marks were not disclosed to students.  Academic transcripts issued to students do not include percentage marks obtained prior to1988, but only classified results.

For all examinations:

9.2.1    Percentages are published as the final result.  The sole exception is the result for a supplementary exam where a percentage is recorded only if the examination is failed.  Where the examination is passed, the result is recorded on system as a percentage (and will be accessible to the FEC and faculty advisors) but will be published on the student’s transcript as an unclassified pass (UP), and a mark of 50% is used for the purpose of calculating the grade point average (GPA).  (PC01/2007, PC01/2008)

9.2.3    Classification into grades is automatic.  (See 8.5 Classification of results.)

9.3       Publication of provisional examination results

The decision whether or not to publish provisional results on departmental notice boards at the end of the first or second semester rests with the Head of Department (PC235).  Where this is done the publication of provisional results includes the provisional percentage mark. (PC09/1988)

Where conducted, the publication of provisional results is for students’ information only. Provisional results must not be published until the results have been confirmed by the external examiner.

Provisional examination results are accessible to students via the self-service login fromthe time that they are posted by the departmental marks processors.    Student access tothe self-service login may be suspended for a limited period by the Deputy Registrar:Academic Administration in consultation with the Director: Student Systems Support to ensure system availability for departmental and faculty users.

9.4       Publication of results for examinations and class tests of year courses written in thefirst semester

(PC412, PC415, PC05/1991)

The provisional results of mid-year formal examinations are to be submitted and uploaded by departments by the date stipulated in the University calendar.  The results of class tests foryear-long courses that count towards the year mark written in the first semester are to bepublished on departmental notice boards as soon as possible, but not later than the date onwhich examination results for first semester courses are to be uploaded.

9.5       Publication of results of essays, assignments etc


It is practice to divulge to students the marks given for all forms of assessment, whether or not such work contributes to the final result for the course.

9.6       Student access to class test scripts and assignments


A class test is a form of assessment, whether counting towards the final result or not, which is scheduled by the department during the teaching term.

Departments must allow students to see corrected class test/assignment scripts to:

(a)        provide feedback to students on their performance before they are next examined onthe same work;

(b)        give them the opportunity to detect errors in both marking and transcription, whichcould occur.

9.7       Student access to examination scripts

Where work is examined under invigilation, the scripts will be retained by the department concerned until 01 April of the following year, and will not be returned to the student.

All class tests are handed back to the student unless they are to be retained for the external examiner.

A student may, by 30 September for first semester examinations whose results have been formally confirmed by the Faculty Examinations Committee (FEC), or by 31 March of the following year for second semester examinations or first semester examinations whose results were only confirmed by the FEC in December:

(a)        apply to the department for a copy of the script(s) which must be made available on payment of the prescribed fee;  and/or;

(b)        apply to the department to be allowed to see his or her script.

The purpose of such access is to create a learning opportunity.  It is not the purpose to negoiate the mark allocated.


10.1     Length and pattern of the academic year

(Senate 27/06/1989, PC04/92, PC09/2008)

The following principles govern the scheduling of the academic year, and the constructionof an academic timetable.

10.1.1  There are to be at least sixty teaching days in every term, followed by a period ofconsolidation (five calendar days) and examination (between eleven to fifteenweekdays).  Examinations will be scheduled from Monday to Friday (Senate April 2013).  (See 10.1 Length and pattern of the academic year.)

10.1.2  The academic year begins as determined by Senate and the first teaching day is on a Monday.

10.1.3  University holidays and public holidays falling during term do not count as teachingdays.  No recognition is given to religious holidays that are not also University holidays or public holidays. Senate has decided that three periods (Jewish New Year covering two days, the Day of Atonement and Eid) are to be listed in the UniversityCalendar so that Heads of Departments may make appropriate arrangements should they so desire (Senate 12/09/1967).

10.1.4  Senate has decided (April 2013) to schedule examinations on Monday to Friday during the June and October/November examination periods in order to relieve the clusteringof undergraduate examinations.  There will be three sessions from Monday toThursday and two sessions on a Friday.

10.1.5  Deans may allow international semester study abroad students to write supplementary or deferred examinations at their home institutions.  This provision must be read in conjunction with General Rule G20.10.

10.2     Hierarchy of principles in construction of the examination timetable

The Examinations Office Manager drafts the examination timetable following guidelines as laid out below.

10.2.1  The first consideration must be that any student must be able to take his or her examinations in the official period, as determined by Senate, for those examinations.  The exception to this is where there is a reason, independent of the timetable, for the exam being scheduled in a differen period (e.g. the student was awarded a deferred exam, supplementary exam or exam without attendance (EWA)).

A student may be required to write up to two examinations in one calendar day, and up to three examinations in a 24-hour period.  These examinations may be in consecutive sessions.  A student should not be required to write three examinations on one calendar day.

10.2.2  The second consideration must be that the examinations in May/June and in October/November must be scheduled within the periods set by the Senate.  No undergraduate examination may be scheduled on a consolidation day.  (PC09/2008)

Three examination sessions will be scheduled for each day for Monday through Thursday.  Two examination sessions will be scheduled on a Friday.  Four-hour examinations must be scheduled to allow adequate time for set up the venue for the start of the next session.

10.2.3  The third consideration must be that clashes should be avoided by using the approved software package and data about student enrolment from the student records system.  This provision does not apply to examinations without attendance (EWA).

Where a clash occurs as a result of a student registering late (that is, after the publication of the provisional or final examination timetable), the department which allowed the student to register late will be responsible for making suitablearrangements to accommodate the student.

Those departments which allow a candidate to take two sequential courses in the sameyear/semester must take responsibility for any consequential examination timetableclash: i.e. such a department will have to set a second paper for the examination session. In order that no candidate is ever required to write three examinations onone day, and so that no candidate (other than an EWA candidate) is ever required totake his or her ordinary examinations at the time for deferred examinations, any unavoidable “triple clash” (a timetable clash involving a single candidate having threeexaminations on the same day) must be resolved by requiring the departmentconcerned to set a different paper in one of the courses concerned for thecandidate(s), to be written during that examination session on a suitable day.(PC06/1991)

10.2.4  The fourth consideration must be that

  • Examinations with multiple choice questions in courses with large enrolments must be scheduled late in the diet;
  • During the November examinations, all courses with more than 300 enrolments in the Faculty of Humanities should be scheduled during the first week of examinations to allow re-evaluation or re-examination to take place before the due date for submission of results.


10.3     Students registered for two courses in the same lecture period

Students wishing to take two courses lectured in the same lecture period may do so only after obtaining written permission from the Dean, countersigned by one of the Heads ofDepartments concerned indicating his or her willingness to set a further question paper.

10.4     Faculty or Departmental timetables

Except in the case of the Graduate School of Business (GSB), undergraduate faculty or departmental timetables must follow the main timetable and examination periods.  The GSB sets its own examination periods.

10.5    Examination arrangements for new courses

When approval of a new course is sought from a Faculty Board, the lecturing periods and the examination arrangements (e.g. number of papers) must also be considered.

10.6     Examination in courses requiring more time for marking or re-examination

Where more time is needed for marking, or to allow for the scheduling of a re-examination of selected students before the uploading of the results, the department must ask theExaminations Officer to schedule the examination concerned as early as possible in theperiod.  The department’s request will be considered with all similar requests, andaccommodated where possible.

10.7    Practical performance-based examinations


Practical performance-based examination timetables are set by the examining department as follows:

  • Music examination timetables are set by the South African College of Music.
  • Theatre and drama examination timetables are set by the Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies.
  • Dance examination timetables are set by the Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies.

10.8    Final date for deferred and supplementary examinations


All deferred and supplementary examinations must be scheduled so that they can bemarked and externally examined by the date set in the calendar for the uploading of results.

10.9     Dates by which timetable is to be published

(PC11/1989, PC06/1991)

Timetables are to be published as follows:

June examinations

2nd week in March                   First provisional timetable published

1st week in April                       Second provisional timetable published

1st week in May                       Final timetable published

October/November examinations

2nd week in August                  First provisional timetable published

Last week in August                Second provisional timetable published

3rd week in September            Final timetable published

Supplementary/deferred examinations

In the second week following the release of final results Provisional timetable published
Five working days after the provisional timetable is published Final timetable published

10.10   Authority to make changes to the final timetables

The Examinations Officer is authorised to change the dates of postgraduate course examinations on the final timetable on the recommendation of the Head of Department.

Changes to the final timetable affecting undergraduate courses may be made only bythe Examinations Officer, after consultation with the Chair of the Senate Teaching and Timetable Sub-Committee, the Head of Department and with the support of all studentsconcerned.  A change can only be made if it does not cause any further clashes.

The Examinations Office shall report any such change to the Faculty Manager(s) concerned.

10.11   Venues for Examinations and Class Tests: Sitting examinations at centres other than Cape Town

10.11.1      Except by the permission of the Senate all examinations must be written at the University.  Senate has authorised faculties to schedule examinations outside of Cape Town in the case of:

                                            (i)        distance-mode courses;

                                           (ii)        block-release mode courses where a significant proportion of a class is ordinarily resident elsewhere; and

                                          (iii)        blended-mode courses.

10.11.2      Examinations for students taking distance or block release offerings may be writtenat locations off campus.  In all locations examinations are to be conducted under the conditions specified by Senate to ensure their integrity. (PC09/2014)

10.11.3            The venue capacity used for teaching should not be used for the above examinations/class tests.  The following should act as a guide for venue seating arrangements during class test and exams:

  • A flat-floor venue – reduce the venue capacity used for teaching by half to allow sufficient space between students as well as sufficient walking space for the invigilator between the desks.
  • A raked/semi raked venue – a student to sit at every second desk using all rows and in cases in which the walking space between the rows is not sufficient, every second row will be kept open to allow the invigilator easier access to the students.  This also allows the student easy access to leave the venue without disturbing any other student.

10.12   Scheduling  of  class  tests  and  their  inclusion  in  the  mid-year  examination  time-table


For undergraduate courses, June examinations or class tests counting towards thecoursework mark may be scheduled as part of the June Examination period timetable for yearcourses (H or W suffixes).  A department which wants to schedule such a June examinationduring this period arranges with the Examinations Officer for it to be included in the timetable.

No class test assessment, other than those class tests which are included in the officialtimetable, may be held in the June examination period.

No class test or other form of assessment may be held in the days set aside for consolidation.






(Senate Revision September 1991, E&AC edited 2009)




1.1       The Principal invigilator must be present 30 minutes before the published start time of the examination to take delivery of scripts, except for the Sport Centers andJameson Hall, where the Principal invigilator must be present one hour before thepublished time of the exam.

All assistant invigilators must be present between 20 and 40 minutes before the published start time of the examination (the time period to be advised by theExaminations Office depending on circumstances). The Principal invigilator shoulduse 10-15 min to hold a caucus meeting with all assistant invigilators before thestudents enter the venue.  The Principal invigilator should ensure that allassistant invigilators are familiar with these instructions, briefed on procedure andthe roles of the assistant invigilators in that specific session (e.g. where there aremultiple papers being written, how the papers will be handed out and collected).The Principal should ensure that all invigilators know what is expected of them before the session starts.

1.2      The candidates are permitted to enter 15 minutes before an examination is due to begin.

1.3      The Principal invigilator must ensure (1) that attendance slips and the required number of printed answer books have been laid on tables; (2) that entrance cards are shuffled and ready and (3) that tables are numbered as required before students enter.

1.4       The Principal invigilator must ensure that an area INSIDE the examination venue is used for candidates to place unauthorised material, it being understood that the University accepts no responsibility for the safe-keeping of such items.

1.5       The remaining invigilators must see that briefcases, handbags, cellphones, books, notes or any other materials not authorised  by the Principal invigilator are placed in the designated  area and that  each candidate sits at the table allotted to him or her, unless the Principal invigilator considers that there is good reason for moving the candidate. No student may have acell phone on his / her person, or desk.

1.6       In the unlikely event that the venue cannot accommodate all the students who  have presented themselves for the examination, the Principal invigilator should consult the building supervisor or phone the Examinations Office. Arrangements will be made for the students to be taken to another venue. Principal invigilators should not ask the building supervisors to provide extra desks and chairs.


2.1      Examinations must start promptly at the published time. The following announcements must be made by the Principal invigilator:


2.2      Hand out question papers face downwards only after the students have entered and settled.  Where multiple papers are written, call upon candidates in each course concerned to stand, and use all the available invigilators and departmental representatives to hand out the same paper at the same time. When it has been established that every candidate has a copy of the correct paper, announce the starting time and duration of each examination.

2.3      Where applicable, give instructions on the use of answer books according to the specific requirements of each examination.

2.4      Where a department has not been requested to supply an invigilator, a departmental representative should be available for as long as necessary then leave a contact phone number and be on call to answer any queries. If no representative is present and queries cannot be resolved, please contact the Examinations Officer at Ext 3692/4.

2.5      Each entrance to the venue should be monitored to receive latecomers and direct them to their tables after the distribution of papers.   No latecomers may be admitted to the venue after an hour has elapsed.  No extra time may be given to latecomers.


3.1      Collect any unused answer books and attendance slips from unoccupied desks.

3.2      After the first ten minutes collect all attendance slips and at the same time check that each candidate is in possession of a current registration card. Check the attendance slip against card and face.

Any candidate without a current registration card who cannot be verified by any ofthe invigilators or by a departmental representative should be given a pink formto complete (i.e. in the student’s own handwriting). The bottom half of the formmust be retained by the candidate for presentation to the relevant department, andthe top half sent to the department responsible for the examination. These slipsmust be retained in the department, who should check the handwriting of thestudent presenting the ID card. This must match the writing on the pink slip.

3.3      Collect entrance cards and check against desk numbers. Unless there is good reason, insist that numbers match. Do a headcount. Move students if necessary. Leave entrance cards on the Principal invigilator’s desk.

3.4      Issue further answer books as required by candidates.

3.5      Invigilators must be active in their invigilation and check frequently by walking around the hall. Look out for irregularities e.g. unauthorised answer books, or other materials/notes at a candidate’s feet, attempts to communicate, etc. Students may be required to remove or reverse peak caps as the wearing of a peak cap makes it difficult for the invigilator to see where the wearer is looking.


If any irregularity is discovered or suspected, the work already attempted bythe candidate must be collected immediately, together with any evidence. Thecandidate may continue in a fresh answer book. No extra time may begranted. The Principal invigilator must send a written report, together with allrelevant evidence on the incident, to the Legal Services and Secretariat Department as soon as the examination session has ended.

3.6      From the collected attendance slips, check the attendance lists. The names of those present should be ticked off, and absentees clearly designated. The Principal invigilator should add the name of any candidate not on the attendance list and initial the addition.

3.7      A student is not allowed to leave an examination venue and return to continue writing. Allowance is made to enable students to use the toilets and for Muslim students to perform their daily prayers as follows:

A student who requests to use the toilet must be escorted by an invigilator.Students may not leave the venue during the first hour. Not more than onestudent is allowed to leave the venue at a time. The invigilator who escorts thestudent to the toilet should indicate which toilet stall should be used, and check thatthe stall is clear of hidden notes etc. A register (provided) of all students who leaveand re-enter the venue must be kept for each course written. Note the student’sname, number, the name of the accompanying invigilator, the stall used and thetime. The register for the relevant course must be handed to the department representative together with the scripts at the end of the session.

For Muslim students daily prayers may be performed silently and individually, thus not causing any disturbance at all. Students will be monitored by an invigilator for the duration of the prayer and are not granted any extra time.

3.8      Give a time warning at 30 minutes before the end to announce that candidates may not leave the venue in the last 20 minutes of the examination. Announce the start of the last 20 minutes, after which nobody may leave. This rule must be strictly enforced.

3.9      Give a time warning at 5 minutes before the end of the session.


4.1       At the end of the examination, candidates must be told:

PLEASE STOP WRITING AND CLOSE YOUR BOOKS. REMAIN SEATED.Invigilators must see that this instruction is carried out promptly.

4.2       Ask candidates to check that they have correctly completed the covers of their answer books.

StudentMUST fill in their EMPL ID in the space provided on the cover of theanswer book. Invigilators should not accept scripts that do not have theEMPL ID filled in. The total number of books submitted must be indicated onthe cover.

4.3      Scripts must be collected by invigilators before the students are given permission to leave the venue.

This task should not be delegated to anyone who is not an invigilatorWhere a student hands in more than one book, ensure that the number of books tally with the number indicated on the cover of the first book.

4.4      Either of the two methods of collecting scripts described below is acceptable:

(a)       Each row is allotted to an invigilator who collects the scripts as he/shewalks down the row, not passing any student without collecting his/herscript/s. If more than one paper is being written in the same venue, thepapers are sorted out after the students have left.

(b)      Scripts for each paper are collected separately in turn, studentsindicating the papers they have written by raising their hands as thename of the paper is read out. Invigilators go up and down the rows, not passing any students with raised hands without collecting their scripts.

It is not acceptable to collect books at the door.

4.5      Announce:

ANYONE WHOSE SCRIPT HAS NOT BEEN COLLECTED PLEASE RAISEYOUR HAND and see that the books are collected. Remind candidates that they may not remove answer books from the venue.

4.6      The total number of answer books (or sets of) must be checked and reconciled with the attendance list totals.

4.7      At the end of the examination, departmental representatives will return to the examination venue to collect and sign for the answer books for their examination. The register of those who left the venue must accompany the scripts and be given to the departmental representative. Any uncollected answer books will be collected by the Properties and Services staff on duty in the venue.

4.8      The Principal invigilator must complete the session report provided. This must be returned to the Examinations Office for follow up. Irregularities must be reported to Legal Services and Secretariat (see 3.5 above) and illness to the deferred examinations administrator (see 5.3).

4.9      Attendance  lists  of  invigilators  and  students,  attendance  slips,  session  reports,  and  any other communication for the Examinations Office must be put into an envelope and details of the course code, date and venue must be completed on the outside. Please forward the envelope(s) directly to the Examinations Office immediately after each exam, (Room 5.07, Level 5, Masingene Building, MiddleCampus) via internal mail.

4.10    Along with the delivery of the papers to the exam venue, an empty box clearly marked with the course code, venue, date and time of the exam is delivered to the venue (supplied by departmental staff). This box must be marked “scrap”.

  • At the end of the exam, after all answer books have been collected, the invigilators are required to gather up ALL remaining answer books and any other paper or materials from the desks in the venue and place these in the box. The Principal invigilator signs a declaration on the box confirming that ALL materials issued to students have been gathered from the desks, and that there is no remaining material in the examination venue.
  • This box is then taken by the invigilator to the course administrator’s office where it is stored until the end of the window period for students to view exam scripts. The box is opened only where there is a query and there appears to be a missing answer book.

5.1      A candidate who has to leave the examination venue for medical reasons must be instructed to go directly to the Paramedic on duty or office of the Student Wellness Service, unless the nature of the illness makes this impossible.  If this facility is closed, the student must be advised to visit his/her family doctor.

5.2      The student must also be advised to visit the Student Records Office within seven days of the examinations. See rules governing deferred examinations in General Rules and Policies, Handbook 3, rules G27-28.

5.3      A written report from the Principal invigilator must be submitted to the Deferred Examinations Administrator, Student Records Office, Level 4, Masingene Building, Middle Campus, stating the name of the student, student number, course code and date of the examination paper, as well as the circumstances under which the student left without completing the examination.


6.1       In the event of a bomb scare or other emergency,contact Campus Control, Ext. 2222 and act on their instructions.

6.2       Other queries should be addressed to the Examinations Office, Ext. 3694 or 3692.

[Reviewed by Examinations and Assessment Committee, 26 August 2015]




Guideline agenda for invigilators’ caucus about 20 minutes before students enterexamination room

The purpose of this meeting is for the Principal invigilator to inform the team ofinvigilators of:

  • The procedures and rules generally, and
  • The arrangements to execute them in the session concerned
  1. Take register of invigilators in attendance through mutual introductions to enablecooperation.
  1. Explain rules regarding students’ right to leave (not before an hour; not in last twentyminutes), and explain toilet arrangements (see 11 below).
  1. Delegate particular invigilator/s to handle entrance card distribution at door.
  1. Explain procedure to be followed for distribution of question papers (depends onnumber of courses being examined in the venue), and explicitly require all invigilators(but not departmental reps not invigilating) to participate (other than person at entrancedoor) and to place the papers face down.
  1. If more than one examination is being written in a venue, finalise arrangements for that.
  1. Explain procedure to be followed once examination has begun:

6.1.    Gather answer books and attendance slips from unoccupied places

6.2.    Systematically collect entrance cards and attendance slips (row by row to avoidlater problems with reconciling slip numbers with headcount numbers) –allocateindividuals particular rows and keep each row’s cards and slips separate toreconcile with row headcounts

6.3.    Check that all students have student ID cards and require that ID photos arecompared with face of person writing when entrance cards and attendance slips arecollected.  Providepink forms to those without IDs, and wait to collect top section.(This will go to the department)

6.4.    Allocate individual invigilators rows other than those whence they collected slips toundertake headcount (or else Principal to do headcount, recorded by row).

  1. Remind all invigilators of the requirement to move around the room and to be vigilantthroughout examination (no reading; chatting; tea to be taken serially).
  1. Explain fully the rules and processes to be followed regarding evidence ofirregularities during examination (3.5 in “Instructions to Principal Invigilators”), andinsist on those rules and processes being followed to the letter.
  1. Appoint one man and one woman to be responsible (after a full hour only – no toiletabsences before that) for completing a toilet register and require those twoinvigilators consistently to ensure that no more than one student of either gender is inthe toilet at any one time. The two need to be advised specifically about rules as per3.7 in “Instructions to Principal Invigilators”. If more than one course is beingexamined, a register needs to be kept for each course as the register(s) must bereturned to the department.
  2. Explain procedure for reconciling headcounts with attendance slips and for usingattendance slips to mark attendance register; and specify who will be responsible forthose tasks. Emphasise that during that time, others must be additionally vigilant.
  1. Explain procedure to be followed at the end of the examination:

11.1.    Note that completed answer books should be gathered systematically row byrow, and allocate invigilators particular rows for collection. The same procedureshould apply even when more than one course is being examined (and again exclude departmental reps not invigilating).

11.2.    Require invigilators to ensure that students have numbered each answer bookused and indicated precisely how many have been used; also to check that eachstudent submits same number of books as recorded – to avoid claims later that an answer was in ‘the other book’.

11.3.    Require invigilators to collect unused answer books and ensure students do notleave the venue with them.

11.4.    Once students have left the venue, count all scripts and ensure that their totaltallies with the total of students recorded as having sat the examination.

11.5.    If necessary, divide scripts into different examinations that have been written.

  1. Discuss any other issues that are anticipated might arise – including how to handleanswer books from students who leave the venue early (in the period after an hour but before the final twenty minutes).
  1. Stress that all invigilators are accountable to the Principal invigilator for their conductduring the session, and that Principal invigilators, who are accountable to theirrespective Head of Department, are also required to report invigilator misconduct (or non-attendance) of invigilators from other Departments to their respective Heads ofDepartment.







[SURNAME], [INITIAL], [CAMPUS ID], has submitted a request to have his/her examination results forEEE 2035F checked.

The prescribed fee has been paid. It is not intended that the script be sent to the external examiner. In terms of Rule G23.4“Checking is limited to the adding up of the marks and to making sure that marks have been allotted to every section of everyquestion attempted.

Please complete section A or section B below depending on the outcome of the checking

A:               No Change in mark

No errors or omissions have been found(tick). The result remains unchanged at:
Internal Examiner’s name Signature Date
Head of Department’s name Signature Date


B:               Change in mark

We recommend that the student’s EXAMINATION MARK be amended:

Previous percentage and symbol Changed to

Therefore we recommend that the student’s overall COURSE MARK be amended:

Previous percentage and symbol Changed to

Nature of error/reason:                                                                                                                                                                    

Internal Examiner’s name Signature Date
Head of Department’s name Signature Date
Dean of Faculty (in which dept is located) Signature Date

Once the Dean has signed, please send this onto the Faculty Manager in which the student is registered to amend the result. The Faculty Manager is then required to forward this memo via internal mail to the Student Records Office.

Faculty Manager’s name Signature Date






This memorandum is a guide for internal and external examiners, and for heads ofdepartments.  It sets out our approach to examinations and assessment, and details the different roles of the internal examiner, the external examiner, the Head of Department (HoD)and the Faculty Examinations Committee (FEC) in the examination process.


  1. Mostresults are a combination of in-course assessment and marks obtained in oneor more written papers at the end of the course. We publish results as percentages andclassify them as follows:

75 – 100%                    First Class

70 – 74%                     Second Class (Division one)

60 – 69%                     Second Class (Division two)

50 – 59%                     Third Class

Under 50%                  Fail

We ask Examiners to use the full range of marks (0 to 100) and avoid the tendency togive a mark of 75% to really first class work (which might merit a mark in the 90s) or amark in the 40s to a candidate whose work deserves less.

Where a percentage result is not obtained, a student’s status may be reflected as:

Pass results symbols

PA                   Pass

UP                   Unclassified Pass (a condoned pass or a supplementary examination written on academic grounds is graded as an Unclassified Pass)

SP                   Pass result obtained via a supplementary examination

Fail results symbols

F                      Fail

FS                   Failed, but permitted to write a supplementary examination on academic grounds

SF                   Supplementary examination failed

ASF                 Failed, absent from supplementary examination

UF SM            Unclassified fail, sub minimum not met

OSS                Sub minima failed, supplementary examination awarded

Other results symbols

DPR                Duly performed certificate refused (not permitted to write the examination)

AB                   Absent from the course or examination

DE                   Permitted to write a deferred examination in this course on medical, religious, political or other good cause

OS                   Result not yet available

GIP                  Course still in progress, result expected in a subsequent term

LOA                 Leave of absence

ATT                 Course attended

INC                  Incomplete: course not completed

EXA                 Excluded from assessment

NOTE: DPR, AB and INC are fail results.

  1. The rule of combination of marks for each component of the assessment is determined in advance for each course, and published to students in the handbook and course outline.
  1. Internal and external examiners have responsibilities for all parts of the examination.
  1. Internal and external examiners must try to ensure fairness.
  1. Internal and external examiners must avoid conflicts of interest, and should not accept appointment where a conflict will arise.


  1. The Head of Department is responsible for the integrity and standard of each course his or her department offers, and must exercise this responsibility in the context of the programme(s) the course serves.
  1. In regard to examinations, the Head of Department must

(a)          ensure that the examination is fair;

(b)          appoint  the  internal  examiner  and  ensure  he/she  carries  out  his/her  role  (the  internal examiner will usually be the course convenor);

(c)          after consultation with the internal examiner, make a recommendation to theFaculty Board for the appointment of the external examiner for the course andensure he/she carries out his/her role;

(d)          ensure that all examinations are scheduled in the university timetable;

(e)          ensure that all the Department’s results are valid, that all mark sheets havebeen completed, independently checked and signed-off by the head , theinternal examiner, and the external examiner before submission via the Student Records Office, to the Faculty Examinations Committee (FEC);

(f)           convene a departmental meeting, prior to the FEC meeting, to considerborderline cases and where applicable proposals for supplementaryexaminations;  and

(g)          present the recommendations of the Examiners to the FEC, with suchinformation as may be needed (e.g. class records).


8          The internal examiner is responsible for designing the overall assessment of the course, for setting the  draft question paper(s), and providing a marking guide (and where applicable, sample solutions). The plan must include any sub-minima for sections of the course. The overall assessment must relate to the course objectives. The internal examiner is responsible for ensuring that all the work of each candidate is examined, for the validity, accuracy and completeness of the marking and addition of marks, as well as the validity, accuracy and completeness of the in-course assessment record.

  1. The internal examiner must:

(a)          give to the external examiner the course outline and objectives, details of theway the course is taught and is to be assessed, and the draft question paper(s)(and, where applicable, the sample solutions) and marking guide in good time;

(b)          finalise  the  examination  paper,  taking  account  of  the  views  of  the  external  examiner, checking and certifying the final copy for reproduction;

(c)          plan the marking of the scripts;

(d)          be at the examination(s) for at least the first 30 minutes and deal with anyquestions that arise;

(e)          collect the scripts from the Principal invigilator at the end of examination(s),check them and sign for them;

(f)           secure the scripts, and organise marking without delay;

(g)          send the marked scripts, copies of the mark sheets, examination questionpaper(s) (and sample solutions where appropriate) to the external examiner,specifically referring the external examiner to each borderline case, and anyunusual or special features;

(h)          agree the recommended examination result, and recommended overall courseresult, with the external examiner;   enter the overall course result for eachstudent; and submit the recommended final results signed by internal andexternal examiners, to the Head of Department; and where there is no agreement, report the differences.


10        The external examiner is part of our quality assurance process. He or she is asked to ensure that the overall assessment is appropriate to the course objectives; that it tests the students; and that the question paper(s) meet(s) the outcomes. He or she must also ensure marking integrity,and that the examination is fair and has been fairly conducted

  1. To do this, the external examiner must:

(a)          ensure that the question paper(s) is/are fair, representative and an adequate test of the course; and that the overall design of the assessment for the coursefair; doing so he or she must consider:

  • the length of the paper(s)/assignment(s)
  • the clarity of the questions: are they unambiguous?
  • the balance of the paper(s)

(b)          return the draft question paper(s), marking guide and sample answers, with comments and recommendations, to the internal examiner in good time, in a secure way (e.g. by signature- on-delivery post, in person, or by courier);

(c)          mark the scripts (or a valid sample agreed with the internal examiner, including the top and the bottom students and borderline cases, the sample being large enough to give confidence in the process) (see 16 below);

(d)          having given special attention to all borderline and special cases and having been given the results of in-course assessment, make recommendations for the results for the examination, and the course; discuss these with the internal examiner in order to reach consensus (if possible);   to report to the Head of Department any serious divergence between the marks awarded by the internal and external Examiners;

(e)          sign off the recommended results, return all scripts, and submit his/her claim for expenses to the Head of Department;

(f)           complete his/her report on the examination and the course and submit this to the Head of Department.


12        The Examiners may:

(a)          give any candidate an oral examination; or

(b)          give any candidate a further written test

in order to reach a recommendation.   This will usually only be necessary inborderline cases. In the Humanities faculty, students whose final mark falls between46% and 49% might be re-examined prior to the examination scripts beingconsidered by the external examiner. This option should only be available tostudents who have completed all the required coursework. The form of the re-examination is determined by the departments.

13        Supplementary examinations are offered by the FEC only, and only where faculty rules allow this. They are offered to students who have failed, but who, in the view of the FEC, need to do more work before presenting themselves for fresh examination but do not need to repeat the course before doing so. The form of supplementary examination is at the discretion of the department, and may be tailored to test the weaknesses of a student.

14        Deferred examinations are examinations deferred to a later date because the student had good grounds (usually medical grounds) for not presenting himself or herself for examination on the set date(s).  They are awarded by a special committee of Senate.


15        The FEC meets to consider the recommendations of the Examiners. It acts for Senate. It receives proposals from departments and programme committees. It must:

(a)          finalise results;

(b)          in doing so, look at each student’s performance across courses (and may grantcondoned passes);

(c)          decided whether or not to allow students who have not yet met publishedreadmission requirements to return to the University, and decided each student’spromotion status (whether a student qualifies, may continue, may not continue, etc);

(d)          decide whether to award supplementary examinations, and

(e)          decide who qualifies for degrees, diplomas or certificates.


16     There is no fixed rule for this, but rather a general understanding that the external examiner should mark and scrutinise not fewer than 1 in 8 (in a class of up to 100); not fewer than 1 in 15 (in a class of up 500); and not fewer than 1 in 25 (in a class of more than 500). The scrutiny should include a check that each question has been marked, that marks have been added up correctly, and that mark allocation has been consistent and fair. If an error is detected, the external examiner should insist on the rechecking of all scripts.




Rule GB 10


A student who fails a course (in a bachelor’s degree) must re-attend the course before heor she is again admitted to the examination: provided that Senate may permit a student totake the examination without re-attendance, under special circumstances and on therecommendation of the Head of Department concerned, on condition there is no clash on theexamination timetables.

The record must show the student failed the course, and repeated it as an EWA. How theresult is determined may vary – see G16.2.

An EWA requires support from the HoD (inter alia to ensure that the course has notchanged since the student took it previously).

An EWA should not be widely used, or used as an alternative to repeating the course in theordinary way, but it may be appropriate in a limited number of special circumstances.  The course must have been failed previously (item c below is the exception where ‘failed’ refersto failing to attain the required 60% threshold). Rule GB10 applies to courses in abachelor’s degree.

The special circumstances could include, but are not limited to:

(a)      The sole remaining course (previously failed) needed to graduate. This may be to avoidfinancial hardship resulting from returning (including staying in residence) and not being employed for an additional year (in the case of an international student the cost ofrepeating a sole remaining course is particularly high as the international levy applies -regardless of the load taken). Where a (local or international) student has obtainedwork and the department believes that there is a reasonable chance of passing without re-attending, this could be an option, particularly in courses where nosupplementary examination is offered.

(b)      Where a department offers neither re-examination (i.e. before the uploading of theresults) nor a supplementary examination, and there is evidence from the courseworkthat the student did well in the course but ‘crashed’ in the examination, an EWA couldbe considered to allow the student to complete a pre- requisite course by EWA inJanuary, and thus not unduly delay continuing (better time to graduation). Similarly, itcould be offered to those genuine cases where a student misreads the timetable and isthus given a result of AB (no deferred examination is allowed in such a case). Such anAB result may, for example in a core EBE course, mean a strong student is preventedfrom proceeding to the next year level.  Here the HOD (or convener) would need to besure that it is a strong student who genuinely misread the timetable.  An AB will beentered for the examination missed, and a separate enrolment and result for an EWAversion will show on the transcript.

(c)       Entrance EWA

In the case of Commerce, students seeking to pass with 60% take an entranceexamination without attendance in January for a course passed in November with a result in the range 50-59%. This is a pass, but is not sufficient to proceed to the nextlevel in the CA stream. Clearly the EWA must be used only in special circumstances,and the HOD and Dean need to ensure that the necessary judgment and discretion isused.






Before examinations

  • Inappropriate technology choices / lack of awareness of risks
  • Incorrect setup of online examinations (e.g. to reveal answers)
  • Disclosure of examination questions (e.g. an individual’s PC being compromised byspyware / malware / phishing, network security being compromised by passworddisclosure, or material being placed in an insecure online location)

During examinations

  • Access to supporting content (e.g. on Vula, on the PC, on the Internet)
  • Communication with others (e.g. Chat, SMS, IM) from PC or mobile phone
  • Leaking examination password (allowing examination to be taken online outside theexamination venue)
  • Recording the examination questions for subsequent “underground” circulation (cut &paste to desktop / flash drive / online location)

Security factors to consider for online examinations

  • Designing the examination appropriately to minimise scope for cheating. Randomizedquestions and answers (each student has a different set of questions, answerspresented in a random order).
  • Password restrictions for each examination (what you know).
  • IP-based restrictions for each examination (where you are).
  • Restrictions on the Windows desktop and browser in the lab during the test (e.g. noability to run other programs).
  • Restrictions on the network configuration for the lab during the test (e.g. noexternal Internet access).
  • Time pressure.
  • Analysis of results.
  • Detailed activity log on Vula (later doing a forensic auditing if required).



Guidelines for the submission of electronic examinations

The setup and configuration of online and electronic examinations must be done inconsultation with CET, ICTS or faculty IT staff in advance. Extra-time candidates should beaccommodated in the same venue(s) as the other candidates taking the examination.

Online examinations should preferably take place during office hours but where required afterhours, a technician must be present to assist with any technical queries and/or problems thatare reported.

  1. NO submissions: The examiner has to ensure that there are mechanisms in place sothat candidates can check whether their submissions have gone through before they leave the venue. With such a mechanism in place, it is thus each candidate’sresponsibility to check that his/her submission has indeed gone through before he/sheleaves the exam venue. At the end of the examination, when the exam venue has beencleared of all the candidates, no more submissions will be permissible and any candidate who has not made a submission will be awarded a mark of zero for thatexam.
  1. EMPTY submissions: The convener must create sufficient opportunities forcandidates to practice during class to address this concern. It is the responsibility ofeach candidate to complete any such practice submission(s). The understanding is thatsuccessful completion of the practice submission(s) will in turn lead to successfulcompletion of the actual examination submission, provided that the same steps arefollowed. Failure to complete the practice submission(s) may lead to insufficient submission skills. Among other things, this may result in empty submissions, in which a submitted folder contains no files. Any candidate with an empty submission will beawarded a mark of zero for that submission.
  1. WRONG submissions: It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that his/hersubmitted files are the correct ones. This especially applies to open book exams inwhich candidates are allowed access to his/her Network drives during the exam. Anycandidate who submitted the wrong file will be awarded a mark of zero for thatsubmission.
  1. INCOMPLETE submission: Computer difficulties during the exam must be reportedimmediately to the Principal invigilator, and handled at his or her discretion and resolvedin a manner that does not prejudice the student.
  1. Using file names other than those specified in the examination instructions may leadto a loss of marks. Similarly, submitting the examination in a way other than thatspecified may lead to a loss of marks. Such cases will be dealt with at the discretion ofthe examiner. The examination submission instructions should specify clearly anypenalties that may be applied in any such cases.




DURATION OF EXAM (including reading time, if applicable):
(Please check against timetable for discrepancies)
Please tick (ü) the relevant box below
1 Have you clearly indicated the course code on the cover page?
2 Have you checked that all pages are attached?
3 Do the total marks add up to the total listed above?
4 Are all sections clearly indicated?
5 Are all instructions clearly indicated?
6a Are there any formula sheets or additional documents attached to this paper?
6b Are students allowed to bring any additional notes, formula sheets etc into the exam?
6c Is this an open book exam?
6d Are students allowed to use a calculator?
6e Are the graphics added to this paper clear?
7 If you have answered YES to any questions 6a-e, is it indicatedon the cover page?
8 If there are two papers for this course, have you ensured that this paper consists of the relevant content?
9 If there are two papers for this course, have you ensured that thcontent annd cover of the paper match?
Course convenor name Signature Date



First count quality check done by
Second count quality check done by








1.1    The Principal invigilator must be present at least 30 minutes before the published start time of the examination to ensure that all computers are in working order and that thepre-loaded examination is working.

1.2    At the start of the examination candidates should be told:


1.3    If any irregularity is discovered or suspected, the work already attempted by thecandidate must be saved immediately, together with any evidence.  The student must submit and restart the test, to continue where it was interrupted.

1.4    At the end of the examination, candidates must be told:

          SUBMIT YOUR ONLINE EXAM AND REMAIN SEATED/LEAVE THE VENUE (Principalto announce whichever comment is applicable).

1.5    Discuss any issues related to online examinations – include specific instructions on how to deal with technical difficulties.

[1] Institutional offices Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching and Information Communication and Technology Services respectively.