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If you feel your study and performance has been adversely affected, for example due to issues with study, revision or technical problems, then you  should contact your Tutor as soon as you realise there is a problem, whether this is before, during or after your exams.

 Your Tutor will be able to give you the advice on the best course of action regarding your studies and assessment, and will also be able to offer guidance and support in other ways, such as other pastoral and external sources of help. Support may extend beyond examination outcomes: your College can help you navigate through the various forms of wellbeing and support available.

For issues relating to assessment, your Tutor will be able to discuss with you a number of existing mechanisms of support for the examination period. 

  • Exam Warnings – This is an early marker that your College attach to your student record to note something has happened and can be referenced later on if further support is needed, such as an exam allowance. Warnings can be submitted at any point throughout the assessment period and normally no later than the last day of your examination.
  • Exam Allowances – Exam allowances can be applied for where your exams were affected by medical or grave cause. Applications for an allowance should be made as soon as possible, and no later than 3 months from publication of your examination results. Applications do not need to be submitted via your College and you can apply directly, however Colleges have extensive experience in submitting applications and will be able to offer further advice and support that go beyond the allowance process. 
  • Examination Reviews – Exam reviews are where a procedural irregularity has occurred during your exam, or there is a perception of bias or withdrawal of academic provision that affected your exam outcome.

Some of these mitigation measures will require evidence. It is important that any evidence submitted is:

  • Relevant – relating to the time period in question
  • Contemporary – produced close in time to the period affected
  • Specific – where possible, it should explicitly relate to the impact your circumstances have had on you.

Q. Something has gone wrong – what should I do?

Speak to someone in College. This might be your Tutor, the College Nurse or Dean. If you can’t speak to someone, drop them an email. Consider following up conversations by email so you have a record of what was discussed and any advice you were given. You may wish to use that evidence later on in an application for an allowance.
If you can’t speak to someone in your College, try the Student Advice Service for free, confidential advice.

Q. I don’t think I’ve done very well in my exams – what can I do?

Speak to someone in your College: help is available. This may be:

  • medical or non-medical help: Colleges have experience in helping students with a whole range of issues and will be able to access and point you to help and support mechanisms.
  • submission of an exam warning. This is an early marker that something happened that is held on your record against that exam paper. If an application is subsequently submitted for an allowance, the exam warning is counted as contemporaneous evidence.

Q. How can I access exam allowances and submit an application for allowances?

  • If you consider your examination outcome was not representative of your abilities, you can submit an applicaiton for an allowance to the Exam Access and Mitigation Committee. This can be done via direct application, or through your College. 
    There are several allowances available, although they may not all be relevant to your circumstances.
  • Whilst not required, you are encouraged to seek guidance from your tutor, welfare advisor or tutorial office, all of which have extensive experience in submiting applications and can advise what may be appropriate in your circumstances. Your College may also have other routes of support available that extend beyond the examination allowance which you may find useful. 
  • Guidance notes (including details of each allowance as well as the impact on your academic transcript) and the relevant application form are available here.
  • You are able to submit your own supporting statement with any application: this should be clear and concise. Where your application is submitted via your College, they should share the final submitted application with you.
  • The EAMC are aware that there can sometimes be difficulties in gaining medical evidence. If you are unable to get an appointment with a medical professional, or are waiting for an appointment following referral to an NHS (or equivalent) service, the Committee will consider other evidence provided, such as (list is not exhaustive):
    • A statement from your Tutor or College nurse confirming your illness (you must have contacted them at the time)
    • In cases of a longer-term illness, a diagnosis where possible, or evidence of a referral to the appropriate NHS (or equivalent) recognised service. This might include those new NHS (or equivalent) services for individuals with symptoms of ‘long COVID’ as well as other illnesses with existing services such as cancer or mental health services. Such evidence ensures diagnoses and treatment plans to support you as you progress.

For advice on evidence, consult the guidance notes available. Your College or the Student Advice Service are also able to offer advice.

Q. I’ve got my exam results and they’re not what I was expecting – what can I do?

  • consider asking your Department for a ‘mark check if you think there has been an arithmetical error. All departments must offer a mark check process that allows students to check that marks have been added up correctly, that all submitted work has been marked by the examiners and that any reasonable adjustments have been put in place.
  • consider submitting an Examination Review if you believe there has been a procedural irregularity, that the examiners knew your identity and were biased in examining your work, or if the Department formally withdrew academic provision from you and this impacted your results. Examination Reviews must be submitted on the form within 28 days of receiving your results.
  • if the reason for your performance was linked to medical circumstances or other grave cause, review the guidance notes on submitting an application for an exam allowance to see if they are appropriate to your circumstances.

Q. Can I access an extension to submission dates for coursework?

Extensions to submission dates for coursework and/or dissertations may be possible, although consider that any extension may overlap with revision or preparation time for other modules. Only in exceptional circumstances will an extension be granted for more than seven days. If you require an extension, then your College should submit an application to the EAMC.

Q. I have a new medical issue: what support is available to help me complete my exams? 

If you have a new medical issue, exam access arrangements may help you during in-person, online or timed assessments. This might include rest breaks or the use of assistive technology. Speak to your College for advice and review the guidance notes here.

Sources of further information:

Guide to Examinations 2022-2023 

Student Advice Service

Exam Review process (up to 28 days after exam results published)

Allowances (up to 3 months after exam results published)