Examination Scheduling & Timetabling
The information below should answer any questions you may have regarding your exam timetable:
When are the examinations?
The majority of the University’s exams are scheduled during the main University exam periods, for this year these are:
Autumn Semester Exams:
Monday 14th January to Friday 25th January 2013
Spring Semester Exams:
Monday 13th May to Friday 14th June 2013
Monday 12th August to Friday 23rd August 2013
However some Schools and Courses have exams scheduled outside of these periods, in these instances you should be given details of these exams at the start of your course each year.
Please see Examination timetables to find exams for your School.
Additionally some courses may include class tests, these are assessments which are very similar to exams but are managed by your School rather than by Registry. Class tests may be scheduled at anytime by your School but not generally at the same time as exams/during exam periods.
What exams will I be entered for?
You will only be entered for exams for modules you are registered for on SIMS. If you are not registered on SIMS you will not be entered for the exam and will not appear on the attendance register or be allocated a seat in the exam venue.
If you are uncertain about the modules you are registered for, you should check on SIMS Online.
If the modules you are registered for on SIMS are not correct, this may also result in you having an exam timetable which is more difficult than it would otherwise be. If your modules are incorrect you should contact your School as soon as possible.
What do I do if I am not registered for an examination?
You should find out the date and location of the exam from our website. Arrive early to the exam and report to one of the invigilators that you are not registered for the exam but should be taking it, and they will find you a spare seat and desk in the exam venue.
When will the examination timetable be available?
The exam timetable for each semester will be available approximately four weeks before the exams begin. For the Autumn semester exams this will be in mid-December, and for the Spring semester exams this will be in mid-April. The re-sit exam timetable is usually published at the end of July.
Where possible we will make exam timetables available earlier, but due to the work involved in producing the timetables this is not always possible.
Why is the examination timetable published when it is?
We always publish the exam timetable as early as we are able to. However there are a number of stages involved in producing the timetable and these take a number of weeks.
We cannot start scheduling exams until all module choices are confirmed. Students generally have three weeks at the start of the semester to confirm their modules and Schools have a further week to make their confirmations, so we are unable to start the production of the timetable until four to five weeks into the semester. The scheduling of the exams and production of the draft timetable then takes approximately two to three weeks (this includes assigning and checking the rooms to be used). This draft timetable is provided to Schools for checking and this together with making any final changes takes a further one to two weeks.
Why is the examination timetable not the same every year?
The content and constraints change every year, so the timetable is also different. There are changes every year to the modules/exams which have to be scheduled, the number of students taking the modules, and the combinations of modules being taken, as well as this the availability of exam rooms varies each year. All these factors mean that a new timetable is produced for each exam period and it would not be possible to schedule exams at the same time each year.
How is the examination timetable produced?
Exam timetables are produced in line with the University policy and scheduling guidelines, within constraints dictated by student module choice, room size and availability and requests from Schools.
What are the University scheduling guidelines?
You should not be expected to sit more than one 3 hour exam or two 2 hour exams per day, and;
You should not expect to sit more than 12 hours of exams in any week, (final year students should not expect to sit more than 9 hours of exams in any 4 days).
These are subject to the availability of exam venues and are guidelines only, however it is rare for you to receive an exam timetable which does not meet the guidelines.
What do the scheduling guidelines mean?
In practice the scheduling guidelines mean that you should expect the possibility of sometimes having two exams in a day, or up to 12 hours of exams in a week e.g. four 3 hour exams. Although very few students will have such a timetable.
If the modules you are registered for on SIMS are not correct, this may result in you having a more difficult exam timetable than would otherwise be the case.
Why do I have two examinations in one day?
The logistical difficulties of scheduling a large number of exams involving many thousands of students, in a limited number of days makes it inevitable that some students will occasionally have two exams on the same day. University scheduling guidelines therefore do permit this to be the case.
If the modules you are registered for on SIMS are not correct, this may also result in you having an exam timetable with two exams on the same day.
Why do I have examinations on consecutive days?
Due to the difficulty of scheduling a large number of exams involving many thousands of students, in a limited number of days, it is impossible to avoid you having exams on consecutive days, sometimes over several days, and for this reason University scheduling guidelines permit you to have up to 12 hours of exams within a week.
If the modules you are registered for on SIMS are not correct, this may also result in you having an exam timetable with several exams bunched together.
Why are all my examinations scheduled close together/spread far apart?
The difficulty of scheduling a large number of exams involving many thousands of students, in a limited number of days means it is not always possible to spread them evenly over the exam period.