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Examinations - Advice

The following offers some advice what to do before and during exams. Further information can be found on the School intranet.

Where can I find my exam timetable?

You can view your personalised exam timetable at the My.Manchester website:

http://my.manchester.ac.uk/

Log in using your University username (e.g. mbax3zz2) and password and then click on the menu item "my studies".

Make sure you look at your timetable and PRINT A COPY before the exam period starts - just in case the My.Manchester site is down on the day of the exam.

You should check that all the course units you have taken this semester are listed in your exam timetable. If not, you should contact the Student Services Centre as soon as possible, as explained in the email you should have received from the exams office. Please also let your year tutor (CM - Andrea Schalk, All others - Paul Nutter) know of any problems.

Know the date, time, and location of your exams

Make sure you know the date, time and location for each exam.

Exams can take place in a number of locations around the University, please familiarise yourself with each location BEFORE the date of the exam. Make sure you know how to get there, how long it will take to get there, what time the bus is etc. You should aim to arrive in plenty of time before the exam starts.

Individual course units may have multiple sessions running in different locations at the same time - you may find that your friends have the same exam in a different location. Your personalised exam timetable will tell you the location of YOUR exam - so make sure you know where YOU should be. You will not be allowed to sit the exam in you turn up at the wrong location.

Revision Advice

Make sure you spend enough time over the Christmas break revising for your exams. Start your revision as early as you can (as soon as this semester finishes), so you can devote as much time as possible to your revision. (Although it is important that you enjoy your break!).

Everyone revises for exams in different ways. However, some general advice:

  • Produce a revision timetable, taking note of when your exams are - plan your time appropriately.
  • Read your lecture notes. Consider rewriting notes, or producing your own revision summaries of key points.
  • Organise revision sessions with your friends - test each other.
  • Make use of online resources, such as material on Blackboard/Moodle. The location or course materials for each course unit can be found on the School intranet
  • Have a go at any questions/examples given in lectures, or available through the course unit websites.
  • Take a look at some past exam papers, which can be downloaded from the School intranet, these will give you some idea of the kinds of questions you will need to answer. If a question looks unfamiliar then there is a chance that that material is no longer covered (as a result of staff changes, syllabus updates etc). If in doubt ask!
  • Some lecturers may produce hints and tips for answering their exam papers - see course websites for information.
  • Attempt a past exam paper under exam conditions, time yourself to make sure you are spending an appropriate amount of time answering each question. Compare answers with your friends, mark each other’s work and provide feedback.
  • If you have any questions about past exam papers then make use of forums on Blackboard/Moodle to seek advice. If necessary you can contact the lecturer by email (but you may not receive a prompt response out of term time).

Exam Technique

Make sure you write your University ID number (which can be found on your University library card) clearly on the front page of every answer booklet, along with the course unit name. Make sure you take your University card along with to each exam as you may be required to confirm your identity to the exam invigilator.

When the exam starts get comfortable, read the front cover of the exam paper (the rubric) and understand what you are required to do for the exam. For example, identify how many questions you are required to answer, and if any of the questions are compulsory. Next, read every question and decide which questions you feel most comfortable answering. Answer the questions you feel you can easily answer first, leave the more difficult ones until later. In general each question is split into parts - make sure you attempt all the parts for each question you answer.

Use one answer booklet for each question in the paper (for example, if you are required to answer 3 questions then you should use 3 answer booklets) - write on the front of the booklet the question answered in that booklet.

How long should I spend answering a question? This depends on the exam paper. For example, if you are required to answer 2 questions in one and a half hours, then you have 45 minutes to answer each question - use your time appropriately.

When answering part of a question, look at the marks available and determine how much effort (in terms of work AND time) is required to answer the question. For example, if a question has a part that is only worth 2 marks (out of 20), then you should not be spending a huge amount of time writing an essay to answer it (for only 10% of the marks).

Make sure you write clearly. If your handwriting is difficult to read, then the marker may find it difficult to understand your answers - this may result in you inadvertently losing marks. Clearly identify the question you are answering by writing the question number in the left hand margin (i.e. Q1b). If you make a mistake put a line through your answer to make it clear to the marker that the answer should be ignored.

If you finish the exam early DO NOT leave the room early. Use the remaining time to go over your answers. Check your answers and make sure you have answered the correct number of questions.

What if I'm late (or miss) an exam?

If you arrive late for exam, for whatever reason, you may not be allowed to sit the exam. If this happens please report to the School Student Support Office on the lower first floor of Kilburn Building IMMEDIATELY, we may be able to do something to help.

If you miss an exam then you will be required to resit the exam during the resit period in August (with or without mitigating circumstances). If you miss an exam then you must let your year tutor know as soon as possible - so we don not make the mistake of thinking that you have left your degree programme!

It is important that you attend ALL of your exams.

Paul W. Nutter