Running Exams

If you’ve been into the Learning & Teaching Office on Level 7, you’ll have seen that there are a number of academic and professional support staff devoted to running assessments. As we are running different assessments, the process tends to be very complex, involves a lot of planning – with some assessments (such as the OSCE) needing a year to plan in advance.

A lot of care is taken to deliver all our assessment accurately. However, we know that sometimes errors happen, often because of problems on the day of an exam. On the day of assessments, a lot of monitoring takes place by staff – and if errors occur, senior staff members are always present to make decisions and resolve problems. The same applies if students report errors or mistakes – and we take these reports very seriously (e.g. errors with exam papers).

The academic assessment team’s role is to carefully investigate and ensure that we rectify errors and are completely fair with students. This also includes letting year groups know if problems have arisen, what we are doing about it – and equally importantly what changes we are making to improve things for other exams.

We also have independent, monitoring by external examiners from other medical schools who scrutinise process and standards. Their reports (and our plans) are discussed with course teams (and with student reps). The General Medical Council also take a very active view in monitoring assessment, including visits to medical schools to observe processes, give feedback and make recommendations.