Exam preparations and arrangements 2020

Make sure you’re familiar with all the important information about your exam so that you can do your best on the day and avoid any problems.


Make sure you're ready by following our guidelines for things you can prepare before the day of your exam.


Schools will inform you of your exam timetable; make sure you are fully aware of the dates and times of all you examinations.

  • You must be available to sit your exams for the entire published exam period. This includes Saturdays and bank holidays.
  • Holidays or other social commitments won't be accepted as a reason for missing an exam. The exam timetable may change, so you shouldn't make any personal arrangements during the exams period.
  • If you miss an exam without good reason, you will be recorded as absent for that exam and will forfeit an attempt.
  • If you misread the timetable, this will be treated as deliberately missing an examination and you'll be recorded as absent without good cause. 


  • If you're too ill to take the exam, contact your GP/doctor for advice and request a medical certificate stating you were unfit to attend and submit a mitigating circumstances form to your parent school with (if possible) the medical certificate. 
  • You should  check the details of mitigating circumstances if you're unable to sit your exam due to illness or for other reasons.

What is an online open-book exam?

An online open-book examination is an examination that allows you to access materials such as summaries, notes and textbooks. This type of exam does not just test your ability to recall information. Instead, you’ll be expected to engage in a critical and analytical manner, to demonstrate how you have understood your topic and that you can apply relevant knowledge to the question.

Cheating and plagiarism  

Taking an on-line open-book exam is different to sitting a closed book exam in an examination venue, but that does not mean that the regulations around sitting exams are any different. The University of Leeds takes cheating very seriously. Cheating in University examinations is an absolute offence.

Visit the Cheating and Plagiarism web page to make sure you know the rules before your exams. 

Preparing and taking online open-book exams 

Make sure you take a look at the online open-book exams guidance on the Library pages to prepare yourself for your examinations.

Online examinations may be scheduled for a 48 hour period, however that does not mean you are expected to spend 48 hours completing the exam. Ensure you thoroughly read the instructions of the exam before your start. The instructions (rubric) will inform you of the actual time you are expected to spend completing the exam, it may also inform you of the any word count restrictions that apply. The 48 hours is generally to allow for technical issues, time zone differences and disability adjustments.

All exam question papers have a rubric. The rubric is a set of instructions or an informative list to help you complete the examination. The front page of the exam question paper will show:

  • The module code (this should show on every page)
  • The module title
  • The school responsible for the examination
  • The time you are allowed to complete the examination
  • The number of pages the examination paper is made up of

There is also information specifically about the exam such as:

  • If the exam is made up of more than one section
  • What marks each section is worth
  • If there are more questions on the exam question paper than you need to answer
  • If you need to answer a certain amount of questions from one section 

Read carefully the front of the exam question paper! 

Working with others

During teaching you may have being asked to collaborate with others on tasks.  However, in an online open-book exam:

  • you must not collude with others
  • the work you submit must be your own
  • you must avoid any practices which could mean that you cannot honestly claim that the work submitted is your own.

See Working with others for further guidance on working collaboratively.