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Examinations Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) QUT is committed to providing clear information to staff and students on timelines and guidelines used in the preparation of the central examination timetable.

(2) This Policy should be read in conjunction with the information provided on the HiQ website (Exams) (QUT staff and student access only).

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Section 2 - Application

(3) Policy on assessment practices at QUT are covered in the Assessment and Feedback Policy.

(4) This Policy applies to written examinations for domestic and international students, research, post graduate and undergraduate students and award courses, which are timetabled by Student Administration, to take place during the central examination period,

(5) An examination may be conducted in-person at a physical location, or it may be conducted online via the University’s learning management system (LMS). Examinations may be invigilated or non-invigilated.

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Section 3 - Roles and Responsibilities

Vice-Chancellor and President
Approves the academic calendar for each year.
Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar
Designates the central examination periods.
Approves procedures for centrally timetabled examinations.
Director, Student Administration
Manages the central examination process.
Publishes an examination timetable for each central examination period.
Unit Coordinators
Provide accurate data in relation to centrally timetabled examinations for their unit, to allow scheduling to be undertaken.
Approve alternative assessment adjustments.
Deputy Dean
(may be delegated)
Ensures examination policies and procedures are consistently implemented and followed, including resolving complex student matters.
In the case of centrally timetabled examinations, advise Student Administration of any timetable clashes.
In the case of school based examinations, advise the head of school of any timetabling clashes in school based examinations.
Are to be available for centrally timetabled examinations:
  1. at the designated time and in the designated place or format (in-person or online) specified for the examination in the central examination period; and
  2. at any other time, place or format specified for an examination in the notification of assessment requirements.
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Section 4 - Organisation of Examinations

(6) Units may have a combination of school based and centrally organised assessment items. Such information should be notified to students, as part of assessment requirements, in unit outlines.

(7) An examination may be conducted either as a school-based activity or organised centrally by Student Administration in cooperation with faculties and Unit Coordinators.

(8) A period of at least two weeks at the end of each semester or other teaching period will be designated for conducting centrally timetabled examinations. These central examination periods will also have associated supplementary and deferred exam periods. The designated periods will be indicated in the Examination procedures and the dates are published each year in the academic calendar. Examinations falling outside these periods are organised by faculties.

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Section 5 - Centrally Timetabled Examinations

(9) Centrally timetabled examinations are managed through the collection of accurate, reliable and timely assessment data from faculties.

(10) Exam duration times must conform to standard patterns and may include perusal. Centrally timetabled examinations must have a minimum duration of one hour, exclusive of perusal. Centrally timetabled examinations must not exceed three hours and 10 minutes in duration, inclusive of perusal.

(11) Student Administration responsibilities for centrally timetabled examinations are outlined in the examination procedures available in the Digital Workplace.

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Section 6 - School-Based Examinations

(12) Faculties are responsible for the organisation and conduct of school-based assessment items, including examinations, in accordance with the requirements outlined by the Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar.

(13) The scheduling of school-based written examinations should normally not occur during the designated central examination period (and associated supplementary/deferred examination periods). Outside of the designated central examination period, schools must assume full responsibility for examinations and must ensure that they do not cause a timetable clash with other school-based examinations.

(14) Examinations for students, other than deferred or supplementary examinations, will not be held during recess or designated examination preparation periods without approval from the Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar.

(15) Faculty responsibilities for school-based examinations are outlined in the examination procedures.

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Section 7 - Timelines for Examination Timetabling

(16) Information regarding timetabling data preparation requirements and due dates is issued to faculties by Student Administration.

(17) A draft timetable for centrally timetabled examinations will be provided for students and staff at least six weeks prior to the commencement of the central examination period.

(18) The final examination timetable is published on HiQ at least four weeks prior to the commencement of the central examination period.

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Section 8 - Preparation of the Central Examination Timetable

(19) The timetable for centrally timetabled examinations will be prepared according to guidelines included in the Examination procedures, and information published on the QUT Students site.

(20) Examination timetables will be designed to include the following core requirements:

  1. there will normally be a minimum study period of five working days (unless a state or national emergency arises) between the last day of the semester teaching period and the first day of the central examination period;
  2. examinations should be scheduled to commence no earlier than 8am (AEST) and no later than 5.30pm (AEST) on weekdays and Saturdays;
  3. examinations will not be scheduled to take place on Sundays or public holidays;
  4. students should not have more than two examinations scheduled to commence on a single examination day;
  5. there should be a minimum break of one and a half hours between scheduled examinations;
  6. reasonable adjustments to examination durations and locations will be made for students with a disability, provided advance notice has been given;(Student Academic Concessions Policy).
  7. students will be eligible to apply for an alternative examination sitting if their examination timetable requires them to undertake:
    1. examinations in three sequential exam sessions;
    2. examinations on more than three days in succession; and
    3. more than four exams in three successive days (unless faculty policy constraints apply).

(21) This guideline does not apply to assessment conducted during the teaching period.

(22) Objections to the timetable will be dealt with by the Examinations Coordinator in consultation with the relevant Head of School or Executive Dean of faculty if required.

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Section 9 - Students to be Familiar with Timetable

(23) Students must be available to undertake examinations in the place or format specified by the University throughout periods designated for centrally timetabled examinations and at times specified in unit outlines for school based examinations. This may include attending a physical location or undertaking an examination online.

(24) Students who are studying their units online may be required to sit in-person examinations at a campus of the University or another physical location at the same time as students who are studying their units on-campus.

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Section 10 - Alternative Examination Arrangements

(25) Students with religious or elite athlete obligations, which preclude attendance at examinations in accordance with the official timetable, have the right to apply for alternative examination arrangements. Students with an unexpected disability, injury or health condition, that occurs after the withdrawal without academic penalty date of the teaching period, may be eligible for an alternative examination arrangement. If alternative arrangements are not practical within the timeframes, faculty may determine a deferred examination is more appropriate.

(26) If the examination is centrally organised, a written request for an alternative examination sitting must be submitted within 10 working days of the release of the final timetable and include supporting documentation.

(27) Students should contact their school to request altered arrangements for school based examinations.

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Section 11 - Examination Locations

(28) The Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar will control all teaching accommodation during a central examination period. Centrally timetabled examinations may be conducted in locations which are not on any QUT campus.

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Section 12 - Timetabling of Supplementary and Deferred Examinations

(29) Supplementary and deferred examinations may be held during vacation periods or at any time nominated by the Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar and published in the Academic Calendar. Timetables for supplementary/deferred examination periods are normally published at least five working days prior to commencement of supplementary/deferred examinations. Students granted a grade of 'SA - supplementary assessment' will be included in the examination timetable and expected to attempt the scheduled supplementary exam unless Student Administration is notified by faculties that alternative arrangements for assessment have been made. Where a student is unable to attend their scheduled supplementary/deferred examination due to special circumstances, they may apply for withdrawal without penalty for the unit in question.

(30) For further information, refer to the Student Academic Concessions Policy or Deferring exams (QUT staff and student access only) for granting deferred exams.

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Section 13 - Conduct of Students During Examinations

(31) The HiQ website - During exams: conduct and support (QUT staff and student access only) outlines the conduct expected of students during examinations. A student found guilty of breaching any of the following standards of conduct during examinations in a way that may compromise or defeat the purposes of the assessment may be found guilty of academic misconduct.

Student Identification

(32) Students must bring appropriate identification to the examination and display it to the exam invigilator or Supervisor when requested.

Students to Comply with Directions

(33) A student must comply with all directions given for examinations, including directions of invigilators or exam supervisors and all instructions to candidates set out on the examination materials or displayed during the examination, including perusal.

(34) A student's behaviour must not disturb, distract or adversely affect any other student.

Entering and Leaving an Examination

(35) Students who are given permission to enter or leave an examination will comply with any conditions relating to the grant of the permission. However, students are not permitted to leave the examination until half the prescribed working time has elapsed or during the last 15 minutes of working time, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

(36) Students who arrive late, but before half the working time for the examination has elapsed, will normally be permitted to take the examination. However, no additional working time will be allowed unless exceptional circumstances warrant.

(37) In the case of centrally timetabled in-person examinations, the decision to grant extra time is made by the Examinations Officer, in consultation where necessary with the Unit Coordinator.

Unauthorised Material and Devices not to be brought into the Examination

(38) Students may bring into an examination only those materials approved for the unit under examination and indicated as such on the examination paper or instructions provided by the Unit Coordinator. All other materials are expressly prohibited unless:

  1. brought into the room with the permission of the invigilator or Unit Coordinator; and
  2. deposited by the student directly upon entering the examination room at a place stipulated by the invigilator or Unit Coordinator.

(39) It is inconsequential that the unauthorised material is not related to the unit under examination.

(40) In the case of examinations at a physical location, students are prohibited from having any device capable of connecting to the internet or communicating verbal or written information, such as smartphones, smart watches, tablet computers, electronic dictionaries or handheld computers, in their possession during an examination. Such devices must be turned off and left at a designated location within the room as stipulated by the invigilator.

(41) In the case of online examinations, students will be advised by the Unit Coordinator the equipment or device(s) they are required to use to complete the examination. All other devices are prohibited from use during the examination.

Students not to remove Papers from Physical Examination Locations

(42) A student will not remove from a physical examination location any worked scripts or other paper provided for use during the course of the examination (other than the question papers supplied where this is authorised by the examination invigilator) or other material which is the property of the University.

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Section 14 - Definitions

Term Definition
Centrally Timetabled Examination Means any written examination included in the timetable for the central examinations period, and/or administered by Student Administration.
Central Examination Period Means the period of time designated for delivering centrally timetabled examinations, as detailed in the University’s Academic Calendar.
Commence an Exam Means the start time of the exam session on the published examination timetable.
Examination Invigilator and Exam Supervisor Means the staff member responsible for administering the examination. For in-person centrally timetabled examinations these staff members will be appointed by Student Administration.
Faculties Includes QUT College.
School-Based Examination Means any examination administered by a faculty, QUT College or QUT online.
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Section 15 - Delegations

(43) Refer to Register of Authorities and Delegations (C110)(QUT staff access only).