Current Affairs

Oxford announces Trinity term examination arrangements

Oxford has released details for Trinity term examinations and assessments on their website today, in an email from Pro-VC Martin Williams.

The policy is as follows:

  • First year undergraduates:
  • The majority of exams for first year undergraduates are cancelled
  • The only exceptions are Law and Medicine, where assessments are required for professional qualification reasons. 
  • Instead, there will be informal assessments in all subjects
  • Second and third-year (non-finalist) undergraduates, and first-year MPhil: 
  • Most exams will be deferred into the next academic year, though a small number will be cancelled outright.  
  • Final-year undergraduates and taught postgraduates: 
  • Exams will take the form of either open-book versions of the standard papers, longer pieces of work completed over several days, or a mix of the two.

Further details for finalists:

The Pro-VC said:

  • Open-book exams will constitute most assessments
  • Open-book exams will be of slightly longer duration (e.g. a three-hour paper will be extended to four hours, with comparable timings for other paper lengths). Further adjustments will be made for those with approved alternative exam arrangements such as extra writing time.  Exams will be taken within a 24-hour window to account for different time zones.   
  • An effort will be made to reduce the number of assessments. And, in a few instances where a large fraction of the award has already been assessed, the remaining exams will be cancelled. 
  • Plan to implement a safety net policy 
  • Implementation of an ‘honour code’ and the use of specialist software to prevent plagiarism and collusion.   
  • Most assessments will take place at similar times to a normal year. However, most exams in Weeks 0 and 1 will be rearranged to help staff and students prepare. ” 

Other arrangements:

Finalists will undertake these alternative assessments in Trinity term 2020, except if they are unable to complete the alternative forms of assessment due to illness or personal circumstances. In this case, they have two options:

  1. Opt to graduate with a “Declared to Deserve Honours” status.  
  2. Return to Oxford to sit written exams in Trinity term 2021. 

Projects and dissertations will largely proceed as planned.