Exams and Feedback FAQs
The answers to frequently asked questions about examinations and feedback are set out below. If these don't help, why not try the Examinations, Assessment and Feedback information in the Physics Student Handbook.
Where should I go if I want feedback from lecturers about a course?
The best place for feedback is a lecturer's office hours. You can find these on the course Blackboard page.
Where can I find out more about student feedback?
I need a transcript of my exam results. What do I do?
Transcripts are available from the Student Records Office in Registry. You can either visit the Student Hub on Level 3 of the Sherfield Building or make the request via your e-service account (click the 'Request Documents' tab and complete the necessary fields). Please note you can no longer request transcripts by emailing Records directly. Further information is on the Registry website.
I've failed an exam. What resit attempts am I allowed?
This depends on your year of study. In general you are allowed two attempts to resit any failed exam, which must be taken at the next two available opportunities. Normally the maximum mark that can be credited from a resit is the pass mark, unless you were absent from the original exam due to medically certified illness in which case a Full Credit Resit is usually granted. Note that it is not possible to resit continually assessed courses: Laboratory courses, Language courses, Projects and Professional Skills. There are also regulations about resits provided by Registry.
Currently all year cohorts have a first exam resit opportunity provided between late August and early September. The exam timetable will be published by the Exams Officer closer to the time of the exam. For any exams which remain failed students must withdraw from College and have a second and final attempt the following summer. Progression into the next year requires passes in all failed exams. Normally we do provide resits, but this is not guaranteed by the Department or Registry.
I have a resit in September, can I take my resit exam in my home country?
This is only possible in very exceptional circumstances. You must speak to the Senior Tutor if you wish to do this. Otherwise you must take your resit exams at Imperial College in London.
When and how do I receive my resit results?
The resits take place between late August and early September. You will be able to look up your marks at the Registry e-service by mid-September.
What should I do if my performance in an examination is affected by illness, bereavement or other special circumstances?
If you have any reason to believe that your performance in a particular examination or set of examinations has been or is likely to be affected by any extenuating circumstances, please be sure to fill in the appropriate form and hand it in to the UG office. If possible, you should meet with your personal tutor to discuss this. Note, a request for mitigation form can be submitted at any time if you feel your work has been affected over an extended period – the forms are not exclusively for use around examination times. If however your request for mitigation is clearly with regard to a particular examination or set of examinations then please note that you are required to submit the form within 5 days of the affected examination(s). The college policy could cover e.g. illness (physical or mental), injury, bereavement or serious illness of a family member. This list is not exhaustive - if you are not sure whether your personal circumstances fall under the remit of the college’s policy on extenuating circumstances or if you have any other queries please contact the Senior Tutor, Dr. Ingo Mueller-Wodarg, to arrange a meeting.
What happens if I failed a continuously assessed module?
There is no resit available for continuously assessed modules and failure means you have to leave College.
I'm really eager to know how I did in my exams. When will we get our exam results?
Marking of examination papers takes two to three weeks since each script is second marked and data is independently entered and compared to minimise the possibility of arithmetical errors. On Monday of the last week of term, the provisional list of third and fourth year marks is submitted to the board of examiners which includes all teaching staff members, project supervisors, personal and academic tutors. The board pays particular attention to those students whose marks are close to the degree class borderlines. The department's external examiners review the scripts and projects of those students put forward by the board of examiners' on Thursday/Friday and the finalists class list is sent to all students by email on Friday evening.
Since first and second year examinations take place after the third and fourth year examinations, the board of examiners meeting takes place approximately two weeks after the end of term. Results continue to be checked for another week or so before being sent to Registry.
Registry controls the release of all official examination marks. You will be able to access these online usually by the end of July. Neither the Undergraduate teaching team, nor your Personal Tutors have the authority to release results to you before Registry and asking merely delays the process.
I am currently in Year 2 of the Year in Europe degree programme. When do I get informed if I have failed to qualify into Year 3 of the YiE degree?
If your performance is below that required for progression (60% year 1 and 2 average mark), you will receive an email from the department informing you that you have been automatically transferred to the BSc (F300) degree programme. You should receive this email by mid-July.
I'm in Year 2. I didn't achieve 60% aggregate mark for Years 1 and 2 and have been transferred to the BSc programme. Can I remain on the MSci degree?
This is very unlikely unless you can provide some evidence of extenuating circumstances. Any extenuating circumstances should already have been brought to the attention of your Personal Tutor or the Senior Tutor before the Mitigation Advisory Panel meeting. One of the key tasks of this meeting is to discuss issues that may have had a negative impact on a student's performance and to determine whether that student is ultimately capable of obtaining an upper second class MSci degree.
I'd like to take an extra examination and for it to go on my transcript. Is this possible?
This is sometimes possible. Students should speak to the Senior Tutor. The extra exam will go on your transcript. However, students must declare what the extra exam is before the exams start. It is not possible for this exam to count towards your overall degree mark and drop one with a worse mark.
I want to do Maths Methods in Year 2. What do I need to achieve in Year 1 to be able to take this option?
From 2018-19, the 65% rule is no longer in place. All students will therefore be able to take Maths Methods in Year 2. However, we ‘recommend’ that students who wish to take Maths Methods in year 2 achieve 65% in Year 1 Maths.
For those students with Year 1 Maths mark less than 65% that have opted to take Maths Methods, the Senior Tutor will contact them to let them know they might struggle with Maths Methods and should perhaps consider an alternative module. The Senior Tutor will not insist they swap options.
We also not be asking students to switch to a non-theory degree should they fail to get 65% in Year 1 Maths.
Please can you make exams solutions from year 20xx available?
We only make exams solutions available every three years, starting in 2009. Download the exam solutions.
What is the Element structure for Year 3 exams?
If you arrived at Imperial since 2012, your Year 3 (worth a minimum of 60 ECTS, up to a maximum of 63 ECTS) is as follows:
1. Imperial Core Courses (18 ECTS) including
Light & Matter (6 ECTS)
Physics of the Universe (4.5 ECTS)
Fluid Dynamics (1.5 ECTS)
Laboratory (non-theorists) or ACP (theorists) (6 ECTS)
2. Options (30 ECTS) including
4, 5, or 6 options (3 or 6 ECTS each)
Project (9 ECTS) or essay (9 ECTS)
3. Comprehensives (18 ECTS) including
Best 8 questions over both papers
Seminars (with the same weight as a single question)
Further details can be found on the Programme Specifications page.
How can I receive further feedback on my examination(s)?
Once the examination results have been published via the Registry E-Service, the Department and College have mechanisms in place should you feel that you require additional feedback, guidance or wish to appeal.
Personal Tutor or Senior Tutor
Firstly, for general academic guidance please approach your Personal Tutor. If you have mitigating circumstances or require further support, please consult the Senior Tutor. The Senior Tutor may also be able to advise you on the processes below.
Exam Feedback Reports
All lecturers are required to put a feedback report on their modules Blackboard pages. This general feedback will highlight areas of the exam that students found difficult with guidance on how the question should have been answered.
Arithmetical Mark Check
Students have 10 working days after their results are released to request an arithmetic check. Contact Victor Urubusi, firstname.lastname@example.org, with your name, CID and which exam(s) you would like to request an arithmetic check for.
Comments from Examination Scripts
In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, information recorded on examination scripts by students during an examination is exempt from subject access. However, students are entitled to information about their marks for both coursework and examinations. Therefore, students have a right to request a copy or summary "in an intelligible form" of any comments made on an examination script by an examiner.
This means that it is not possible to view your original scripts, or copies of the scripts, but a transcript of comments from the markers can be produced for your use.
The full policy including the request form is available via the following link: http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/legalservicesoffice/dataprotection/codesofpractice/cop3. There is a charge of £10 for this service.
Note on Examination Storage
The Department generally stores examination scripts for examinations taken in the last four years; this exceeds the College's guidance (which states that Departments should store examination scripts for the current academic year + 1 academic year).
My exam covers different subjects. Can I get the partial results in addition to the overall mark for the exam?
We do not release partial results for an exam. The overall mark for the exam is an indication of how you have performed as a whole. You are encouraged to review the general feedback provided after the main exam period. You should use the feedback provided, normally posted on Blackboard, as a tool to help you understand your overall result.
How does the department ensure that there are no errors when reporting the exam marks?
All exam scripts are marked independently by a first and second marker and the marks are collated by one of the academics. Once this process has been completed, the marks are entered into the exam database by an administrator and this is cross-referenced against the marks entered by the academic using an error checking software.
I am not happy with my results. Can my exam be re-marked?
No. All exams are marked twice and a number of checks are in place to avoid errors. Marks shown on the exam paper are indicative, and not definitive, of those that the markers anticipate assigning. Furthermore, markers are also asked to moderate their exams to ensure that the average, the number of first class marks and the number of fails are within the expected range. To achieve this, the indicative marks for parts of an exam may change slightly. Where the overall exam results still significantly deviates from the expected results, scaling is applied to the exam results. The scaling procedure, similar to moderation, focuses on the average, the number of fails and the number of first class marks. Further information about scaling can be found here (https://www.imperial.ac.uk/physics/dugs/ExamStats/index.php).
For year 1 & 2 core courses only, APS scores are also added in after moderation, so the overall module mark will depend on the student's continuous assessment marks (overall score = 0.15x(CA mark) + 0.85x(exam paper mark)]
Is there a fee for resitting an exam?
If you are resitting an exam and there are no extenuating circumstances to consider, you will be asked to pay a resit fee. Further information can be found here https://www.imperial.ac.uk/student-records-and-data/for-current-students/undergraduate-and-taught-postgraduate/exams-assessments-and-regulations/resitting-examinations/.
How will I know when my results are ready to view?
Registry will inform you when your results are available on e-service.
My degree average mark is very close to the next higher boundary. Is it going to be automatically rounded up and my degree classification higher?
All degree average marks that are close to the boundary for a higher classification are reviewed. The Board of Examiners, including external examiners, review your performance to date and a final decision is made at the final examiners' meeting.
From summer 2018, marks are not automatically rounded up should your degree classification be upgraded to the higher level.
I would like to request an arithmetic mark check. Is there a deadline for this?
Students should make the request in writing, and it must be within 10 working days of the publication of results. To request an arithmetic check, complete the Arithmetic Check Form and send it by email to Victor Urubusi, email@example.com.
Exam Board appeals
You can appeal the decision of the Board of Examiners by completing a form provided by the Registry. The Registry website has a section on appeals, including a link to the form.
The resit exam timetable has been published and I will be out of the country/on holiday on the day of my resit exam. Can you move the exam?
The resit exam dates are published in advance, normally at the same time as the summer exam timetable, and you are expected to be available during this period. The exam can't be moved to another day.