Find the answers to your questions about examinations here.

General information

How are exam questions prepared?

The member of staff who taught the module sets the exam questions. These questions are constructed to assess against the learning outcomes of the module. The examiner also writes the example answers to the questions. Note that there are often many ways to answer engineering questions and thus the answer given by the examiner can be one amongst many possible.

The guidelines for exam setting suggests building an exam on:

  1. assessing core knowledge that all students should be able to do when they have understood the basic concepts. Students who are able to solve these questions are expected to achieve 40%.
  2. assessing more advanced knowledge or derivations that cannot be based on memorisation of the notes but uses the tools that have been taught during the module and by reading around to subject matter. These normally lead to novel questions that have not been asked before and tend to be more challenging. These questions are aimed at determining the level of deeper insight into the module contents and lead to grade differentiation.

When exams are written, the 2nd marker, allocated by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, who has expertise in the subject area evaluates the questions and answers. If necessary, changes are implemented to the exam paper and the answers.

In the next step, the exams’ officer will check the exam paper against the guidelines. This might lead to more changes. After approval by the exams’ officer, the exam papers and answers are sent to the external examiners, these are academic staff in other UK universities. The task of the external examiners is to evaluate the exam questions against exams on similar topics in other UK universities. This ensures quality of our exams. Comments of the external examiners are then implemented into a revised version.

After all these iterations, your exam paper is ready and kept in a safe place until the examination date. The full set of regulations can be found here.

Who marks exam questions?

All exam questions are marked twice. The member of staff who gave the lecture module marks the exam questions first, in red ink. The marked exams are then given to a second marker who evaluates the marking against the marking scheme, checking that they agree with the first marking and that all submitted answers have been seen. Changes, agreements and comments by the 2nd marker are written in green ink. The 1st and 2nd markers then meet to go through the papers and when agreement is reached they submit the agreed marks on-line.

The day before the examiners’ meeting (first Friday of July), the external examiners can request insight into all exam papers to evaluate the quality and rigour of the marking against the marks scheme.

When are the exams and when are the re-sit exams?

1st and 2nd year students 
1st and 2nd year students will have Maths exams in the first week of the Spring term in January . All other exams will be held during the Summer term after the revision classes are completed. Usually, the exams will be in the first two or three weeks of the Summer term, but students must check the timetables for correct dates. EIE students taking DOC modules might have exams at other times during the academic year as set by the Department of Computing. Please check the DOC exam timetable.

3rd year students 

The examination timetable for the Autumn and Spring terms are published before the respective module registration deadlines, so students must check the exams timetable before making their module choices.

It is not possible for students select modules with clashing exams.

Third year exams for ELEC modules take place in the final two weeks of the Autumn term (December).
Students taking modules from other departments are advised to check the exam timetable of those departments. Business school modules are often examined in January and beginning of May. Students on Industrial placements should avoid BPES modules examined in May as this might interfere with company regulations on holidays. The department will not be held responsible for a student’s inability to sit exams in this case.

4th year students 

The examination timetable for the Autumn and Spring terms are published before the respective module registration deadlines, so students must check the exams timetable before making their module choices.

It is not possible for students select modules with clashing exams.

. The exams for all ELEC modules will take place  during the first three weeks of the summer term, but students must check the exam timetables for the correct exam dates. Students taking modules from other departments are advised to check the exam timetable of those departments. Business school modules are often examined in January whilst DOC might have exams during Autumn term.

 All students will be sent an official examination timetable via email by the EEE Exams Team to your College email account, so please make sure you check and read your emails. The EEE department does not schedule exams for modules from other departments. In such cases you should check the relevant department’s examinations webpages.

Reassessments

The Board of Examiners meeting takes place on the first Friday of July and the board will confirm all the exam results. It is the Board who confirm whether any reassessments will be offered to students.

Students who are offered reassessments and who have mitigating circumstances will take the reassessments as if for the first time and their marks will not be capped.

Students who are offered reassessments but do not have MCs will have their results for those reassessments capped at 40% (for UG students).

The Summer reassessment period will take place during the last two weeks of August. The exam dates vary per year, so please contact the EEE Exams Team if you need confirmation of the dates.

Please note that we cannot confirm the August reassessment exam timetable until after the Board of Examiners meeting has taken place in July  and we have confirmation of who needs to sit which exam.

We will publish the August reassessment timetable towards the end of July/beginning of August and will contact all individuals concerned via email.

All reassessment exams will take place on campus so students will be required to return to the department for the reassessments.

If you are a third-year student doing an Industrial Placement and you are required to take a reassessment exam, you will still be required to come to campus to sit the exam. You should be given annual leave during your placement so one possibility is for you to use a day of annual leave to attend the exam.

What material can I have with me? Can I use my own calculator?

Exam regulations are strictly applied and students found disobeying these rules run the risk of being expelled from Imperial College.  The Registry website provides the College regulations on exams.

Calculators

Calculators will be provided to all students if the exam requires it and will be placed on your desk in the examination room. You are NOT allowed to bring your own calculators into exams.

 The calculators you will be given will the Casio fx-991CEX Classwiz. 

 Calculators cannot be used for 1st year Maths exams

Calculators can be used for 2nd year maths exams

Calculators can be used for third and 4th year exams.

Other Materials Provided in Examinations

Formulae sheets, tables etc. will be included with certain exam papers, as decided by the examiner. 

 

Support

Where can I get extra help with my studies?

If you are having serious problems coping with your academic studies please see the Senior Tutor who will advise you. Your personal tutor is also there to help you.

If you are struggling with a first year module, or second year maths, try reaching out to a Peer Tutor. They are well-performing students in higher years who offer one-to-one or group tutoring sessions. The service is free of charge to the student in need of help.

Whatever the situation, make sure you seek help in good time.

Where can I get help with studying for exams, learning things like exam technique and coping with exam stress?

The College's webpages have a Study Guide to help you and offer advice on teaching and learning. 

The College Health Centre runs Exam Stress Workshops. They start in November and places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The Health Centre also has a series of pages, links and resources to help with exam stress and anxiety, managing revision, study and motivation techniques and so on. You can find the link from the Exam Stress button on the top of the page linked above.

Can I see old exam questions and answers to help my revision?

Yes, to an extent. 3 years of old exam questions are posted on the departmental website. However, you must remember that the content of courses may change from year to year and also that the same course may have been given by a different lecturer in a previous year so questions may not be completely relevant.  You should also remember that outline answers are no substitute for proper revision and you should read the note of caution concerning outline answers.

Individual feedback on examinations is not provided. Solutions to past papers are provided once the examination process has run its full course. These are provided mainly for students to prepare for upcoming examinations but can be used by students who sat a particular exam to reflect on what the examiners had been looking for. To aid that process, annotation of the solutions with a commentary on successful approaches or common mistakes is provided for first and second year exams.

I had extra time in my exams when I was in school? Can I get extra time for my exams in College?

Yes you can, provided that you supply the proper evidence. If you have a learning difficulty, for example dyslexic, then you need to provide a recent psychological assessment. If you have a medical condition then you will need to supply information on your condition. Applications for extra time in Exams are processed by Emma Rainbow the Disabilities Liaison Officer for Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Applications for extra time must go through a process that has several steps and can take up to 8 weeks, so if you think you will need extra time, contact Emma Rainbow immediately and at least 8 weeks before the start of your first exam. If you think you may have a learning difficulty but do not have a diagnosis, visit the Disability Advisory Service for advice.

Illness/Mitigating Circumstances

What happens if I am too ill to do assessed coursework?

You should contact the course supervisor and the Associate Senior Tutor Dr Zahid Durrani.

What happens if I am ill for an exam?

  • If you are ill on an exam day, email eee.exams@imperial.ac.uk as soon as possible. You should ideally contact the Exams Team before the exam, but if this is not possible please contact us as early as you can.
  • You must go to the Imperial College Health Centre or your GP, who must be registered with General Medical Council, to get a certificate. Absences without a GMC approved doctor’s note during the time of the exam will not be accepted, and you will receive zero marks for the exam.
  • Submit details on the Mitigating Circumstances App as soon as possible, and at the latest within 10 working days of the assessment. (Further information about the mitigating circumstances procedure is described below).
  • If you have any long term condition you have not informed us of, which might impact on your ability to sit exams, please contact the and submit evidence on the mitigating circumstances app.
  • The possibility of taking an Interruption of Studies (IoS) without a certificate can only be considered up to the end of the first week of summer term, beyond that time each request will need a certificate and will be discussed on a case by case basis.
  • If you have a minor illness - something which is not certifiable by a doctor (for example a headache or slight discomfort), please take your usual over-the-counter medicines (within the given guidelines) to allow you to study and sit exams. Un-certified mitigating circumstances cannot be accepted in cases of minor illness.
  • If a minor accident happens close or on the date of the exam e.g. broken fingers, email  eee.exams@imperial.ac.uk as soon as possible. Department may be able to provide a scribe so you need not miss an exam. You will still need to provide medical proof and submit details on the EEE Portal MC App

What happens if I become ill during an exam?

Your illness may be short-lived (a coughing fit, for example) and after a short rest you may feel able to continue and finish the exam. Normally you would be allowed some extra time to make up for the time that you missed. If this happens, please inform the exam invigilator, who can make a decision on what to do.

If you feel unable to finish the exam, please inform the invigilator. You may then  be asked to go to the Health Centre to see a Doctor and get a medical certificate. The certificate should be given to the Associate Senior Tutor (Dr Zahid Durrani) and assuming everything is satisfactory, you would be allowed to re-sit the exam at the first available opportunity, for full credit. Information on full credit is provided below.

After you have obtained the medical certificate, you will be required to submit mitigating circumstance via our MC app and upload the certificate to the claim as evidence. Your claim will then be reviewed by the MC Committee, who will decide whether to accept it. If the claim is accepted, the Board of Examiners in July will decide whether you will be offered reassessments during the August reassessment period. The Exams Team will contact everyone to let them know about any reassessments towards the end of July.

Where can I find more information about mitigating circumstances?

Department guidance on mitigating circumstances

What should I do if my exam clashes with a religious festival?

The examination periods are timed to accommodate the requirements of each individual degree programme and you may therefore find that you have an exam scheduled during a particular religious festival or period of religious observance.

It is not normally possible to reschedule an exam but, in some circumstances, it may be possible to put arrangements in place to accommodate students who are observant.

If this happens and you have concerns about what you should do, please contact the EEE Exams Team at eee.exams@imperial.ac.uk as soon as possible. They will provide you with further information about what your options are and what you need to do.

You can also check the College Policy on exams and religious observance for further information.

Grades

How is the mark for each exam paper determined? Are exam marks moderated?

Almost all 1st and 2nd year papers will have three questions. Question 1 must have 40% weight of total marks. It must have wide coverage. Question 2 and 3 must be detailed and each with 30% weight.

Almost all Electrical Engineering exam questions are worth 100 marks. Different papers have different numbers of questions, but the mark total is scaled to obtain a percentage.

Once all the marking is completed, a small internal committee normally comprising the Exams Officer, the Head of Department, the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Senior Tutor, review the marks overall. The committee may decide to moderate the marks for either an exam question (perhaps because it was deemed to be too difficult or too long) or an exam paper (again it may be decided that an exam paper was too long). Any moderation of marks is reported and reviewed at the Board of Examiners meeting. You can view moderation of module marks. No other adjustments are made to marks.

What happens if I answer more than the required number of questions?

Candidates should not submit answers to more than the required number of questions. The rubric on each paper will state 'Answer n questions'.

At the end of each exam, students are required to enter the numbers of the questions which they wish to be marked on the front of the answer book. EE Department policy is that only the first n questions, whose numbers you have entered on the front of your answer book, will be marked. Any other answers you have written will not be marked.

How do I convert letter grades to marks?

The letter grades you are given when you first get your results correspond to the ranges below. When you first get the results they may not have been moderated so your final result may be slightly different.

Converting grades to marks
Degree classLetter gradeMarks
 First class honours  A  70% or above
Second class honours (upper division) (2.1) B 60% or above
Second class honours (lower division) (2.2) C 50% or above
Third  class honours D 40% or above
Fail E 0% or above
March 2023
Converting grades to marks

What is the pass mark for exams and coursework?

Please see your assessment scheme for details of the pass marks in each module and year

Undergraduate: 2019-20 entry onwards (new curriculum): detailed information on marking schemes, coursework and examination weightings, year weightings, and final degree classification is set out in the programme specification for your degree

Undergraduate: 2018-19 entry or earlier: Detailed information on marking schemes, coursework and examination weightings, year weightings and final degree classifications, is set out separately in the undergraduate Award of Honours documents below.

Why does the Department only issue letter grades?

There are 3 reasons that the Department only issues letter grades:

  1. Marks might change due to moderation
  2. All marks must be approved by the Board of Examiners before they become official
  3. Marks can only officially be released by Registry once the Department has held the Board of Examiners meeting in July

Third year students will receive grades (A-F) for their Autumn term exams. All students will be issued with letter grades for labs and coursework. The actual marks (% for the modules) will be only be released by Registry after the Examiners Meeting in July.

What do I have to do to qualify to process to the next academic year?

You should read the documents linked to below carefully so you know what you have to achieve for a given year and a given type of degree.

Undergraduate: 2019-20 entry onwards (new curriculum): detailed information on marking schemes, coursework and examination weightings, year weightings, and final degree classification is set out in the programme specification for your degree

Undergraduate: 2018-19 entry or earlier: Detailed information on marking schemes, coursework and examination weightings, year weightings and final degree classifications, is set out separately in the undergraduate Award of Honours documents below.

How is my degree class determined?

Detailed information on marking schemes, coursework and examination weightings, year weightings, and final degree classification is set out in the programme specification for your degree

 
Degree class Letter grade Marks
 First class honours  A  70% or above
Second class honours (upper division) (2.1) B 60% or above
Second class honours (lower division) (2.2) C 50% or above
Third  class honours D 40% or above
Fail E 0% or above
October 2019
Converting grades to marks

Imperial College awards honours degrees (not "pass" degrees). The classification of honours for all students is decided at the Examiners Meeting in July on the basis of your marks for all parts of the degree course. If your marks exceed the stated borderline for a classification (as set out in the Award of Honours document) then the award is made.

If your overall mark after Part III BEng or Part IV MEng is marginally below the minimum mark for a higher honours classification (between n.8.00 and n9.49 inclusive) your results will be analysed by our UG uplift algorithm to see if the class of degree can be raised.  For further information on this you should refer to the academic regulations


Recommendations for degree classes ("Honours") are made at the Examiners' Meeting, normally at the beginning of July, for consideration by the Academic Staff and External Examiners. At this meeting degrees are formally agreed.

Is there a quota for degrees? Can only a set number of people get First Class Honours?

No and no. In theory everyone graduating in a given year could be awarded a First Class degree. Equally, everyone graduating in a given year could be awarded a Third Class degree. In reality the numbers go up and down a bit from year to year. Aside from very occasional moderation of a particular exam when the Examination Board feels it is warranted, we do not adjust marks in any way.

What is the average module mark and what moderation has been applied this academic year?

At the start of each academic year a document will be published here showing the average mark and standard deviation for all modules taught by the Department, along with details of how moderation was carried out and which modules were moderated. You wil need your College login and password to access this information.

Where a module was taken by 5 or fewer students, the number of students and the average mark have been redacted and replaced with an asterisk to avoid potential identificaiton of individuals.

Module Marks Moderation 2022-23

Module Marks Moderation 2021-2022

Module Marks Moderation 2020-2021

Module Marks Moderation 2018-19

Results Queries

When will I receive my results?

We will release your results after the July Board of Examiners meeting has taken place and we have processed the outcomes of that meeting. We aim to release the results to you by mid-July 2024.

Please note that according to College regulations we will only be releasing your classification (final year) or progression confirmation (progressing students) and won’t be releasing your full results. Full results will be officially released by Registry at the end of July once they have processed all the marks.

However, please be aware that there may be a slight delay to the release of results. The annual UG Board of Examiners meeting will take place on Friday 5 July 2024 and we need time to process the decisions after the meeting. Processing the decisions takes time and we need to ensure that everything is accurate, so it isn’t possible to release the results immediately after the meeting. We aim to release the results within one week of the Board Meeting and will inform students if there is any small delay.

My results are not as good as I thought. Can my exam be re-marked?

No. As noted earlier, all exams are marked twice. There is also a substantial amount of checking that goes on once results are in. Exam papers and solutions are also published online over summer so you are able to compare your answers with the ones given by your course lecturer.

For appeal procedures please read the information on Registry’s Complains and Appeals web page.

My results are not as good as I thought. Can I see my exam booklet to see where I went wrong?

No. In accordance with the GDPR, information recorded on their scripts by students during an examination are exempt from subject access.  You will find more information abut this on the Data Protection - examination records pages.

Programme Specification

The programme specification (found on the Assessment page) sets out the value of each course unit element for each year and the contribution that each year makes to the degree total for the different degree types. It also tells you what you need to pass or achieve to continue to the next year.

If my results aren't good, can I be forced to change my registration and do a different degree?

In short, yes. There are certain requirements you have to meet in order to continue with a particular degree type. Check the Scheme for the Award of Honours on the Assessment and Progression page for details. Courses, such as the Year in Europe, have conditions attached to them before you are allowed to go abroad. Check the Scheme for the Award of Honours so you know what is expected of you.

Resits

Can I take my re-sit exams abroad in my home country?

As the exams have now returned to on-site, you must come to College to sit your exams. 

Please see Registry's policy on Sitting Examinations Overseas.

 

Can I resit exams I have passed in order to get a higher mark?

No. You cannot re-take ANY assessment that you have passed.

What happens if I fail my re-sit exams?

If after the summer reassessments (usually in second half of August) you have still not passed all of your examinations, you may be offered the opportunity to repeat the year (not in attendance) and re-take the remaining exams for one last time in the following academic year. However, this decision will be made by the Board of Examiners in September after we have your results from the summer reassessments.

If you are offered the chance return to sit your remaining exams in the following academic year, you would usually return as a resitting student and do the exams in the summer term of that year. You will be allowed to attend revision lectures, for a fee set by registry, or you can choose to sit examinations without attending these formal revision classes.

What are capped marks and uncapped marks? If I fail an exam, do I get zero?

If you fail an exam, any reassessments that you take will be capped at the pass mark, which is 40%.

If you have mitigating circumstances that have been accepted by the MC Committee, you would normally sit any reassessments as if for the first time. This means that your marks will not be capped and the mark you receive for the reassessment will be the mark you actually obtained.

For example, if you re-sit an exam with uncapped marks and score 60% you will be credited with 60%.

However, if you re-sit an exam on capped mark and score 60%, then your credited mark will be 40%.

If you receive less than 40% for a re-sit exam and therefore fail, you are always credited with your mark. For example, if you receive 32% for a resit exam you will be credited with 32%.

How many times can I re-sit an exam

You can usually take re-assessment exams for a module twice. All re-assessments must be taken at the first available opportunity. The first opportunity to re-sit would usually be during the summer re-assessment period following confirmation of your initial results (this is usually in the second half of August). If you still did not pass, you may then be able to re-sit all of your exams (re-sit not in attendance) for that year one last time in the Summer term of the following academic year.

Please be aware that all decision on which reassessments are offered to which students are made by the Board of Examiners at their main meeting in July and their reassessment meeting in September.

 Your two re-assessment attempts will take place during the next available opportunity, which will be the next occasion that your exams are offered. Please be aware that you must be available to come to College to sit reassessment exams on campus.

Also, if you choose not to re-sit on one or both of those occasions, then you forfeit the attempt(s).

 

 

Page history

 


December 2023 - information about uplift algorithm added to Grades/How is my degree class determined