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Formal Examinations Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To establish the processes for Formal Examinations at the University.

2 Scope

This procedure applies to all Coursework Courses. All Students and staff involved in Coursework Assessment by way of Formal Examinations are subject to this procedure.

This procedure applies to Formal Examinations associated with Honours Theses but not to research Theses.

This procedure applies to Coursework Courses undertaken by Higher Degree by Research Students.

3 Procedure Overview

This procedure establishes the processes for Formal Examinations.

4 Procedures

4.1 Formal Examinations

4.1.1 Examination Categories

Formal Examinations may be Open, Restricted or Closed. The type of Formal Examination to be undertaken, if any, will be stated in the Course and made available to Students at the beginning of the Semester. Students should familiarise themselves with the differences in these classifications.

4.1.2 Timing of Examinations

The Formal Examination period will extend for no more than 10 University Business Days at the end of each Semester as published on the website under 'Important Dates'. Students are responsible for ensuring that they are available to undertake Formal Examinations during this period.

Students must sit their Formal Examinations at the scheduled date and time as per their personalised Formal Examination timetable.

Formal Examinations for all offerings of the same Course will normally be conducted at the same time.

The University will, as far as possible, ensure that Students will not be required to take more than two Formal Examinations per day.

Deferred Examinations and Supplementary Examinations shall normally be held in the next Formal Examination period, within 12 months of the original Formal Examination date and a Final Grade awarded.

4.1.3 Preparation of Formal Examination papers

The deadline for production and printing of all Formal Examination papers is 25 University Business Days before the start of the Formal Examination period.

Academic staff must use the approved University branded template for the front cover sheet of each of their Course's Formal Examination papers.

At all stages in of preparation, Formal Examination papers must be securely stored so that no opportunity occurs for any unfair advantage to be gained by any individual or group of Students.

Staff who are studying and have access to Formal Examination materials must notify their manager at the beginning of the Semester. Staff who have close family members, friends or people with whom they may have a conflict of interest studying, and these staff members have access to relevant materials, must declare this as a conflict of interest to their manager at the beginning of the Semester.

The Examinations Office in the Students and Communities Division is responsible for the distribution of all Formal Examination papers to all external examination centres, as well as to Examination Supervisors for all Formal Examinations scheduled at the Toowoomba Campus.

The Examinations Office must also return and account for all examination materials from all examination centres.

4.1.4 Formal Examination timetable and adjustments

The Examinations Office is responsible for releasing the timing and location of Formal Examinations on the University website no later than six weeks prior to the beginning of the relevant Formal Examination Period. Students must access their Formal Examination timetable through their Student Centre.

University employees are not permitted to provide Formal Examination timetable information directly to Students and should refer Students to the information published on the University website or to the Student's individual timetable available through their Student Centre.

The University's Mandatory Examination Conditions will also be published on the University's website for Students' information.

4.1.5 Where to sit Formal Examinations

Students enrolled in an On-campus Course normally are required to complete Formal Examinations for that Course at the campus where they are enrolled. Students who are enrolled in On-campus mode, but are undertaking practicum external to the campus, should contact the Examinations Office to confirm examination centre arrangements.

Students enrolled in an External or Online Course will be required to sit Formal Examinations for that Course at the established examination centre. Students who are within 100 kms of an established University examination centre are required to sit at an established University examination centre. Students who live more than 100 kms from an established University examination centre should contact the Examinations Office to make alternative arrangements.

It is the Student's responsibility to ensure that their examination centre is correct. External and Online Students can update their examination centre through their Student Centre. A List of Common Exam Centres is available, but subject to change. Additional examination centres are available and these details can be obtained from the Examinations Office.

External and Online Students must update their examination centre in their Student Centre at least 17 University Business Days prior to the commencement of the Examination Period.

4.1.6 Students with special requirements and disabilities

The University will endeavour to make adjustments to Formal Examinations for Students with special requirements and disabilities. This will include Students with chronic medical conditions in accordance with the Students with a Disability Policy and Procedure, so that these Students are provided with an equitable opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and competency for Assessment purposes.

Such Students must register with Disability Resources, Student Services and provide supporting evidence to substantiate their disability, chronic medical condition or disadvantage. Students are responsible for registering with Disability Resources. Where adjustments to Formal Examinations cannot be accommodated, the University may offer the Student an alternative Assessment Item for completion.

Students with a pre-existing condition should initially register with Disability Resources at the beginning of the Semester, and Students with a temporary disability should register no later than 10 University Business Days before the scheduled Formal Examination period. Alternative arrangements for Formal Examinations will be recommended after considering standard practices that redress the impact of a Student's disability on their performance in Formal Examinations. These can include adjustments such as: extensions of time, use of assistive technology, use of a separate room, use of reader, scribe or computer where necessary, use of ergonomic chair, alternative formatting of exam papers or a Varied Assessment Item.

4.1.7 Academic staff availability during Formal Examination period

The Course Examiner, Moderator, or other member of the Course Team must be available for Student enquiries related to the Course up to the end of the Formal Examination Period.

On the day of the Formal Examination for the Course, the Course Examiner or Moderator must also be available for contact by phone so urgent questions or issues arising with the Formal Examination paper can be attended to. A contact phone number must be made available to Faculty Administration prior to the scheduled Formal Examination date. All urgent questions or issues will be relayed through the Examinations Office in the first instance.

4.1.8 Access to examination rooms during the Formal Examination period

Examination Supervisors and/or Examinations Office staff only shall have access to examination rooms during the Formal Examination period.

4.1.9 Use of electronic devices

No electronic devices can be taken into a Formal Examination room (including electronic dictionaries, mobile phones, iPads and smartwatches).

In Open and some Restricted Examinations hand held battery operated calculators may be permitted. If the permitted calculator is non-programmable these should not hold textual information and cannot display graphs. Programmable calculators have algebraic and/or text data entry modes and have the capacity to store information.

Students must record the model and type of calculator used on the Formal Examination Paper.

All calculators used in Formal Examinations may be subject to random checking by Examination Supervisors.

4.1.10 Watches

Students are not permitted to wear any watch during a Formal Examination. Watches must be removed and placed on the Student's desk or in their bag prior to the Formal Examination commencing.

Smartwatches will be treated as an electronic device in accordance with section 4.1.9 of this procedure.

4.1.11 Student conduct during Formal Examinations

Students sitting Formal Examinations on Ipswich, Springfield or Toowoomba campuses and any other venues in Toowoomba must bring their USQ Student ID Card for identification purposes. Students sitting Formal Examinations at other venues, and who may not have a USQ Student ID Card, must bring appropriate photographic documentary evidence to each of their examinations for the purpose of their identification, for example, a driver's licence or a passport. Failure to bring any form of photographic identification will result in the Student not being allowed to sit the Formal Examination.

Students are required to leave photographic identification on display throughout the Formal Examination. Examination Supervisors may take copies or photographs of the photographic identification.

Students shall comply with all instructions published in this procedure, on an examination paper, answer booklet, answer sheet, any notice displayed in the examination room and with any reasonable instruction given by an Examination Supervisor.

With the exception of the Examination Supervisor, Students are not permitted to communicate in any form with other parties during a Formal Examination, including during any temporary absence from the examination room during the Formal Examination. Any such communication will be deemed to be cheating and treated as Academic Misconduct as defined in the Academic Integrity Policy and may result in the cancellation of the Student's Formal Examination paper.

Students are responsible for ensuring their name and student number is recorded on their Formal Examination paper and all booklets used.

Students are required to provide their own writing instruments and any other permitted items. Students are not permitted to share or borrow Formal Examination materials/equipment under any circumstances.

Students who are feeling unwell on the day of their scheduled Formal Examination should not enter the examination room and attempt the examination and are encouraged to apply for a Deferred Examination. However, Students who are already sitting a Deferred Examination are unable to apply for a further Deferred Examination and should contact their faculty for advice. Once a Student has sighted the Formal Examination paper, they are deemed to have sat the Formal Examination. Students who feel unwell and wish to apply for a Deferred Examination should seek medical assistance and request a medical certificate in accordance with section 4.4 'Deferred, Supplementary and Varied Assessment Items and Special Consideration' of the Assessment Procedure.

Students will not normally be admitted to the examination room after 25% of the time allotted for the Formal Examination has expired.

Students are not normally permitted to leave the examination room before the expiration of half the time allotted for the Formal Examination unless under exceptional circumstances. Any Student who needs to temporarily leave the examination room must obtain permission from, and be accompanied by, an Examination Supervisor.

Students will not be permitted to leave the examination room during the last 15 minutes of the Formal Examination.

Students will not be permitted to continue writing once the Examination Supervisor calls an end to the Formal Examination.

Students are to remain seated until all Formal Examination papers have been collected by the Examination Supervisor.

Students are not permitted to retain the blue Formal Examination paper or the Formal Examination booklets.

A Student who contravenes or fails to comply with these procedures may be subject to a misconduct charge as outlined in the Academic Integrity Policy.

4.1.12 Supervision of Formal Examinations

The Examinations Office is responsible for managing the appointment of independent Examination Supervisors for all Formal Examinations scheduled within the Formal Examination period.

In exceptional circumstances, a Student's Formal Examination may be discontinued if they fail to comply with an Examination Supervisor's instructions.

4.1.13 Interruption to an Examination

An Examination Supervisor may suspend the progress of a Formal Examination if an incident occurs which the Examination Supervisor judges is likely to significantly disrupt the progress of a Student or Students in the Formal Examination.

If the Examination Supervisor or security or emergency services personnel decide that the evacuation of an examination venue is necessary, all people must leave the venue as quickly as possible and proceed to the appropriate evacuation assembly area.

Students are not permitted to communicate in any way with anyone other than the Examination Supervisors during this absence from the examination room.

If the interruption causes a delay in the Formal Examination of less than 20 minutes, and the Examination Supervisor is satisfied that normal examination conditions have not been compromised, the Formal Examination may be recommenced and the time lost during the disruption will be added to the end of the Formal Examination finish time. Examination Supervisors must notify the Examinations Office as soon as possible should this occur.

The Examination Supervisor will cancel the Formal Examination if it cannot be recommenced within 20 minutes of the delay commencing. In such cases the Formal Examination will be declared completed if Students had completed more than two-thirds of the time allocated for the Formal Examination prior to the incident. If two-thirds of the time allocated for the Formal Examination had not been completed, the Executive Dean of the Faculty, in consultation with the Course Examiner, will decide on the process to be followed. The process may involve the rescheduling of another Formal Examination in the same Formal Examination period, the awarding of a Deferred Examination to all Students involved, or the assessing of Students on Assessment Items already completed for the Course. Examination Supervisors must notify the Examinations Office as soon as possible should this occur.

4.1.14 Eating and drinking during a Formal Examination

Eating and drinking during a Formal Examination is not permitted. No food or drink is allowed in the examination room with the exception of water in a clear unlabelled bottle. All other substances may be confiscated by the Examination Supervisor.

4.1.15 Assessment of Formal Examination papers and release of results

Marking and grading of Formal Examination papers will be undertaken in accordance with section 4.3 'Marking, Moderating and Grading' of the Assessment Procedure.

4.1.16 Publication of results following a Formal Examination

The results of Formal Examinations will normally be published within 10 University Business Days from the date of the end of the Formal Examination period.

4.1.17 Release of Marked Examination Scripts

Students who wish to obtain a copy of their marked examination script should submit their request through usq.support@usq.edu.au. Students will be charged a fee for the provision of the script and should refer to http://www.usq.edu.au/current-students/organise-enrolment/fees/types/other-costs for further information.

Copies of Formal Examination scripts of a type claimed to be exempt under the Right to Information Act (2009) will only be provided if the Course Examiner decides not to claim exemption. Information regarding Right to Information Act (2009) is available from the University's website http://www.usq.edu.au/right-to-information or enquiries can be directed to the Manager, Corporate Records.

4.1.18 Destruction of Formal Examination scripts

The University owns Marked Formal Examination scripts. Formal Examination scripts for a Course may be destroyed one Semester after the release of Final Grade for that Course offering, except where a Student has lodged an appeal in relation to that Semester's Course offering. In that circumstance, all Formal Examination scripts for that Semester's Course offering must be retained for one Semester after all such Appeals have been determined.

5 References

Nil.

6 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

7 Procedure Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Communities)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date

14/7/2016

Effective Date

14/7/2016

Review Date

28/3/2017

Relevant Legislation

Right to Information Act (2009)

Related Policies

Academic Integrity Policy

Assessment Policy

Students with a Disability Policy and Procedure

Related Procedures

Assessment of Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances Procedure

Assessment Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Online deferred exam application

Course Specifications

Important Dates

List of Common Exam Centres

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Assessment

The process of evaluating the extent to which Students have achieved the objectives of a Course....moreThe process of evaluating the extent to which Students have achieved the objectives of a Course.

Assessment Item

An individual Assessment task as outlined in the Assessment schedule for a Course. Assessment Items may consist of Assignments or Formal Examinations and may be Formal, Informal, Formative or Summative in nature....moreAn individual Assessment task as outlined in the Assessment schedule for a Course. Assessment Items may consist of Assignments or Formal Examinations and may be Formal, Informal, Formative or Summative in nature.

Closed Examination

An Examination where the candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the Examination....moreAn Examination where the candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the Examination.

Course

The basic unit of study and assessment for which a Student may be awarded a grade, and may accumulate credit units towards completion of a Program....moreThe basic unit of study and assessment for which a Student may be awarded a grade, and may accumulate credit units towards completion of a Program.

Course Specification

A written specification of the objectives, content, assessment methods, and other relevant details of a Course....moreA written specification of the objectives, content, assessment methods, and other relevant details of a Course.

Coursework

A method of teaching and learning that leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge and does not include a major research component....moreA method of teaching and learning that leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge and does not include a major research component.

Coursework Course

A subject of study, defined by a Course Specification, for which Students may be awarded a Final Grade where the method of teaching and learning that leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge and does not include a major research component....moreA subject of study, defined by a Course Specification, for which Students may be awarded a Final Grade where the method of teaching and learning that leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge and does not include a major research component.

Deferred Assessment

An Assessment Item (Assignment or Formal Examination) offered by the Examiner of a Course to Students on the basis that they could not attend a scheduled Formal Examination or submit a scheduled Assignment due to Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances. In the situation where the Examiner requires students to submit an Assignment prior to the last date for submitting Final Grades fo...moreAn Assessment Item (Assignment or Formal Examination) offered by the Examiner of a Course to Students on the basis that they could not attend a scheduled Formal Examination or submit a scheduled Assignment due to Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances. In the situation where the Examiner requires students to submit an Assignment prior to the last date for submitting Final Grades for the Course an extension should be granted rather than a deferral.

Enrolment

The process of admitting Students to one or more Courses for the current Academic Year....moreThe process of admitting Students to one or more Courses for the current Academic Year.

Examination Supervisor

The person appointed by the University to supervise a Formal Examination....moreThe person appointed by the University to supervise a Formal Examination.

Examiner

A University staff member, normally an academic staff member, continuing or fixed term, appointed to be responsible for the conduct and Assessment of a Course in accordance with the prescribed Course Specification....moreA University staff member, normally an academic staff member, continuing or fixed term, appointed to be responsible for the conduct and Assessment of a Course in accordance with the prescribed Course Specification.

External Course

A Course, the delivery of which includes short-term attendance at a University campus or other nominated location for activities such as residential schools, practicums or professional placements. All other Course communication, provision of learning materials and handling of Assessment is normally Online. Students can be expected to attend a Formal Examination at a University approved...moreA Course, the delivery of which includes short-term attendance at a University campus or other nominated location for activities such as residential schools, practicums or professional placements. All other Course communication, provision of learning materials and handling of Assessment is normally Online. Students can be expected to attend a Formal Examination at a University approved examination site.

Final Grade

A Final Grade is a code that normally represents the outcome of the Assessment of a Student's performance against the learning objectives of a Course but may reflect the outcome of an applicable administrative process....moreA Final Grade is a code that normally represents the outcome of the Assessment of a Student's performance against the learning objectives of a Course but may reflect the outcome of an applicable administrative process.

Formal Examination

A Summative Assessment Item in the form of an Examination held during the Formal Examination Period....moreA Summative Assessment Item in the form of an Examination held during the Formal Examination Period.

Formal Examination Period

The period of time set aside at the end of each Semester during which Students must undertake any compulsory Formal Examination as described in the Course Specification for the Course in which they are enrolled....moreThe period of time set aside at the end of each Semester during which Students must undertake any compulsory Formal Examination as described in the Course Specification for the Course in which they are enrolled.

Mark

An indication of mastery or non-mastery of an assessment task that takes the form of a numerical value....moreAn indication of mastery or non-mastery of an assessment task that takes the form of a numerical value.

Moderator

University staff member appointed to ensure that Assessment instruments and their use are appropriate in determining if Students have achieved the stated objectives of a Course. The duties of the Moderator include review and endorsement of the Course Specification, Assessment instruments and grading of Students and, as required, involvement in appeals....moreUniversity staff member appointed to ensure that Assessment instruments and their use are appropriate in determining if Students have achieved the stated objectives of a Course. The duties of the Moderator include review and endorsement of the Course Specification, Assessment instruments and grading of Students and, as required, involvement in appeals.

On-campus Course

A Course, the delivery of which includes regular On-campus activities such as lectures, tutorials, workshops or laboratory/practical sessions. Other Course communication, provision of learning materials and handling of Assessment is normally Online. Students can be expected to attend a Formal Examination at a University approved examination site....moreA Course, the delivery of which includes regular On-campus activities such as lectures, tutorials, workshops or laboratory/practical sessions. Other Course communication, provision of learning materials and handling of Assessment is normally Online. Students can be expected to attend a Formal Examination at a University approved examination site.

Online Course

A Course, for which the delivery, Course communication, provision of learning materials and handling of Assessment are Online. Students can be expected to attend a Formal Examination at a University approved examination site....moreA Course, for which the delivery, Course communication, provision of learning materials and handling of Assessment are Online. Students can be expected to attend a Formal Examination at a University approved examination site.

Open Examination

An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the Examination....moreAn Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the Examination.

Higher Degree by Research (HDR)

A Research Doctorate or Research Masters program for which at least two-thirds of the Student load for the program is required as research work....moreA Research Doctorate or Research Masters program for which at least two-thirds of the Student load for the program is required as research work.

Restricted Examination

An Examination where only those materials specified in the Examination paper are permitted during the Examination....moreAn Examination where only those materials specified in the Examination paper are permitted during the Examination.

Semester

The period of time during which instruction is provided, learning is undertaken and Assessment is carried out. There are three periods during an Academic Year known consecutively as Semester 1, Semester 2 and Semester 3....moreThe period of time during which instruction is provided, learning is undertaken and Assessment is carried out. There are three periods during an Academic Year known consecutively as Semester 1, Semester 2 and Semester 3.

Student

A person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program....moreA person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program.

Supplementary Examination

An Examination offered to Students who have undertaken all the required Assessments in that Course but have not demonstrated satisfactory levels of achievements in all of the objectives considered as essential for passing the Course....moreAn Examination offered to Students who have undertaken all the required Assessments in that Course but have not demonstrated satisfactory levels of achievements in all of the objectives considered as essential for passing the Course.

Thesis

Also known as a Standard Thesis, is the material outcomes of a program of research. It is also referred to as a 'dissertation'....moreAlso known as a Standard Thesis, is the material outcomes of a program of research. It is also referred to as a 'dissertation'.

University Business Days

The days of Monday to Friday inclusive between 9am and 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), with the exclusion of gazetted Public Holidays for the relevant campus location, plus the closure of the University between 25 December and 1 January in the following year inclusive as specified in the USQ Enterprise Agreement, as well as any closure of the University either at one or se...moreThe days of Monday to Friday inclusive between 9am and 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), with the exclusion of gazetted Public Holidays for the relevant campus location, plus the closure of the University between 25 December and 1 January in the following year inclusive as specified in the USQ Enterprise Agreement, as well as any closure of the University either at one or several campuses in accordance with a direction of the Crisis Management Team.

University Mandatory Examination Conditions

Formal Examination conditions with which all Students must comply....moreFormal Examination conditions with which all Students must comply.

Definitions that relate to this procedure only

Smartwatch

A smartwatch is a computerized wristwatch with functionality that is enhanced beyond timekeeping.

Keywords

Record No

13/322PL

Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.

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