Problems affecting examinations?Student scratching head

Sometimes students’ exam results aren’t as expected. If your son or daughter has experienced problems in relation to exams or results, read this section.

Some questions you might have about examinations....

My son or daughter had a problem just before, or during, the exams period and I think they could have got a better grade if this hadn’t happened...

If medical, personal or other issues might have affected your son or daughter’s exam performance (or coursework if that contributes to their grades), it is essential that they inform their academic department as soon as possible; ideally this should be done before exams take place.  A Special Circumstances form should be submitted so that the examination markers know about the problem. These forms are available online or from the Student Services Information Desk.

TIP: A Special Circumstances Form helps the department make decisions on your son or daughter's module results - so it is important they have this information before the Departmental Examination Board meets.

HelpWhy would my son or daughter want to submit a special circumstances form for an exam?

Departments hold special confidential exam board meetings to discuss issues that have affected students during their studies and exams. At these meetings staff can decide that a fail grade isn’t appropriate in the light of difficulties they have experienced, and the department can replace it with a Not Assessed grade which means they are given another chance to take the exam(s) as if for the first time, when they are not troubled by their problems. This means that no fail grade appears on their record, (which would show up on any transcript they might later request) and when they take the exam again their results are not “capped” at a bare pass grade of 40.

What does “capping” a result mean?

If your son or daughter fails a module and has to retake it, the maximum grade they can be awarded for the retaken exam is 40, known as a “bare pass” or a capped result. So even if your son or daughter achieved a grade of 80 in their retake, because their original grade was recorded as Fail, the grade reflected on their university record for the retaken exam would be 40. At Level 2 or above this grade of 40 will contribute to the overall final classification of their degree.