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Exam Reflection

LEVEL 1 or Direct Entry (DE) students - January meeting:

Meeting focused on exam reflection

As this will have been the first diet of exams for this cohort of students, there may well be questions in their minds as to what happens next. Some of the students may not have had any formal exams but instead will have had to submit course work for their final assessment(s).

Receiving and interpreting the results

  • All course results for the December diet of exams will be delivered via the Student Hub. 
  • For each of the courses they took, students will receive a final course grade, which will be expressed as a single grade on the Common Grading Scale (CGS), which will be issued to students through their Student Hub. 
  • They will need to understand that a final grade of D3 or above indicates a pass and they will see noted ‘A’ (for achieved).  A final grade of E1 or below indicates that they have not passed the course and they will see noted ‘NA’ (not achieved).
  • The calculation of a final course grade will take into account all marks achieved in summative (the results count toward the final grade) assessments.  Each assessment will form a percentage of the final grade (see relevant Course Guide or the Undergraduate Online Course Catalogue for the percentage weighting of each assessed element).

What happens if a student does not pass a course?

  • If a student does not pass a course there will be a resit opportunity to try to complete the course. Details of applying for resits can be found here.  Dates for exams and resits can be found on the Week Numbers. The prescribed resit format for each course can be found in the relevant Course Guide or the Undergraduate Catalogue of Courses
  • If a student was unable to sit an exam due to notified illness, or other circumstances, there will not be a final course result.  The opportunity to complete the course (in the prescribed format for that course) will be during the resit period in the summer.

Will there be feedback on exams?

The University policy on providing feedback on exams can be found in the Institutional Framework for the Provision of Feedback on Assessment (page 2):

Feedback on examinations should:

  1. Be provided as soon as possible after the exam diet.
  2. Where appropriate, be offered as generic feedback.
  3. Be available to individual students upon request.


Suggested questions for group reflection on exam preparation:

  • How did you go about preparing for your exams? When did you start? Was this early enough, do you think?
  • Did you sit with your lecture notes and read and re-read them over and over again?  This ‘passive’ learning activity is generally shown to be unproductive.
  • Did you do any active learning, reconstructing the material into a different form when revising? This is generally shown to promote greater understanding and deeper learning.
  • Did you test yourself: use online tests/quizzes, brainstorm with friends, use quizzes in textbooks etc.?  These, too, are active learning activities.
  • Did you access past exam papers (through the Library database) and practise timed answers?  The Library has an online guide for students on accessing past exam papers.

Suggested questions for group reflection on the exams:

  • How was your time management?
  • Do you think you allowed yourself time to read through the instructions and the questions on the paper thoroughly?
  • Did you struggle in the exam to show what you know while still answering the question?
  • Did you move beyond just reciting your notes?
  • Were there parts of the exams that you found easy?  Which bits were difficult? Why was this?
  • How can you improve in the areas you found tricky? (e.g.: Did you find essays more difficult than Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)?)


  • Did you think you show understanding and thought as well as knowledge?
  • Do you think you showed what your ideas were building on?
  • Did you acknowledge the critical work of others?


Some questions to consider on receiving the exam results:

  • Are your results as you expected?
  • Are your results as good as you had hoped for?
  • Do you think your results are a fair reflection of the effort you put in?
  • What techniques did you use?
  • How do you think you could improve?

What can I do to improve?