School of Mathematics, Tel: +44 (0) 1509 22 2861

Setting an examination


Setting an examination

Format of examination papers

Marking an examination

Feedback on examinations

Setting and marking coursework

Issuing coursework information

Submission of coursework

Return of coursework

Feedback on coursework

Resit coursework

Setting and organising tests

Marking by research students




Each module has one Resonsible Examiner, but there may be a number of Examiners. In the case of of an examination paper with all questions set by a single examiner, that person normally will be the responsible examiner for the paper.

The responsible examiner's sole in the preparation of an examination paper

  • Arrange the format of the paper for typing, including the title and module code (which should be exactly as given on the module specification), detailed instructions and sectional layout.
  • Ensure that the paper is moderated and, if necessary, revised in the light of comments from the internal moderator, external examiners, or others.
  • Ensure, where possible, that the internal moderator receives a copy of the paper from the previous academic session together with the average mark achieved on that paper.
  • Check the typing of all questions on the paper.
  • Complete the appropriate forms for the examinations office.
  • Arrange collection of scripts from the examination hall at the end of the exam with the Departmental Administrator ( (After its release the examination timetable is available on the university web site.) Resit scripts will all be collected by the Administrative Assistant.

The examiner's sole in the setting of an examination paper

  • Set the questions for which they are responsible. The questions should be at a level of difficulty that aims to yield an average mark in the range 55%-65% for all modules (the performance of students in previous years should be used to guide this judgement).
  • Make any necessary revisions in the light of comments from the internal moderator, external examiner, or others, and submit the paper in a legible form for typing before the required deadline.
  • All questions should be accompanied by standard solutions (on which the module title and code should be clearly written) together with a detailed marking scheme. The maximum number of marks that can be assigned as part of a marking scheme without further subdivision is 5 marks, except in the case of a descriptive question when it is 10 marks (this assumes that one of the standard examination formats has been adopted).
  • The solutions must be complete so that the requirements of the question are clear to the internal moderator and external examiner. Please remember that the external examiner will be looking at a large number of papers and it is a simple courtesy to make their job as straightforward as possible by giving complete solutions in a legible form.
  • Solutions, or parts of solutions, should be clearly labelled as one of the following:
    • Bookwork (lecture or other material of a general nature that the student can reasonably be expected to have knowledge of).
    • Standard problem (a problem given within lecture material or on a tutorial/problem sheet).
    • Unseen problem of a standard type (a minor modification to a problem given within lecture material or on a tutorial/problem sheet; for example some numerical values may be changed).
    • Unseen problem (a problem significantly different from any given within lecture material or on a tutorial/problem sheet).

  • Check and re-check the typed paper until all errors have been eliminated.

In the event of a disagreement between the examiner and moderator the matter should be referred to the Teaching Coordinator (

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