Q. When are the resit exams? A. Please see the latest exam timetable information
Q. How do I get my exam timetable? A. When the exam timetable is published, each student due to sit exams is sent an email to their student email account. The email contains a link to the RISIS portal where you can view your personal exam timetable.
Q. What is on my exam timetable? A. The exam timetable shows your candidate number and details of the exams you are expected to sit. For in-person exam you are sitting, it shows the date, start time, duration, module/paper code and venue. For online exams, your timetable will show similar information but the location will show as ‘online exam’ and the duration will show as 8 hours. If your exam is due to be released for a shorted fixed window, your School will be in touch to let you know the exact details and format of your online exam. the window of time the exam is accessible. Your School may also have special instructions (e.g. set start times, assessment types or choices), relating to your online exam so please keep an eye out for these emails or Blackboard announcements.
Q. Where are the exam venues? A. A link to campus maps will be provided for all in-person exams with your timetable.
Q. An exam is missing from my timetable. A. Contact the Exams Office (telephone 0118 378 5522 or email email@example.com). This is probably due to an error in module registration. The Exams Office can give details of the time/date/location of the missing exam and provide an updated exam timetable.
Q. I have an exam clash. A. Contact the Exams Office (telephone 0118 378 5522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org). This is probably due to an error in module registration. The Exams team can resolve the clash and provide an updated exam timetable.
Q. My classmate is sitting the same exam, but her exam timetable shows it in a different exam venue. A. It is very important that you go to the exam venue shown on your personal exam timetable. Some large exams are split between more than one venue. Some students may have exams scheduled in a separate venue (e.g. student allowed rest breaks for medical reasons).
Q. What is the candidate number on my exam timetable? A. This is a 5-digit number that you write on each exam answer booklet that you use. The number is unique to you for the current academic session and means that your exams can be marked anonymously. Each year you will have a different candidate number.
Q. Where can I find past papers? A. Going over past papers is an excellent part of revision which helps you to establish how well you have covered various topics and identify any areas you need to cover in more depth. They also help you to practice managing time and planning how much time you will have for each section allowing you to break up the time in advance. You can access past papers in the exam paper archive.
Q. Why is there no past paper for the module/year I want? A. A past paper will not be available for your module if there was no centrally organised exam, if your exam was a multiple choice paper or if the department has requested that the paper is not published. Alternatively it may be that the module was not running in the year that you have selected.
Results, resits and diploma supplements
Q. If my resit mark is lower than my first attempt, which mark is used?
A. If your resit mark is lower than your first attempt mark then it is the first attempt mark that will be used. Q. Will my resit mark be capped? A. Your resit mark will be capped at the pass mark only when calculating your award classification. The mark you achieved for your resit will be shown on your transcript uncapped.
Q. When will I receive my diploma supplement? A. If you are graduating in person, the diploma supplement will be available to collect with your degree certificate at your graduation ceremony. If you are graduating in absence, this will be posted to your home address after the graduation ceremony has taken place.
Q. How can I get a duplicate diploma supplement? A. If you require a duplicate copy of your diploma supplement, there is a fee of £20 per copy Please go to our online store to order extra copies or replacements. If you are a Henley Greenlands student, please email email@example.com to order extra copies or replacement diploma supplements.
Q. I was given a lesser award – when will I receive this? A. Undergraduates who are eligible for a lesser award will normally receive their certificates in January and will be posted out by the Graduation Office. Postgraduates will normally receive their lesser awards in the December graduation ceremony alongside the other graduates.
Q. Am I eligible for a lesser award? A. if you are an undergraduate and unable to complete your qualification you may be eligible for a lesser award. These are a Certificate of Higher Education which you may be eligible to receive if you have passed your Part 1 and a Diploma of Higher Education which you may be able to receive if you have passed Part 2. For more information please check your Programme Specifications or with your department.
If you are a Postgraduate student and you have not achieved the grade to pass your qualification you may be eligible for a Postgraduate Certificate if you have completed 60 credits or Postgraduate Diploma if you have completed 120 credits. For further information please check your Programme Specifications or with your department.
Sitting the exam
Q. How do I know what to do in the exam? A. The email which you receive to say that your exam timetable is available also includes a link to the “What You Need To Know” document, which gives general instructions on what to do in the exam. It is also worth checking with module convenors for information on specific modules or instructions (e.g. set start times, assessment types or choices), relating to your online exam so please keep an eye out for these emails or Blackboard announcements.
Q. When should I arrive for my in-person exam? A. Morning exams start at 09.00. Afternoon exams start at 14:00. You should allow time to arrive before the start of the exam. You will normally be allowed into the exam venue about 10 minutes before the exam starts.
Q. What should I do with my mobile phone? A. You must not have a mobile phone or any other device that permits communication with others or can store information (e.g. smartwatch, earpiece, pager) on your person in the exam. Having a phone on your person in the exam is considered cheating and will have serious consequences. If possible, do not bring your phone to the exam venue. If you do bring the phone, you must leave it at the front of the exam room, switched off.
Q. Should I write my exams with pencil or pen? A. Write your exams in pen, unless specifically told otherwise (for example ICMA EDPACs are filled in by pencil).
Q. What type of calculator can I bring to the exam? A. There are two recommended models of calculator for use in exams; you can find them and more details here.
Q. What sort of ID should I bring to my in-person exam? A. Bring your Campus Card and display it on your desk during the exam. If you have forgotten or lost your card, bring some other form of photo ID (e.g. driving licence).
Q. I can’t remember where my exam is. A. If possible, check your personal exam timetable through the RISIS portal. If you are still not sure about your exam timetable, check with your Support Centre.
Q. I can’t sit the exam because of illness or another external factor. A. If you are unable to sit the exam, please let us know via the Exceptional Circumstances process, explained here.
Q. I’m going to be late for my in-person exam. A. Get to the exam venue as quickly as possible. If possible, contact the Exams Office (telephone 0118 378 5522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) to let them know. If you arrive up to 30 minutes after the start of the exam you will normally be allowed into the exam venue to sit your paper. You will not normally be allowed extra time to make up for the lateness. If you arrive more than 30 minutes after the start of the exam the Chief Invigilator for the exam venue will decide whether you are allowed to sit your paper.
Q. I got the date/time of the exam wrong and I’ve missed it. A. Contact your Support Coordinator immediately to let them know you have missed the exam. They will be able to advise on what options you now have available.
Q. I accidentally took my exam script away from the exam venue. A. Contact the Exams Office immediately (telephone 0118 378 5522 or email email@example.com) to let them know and to get advice on what to do next.
Q. I think I answered the wrong questions or the wrong number of questions. A. Contact the department that owns the module to let them know. They can advise you whether this can be taken into account in the marking of the exam.
Q. Lost property A. Items of lost property left in exam venues will be returned to the reception desk in the Palmer Building, but may take a few days to get there. Student cards left in exam venues will be returned to Student Services Reception in the Carrington Building, but may take a few days to get there. If you realise on the day of the exam that you left something in the exam venue, it is best to ask direct at the venue.
Q. I have injured myself and I am not sure I will be able to hand-write my exams, is there anything you can do to help me? A. Please talk to the Disability Advisory Service as soon as possible. They will then liaise with the Examinations Office about what is feasible.
Q. Can I arrange to sit my exam abroad? A. You are expected to be available in Reading to sit your exams for summer and resit periods. In highly exceptional cases you may be permitted to sit your exam overseas. This requires submitting a case to your Director for Teaching and Learning. The administration fee for sitting exams overseas in exceptional circumstances is £220 plus local invigilation costs (e.g. via the British Council) and the normal University of Reading reassessment fee.
Q. Am I eligible for special arrangements in my exams?
A. A range of special arrangements may be possible, depending on a student’s situation (e.g. extra time, rest breaks, use of a computer, use of a scribe). If you believe that you may be entitled to special arrangements for medical or other reasons, please contact the Disability Advisory Service straight away (telephone 0118 378 4202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Q. If I am entitled to extra time will this show on my timetable? A. No, the timetable shows standard duration of exams. However, we will contact you approximately one month before the summer exams to confirm your special arrangements to you. For any online exams, your extra time is included within the 8 hours or will be added to your time restricted exam.
Q. I had special arrangements for my exams in the summer. Will I still get them for the August re-sits?
A. Yes, unless your arrangements have specifically been confirmed as temporary they will be permanent for the length of your course.
Q. I am entitled to extra time for my exams so am I entitled to extra time for coursework too? A. You would not be entitled to extra time for coursework as standard. If you think you may require an extension for a piece of coursework please seek advice from your Disability Advisor about this process.
Q. I am entitled to green stickers for marking but I haven’t received any this year? A. These are sent when the Examinations Office originally confirm your special arrangements and are valid for the duration of your course, but we can re-send them at any time if your request it.
Q. I have injured myself and I am not sure I will be able to hand write my exams, is there anything you can do to help me? A. Please talk to the Disability Advisory Service as soon as possible and they will then liaise with the Examinations Office about what is feasible.
Q. If I need a PEEP (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan) for my exam venues who should I contact? A. Please talk to the Disability Advisory Service who will direct you to your School Disability Representative who can put this in place for you.
Q. I am not sure my Special Arrangements are meeting my needs, is there anything I can do? A. Please contact your Disability Advisor with the Disability Advisory Service, they will be able to advise you whether there is additional or alternative arrangements which can be made for you.
Q. I have been suspended, exam only, for this academic year. Can I use the student visa I used to study last year to sit my exams? A. No. As you have been suspended for the year, the University was required to report this to the Home Office and your visa will have been cancelled. Therefore, you will need to apply for a new visa or immigration permission before attending your exams in the UK. For more information on applying for a new visa, please visit the International Student Advisory webpage for further information.
Q. The visa I currently hold expires before my exams, what should I do? Can I just stay anyway, then leave after my exams have finished?
A. No. You are only permitted to sit exams at the University of Reading whilst you have valid immigration permission to study in the UK. As soon as your visa expires, you are no longer permitted to study or engage in study related activities, which includes exams. If your visa does not cover all your exams, please contact the University of Reading International Student Advisory Team for advice before your exams start, ideally 2-3 months before. To contact the International Student Advisory Team please email email@example.com
Q. What visa do I need to come back to the UK to do my exams? A. UK Immigration Rules can change frequently. Therefore, to ensure you have the most up to date advice, you should contact the University of Reading International Student Advisory Team three months before you intend to return to the UK. They can then give you the immigration advice required and provide you with a supporting document if required. To contact the International Student Advisory Team please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. What if I sit an exam in the UK when my visa has expired? A. You may be refused entry to sit your exam if your visa has expired and you have no valid immigration permission to be here. If you sit your exam and are found to have not had a valid visa or immigration permission at the time of your exam, your results may be disqualified.
Q. Does my visa cover my resit exams?
A. If you are unsure if your visa covers your exams period please contact the University of Reading International Student Advisory Team who can help you check this. To contact the team, please email email@example.com
What causes awarding gaps?
HEFCE’s major report on causes of differential outcomes (Mountford-Zimdars et al, 2015) describes four broad categories of causal explanation:
Teaching, learning and assessments
Relationships between students and HEIs/staff/employers
Institutional Culture - the extent to which staff and students acknowledge, understand, and discuss the challenges facing Black, Asian and minority ethnic students.
Representation - Low levels of ethnic diversity among staff can affect students’ belonging and overburden individuals.
Inclusive curriculumdesign and delivery - teaching and learning practices can impact how students from different ethnicities respond to their course, lecturers and tutors.
Belonging - Black, Asian and minority ethnic survey respondents repeatedly cited feeling out of place, HEFCE (2012) research found this is crucial to retention and success.
Prior Attainment - Differential attainment begins prior to university and tends to widen as students progress.
Information, advice and guidance - the ‘Race for Equality’ report (NUS, 2011) highlighted that researching where to study could be more of a challenge for Black, Asian and minority ethnic students and the guidance received was more likely to be described as ‘poor’.
Financial Considerations - the financial pressure of going to university is more salient to those from under-represented and lower socio-economic groups.
Preparedness for HE - Singh (2011) groups factors such as previous educational experiences and parental support under the theme of ‘preparedness for success’.
Awarding gaps are complex and students may face multiple disadvantages. For instance, students from low socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to be first-generation entrants to higher education (Stevenson et al, 2019) and Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic students are more likely to describe their prior advice and guidance as ‘poor’ (NUS, 2011). This led to an initial tendency to locate the problem within the student rather than the institution (the ‘student deficit model’), but this has been roundly refuted in the literature (Amos and Doku, 2019).
Research from the Institute of Education at the University of Reading calls for diversifying how subjects are taught and assessed, proactively challenging structural barriers, improving belonging through greater representation, developing a shared commitment to eradicating all forms of racism and providing economic support for minority ethnic students (Wong, ElMorally & Copsey-Blake, 2021).
Nuanced quantitative analysis and qualitative research are required to make visible the potential causes of differential attainment. Local understanding is especially important as awarding gap sizes vary between subjects.
#ClosingTheGap (NUS, 2019) recommends strong leadership, collecting and analysing the data, changing the institution’s culture through conversations about race and developing racially diverse and inclusive environments as key tactics for closing awarding gaps.
Principles for reporting on awarding gaps
•Attainment data is made available to select colleagues through the Access and Participation data dashboard. School awarding gap representatives can access and disseminate this data.
•The Office for Students requires higher education institutions in England to set outcomes targets for UK-domiciled undergraduate students as part of their Access and Participation plans. Therefore, external reporting excludes international students. However, when we are measuring, researching, reporting, and intervening internally, it is important to consider all student groups, including non-UK domiciled students.
•When considering awarding gaps for international students, the data will only include age on entry, disability, ethnicity, and sex. We do not have socio economic disadvantage indicators for international students.
•International students should be included in all work designed to reduce awarding gaps, particularly in relation to race. For example, a significant number of international students were recruited for the Inclusion Consultant scheme. Schools should consider their local context when designing work to reduce awarding gaps and consult with both home and international students when considering local solutions.
What are we doing about the awarding gap?
Eliminating degree awarding gaps at the University of Reading is a strategic priority and will require collective action from all staff.
A variety of initiatives and a whole institution approach are required, over a long term. Read about these targets and our other commitments to underrepresented groups in our Access and Participation Plan.
Our early focus is on supporting academic colleagues to assess the awarding gap and consider local actions for inclusion in STEAP plans. An Awarding Gap steering group has been assembled with senior representatives from each school. These representatives as well as Head of School, Head of Departments, School Directors of Teaching and learning and School Directors of Academic Tutoring have access to a statistical dashboard from which they can draw attainment data pertaining to specific schools and departments. This group will enable colleagues to share good practice, resources and evidence surrounding awarding gaps and the progress mad.
‘Belonging’ is a key determinant of performance and the university is working to provide a more inclusive student experience. For instance, “Chill and Chat” is a series of low-to-no alcohol events aimed at under-represented students.
Co-creating solutions by harnessing the student voice is essential. We are currently advertising for a paid Inclusion Consultant. Applications via CampusJobs.
What can staff do about the awarding gap?
Awarding gaps differ at the school, department and modular level and are influenced by students’ day to day experience. We invite all staff to join our collective approach to eliminating awarding gaps by 2024/25.
Ask your Head Of School/School Director of Teaching and Learning or awarding gap representative about the local state of play
Ask your school management what opportunities there are for involvement in initiatives
Head to the Library foyer to view the physical exhibition of Racial justice In Teaching and Learning, launching24 January, 2022.
View the university’s collection of racial equality resources.
Please email the Director of Student Success and Engagement, Anne-Marie Henderson firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
References and Further Reading
Amos V, Doku A (2019) Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Student Attainment at UK Universities: #closingthegap, Universities UK and National Union of Students. (Last accessed: Oct 21) download
Wong B, ElMorally R & Copsey-Blake M (2021) ‘Fair and square’: what do students think about the ethnicity degree awarding gap?, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 45:8, 1147-1161, DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2021.1932773 download
Mountford-Zimdars A, Sabri D, Moore J, Sanders J, Jones S & Higham L (2015), Causes of Differences in Student Outcomes (HEFCE). HEFCE, London. Available at: (Last accessed: Oct 21) download
Stevenson J, O’Mahony J, Khan O, Ghaffar F and Stiell, B (2019) Understanding and overcoming the challenges of targeting students from under-represented and disadvantaged ethnic backgrounds. London: Office for Students. Available at: (Last accessed: Oct 21) download
National Union of Students (2011) Race for Equality: A Report of the Experiences of Black Students in Further and Higher Education. London: National Union of Students. Available at: (Last accessed: Oct 21) download