Help with exam and assessment issues

You should first read and follow any guidance your School has provided on your exams and assessments, and how to get help with any issues (such as technical problems). It is very important to pay attention to this specific guidance as it varies between Schools and Programmes. Further information about where to find this is available below.

This page is designed to supplement any guidance provided by your School. Click the contents links below to skip to the relevant section.

Technical support

  • When are my exam deadlines?
  • Can I save my work periodically as a backup in case I have technical issues?
  • What if there is a technical issue with a University system during my exam window?
  • What if I experience a technical issue with my connection or device during my exam window?
  • What if there is a technical issue when I’m trying to submit my exam or assessment?
  • What if I have an issue during a multiple choice question exam?
  • Who do I contact about technical issues with exams or assessments?
  • What if I have a technical issue with my assessments outside of business hours? 

Mitigating Circumstances

  • Should I submit a request for Mitigating Circumstances to cover the impact of coronavirus?
  • If technical issues or other personal circumstances affect my exams or assessments, can I submit a Mitigating Circumstances application?

How assessments and exams are marked

Technical support 

When are my exam deadlines?

Final submission deadlines will always be stated in British local time (Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or British Summer Time (BST) depending on the time of year). If you live in a different time zone, it is your responsibility to convert your local time to British time. Time zone errors will not be accepted as mitigating circumstances for late submission.

Can I save my work periodically as a backup in case I have technical issues?

Most exams provide a window of availability, which we hope will help you work around any temporary individual issues.

If your exam script is to be submitted via Turnitin: For backup in case you do have technical issues, consider submitting part of your completed work to Turnitin prior to the deadline, so there is some record of achievement. This is not a requirement but is good practice and provides evidence of work completed.

If your exam consists of a Blackboard test: Start the test once you are confident that any temporary technical issues (such as connectivity) are resolved. Once you click 'Begin the test' you will have a fixed amount of time. You will be able to exit and return to your test, but be aware of the maximum time you have been given to complete the test.

What if there is a technical issue with a University system during my exam window?

If you have a technical issue, first check the IT Services Service Availability information or the Turnitin Service Status page (if the issue concerns Turnitin). If the service status shows a technical failure with a University system, this means the issue is known and being addressed by the University. In this case Schools will adjust submission deadlines (if necessary) and notify all relevant students of this change.

What if I experience a technical issue with my connection or device during my exam window?

If you have a technical issue, first check the IT Services Service Availability information or the Turnitin Service Status page (if the issue concerns Turnitin). If the service status does not show a failure with a University system, this means this issue is likely individual to you.

If you experience a network failure, close the browser and try again using a different browser or computer where possible, or try again later. If the issue is with your Wi-Fi, try moving to an area with a stronger signal or using a wired connection if possible, and limiting the number of applications open and running on your device. Get further guidance on fixing internet connectivity issues.

If the issues persist, see the information below about who to contact (this will vary according to your School).

What if there is a technical issue when I’m trying to submit my exam or assessment?

  1. Take a screenshot or photo of any error message. You will need this if you decide to submit a Mitigating Circumstances claim.
  2. Complete your submission as soon as possible once the fault is resolved.

Any student experiencing issues with Blackboard or Turnitin that prevent them from completing their exam submission can contact the eLearning team via the Support Portal.

What if I have an issue during a multiple choice question or a timed Blackboard exam?

You can find guidance and support for multiple choice question and timed exams delivered via Blackboard tests here

Who do I contact about technical issues with exams or assessments?

You should read and follow any guidance your School has provided on your exams and assessments, including who to contact if you experience issues (such as technical problems). This will be available from your School student intranet, or on Blackboard. It is very important to pay attention to this specific guidance as it varies between Schools and Programmes.

Students can also access support from their relevant Faculty / School:

  • Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health: Check the Examination section on your course unit homepage in Blackboard for details of how to obtain support (during business hours).
  • Faculty of Humanities: For urgent support during the January assessment period, the eLearning team will provide technical support to students Monday-Friday 9-5pm (GMT) via instant messaging (Live Chat). Access this service via your School student intranet: AMBS undergraduate intranet, AMBS PGT intranetSALC student intranetSEED student intranetSoSS student intranet
  • Faculty of Science and Engineering: Follow the advice and contacts provided by your School.

Any student experiencing issues with Blackboard or Turnitin that prevent them from completing their exam submission can contact the eLearning team via the Support Portal.

What if I have a technical issue with my assessments outside of business hours?

We recognise that students are likely to also be working on exams and assessments outside of business hours. Unfortunately we are not able to provide the same level of support as during business hours. However if you experience pressing technical issues during this time, telephone support is available from IT 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call them on: 0161 306 5544.

Mitigating circumstances

Should I submit a mitigating circumstances claim to cover the impact of coronavirus?

We are making a new five-point Assessment Pledge to all our taught students for the remainder of the 2020/21 academic year. We want to ensure that you are supported to succeed despite the extraordinary events of this year, which we understand has been especially challenging.

This pledge includes moderation of marks in line with previous years, regulation changes and waiving of re-sit fees - as well as measures to support students who are further affected by illness or other personal circumstances. See the next question for details. 

If technical issues or other personal circumstances affect my exams or assessments, can I submit a mitigating circumstances application?

Yes. Our new assessment pledge includes offering up to seven-day automatic extensions on two pieces of individual coursework or assignments, and removing the requirement to provide medical evidence for mitigating circumstances applications. Find out more on our mitigating circumstances pages.