End of year exams and assessments
For further information on how NTU has approached end of year assignments and assessments for summer 2020 please read the following VC statements:
Common questions you may have
What is the 'No detriment' policy?
There are five measures in place to make sure you are not at a disadvantage during your assessments:
- Adapted assessments: that can be taken online this year.
- Moderation: Examination Boards will be moderating (scaling) the distribution of marks achieved by this year’s students to ensure it is broadly in line with the distribution of marks achieved by earlier cohorts.
- Safety-net Score: If you submit, and pass, your summer assessments we will ensure that you will not receive a classification lower than the one you would have achieved based solely on the work you completed up to the end of March. We will do this by calculating a ‘safety-net’ score, which will be considered if you have taken and passed all your summer assessments.
- Extensions: Prior to an assessment, if you consider that you have been, or are, suffering particular disadvantage, you can make a case via Notification of Extenuating Circumstances.
- Exceptional Retakes: After examination results are published, individual students who consider that their situation has adversely affected their grades may make a Request for Reconsideration, and in really serious cases they may also make an application to retake their assessment(s).
It is important for our students’ futures that the degree standards of NTU are trusted, and so we have endeavoured to make sure that the safety-net scores are understood to be a reasonable and reliable predictor of your future outcome. In order to calculate this for students, it has been essential that we include information from previous years for courses that have lasted longer than a year. The calculations have been tested based on previous years’ information and we have found them to be robust.
What is the safety-net score?
The policy in summary is as follows:
- Students need to have taken and passed their assessments in order to qualify for the calculation of a safety-net score.
- Student safety-net scores will be calculated based on grades for completed credit up to the end of March 2020.
- A minimum level of completed credit is specified to calculate a safety-net score.
- There will be a safety-net score for those completing an award this year, provided that their completed credit meets the minimum requirement and that they have passed their assessments.
- There will also be a safety-net score for progressing students where the year average counts towards their final award, provided that their completed credit meets the minimum requirement and assessments have been passed.
Unfortunately, this means that there are some cases where there is simply not enough information on which to base a safety-net score. In this case, other measures will be used.
What if I am unwell and cannot take an exam or assessment?
If you are unwell and displaying coronavirus symptoms please follow Public Health Advice. If you cannot complete an assessment or exam because you are unwell you should make a Notification of Extenuating Circumstances, please follow our usual process which can be accessed via the NEC page on the NTU current students' site.
Can I still apply for Extenuating Circumstances or a Request for Reconsideration?
If you consider that your academic performance has been affected, then please use the usual Notification of Extenuating Circumstances (NEC) process, which can be accessed via the NEC page on the NTU current students’ site. The NEC process enables your school to grant an extension, therefore you must make a notification before you have submitted an assessment. The School will your consider your application without evidence if you cannot obtain it, and will take into account a wider range of circumstances because of COVID-19.
If you have already submitted your assessment(s), and you consider that your performance has been significantly adversely affected by Covid-19 – in particular by changing the environment in which you study – you can submit a Request for Reconsideration (R4R).
These policies operate in addition to the extra safety net we have devised to ensure there is no detriment to our current students in the assessments they are taking in this exceptional situation.
Why are assessments going ahead?
We have decided to continue with assessments at all levels, including first year, to ensure you are fully prepared for your next level of study and the next chapter in your life. We want all our students to have the best possible chance of future success.
We also have a duty to you to ensure that we continue to uphold the standards and value of your degree, even during this challenging time, and to recognise the work you have undertaken to date.
First year assessment doesn't count to my bachelors degree, so why is it important that I take them?
Whilst first year grades may not count towards your degree classification, first year content forms an important part of your full programme of study underpinning content in later years of study.
Assessment has two purposes: to help you and your tutor determine the extent to which you have achieved course learning outcomes, and, importantly, to help you learn and develop. It is as important for you to know where you are in your learning, as it is for you to have the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes.
Without an assessment of their first year, some students would enter the second year inadequately prepared for that level of study.
Additionally, some of the Professional Bodies that accredit our awards require that your first year is graded.
Why can’t you allocate me a grade on my work to date, like they are doing with A’Levels?
Every course is designed to ensure that you have multiple opportunities to achieve the learning outcomes. However, the work you have undertaken to date may not have enabled you to meet some of the learning outcomes. Continuing with assessments means that you will be given every opportunity to demonstrate these. Where we need to adapt assessments, careful consideration has been given to ensure that these alternatives fairly assess the course learning outcomes.
We have also put in place a no detriment policy to make sure that you will not be disadvantaged by the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in.
How are students without internet being assessed?
We are looking at options for students without internet. If you do not have access to the internet, please flag this with your personal tutor now. You can access our dedicated helpline via the NTU switchboard +44 (0)115 941 8418, Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm.
The internet bandwith at my home isn’t good, that might hinder me doing online assessments – will that be taken into account?
It is important to discuss this with your personal tutor before the assessment is due. Course teams are converting what would have been timed examinations to alternatives such as coursework and open book exams over longer periods, to allow for potential technical issues. When you are submitting an assessment, it is a good idea ask other people in your household to stop other online activities like streaming or gaming.
If you have difficulties accessing learning materials in NOW, please email Library Services. We are still working hard to support you.
Will my degree be worth the same, now that learning and assessments are online?
Yes. Please be assured that your degree has equivalent value to any other and continues to meet UK standards. Careful consideration is being given to ensure that online learning and assessment is not of a lower standard than on-campus equivalents. We have made sure that you are still able to meet the learning outcomes of your course. Your course continues to delivered by the same people and the majority of assessments remain the same, just delivered through a different method.
Mechanisms for ensuring the standards and quality of degrees awarded, such as external examining, will continue.
It is important that you continue to engage with online learning and assessment to ensure you are not disadvantaged in any way.
When will we get our results?
We aim to provide you with assessment feedback within normal timeframes. There may be some delays due to the extraordinary circumstances and the work we need to do to implement the no detriment measures. Where this is the case you will be notified as soon as possible.
We still intend to publish final results in July. If this changes, we will advise you immediately
Will we get extra time in assessments?
In advance of examinations, some students will have had an agreed access statement designed to help them demonstrate their learning adapted to the particular conditions of formal written examinations. If you have an online examination, a similar adjustment will be made. Alternatives to formal examinations such as 24 hour papers need fewer adjustments as students can use computers rather than write, and take rest breaks etc.
Will we have a right to appeal?
Yes. Our normal Appeals policy still applies. If you believe you have grounds for appeal, please refer to our Academic Appeals page.
For assessments completed after March, you will be able to ask to take them again if you can show that you were affected by COVID-19. Details of this extra process are to follow.