Examinations

Undergraduates usually sit a University examination at the end of each year.

These examinations are of two kinds:

  • Tripos examinations, which count towards an Honours degree
  • Preliminary Examinations which do not count towards your degree but which give an indication of your progress.

To complete the examination requirements for an Honours BA degree it is necessary to be classed in at least two Tripos examinations, three in some subjects.

Natural Science and Engineering students following four-year undergraduate courses take four Tripos examinations (one at the end of each year). They will obtain the qualification for the BA degree after the first three years (although will not graduate until the end of their fourth year) and the qualification for the MSci or MEng degree at the end of their final year.

Class list publication dates

Examination timetables

Graduate examinations

Examination procedures

Please remember:

  • students are seated in order of candidate number and not alphabetically
  • mobile phones are prohibited from the examinations
  • students are required to place their University Photo ID card face up on examination desks.

Illness during and leading up to the exam period

This can seriously hinder your preparation for the examinations. You should immediately see your Tutor who can put in an Exam Warning to the University.

Any application to the University needs to be accompanied by medical evidence of the illness and you should, therefore, see your GP if you become seriously ill during the Term. You do not need a certificate from your GP at this point.

Please note that coughs and colds or other minor ailments of limited duration will not qualify you for special consideration and you should not trouble your GP needlessly by seeking a medical certificate without consulting your Tutor first.

An Exam Warning may also be appropriate if you suffer from:

  • colour-blindness
  • dyslexia
  • dysgraphia
  • dyspraxia
  • another specific learning difficulty .

You should see your Tutor as soon as possible if you are affected.

Being prevented by illness from taking an exam

You must be seen by your GP on the actual day you miss the examination, unless you have previously obtained certification from your GP that you are unfit to take the examination.

The College has an arrangement with the Lensfield Medical Practice that an application on your behalf by a Tutor, for an appointment on the same day as that on which an examination has been missed, will always be honoured.

Accordingly, if you experience any difficulty in making an appointment you should contact your Tutor immediately. The Tutorial and Admissions Office will always be able to make contact with your Tutor if you are unable to do so personally.

Being taken ill during an exam

If you are taken ill during an examination and are unable to continue you should immediately notify the invigilator of your examination and ask them to contact the Tutorial and Admissions Office (01223 334811). You must also make arrangements to be seen by your GP on the same day.

Illegible examination scripts

Students are reminded that examiners will penalise illegible handwriting in examination scripts. Any student whose examination script requires transcription on the grounds of illegibility will be asked to dictate their script and will be charged £10 per hour for the typing.

Unsatisfactory performance in examinations

All undergraduates are expected by the College to reach at least Upper 2nd Class Honours standard or its equivalent in all University or College examinations which they take.

The College Education Committee will consider the case of any student who fails to do so. In some cases of unsatisfactory performance the Master and Senior Tutor, acting on the recommendation of a Director of Studies, will see the student at the start of the Michaelmas Term to discuss their commitment to their studies and strategies for improvement and, where appropriate, will expect to see the student during the year to report on progress.

The Governing Body has the right to refuse permission to a student to return into residence either temporarily or permanently if it considers that student’s progress to be unsatisfactory by reason of failure to obtain Honours in a Tripos examination or if they have obtained two consecutive third class results.

In most cases of failing to obtain Honours, such students will not be eligible to proceed with their studies at Cambridge by virtue of University regulations. The College Education Committee considers each case of failure to obtain Honours and makes recommendations to the Governing Body.

Students who are in danger of being refused permission to return into residence have the right to appear before the Education Committee and the Governing Body when their cases are being considered. They also have the right on such occasions to be accompanied by their Tutor or another Fellow of their choice who will represent their case if requested to do so.

Students have the right of appeal to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator against decisions of the Governing Body.

Examination appeals

Students should be aware that a separate procedure exists for appealing to the University in a case where a student feels that they have been disadvantaged or unfairly classified in a University examination.

Further information regarding examination appeals can be found on the Student Registry Undergraduate Examination Information page.