This page guides the design and delivery of examinations in accordance with the Teaching delivery, coursework, tests and examinations policy for 2021. Exams are scheduled according to the exam timetable.

Examination arrangements for the remainder of 2021

The University’s online examinations platform is Inspera.

Examinations in Semester Two and Quarters 3 and 4 will be conducted as non-invigilated, online, time-limited exam (regardless of COVID-19 alert level) and designated as ‘open-book‘.

Courses that meet the criteria for an invigilated on-campus exam should apply for an exemption through their Associate Dean (Academic):

  • Courses with professional accreditation or registration requirements specifying and invigilated exam.
  • Courses that are a requirement for selection into limited entry programmes.
  • Courses with performance or practical examinations.

These may be conducted as either closed-book or ‘restricted book lite’ (See: Examination design and approval below).

Courses in these categories should also apply for an exception to have relevant mid-semester tests conducted on-site if the University is under COVID alert level 2.



  • If an exemption is approved, students must be advised as soon as possible.
  • An on-campus exam will involve appropriate physical distancing.
  • In the event that the University is under COVID alert level 3 or 4 restrictions, all exams will be online. An online version of the exam should be prepared as contingency.
Students studying remotely or offshore
  • Students studying remotely or off-shore will complete non-invigilated, online, time-limited tests and exams, regardless of COVID-19 alert level.
  • Due to practical considerations, exams for students studying remotely may differ from those completed by on-campus students, but will be of equivalent difficulty and address the same learning outcomes.
  • The revised academic misconduct process, adopted in 2020, will apply. Further guidance will be provided on how to report academic misconduct incidents to the Examinations Office.

See also: guidance for higher-risk students.

Examination design and approval


Exams should test higher-order thinking and the application of concepts, rather than the recall of facts. If you incorporate MCQs into your exam, please review the use and design of multi-choice questionnaires.

Provide clear parameters for students on the use of external information. All online, non-invigilated exams should be designated as open-book. On campus, invigilated exams may be conducted as either closed-book or restricted book lite.

  • Restricted book lite – candidates will be permitted to refer to one sheet of A4 paper, which may contain information on both sides.
  • Open book – examiners should ensure the expected learning outcomes are able to be reflected in the question design. For example, they may expect students’ answers to show that they have identified and engaged with relevant sources.
    Note: Advise students that materials used in their answers must be appropriately referenced (not plagiarised). The extra time for students to reference should also be accounted for when designing the exam. References generally would not count towards the total word count.

The allocated time for an exam will be extended by 30 minutes to allow for the complexity of the online mode, and mitigating possible technical issues.


Technical issues

A student who experiences technical issues, and does not submit their exam on time, should be advised to contact the Examinations Office. The Examinations Office staff will expect the following:

  • Candidates must have followed the exam instructions and specified their technical issues.
  • They must not have further modified their exam answers in any way.

Note: Students who fail to meet these expectations should be advised to apply for compassionate consideration, if they believe they have grounds.
Students must be advised not to appeal to their examiner under any circumstances.


Review and approval

  • Before approving exam scripts, Academic Heads must ensure that the design and format maximises assessment security and deters academic misconduct.

  • For examination papers in MCQ format, this might include the randomisation of the MCQ options. Note: the Exams Office does not permit the randomsiation of the order of questions for summative assessment.

  • Exam scripts must be submitted to the Examinations Office for approval.

Special conditions
  • Students with special requirements should be advised to contact the Examinations Office to discuss options for assistance with online examinations.
  • Where students are required to sit on-campus exams, candidates with temporary or permanent disabilities, or conditions that affect their ability to sit exams under the prescribed onsite conditions, may also apply for special conditions through the Examinations Office.
  • Advice for staff on assistance for students with approved special conditions may be found on the Canvas Resources website.
Aegrotat and compassionate consideration for examinations
  • Administration fees for applications for aegrotat and compassionate consideration are reinstated for 2021.
  • Procedures for applications allow for ‘virtual’ consultation with University Health and Counselling Services, to obtain evidence of impairment where required. COVID-19 alert level permitting, in-person consultations can also be arranged with appropriate physical distancing and Personal Protective Equipment.
  • For Semester One, and Quarters One and Two examination aegrotats, the usual requirement is reinstated that: in order to make a recommendation for an aegrotat or compassionate grade, a student’s coursework must be ‘well above minimum pass standard’.

Students support and assistance for examinations

Please note, as per the usual requirements for exams, you must not directly contact your instructor about your assessment.

Student Support

  • If you need help during your online exam, please call the Contact Centre for advice.
    • The Contact Centre will be open 8:00am – 10:00pm Monday to Friday and 12pm – 10:00pm Saturday, throughout the Exam period.
    • Phone: (Auckland) 09 373 7513, (New Zealand) 0800 61 62 63, or (International) +64 9 373 7513.
  • If you are unable to call, please email studentinfo@auckland.ac.nz and provide exam details, contact details and a description of the issue.

Please note that emailed responses may not be able to be provided before your exam submission deadline so please call in the first instance.

Inspera Exams

An Inspera announcement will be made if there are any corrections or clarifications regarding your exam.

  • Online exams have an additional 30 minutes added to the exam duration to allow you time to submit all components of your exam including uploading any documents where required.
  • It is recommended that you start uploading any documents at least 10 minutes before the deadline. It takes several minutes for your submission to upload. After you have uploaded a document, you should check that the correct document has been uploaded.
  • You cannot submit a document in Inspera after the exam due time if the upload process has not started before the deadline. It is your responsibility to ensure your assessment is successfully submitted on time. You must contact the Student Contact Centre if you run into technical difficulties submitting your exam.

Before your exam, it is highly recommended you take a demo assessment ahead of your exams to ensure your device is compatible and you are familiarised with the platform. It’s quick and easy and is the best place to start when preparing for online exams this semester.

Please read the Inspera exam FAQ’s.

Canvas Exams

If you face a technical issue with Canvas, live chat is available 24/7 with Canvas Support, via the Help button within your Canvas left-hand sidebar.

If you are in New Zealand, you can also call the Canvas Support Hotline on 0800 005 205.

If any correction to the online exam is made, you will be notified via a Canvas Announcement. Please ensure your notifications are turned on during this period.

  • Online exams have an additional 30 minutes added to the exam duration to allow you time to submit your exam document.
  • It is recommended that you start submitting your work at least 10 minutes before the deadline. It takes several minutes for your submission to upload. After submission you should check that the correct document has been uploaded.
  • Once the submission deadline has passed, normal Canvas submission is not possible. It is your responsibility to ensure your assessment is successfully submitted on time.
  • If you are unable to submit before the deadline, you need to upload your exam submission document as a comment. You will also need to contact exams@auckland.ac.nz and provide an explanation and evidence as to why your submission was late (i.e., technical difficulties).
  • Late submissions added as a comment may receive a penalty. Submission documents that have been modified in any way after the deadline (document metadata) cannot be accepted for marking.

General examination advice and support for students

Loan laptops

Taking an online exam requires a desktop or laptop computer. If you need to borrow a device for your online exam, fill out the Student Technology Support form and the University will help get you set up.

If you need help in filling out the Student technology Support form, visit your faculty Student Centre.

Bookable spaces

If you prefer a desktop computer, don’t have access to Wi-Fi, or just want to guarantee you’ll quiet place to sit your exam, we have organised bookable spaces across the University’s campuses for you. Different types of spaces are available, depending on your needs.

Remember though, an on-campus bookable space is just one option, and through Inspera you can take your exam wherever it’s best for you. Spaces throughout campus, including the libraries and commons, will be available as usual on a first come, first served basis.

Academic integrity and misconduct process

All students must be advised about the importance of academic integrity, the University’s approach to academic misconduct, its determination to use all possible means to identify students who dishonestly use external or online resources during tests and exams, and the penalties that may ensue.

  • The revised academic misconduct policy, adopted in 2020, applies in online examinations in 2021.
  • The normal policy and processes for academic misconduct, as per the Student Academic Misconduct Statute, apply to exams conducted on-campus.

Send us some feedback

Please let us know how we can improve this content. For all other enquiries, visit the Staff Service Centre
* Required field

Remote Learning site

This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.