This page guides the development, design and delivery of examinations in accordance with the Teaching delivery, Coursework, Tests and Examinations policy for Semester One, 2021. Exams are scheduled according to the exam timetable.

Examination arrangements – Semester One and Quarters One and Two, 2021

The University’s online examinations platform is Inspera.

Examinations in Semester One, Quarter One and Quarter Two will be conducted as non-invigilated, online, time-limited exam, regardless of COVID-19 alert level.

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.

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.

To provide clear parameters for students on the use of external information, exams should be designated as either ‘open-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 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

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

Assistance during exams

For online exams, support and contact arrangements are as follows:

The Contact Centre will be open 8am–9.45pm Monday to Friday and 8am–5.45pm Saturday, throughout the exam period.

If you wish to raise concerns during the online exam, please call 373 7513 (within Auckland), 0800 61 62 63 (outside Auckland), +64 9 373 7513 (international). 

It is your responsibility to ensure your assessment is successfully submitted on time. Please don’t leave it to the last minute to submit your assessment.

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

General advice for students

  • The University will make devices and internet connectivity assistance available to students in need.
  • If students do not have access to a suitable computer, internet connection or quiet location, they are able to use one of the computer workstations or study spaces in the Kate Edger Information Commons, Tai Tonga and Epsom campuses, or one of the libraries to sit their exam. See: available study spaces.
  • For on-campus exams, the usual processes regarding questions or requests for assistance in the examination room apply.
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.
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