Cambridge University Exam Mitigation: Changes to Cambridge Exams


Most first and second year students will progress automatically after passing their assessments

The University of Cambridge outlined its exam mitigation arrangements in an email sent to undergraduate and postgraduate students this afternoon (February 15).

The provisions include a decision that first- and second-year students will automatically be able to advance to their next year of study after passing their exams, unless they are taking a course where they must pass professional assessments.

Finalists will be able to submit an “impact statement” with their dissertations and coursework, detailing how their studies have been affected by the pandemic. Faculties will also continue to consider possible adjustments to exam modalities.

Following consultation by university staff with student representatives, the comprehensive exam mitigation measures are as follows:

• A cohort equity system, which will ensure that the class distribution for that year is no less favorable than the average class distribution in the three years prior to the pandemic.

• Automatic progression for first and second year Tripos students who pass all their required assessments, with the exception of students who must pass vocational qualifications.

• Faculties and departments may grant extensions of up to 14 days for essay/dissertation deadlines, where applicable. Students will not be required to provide medical evidence for short-term extension requests made for medical reasons. Students should consider the ripple effect an extension may have on preparation for further assessments.

• Students submitting dissertations or coursework may choose to include an impact statement with their work detailing how the lockdown prevented them from accessing materials or facilities for their research.

• Faculties and departments will examine, in consultation with student representatives, possible adaptations to examination or course requirements. If changes are made, they will be communicated to their students as soon as possible and no later than the end of the term.

Students with further concerns about exam mitigations have been encouraged to contact their Director of Studies or Course Director.

Graham Virgo, the University’s First Vice-Chancellor, said: “I hope these measures will help ease concerns about assessments this academic year and provide reassurance that you will be assessed fairly, taking into account the disruption caused by the pandemic. ”

He also added that: “Although your studies and exams are of course very important, it is even more important that you take care of yourself and ask for help if you need it. Many people in the colleges and university are able to help and advise you, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help.”

A link to University Counseling and Support Services can be found here.

Cover image credit: Matilda Head


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