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Warwick Mathematics Exams 2020

Links to other relevant departments' arrangements for maths students are at the bottom of this page.

Some of the FAQ answers relate to exams!

Updated 1st May 2020.

This page is to outline how exams for the Maths Department will be delivered to all students registered for them. As things are still very fluid, and will probably remain so for the foreseeable future, this page remains the current situation to the best of our knowledge, but should not be taken as a definitive guide.

The Mathematics department is also working very closely with Statistics to try and ensure that, from a student perspective, our processes will be very similar.

Alternative Exams Portal (AEP)

April and Summer Alternative Assessments will be managed through a new institutional online portal, the Alternative Exams Portal (AEP). This portal will have your Alternative Assessment Timetable, and will be the landing point for where you will access and upload your assessments. For more information about this portal,how to access it, and the process please visit the AEP pages on My Warwick


All maths exams are taking place in Moodle, although you MUST go through AEP first to sign the declaration, and any announcements will also be made through AEP. Note that currently if you refresh your browser, use the back button etc. whilst the Moodle exam is running sometimes the timer will have apparently reset itself IT HAS NOT and will still be running in the background keeping the correct time. We are hoping this will be fixed for the June exams, but in the meantime make a note of the time you start and keep an eye on your own clock, or the clock on your computer/tablet!

Also note, the countdown time in Moodle does not include the 45 minute upload time, and you are not given a 45 minute countdown timer.

Exam Formats

To conform with University options, all maths exams will be limited time, open book exams, where you get to choose when, within a 24 hour period, you attempt it. To ensure consistency, and to make things as simple as possible ALL maths exams (other than the exceptions listed below) will follow the following format:

  • We will be using the same exams that were written, and approved, for the all exam sessions last term before events overtook us;
  • With the exception of MA261 Differential Equations: Modelling and Numerics and MA3E7 Problem Solving which will be 2 hours, all exams will be a 3 hour duration (including second year exams that were originally 2 hours);
  • Rather than the usual choose 4 questions from 5, including a compulsory question if relevant, the rubric will now be choose 3 questions from 5, including compulsory question if relevant, the only exceptions are MA3E7 Problem Solving where it is still compulsory question plus one other, MA3J9 Historical Challenges in Mathematics where it is choose 3 out of 4 rather than 4 compulsory questions and MA261 Differential Equations: Modelling and Numerics where it remains 2 out of 3 questions;
  • You must only upload 3 questions to be marked. We will NOT mark more than three and give you the best three, as would have been the approach prior to the institutional change to online alternative assessment for 2019/20. If you upload more than 3 completed questions we will only mark the first 3 and ignore the rest. We would expect you to attempt more than three though (explaining the exam length) but you will then need to decide which three to upload (or compulsory plus 2);
  • Some exams will contain bookwork in some questions, as usual. These will remain, but lecturers may make small adjustments to the marks awarded to individual parts of a question to put more emphasis on unseen material when marking, so bear this in mind when allocating time to spend on bits of questions.
  • Also bear in mind that for all questions, and bookwork in particular, you need to be sure to answer the question as asked to gain full marks. For example, if a question asks for a part of the proof of some theorem, then reproducing the entire proof without further comment does not answer the question: you need to read the question and answer that question.
  • You submit your exam within Moodle. Unfortunately Moodle does not the tell AEP that you have submitted, it is safe for you to then close your AEP window, and ignore any message you get from AEP telling you that you have not submitted (this was a bug that has now been fixed by the AEP Team, but we leave the advice in just in case).

The 24 Hours Window

Each of your assessments will be available online for a 24 hour period. You will be able to start your assessment at any time within the 24 hours window, but you must also submit it within that window.

  • Maths Assessments will be timed 3 hours or 2 hours in duration, as set out on the assessment paper (whilst all April exams will be three hours, a small number of June exams will be two). The counter will start running from the time at which you access your assessment. You will only have the advertised set amount of time to complete your assessment. It is not possible to ‘stop the clock’ during the assessment (if you have agreed reasonable adjustment entitlements, see below)
  • You will also be given an additional 45 minutes in total to download your assessment and to upload your answers. 45 minutes may seem like quite a lot of time – but please remember that download and upload speeds can be slow. Please be careful not to assume that this additional 45 minutes can be used for additional working time.
  • You should access your assessment in good time to enable you to take the full time allocated, e.g. 3 hours plus the 45-minute download/upload time and authorised reasonable adjustments.
  • The University is also allowing for submissions to be uploaded up to 2 hours after your 2 or 3 hour assessment window has closed, but it must still be within the 24 hour window of the assessments, and it will be marked as a late submission. If you submit your assessment late you should submit mitigating circumstances outlining the reasons for the late submission and this will be taken into consideration by the Department.
  • For more information on how this will work in practice, please see these examples on My Warwick

Reasonable Adjustments

For those students who had reasonable adjustments approved for the April and Summer exams, these will still stand for the Alternative Assessments.

When you start your assessment through the new Alternative Exams Portal (AEP), Students will automatically be asked to tick a box to declare whether they have an agreed entitlement to reasonable adjustments. the Maths department will check this against our records of approved reasonable adjustments and it will be taken into account when your work is marked.

If your adjustments relate to having more time to do your work or taking breaks, then you should take this time within the 24 hour period for the assessment, also allowing for the 45 minute upload window. The Maths department knows that you are entitled to this additional time and will reconcile this after submission. Your extra time will not be considered a late submission. If you take a break, do not close (and upload) your assessment to return to it later - just take a break as usual.

You must, however, still complete and upload your assessment before the end of the 24-hour window, so you must plan carefully. After 24 hours the assessment portal will close.

General points about taking the assessment

In general, the idea of these assessments is simple, and very close to sitting usual exams. You will download the paper, and then viewing it on screen (or printing it out) you will answer questions in pen on paper - or on an iPad or tablet, if that's how you prefer to work. Please read the following and make sure you are ready for each assessment in advance:

  • EITHER: Ensure you have several dark blue or black ink pens / biros. Ensure you have lots of paper - usual A4 lined paper is best, but other paper is fine if you don't have it.
    OR: Ensure that your iPad or tablet and stylus having the relevant charging devices nearby.
    BUT: Even if working on an electronic pad, you must have a pen and paper to hand, just in case it breaks during the assessment. Broken iPad would not be a reason to fail to complete the assessment in time.
  • IMPORTANT: (1) Start each question on a new sheet of paper. (2) Number your sheets of paper so that you know which order they come in at the end. (3) Put your student number on each sheet of paper. (4) Only write on one side of each piece of paper. (5) If you have side working to do, you can do it within your overall answer - put brackets around it if you don't want it to spoil the overall flow of your answer. (All of these will help you upload your complete answers in the right order as you wish.)
  • You will probably try more than 3 questions, although if you know the material well enough then you will be able to commit to 3 particular questions early. You may only upload 3 answers (as a single PDF), so do take time to understand which 3 are likely to be your best. If necessary, reserve a little time at the end of the paper to decide which 3 to upload.
  • You will be allowed to use module materials and notes from the module webpage, and so you may wish either to maintain access to the internet for that, or to download these resources in advance. You may also use textbooks (or their electronic downloaded versions), though you must take care to ensure while revising that the textbooks describe the same material as the module - for example, that they make the same hypotheses at the beginning. Essentially, you may use the resources you revised with: the notes you made during study and during revision, and "static" materials (i.e. not interactive involving a computer engine or another human being) that you downloaded or otherwise have.
  • But you are NOT allowed to use other webpages during the assessment. Examples of pages you must not access include interactive internet pages (for example online forums or chatrooms or discussion boards) and wikipedia.
  • Unless otherwise stated all interactive websites and software capable of performing calculations or visualisations are prohibited in Mathematics and Statistics examinations. Annotation and word processing software such as Word, Pages and TeX distributions are permitted. Prohibited software includes, but is not limited to; R, Minitab, Mathematica, MatLab, Geogebra and Excel.
  • Of course, you may not communicate with anyone else while you take your assessment, either in person or electronically. This includes all other students on the module, and also any third party, whether they know mathematics or not. You must not be in the same room as another student taking the assessment.
  • As mentioned above, the marks indicated on the exam paper are an approximate indication of the weight of different sections. But, as indicated in the rubrik, they are not a definitive law, and once marking of scripts begins a few marks may be moved from one part of a question to another, to emphasise the unseen parts of the exam. This is a normal part of marking judgment, when it is understood that students doing well on a particular section are showing greater fluency than anticipated, and so deserve an extra mark or two. These adjustments will be minor, and will be carried out consistently for all marked scripts, not done script by script. Overall, the indications of marks do give a good idea of the relative weight of different sections of each question.

Forms of cheating

We know that some of you are concerned that some other students may be tempted to cheat. In usual coursework, sometimes students push the boundaries of collaboration a little. We understand that for coursework collaboration is extremely valuable, and for small amounts of credit we encourage collaboration and so give the benefit of the doubt - although actual substantial copying or cheating is punished by a zero mark and a disciplinary record. But any form of collaboration is simply not permitted in these assessments, as for any exam. Please do not be tempted to copy, or to pass solutions to friends. Note that:

  • You should take the assessment by yourself, without any communication with other people, and with access only to the module materials from the module webpage (or otherwise distributed by the lecturer) and your own non-interactive revision materials (as described above in the General Points).
  • Solutions that come from wikipedia or other online sources are easy to spot. For example, they are rarely in the same standard notation, and frequently include errors of logic, or else are presented in a different context or with different underlying assumptions from the course.
  • Other than bookwork taken from lecture notes, instances of students giving exactly the same answer are also easy for examiners to spot.
  • Collusion, plagiarism and other academic malpractice are not allowed and will be treated as a serious disciplinary issue which may jeopardise your degree.

To help the Examination Board make correct decisions, the department reserves the right to require individual students to undertake an additional oral examination (viva) after written exams are complete and before the Examination Board meets.

When you take each assessment, by downloading the paper you are confirming that you understand the rules of academic practice outlined on this page, and that you agree to conform to them.

Exams from Other Departments

Maths students taking alternative assessments from other Departments should contact those departments for the most up to date information about arrangements. Many departments also have information pages for students set up like these, which you should also refer to;

Information about Physics assessments

Information about Statistics assessments

Information about Economics assessments with an update here

Information about Language Centre assessments

Information about Philosophy Assessments