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Warwick Mathematics Exams 2021

Note that our approach is very similar to that of Stats (indeed, many of our processes and technical support are being shared), the below should be read in conjunction with the advice from Statistics.

Updated 9th July 2021

Subpage now added for Maths students detailing exam boards and results.

This page is to outline how exams for the Maths Department will be delivered to all students registered for them. 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.

Any queries about the content on this page, or requests for clarifications, should be directed towards this contact form, not by email to Maths staff.

Exam Timetables

April Exam timetable is now live.

May exam timetable (week 3) is now live.

Main summer exam timetable (weeks 3 to 9) is now live.

For more information on exams see the Examinations web page.

Past Exam Papers

Can be found on the Library website, solutions or general comments on exams, where they have been made available, can be found from here. Noting that we did not upload any from 2018/19 which is why there is no hyperlink - instead lecturers uploaded them to their individual Module pages on Moodle.

Practice Online Exam

For first years who took the January exams, and nearly all 3rd and 4th years, the online exam process detailed below is going to look almost identical to the exams you have already taken online with us (but note changes to some technicalities when the more detailed advice is uploaded). For others (mainly 2nd years and some of you who took a temporary withdrawal) we will be setting "practice exams" so that you can get used to the process, but the main thing to remember is that the actual act of submitting pdfs of your solutions is exactly the same as you have been doing for assignments all academic year. Mock exam (timed ones have finished, but there is still an open ended one) can be found here: 

Alternative Exams Portal (AEP)

April and Summer Alternative Assessments will be managed through the 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 all your online assessments. It is essential that you log in to AEP to take each exam, this is where you will receive any announcements and be able to request assistance.

For more information about this portal, how to access it, and the process please visit the AEP pages on My Warwick

Moodle Exams

All Maths exams are taking place in Moodle, although you MUST go through AEP first (see above), any announcements will be made through AEP and not Moodle. Note that sometimes 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, this is a known issue beyond our control.

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. It is your responsibility to make sure you know what time you should have uploaded by (including any additional time you are eligible for), we recommend that you make a note of the paper you are writing on and have a clock nearby.

If you have approved extra time (e.g. through Disability Services) this will automatically be added to your exam by both adding the time to the quiz timer, and checked afterwards from our records. How this effects your deadline is demonstrated below (all times BST):

  2 hour exam 3 hour exam
  Total length plus upload 9am exam upload by 2pm exam upload by Total length plus upload 9am exam upload by 2pm exam upload by
No extra time 2:45 11:45 16:45 3:45 12:45 17:45
25% extra 3:15 12:15 17:15 4:30 13:30 18:30
50% extra 3:45 12:45 17:45 5:15 14:15 19:15

The submission aspect is the same as you have been doing for all your maths assignments during the academic year, namely uploading scanned copies of your handwritten work as a pdf (or pdf output from having written on a tablet.. see below). Note it is your responsibility to make sure that:

  • the file(s) you have uploaded is (are) the correct one(s);
  • the file(s) you have uploaded are all readable, are not corrupted and the pdf is saved in A4 format;
  • you have pressed the submit button;
  • if you have produced your answers on a tablet with a stylus please make sure you "print to pdf" rather than "save as pdf", the latter format causes problems for online marking in Moodle.

More detailed instructions are contained in the cover sheets for each exam, a typical one can be found here.

Exam Formats

To conform with University options, all maths exams will be limited time, open book exams, with a fixed time start (either 9am or 2pm). To ensure consistency, and to make things as simple as possible ALL maths exams (other than the exceptions listed below) will follow the following formats:

  • With the exception of MA3E7 Problem Solving which will be 2 hours, MA131 Analysis which will be 3 hours and MA137 Mathematical Analysis which will also be 3 hours, and MA390 Topics in Mathematical Biology which will have an additional 15 minutes reading time, all 3rd and 4th year exams will be a 3 hour duration, and all 1st and 2nd year exams will be a 2 hour duration. This includes 6 CAT modules that used to be 1 hour.
  • The standard format for all exams will be either 3 compulsory questions, or 1 compulsory question and 2 optional questions out of 3 choices. The lecturer(s) for each module will make clear which format they will be using on the exam, but in any case make sure you read the exam rubric carefully once you are about to sit it. The exception is MA3E7 Problem Solving where it is still compulsory question plus one other, if there are any others they will be added here in due course.
  • 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);
  • Being online, the exams will have much less bookwork than previously, so bear this in mind when using past exam papers for revision. We expect questions to still look similar to previous exam papers, but with more emphasis on unseen questions and probing your understanding of results rather than asking you to quote them.
  • You submit your exam within Moodle. Unfortunately Moodle does not tell AEP that you have submitted, but it is safe for you to then close your AEP window as long as you are happy that you have submitted in Moodle.

24 Hours Window Exams

Note that some exams from outside the Maths department may still use a 24 hour window (allow you to take the exam any time within a 24 hour window). If this is the case for one of your exams please make sure that you understand the instructions you have been given for them. In particular, you will not be able to upload anything once the 24 hour period is over, even if you have time left on your exam or an extra time allowance.

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 (preferably as a single PDF, but a small number multiple PDF uploads are permitted), 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, but we do not recommend that these are used. Prohibited software includes, but is not limited to: R, Minitab, Mathematica, MatLab, Geogebra, Sage 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.
  • The marks indicated on the exam paper are an approximate indication of the weight of different sections. But, as indicated in the rubric, 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. 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.

A selection of questions from past exams that have been deemed suitable for an open book exam have been uploaded to this page to give some idea of the sort of questions you could be asked (mostly from first and second year exams).

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. We will endeavour to list them here as and when we locate them.

Information about Statistics assessments