Please note:this page is largely based on the procedures under "normal" circumstances, these were massively changed in the 2020 exam period due to Covid, and it is unclear at this stage (Sept 2020) what procedures and timings will be in place for the 2021 exam period. This will be confirmed nearer the time, so please use the below for a general gist of the process and rational for how the department makes decisions.
Mathematics students take most of their university examinations in Term 3 of each academic year. The scripts are marked, and, together with the marks for assessed work, the marks are processed to produce an end of year each overall percentage for each student (for those starting October 2013 or later taking a subset of marks to achieve the best outcome). An examination board for each year makes recommendations and decisions based on these marks and other information. This section aims to inform students of the procedures used by the Mathematics Department and their effect.
If your examinations, or revisions for examinations, have been affected by illness or other extenuating circumstances or you wish to appeal against an exam board decision, please refer to the departments Mitigating Circumstances and Appeals document which is also emailed to all maths students and posted around the department during the Examination period.
Most science modules at Warwick are assessed by written examination in Term 3 (although some examinations take place earlier) and an increasing number now have an assessed component too. A small number are assessed entirely by coursework. For example, the computing option MA117 Programming for Scientists is entirely assessed.
Assessed work usually comes with a deadline for completion; this is essential in fairness to all students doing the work, and to make the markers' job feasible. For small pieces of work (e.g. work marked by supervisors) the deadline is absolute; if you are late it will not be marked at all and you will score 0. For more substantial projects or essays (worth more than 2 CATS) the Mathematics Department enforces deadlines according to the standard University rule: credit for the piece of work to be submitted is automatically decreased by 5% per day by which the work is late. Deadlines are usually at noon in midweek. Thus if the deadline is at noon on a Wednesday and you do not get your work into the Department Office until 12.30 on Wednesday, your mark for that piece of work will be reduced by 5 percentage points (e.g. a mark of 65% will be reduced to 60%). University rules require 5 percentage points to be deducted for every working day work is submitted in excess of the deadline.
NOTE: for Term 1 2020/21 the late penalty for small pieces of work was temporarily adjusted. Deadlines are still noon on specified days, but for work that is late, but less than half an hour late, a penalty of 20% of the available marks is applied. Then an additional 20% for each subsequent half hour, or part thereof, until the work is over 2 hours late when a penalty of zero credit is applied. Term 2 deadline penalties are restored to the usual department policy.
(Pre-)Registration and Deregistration
Registering and deregistering is done on-line via the University's module registration system (for students this is eVision) - see the link from the undergraduate web pages. Core , List A and list B options will be approved immediately on line. For unusual options you must register on-line and also fill in the unusual option form.
Each student is required to make a preliminary registration (or pre-registration) in advance for modules he or she wishes to take. Students pre-register for the first time in Term 1, before the end of Week 3. The university uses data from pre-registration during the year to assess demand for particular modules and to assist in timetabling.
You have several opportunities to fine-tune your current selection of modules: there are registration sessions in Term 1, (until week 3) and Term 2 (again, until week 3) at which you can add or remove modules. For the final opportunity to deregister, see below.
All students (but especially those who scored less than 55% last year) are encouraged to discuss their choice of modules with their tutor. Where a low-scoring student submits an ambitious registration the Department may require further such discussion with a view to focusing the student's attention on a manageable programme.
Deregistration: You may deregister from an optional module, up to the deadline:
End of the last week of Term 2 for modules examined in April,
Start of the first week of Term 3 for modules examined in May/June.
The Academic Office will not accept deregistration beyond the deadline except on medical or compassionate grounds approved by the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. (Note that this rule is agreed with other university departments, and we enforce it strictly.)
Note, you may not be allowed to deregister from a module for which you have submitted (or should have submitted) work counting for more than 10% of the credit for that module.This is particularly true for modules from departments other than Mathematics, and, in particular, if an exam occurs after deregistration has closed you will almost certainly have to sit that exam and have it count.
Taking the Examinations
Most University examinations take place in Term 3. Information on timetables, which are created by the Examinations team at the University, is available on the Exams web pages. Personalised timetables are made available shortly after the main timetable is released. Please note that you should not organise your revision on the basis of any provisional version of the timetable that is made available, as this will be subject to change.
Third year and fourth year modules taught in Term 1 and the second year modules Algebra I, Analysis III, Combinatorics Geometry and Vector Analysis are examined in the first week of Term 3.
Examinations (in normal times) are held in many locations across campus, e.g. Rootes Hall, Panorama Room and in the Arts Centre, Butterworth Hall, and in a number of other venues such as the Desso Hall in the Sports Centre (now the Junction), Westwood Sports Hall and the Oculus. It's your responsibility to find out when and where the examination takes place; if you forget to go to an examination, your score is automatically zero.
In 2019/20 all exams were moved online, and this will be the case for all exams in 2020/21 also.
Use of Calculators: Programmable and graphics calculators are prohibited in all examinations. Moreover the default position is that NO calculators are allowed in Mathematics exams, unless the lecturer has specifically requested that they be allowed for the module that they are teaching, and then the only calculators permitted are those with a display consisting of a single row of digits.
Calculators are also not permitted in any tests organised by the Mathematics Department unless you are explicitly told otherwise. Calculators with a display consisting of a single row of digits are permitted in exams run by other Departments (for example Statistics and Physics).
The Examination Boards and Degree Classes
The first year board is a committee of the Faculty of Science, which considers maths students together with other science students. This Faculty Board enforces resits, and meets again in September to consider the results of the resit examinations. The first year examination board in September allocates to each student a pass or a requirement to withdraw. The department informally also awards an honours class, mainly as a guideline for students and their tutors; the final classification of your degree will, of course, depend on your performance in all your years of study. The second year board is an internal Mathematics Department committee. It does not allocate an honours class or pass but it can require a student to resit without residence (see the section below on resits). The Finals (third and fourth year) board is a Mathematics Department committee plus external examiners from other Warwick science departments and other universities, who are there to ensure fair play and to see that academic standards are maintained. This board recommends the award of Mathematics degrees (but not Joint degrees) to the university according to the university's conventions which can be found under Assessment Conventions.
Advice on how end of year averages are calculated for the 3rd and 4th year of the MMath can be found here.
The Finals Board implements the university's conventions according to the Mathematics Finals Examination Board Procedures (this is the 2018/19 version).
Examination results for finalists are released shortly before the end of Term 3 (usually Thursday afternoon of week 10, after the Finals Exam Board on the preceding Wednesday). The classification you will receive (Pass Degree, or Honours Class III, II.1, II.2, or I) is that of the overall degree performance. In the second year you are classified as "Proceed to honours'' or "Resit" (although your tutor may give you an unofficial classification based purely on your end of year average for the purposes of references etc.)
First year students are listed by us with a class except when required to resit certain papers in September, although this class is unofficial. They may obtain their overall percentage and your marks on individual papers, together with advice on the next year's course, by going to see their personal tutor or, if they leave before the end of the term, by telephoning their personal tutor, or by leaving a stamped addressed envelope with the Undergraduate Office. Some tutors may send a report by reply to email. Students who are required to resit exams will also be sent a separate email from the examinations office with details.
Second years receive their marks electronically since their exam board takes place after term has ended.
Results will not be given to anyone else, even if they have been given permission to by you.
Appeals: A student dissatisfied with the class awarded by the finals examination board may appeal through his/her Personal Tutor to the Chair of the Mathematics Department. Such an appeal must be based on information not available to the examination board (for example, a serious error of arithmetic, or a medical note made available to the Department but not passed on to the examination board). If you have cumulative credit 58.6% in your final year and think you deserve a II.1, then you can be quite sure that the examination board has already seriously discussed the merits of your case. Appeals may also be made to the University in certain circumstances - see Regulation 8.12 in the University Calendar.
As described in the University Regulations, a student required to withdraw has the right to appeal formally to the Appeals Committee of the Board of the Faculty, in writing, within 10 days of the publication of the examination results.
Resits for failed students
The first year examination board requires first year students with inadequate performance in the June examinations to resit certain papers in September. The intention of the resits is to ensure that students are adequately prepared for second year work. For each module the honours mark is 40%, and students may be required to resit any module in which an honours mark is not attained. Resits are normally required only in the Core modules (in fact usually a subset of the core, deisgnated as "required cores"). Consideration of individual cases is complicated, and we cannot list here the rules the examination board works to, but the current harmonised First Year Boards of Examiners conventions can be found here. The overall performance of the candidate is crucial, in both the June and September exams. For exams being resat as a final attempt it is the exam mark that is used for decisions, it is not recombined with previous assessed work or examination marks, so 40% must be achieved in each exam being resat. For a student resitting as a further first attempt (e.g. due to mitigating circumstances) then the exam mark is recombined with other assessed components.
The required cores for Maths, which must be passed either initially or as a resit, are MA106 Linear Algebra, MA131 Analysis, MA133 Differential Equations and MA134 Geometry and Motion. Maths and Economics students (GL11) need to, in addition, pass EC107.
Details of which papers students are required to resit are sent in July to the official home address registered by the student with the University. Make sure the address is correct.
In cases of extremely poor performance in the June examinations, there may be a recommendation to withdraw from the University. Our experience is that students performing at this level have very little chance of success, and encouraging withdrawal may be kinder than raising false hopes. However, it is only a recommendation, and a student in this position has a right to resit the examinations in September.
The two possible outcomes of the September resits are:
"Permitted to proceed to the second year of an honours degree course''
or "Required to withdraw''.
For the student who continues, the credit carried forward comes from the marks in the June examinations (but with failed modules subsequently passed awarded 40%) and not the September resit mark. (the first year accounts for 10% of the cumulative credit for the degree.)
For students who are "required to withdraw" there is the possibility of an appeal on limited grounds, and this form should be read carefully and used to submit a case if appropriate.
There is a page specific to first year exam boards on the Academic Office's pages http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/academicoffice/examinations/fyboe/
Decisions must be made on the basis of the University's First Year Board of Examiners' Conventions.
Results are released by Personal Tutors, usually Thursday afternoon of Week 10 (check your emails nearer the time!).
A student who fails the second year examinations has the right to resit some/all of the failed modules the following year as chosen by the exam board. Resitting students spend a whole year out of residence and resit their exams in April and June of the following year and again it is the exam mark of the resit that must be above 40% to be considered a pass. The mark carried forward for cumulative credit is that obtained at the first attempt (but with failed modules subsequently passed awarded 40%); therefore the function of the resit is to ensure that the student knows enough to cope with third year modules.
Students can currently still continue into the third year without resit, even if they have failed a couple of core modules, provided that their overall average is above 40% and that they have passed at least 60 CATS of modules (at the 40% level). Please see the Second Year Exam Board page for more information.
A student who has been asked to resit exams cannot formally appeal against this decision, but, as usual, if there are mitigating circumstances that you should have made us aware of, but didn't, then you should contact the Undergraduate Office as soon as you can.
The University regulations on this can be found here:
A student who fails the final year examinations has the right to resit failed modules, designated by the exam board, the following year in an attempt to obtain a pass degree, without residence at the University. In this case, special papers will be set whenever module changes from one year to the next make this necessary.
The Pass Degree and intermediate years
From 2015 intermediate year students can no longer be placed on a "Pass Degree" by the first or second year exam boards (although a pass degree can still be awarded to final year students who have not done enough to be awarded a 3rd class honours degree). Previously being on a pass degree meant that students followed a reduced load (with the option of being allowed by the department to increase this to a normal load under certain circumstances). Final year students on a pass load were also required to take MA397 Consolidation, a 6 CAT module with additional support to go over first and second year core material.
Now, students who do sufficiently well to be allowed to continue into the third year, but with marks that suggest they will struggle (so typically an overall average near 40% and several failed core second year modules) will be offered (and encouraged) to take MA397 Consolidation and will not be allowed to overcat (i.e. be restricted to 120 CATS, or at the discretion of the Director of Undergraduate Studies be allowed to go over this figure by a small number of CATS).
Undergraduate prizes will be awarded for outstanding academic achievement. They will be judged by the appropriate Examination Boards that meet in the last week of the Summer Term.
Mathematics Department Prizes: Normally six prizes of £100 each will be awarded, two to second-year undergraduates, two to BSc finalists and two to MMath finalists. The criteria of merit will be broadly interpreted and may include a distinguished project or essay as well as an outstanding examination performance. The prizes may be shared and the prize money may be divided in other ways.