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Academic Culture - Examinations and Assessments

Undergraduate Students

Types of Exams/Assessments

Many courses do a combination of in-course assessment and end of year exams to assess students. In-course assessment can include essay assignments, lab reports, case studies, projects etc. Some will be individual assignments, while others could be group based. It depends on the course of study. Your student handbook should give details of how your course is assessed so it is worth your while to read it carefully at the start of term so that you understand the assessment requirements.

Annual examinations

Many courses in Trinty hold annual written exams at the end of the Hilary term, in May and June. For students who are used to being assessed either by 100% in-course assessment or end of module exams, these annual exams in formal exam halls can be a bit daunting and may cause students to feel stressed or under pressure. Some students find having to revise for modules they did several months earlier difficult to do. However, if you know that you are going to be facing exams in all your modules in May/June then at least you can start preparing for them as you go through your studies. This can include taking and organising your notes in a way that will be useful to you when you need to start revising later on.

Past papers

Past exam papers are a useful resource in helping you to prepare for your exams. You see what type of questions have been asked in the past and how the paper is structured and the length of the exam, which can help you in exam preparation and revision. Exam question formats can vary depending on the course of study. On some courses, exams can have multiple choice questions, short answer questions or longer essay type questions. If you are doing health sciences you might have to do practical exams or case studies. Find out well in advance of the exams what type of exam you are likely to have so that you have plenty of time to prepare adequately for it.

You can find information regarding exams, including past exam papers at https://www.tcd.ie/academicregistry/exams/past-papers/annual/.

Students with disabilities

Students with a disability can register with the Disability Service if they require accommodations such as a computer, a transcriber, extra exam time, etc. The Disability Service website https://www.tcd.ie/disability/ provides a huge range of resources for students with disabilities and gives details on how to register with the service.

Exam resources

For more advice on exams plus a wide range of resources, see our webpage http://www.tcd.ie/Student_Counselling/student-learning/undergraduate/topics/exams/


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Last updated 16 December 2015 by Student Learning Development (Email) .