General Examinations

The instruction belongs to the following themes

By selecting a degree programme you are able to see the general content as well as the possible degree programme-specific content. You do not have to select a degree programme to see the Open University's instructions.

In a General Examination/Faculty Exam you can for instance retake course exams or do literature examinations that are not related to teaching. Some examination are completed as a paper examination in a lecture room. Some examinations are completed digitally in examination rooms using your own device. These examinations are taken in Moodle or another learning environment either as openly accessible examinations or using the Safe Exam Browser (SEB). See Digital examination in specific venues .The dates, method (paper or digital ) and times of the examinations and information about which courses are available on each date can be found in the instructions or course catalogues of your degree program, and/or in Sisu. See also principles for retaking completed studies.

Registering for a General Examination

Register for the general examination no later than 10 days before the event in Sisu.

The registration period for general examination sessions held in June, July and August ends on 31 May (this deadline does not apply to examinations connected to Open University studies). However, if a June examination session is held between 1 and 10 June, the registration period ends 10 days before the examination.

In order to register for the general examinations in August, you must register your attendance for the next academic year before the end of the summer exam registration period on May 31. If you have not registered as an attending student for the next academic year by May 31, your registration for the general examinations in August will be rejected. Therefore you will not be able to participate in the general examination during August.

Exact due dates for registration are stated in Sisu. Registration is done in Sisu's study calendar, after you have first added the course to your primary study plan. Do not register for the general examination via the Search page, but always start the registration from the study plan to avoid error situations. More information on how to register for exams is available on the page How do I register for my courses and exams?

For each general examination session, you can register for up to two courses or their components in accordance with the curriculum. If you registers to complete more than two courses or their components, the first two registrations will be valid. Students who wish to complete several examinations at a general examination session due to reasons of progress in studies must contact the teachers responsible for the examinations, indicating the reasons for completing more than two examinations. Teachers must notify the organiser of the general examination session if they accept the students’ reasons for sitting more than two examinations.

See also: Retakes and raising grades

When you register for the exam, please remember to give all the required additional information. This can for instance include the exam literature or the language of the exam. If you fail to provide the required details and additional information when registering for a general examination session, the examination organiser is not obliged to acquire such details and information.

See also: Language policy for studies and degrees

You can cancel your registration in Sisu while the registration is still open.

If you need special arrangements, inform the Student services about it by sending an email to at least 10 days before the exam. For more information about special arrangements see the separate instructions or contact your accessibility liaison.

Please remember to cancel the special arrangements you requested if you do not arrive for the general examination. You can cancel special arrangements up until the start of the examination.

Arriving at the General Examination

If the student has not registered for the general examination within the registration period, he may not participate in the examination and he will not be given examination questions.

Please arrive in the General Examination in time. The exam hall will be opened before the announced beginning time, so that the exam can begin on time. No late arrivals are taken to the exam after 30 minutes has passed from the announced time of beginning. Students can leave the examination at the earliest 30 minutes after the announced start time of the general examination.

Leave your jackets and other things to the sides of the exam hall. Remember to switch off your mobile phone. In some buildings there are lockers in the corridors for students to use where you can leave your belongings.

In the exam hall, you sit in every other seat. In the exam hall, when viewed from the front of the hall, people sit in straight rows so that the examinees sit directly behind the examinee sitting in the lower row.

You can only take your writing equipment (not in a pencil case), ID, a small amount of snacks and necessary medications to your seat. In addition to the above, in the digital examinations you can have your own device, charger and mouse  to your seat. If you are allowed to use a calculator or other tools and/or materials in the exam, you will receive separate instructions.

Taking a smartwatch, mobile phone or other devices to your seat is forbidden. If a student has any forbidden equipment or materials at their disposal, their exam can be disqualified.

If you show your identity with a student card, identity card or driver's license downloaded to your mobile phone, you can pick it up only after you have finished writing the exam answers.

In paper examinations, the exam envelopes are distributed before the start of the examination. If the examination password is given in envelopes in the electronic classroom exam, they will also be distributed before the announced start time of the  general examination.

During the examination

  • Follow all instructions given by the invigilator during the examination.
  • Take your seat as soon as you have left your extra things by the wall, received the necessary exam envelopes and picked up sketch paper.
  • Do not talk with other examinees.
  • During the examination, the student may not borrow tools or materials from another student.
  • You can only start to do the exam when the invigilator says so.
  • In case of a paper examination, remember to write your name and student number, or other instructed individualising information on every paper. It is good also to write the date and the course you are taking in the papers.
  • You can leave the examination at the earliest 30 minutes after the announced start time of the general examination.
  • You can leave the exam for a brief moment escorted by an invigilator to use the bathroom or due to some other compelling need.
  • The allowed time to take a specific exam can be shorter than the duration of the General Examination session. Follow the time limit given in the question paper or in Moodle.
  • In case of a paper examination after the exam, turn in all answer sheets to the invigilators, even if you would not have answered all the questions. Also turn in any possible drafting papers. Prove your identity by presenting a valid ID with a picture to the invigilator. Accepted forms of ID include a Student card, Driver’s license, an official identification card or a passport. If you have an electronic student card, you can collect your mobile phone according to the instructions given by the invigilator after you have finished the exam.
  • In case of a digital examination, after submitting your answers, show the examination submission page to the invigilator and prove your identity. Close SEB window by clicking on the exit-button. Accepted forms of ID include a Student card, Driver’s license, an official identification card or a passport. If you have an electronic student card, you can collect your mobile phone according to the instructions given by the invigilator after you have finished the exam.

Grading and results

The examiner grades the exams, and the results are posted within a month of the exam date on the course page or other place announced by the teacher. During summer holidays the grading time can be longer.

The grading is done following the course plan. The most common grading scales are from 0 to 5 or passed/not passed.

See also: Assessment and grading

Cheating, causing disturbance, and other special situations

Cheating and plagiarism are forbidden at any stage of your studies. Cheating in an examination can be for instance using a smart device, using materials without permission or other dishonest activity. Cheating in an exam leads to disqualification.

Causing disturbance during the examination session, or any other inappropriate behaviour is forbidden. The student causing disturbance can be ceased to continue the exam if necessary. Please make sure that your mobile phone, your consumption of snacks, or other activities do not cause disturbance for others participating in the session.

If the session is interrupted due to a fire alarm or other similar disturbance, follow the instructions given by the invigilators. If the length of the disturbance is significant, the session’s length will be extended by the invigilators if possible.

If you have any problems, do not hesitate to ask help from the invigilators.

See also: Regulation on Degrees and the Protection of Students' Rights at the University of Helsinki