Raising grades and resitting examinations

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.

Raising the grades of completed studies

You can attempt to raise the grade of completed studies no more than twice.

  • If, for example, you have passed a closed-book examination, you can attempt to raise your grade twice, in examination sessions where it is possible to take the examination in question. If, for the first or second resit, you receive a poorer grade in comparison to the grade you received originally, this resit will nevertheless count as an attempt to raise a passed grade.
  • When you complete studies, for example, by attending lecture-based teaching, you will be informed about the grading criteria. Generally, there will be an end-of-course examination and at least one resit opportunity. If you pass the examination and there is only one resit opportunity, you will only be able to attempt to raise your grade once. If you do not take the examination in the first available session, but complete it at the resit session and there is no second resit session available, you will not be able to attempt to raise your grade.

You cannot attempt to raise the grade of a course or study module for which credits have been awarded through the recognition of prior learning. Similarly, you cannot attempt to raise the grade of a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral thesis.

If you wish to raise the grade of written studies, such as a written project, essay or learning journal, a significant part of it must be rewritten or it must be written on an entirely new topic.

You can also raise the grade of an individual course included in a study module. However, this will not impact the grade already given for the study module or the completion date of the module. In other words, a module grade will not be changed due to a raised course grade and, once registered, a module cannot be broken up, unless the registration was erroneous.

Completely retaking a passed course

If you are a degree programme student, you cannot register again for a course that you have completed and for which you have used the opportunities available to raise your grade, unless the completed studies have expired and cannot, therefore, be included in your degree.

Students who have passed a course can register for the same course if it is organised as open university instruction. If you wish to raise a grade on the basis of a course organised as open university instruction, you must always pay the relevant course fee. Before registration, please contact: avoin-student@helsinki.fi

Resitting a failed course or examination

If you receive a failing grade for an examination connected to teaching, you can resit the examination in the sessions made available. Students must be offered at least one opportunity to resit examinations connected to teaching.

Please also note that, if no other deadline has been given, you must complete all of the components of a course within one year of completing the first component. However, it may be determined in the curriculum of your degree programme that you can complete missing components within a longer period if the next opportunity to complete the component is not offered sooner. If a course is organised so as to be completed over several academic years, the one-year deadline will not be observed, but rather you must complete the course as indicated in the curriculum.

If you receive a failing grade for an essay or an equivalent written assignment, you must be provided with an opportunity to redo it in order to receive a passing grade.

There are no restrictions on resitting examinations that are unconnected to teaching (i.e., examinations that can be taken as a direct course completion method without attending teaching). In other words, you can resit a failed closed-book examination as many times as is needed to receive a passing grade.


Resit opportunities are usually offered at general examination sessions. Register for a resit through Sisu; for technical instructions, see Sisu instructions: Registering for teaching and exams.