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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

A note on examinations in May 2020:

In line with Irish Government policy, and to protect the health and safety of our learners, the College is holding its May examinations online rather than on campus. We are aware that this is a change that may give rise to questions amongst learners and in the following we set out answers to as many of those questions as we can. If you have a question that is not answered below, please email it to [email protected].

More information on exams, including video guides, how-to's and daily drop-in Zoom support sessions are available from the Examinations Office.

Before the Examination
Are examinations for all modules still taking place in May?

Yes, all examinations originally scheduled to happen in May 2020 are going ahead as planned. The exam schedule has not changed, so the date and times of the examinations have not been changed from those already communicated to you. The difference this time is that instead of coming to the College to do the examination, you will enter through a Zoom Exam Session.

What if I am in a different time zone?

The start time for all examinations are set using Irish Standard Time. This ensures that all learners get to see the examination paper at exactly the same time and no one sits it after it has become public. This ensures the integrity of the awards for all learners. The college recognises and regrets that the use of Irish Standard Time involves inconvenience for learners in different time zones.

Do I have to sit the examination?

If you are scheduled to sit an examination in May 2020, then you are still expected to do so. Normal deferral arrangements are in place and if you are not in a position to sit the examination in May, you can apply to your faculty for a deferral in the normal way.

Why do we need to use Zoom?

We are using Zoom for invigilation of the exam, to ensure the integrity of your assessment and your award.

Should my Zoom name be my student number or my name and surname?

Your Zoom name should be your first name and surname.

What if the camera on my computer is not working?

You are required to be visible through Zoom so that the invigilator can confirm you are taking the exam. In exceptional circumstances, you can download Zoom to your phone and use the phone camera so that you are visible to the invigilator. If neither of these is possible you will not be able to take the exam and should contact your faculty and apply for a deferral.

Does my camera need to be on all the time during the exam or just for identification at the start?

As you are required to be visible through Zoom at all times so that the invigilator can confirm you are taking the exam, your camera does need to be on at all times.

How will I know how to connect to the correct Zoom exam session?

Classes have been ongoing on Zoom for the last number of weeks and most learners are now familiar with using Zoom. You will receive a Zoom invite by email two days before each exam takes place. Please ensure that you save the zoom invitation and can easily access the invitation on the day of the exam.

During the Examination
Will I be able to ask the invigilator a question during the exam?

Yes, you will be able to communicate with the invigilator at any time during the examination by using the Chat facility in Zoom. 

Can I use notes or books during the exam?

Yes, you will be able to access materials during the exam.  If you do, be careful not to waste time that should be spent writing your answers based on what you know.

How will I get the Exam Question Paper?

The exam question paper will be available to download from the Moodle page for your module, fifteen minutes before the scheduled start of the exam. Please review the video on Moodle which shows you how to do this.

Can I print the exam question paper after downloading it?

Yes. If you have the facility, you can print out the exam question paper.

What happens if I cannot access Moodle?

All learners have access to Moodle at this time. Please check your access now, and if you do not have access, contact your faculty administrator to see what the problem is.

Will I be sent an answer booklet to write my answers in?

No. You may type your answers into a Word or other computer file, or you may handwrite into a notepad.

Do I type my answers into the exam paper or to a separate word doc?

You should NOT type your answers into the exam paper. Type your answers in a separate file, ensuring that you include your student number and module, and upload it to Moodle at the end of the examination. 

When answering a question, should I rewrite the question on the answer sheet or is the question number enough?

There is no need to rewrite the question on the answer sheet, although you may if you wish to. The question number is sufficient to show the examiner which question you are answering.

Do I need to formally reference any source I use to answer a question?

The exams are designed so that copying texts from external sources is not the best way to answer, rather you should put everything in your own words, showing how you understand any sources you use. Obviously any source you use should be cited by name, as a matter of academic integrity, but we are not aware of any exam practice which requires a particular standard of citation format or style.

How do I work on my computer screen, e.g. typing in Word, if my Zoom is open?

You can minimize the Zoom window in the normal way you minimize any window, icon on top right-hand side. When you do that, you will not be able to see the invigilator, but he or she will be able to see you. You can then work away on Word or Excel.

Why are headphones not allowed on the day?

Headphones are not allowed as they could be used to communicate with someone who is not present. Some learners may wish to use earplugs if there are outside noises where they are working.

What happens if I have issues with the internet during my examination?

If an internet outage occurs during your exam, please continue with your examination. The duration of outage will be noted by the invigilator. As soon as it comes back, log back in to the Zoom exam session. If it hasn’t come back by the end of the examination you should contact your faculty administrator at the earliest opportunity.

Submitting the Completed Examination
How do I submit my completed exam?

At the end of the examination you will have 45 minutes to upload your exam script to Moodle. Please review the video on Moodle which shows you how to do this.

If you have used a Word or other computer file, check that you have included all your answers. Put your student number on each page of your script. Note the correct number for each question you have answered and ensure that you have numbered your pages. Name your saved computer file using the following convention:

  • Module code (as on the examination paper), followed by
  • Your student number

For example, the filename BAAFHAA 1234567 indicates an examination script relating to the BAAFH-AA module submitted by learner number 1234567. Note that, as all scripts are being uploaded to Moodle, exam numbers are not required.

How do I upload my exam script if I have handwritten it?

If you have handwritten your script, you will need to scan all the pages of your script into one computer file. The college recommends that you use MSLens, to do this. The application is free to download. Instructions on downloading and using MSLens are provided here. If you are planning to handwrite your exam, practise using it so that it’s familiar to you when you’re submitting your exam. If you have another scanning app that you are more familiar with, or you have a scanner at home, and you wish use them that is also okay. 

If I have used a combination of handwritten answers and computer files, can I upload more than one file?

Yes, you can upload more than one file, if necessary. Make sure you name them correctly with your module code and student number. We recommend you keep the number of files as low as possible to avoid confusion.

Do I submit a Word or PDF file?

You can submit either a Word or a PDF file. If you type your answers, then either is okay. If you have handwritten your answers and are using MSLens, or some other means of scanning, then a PDF file should be used.

If I have submitted and received the confirmation email, can I change the document and submit again, for example if I have uploaded the work exam script?

No, once you have received the confirmation email you cannot submit again.  

If you discover you have uploaded the wrong file before the 45 minutes allowed for exam submission has elapsed, send a message via zoom chat to the invigilator.

If you discover you have submitted the wrong file after the 45 minutes has elapsed, contact your faculty administrator by email immediately.

General Exam Questions
What is an ‘open book’ exam?

An examination in which learners can access materials in this way is referred to as an open book, or open source, examination. It is a well-recognised form of examination, and is not harder, or easier, just different.

How will online exams affect the integrity of my award?

The College has prioritised maintaining the integrity of the awards for all our learners. All changes to the examinations process have been through quality assurance checks internally, through the Quality Assurance and Enhancement Department (QAED) and the College’s Academic and Professional Council (APC). They have also been approved by the national accreditation body, Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). It is important that the quality of your award is recognised worldwide as being of the highest standard. We are confident that the arrangements we have put in place ensure that.

What happens if I fail or do badly in my exam?

The College is aware that the COVID-19 worldwide crisis has led to challenges and stresses for learners and lecturers alike. In order not to disadvantage learners in relation to their grades and award classification, the college is proposing the following (temporary) amendments to its QAE procedures to ensure that learners can appropriately evidence their knowledge, skills and competences, in order to secure the module and/or programme grades their performance deserves. These include:

  • Where a learner fails the end-of-semester (May 2020) assessment, (for reasons other than those of academic misconduct) they will be able to re-sit/re-take the assessment in August (repeat sitting) without losing a sitting. 
  • Learners taking assessments as a first attempt in May 2020 who pass the assessment, and who feel they performed poorer than they would otherwise have done, may choose to register to re-sit/re-take the assessment in August (repeat sitting) without losing a sitting.
  • In these circumstances, learners will be given the higher of the two marks achieved (e.g. If they do better the second time, their mark will go up. If they do poorer (or fail) the assessment second time around, they will retain their original result).
  • Learners in final (award) year will be in a position to graduate with the highest performance grade they specifically evidenced.

Details on how to register for repeat sittings will be issued along with the May results.

The college will waive all August 2020 repeat/re-sit fees arising from end-of-semester May 2020 examinations and assessments that might otherwise have applied.

Will repeat exams still take place in August and will it be an option to sit repeat online?

The current position is that the college expects to be open again for August and that August examinations will go ahead on campus as originally planned. This is subject to Irish government regulations and the advice of health professionals. It is continuously monitored in line with the changing circumstances and should any change be necessary we will inform all learners and staff immediately.