inspera banner
inspera banner

Trinity term exams

The University is scheduling online open-book exams for students sitting their summative exams for undergraduate and postgraduate taught degree programmes in Trinity term 2021. Please read this information carefully before sitting your Trinity term 2021 exams.

Please use the tabs on this page to find out more about online exams, or click the buttons below for the user guide, and to access Inspera.

Inspera User Guide   Log in to Inspera   Take a practice exam

There are also mini-guides available for each mode of completion:

TYPED        HANDWRITTEN          MIXED MODE

NEED HELP?

If you experience any technical problems, please complete the help form at: ox.ac.uk/online-exams-help

Latest updates

Avoid opening Inspera in separate browser tabs (9 June)

Please remember to only work from one browser tab for Inspera - see example.

Are you exam ready? (24 May)

Please read this important reminder for students taking online open-book exams in Trinity term 2021: Reminder about open-book exams - 24 May 2021

Browser reminder (14 May 2021)

Please remember that Inspera supports the following browsers:

• Google Chrome
• Microsoft Edge
• Mozilla Firefox
• Apple Safari

Before taking your online exams, please update your browser to the latest version to ensure that you benefit from the most recent updates.

In particular, if you are using Chrome or Edge, please check you are using:
Chrome: version 90.0.4430.212 (or later)
• Edge: version 90.0.818.62 (or later)

Traditionally, Oxford assessments take the form of invigilated, handwritten exams taken by large cohorts dressed in sub fusc usually in the Examination Schools or Ewert House. Open-book exams, on the other hand, are sat remotely by students on their own – usually in their own homes. Students are able to access their textbooks, notes and other resources. Whilst the content and academic effort will be the same as your conventional exams, the way you prepare for and sit these exams will be different to what you are familiar with. 

New exams platform in Trinity term 2021

This year, the University is partnering with Inspera Assessment, a leading European e-assessment provider, to introduce Inspera as our new platform for all online open-book exams (from Trinity term 2021) and online coursework submissions (during the academic year 21-22). This page provides guidance on online open-book exams; more information about coursework submissions will be communicated at a later stage (for the time being students will continue to use their existing methods for submitting coursework).

About Inspera

Inspera meets the diverse needs of Oxford students and staff, now and in the future. For students, Inspera offers a better exam experience with a more intuitive digital interface designed for higher education settings. For staff, Inspera’s enhanced features and tools will integrate with existing systems to support setting up and administering exams.

Oxford’s Medical Sciences Division has already been using Inspera for many of their online closed-book exams since 2018. Whilst, for continuity, they will carry on using Inspera in a slightly different way (how questions are set up) for their closed-book exams, they, too, will use Inspera for their open-book exams from Trinity term 2021.

Get to know Inspera

You can get exam-ready with practice exams in Inspera. Follow the step-by-step instructions in the Inspera User Guide to log in to Inspera and experience what it’s like to take an exam in Inspera. It’s an opportunity for you to practise all the core Inspera functionality you’ll need for your real exams. 

Before your exams: What you need to do

Know your format or ‘mode of completion’ for each of your online exams

Students will use Inspera slightly differently depending on what they are expected to do in each specific exam – this is called the ‘Mode of Completion’ (or format). The modes are:

  1. Typed Mode: Fully typed exam answers (response) in Inspera
  2. Handwritten Mode: Fully handwritten answers (response) which you will scan and upload into Inspera
  3. Mixed Mode: Answers mainly typed in Inspera with additional handwritten elements, e.g., graphs, formulae, which you will scan and upload into Inspera. This mode may also be appropriate where a response is typed outside Inspera (using a word-processing programme) due to language or technical requirements (e.g. special characters), and then converted and uploaded into Inspera.

The mode of completion is determined by exam boards for each exam paper. For example, if an exam board wants you to predominantly type your answers, but also attach a hand-drawn graph, sketch, or formula, then they would inform you that the mode of completion for that exam would be Mixed Mode.

Your department will contact you to confirm the mode of completion for each of your online exam papers, plus this information will be included in your examination conventions. Just as with in-person exams (for which the default mode of completion for an entire exam cohort is to handwrite) you are not able to choose your mode of completion.

Alternative modes of completion

If you have a disability or medical condition which means you need an alternative mode of completion, you will be able to apply for this via your college through the exam adjustments process up to 31 March 2021 (for these specific requests, given the newness of the mode of completion policy and the exam platform, you are able to apply to apply after the usual Hilary term Week 4 exam adjustment deadline).

Additional technical time for Handwritten and Mixed Modes

If the mode of completion for your online exams is Handwritten Mode or Mixed Mode, you will have an additional 30-minutes of ‘technical time’ built into your overall exam time. This means you can scan and upload your exam response material, either as you go along for each question or at the end of your exam writing time. 

Technical time will not be necessary for Typed Mode as you will type your response directly into Inspera and the system will automatically save your work as you type.

Exam adjustments for online open-book exams

If you have an approved exam adjustment for extra writing and/or rest time, your exam durations will be increased automatically in Inspera as follows (for exams up to 4 hours standard writing time):

  • An additional hour, if you have an approved adjustment for up to and including 25% extra rest and/or writing time
  • A default exam duration of 8 hours for any candidates entitled to greater adjustments (beyond 25% extra rest and/or writing time)

If you’re sitting an exam which has a much longer standard duration for the entire cohort (e.g. the 8 hour online exam being set by the English Faculty in Trinity term 2021) it should not routinely be necessary for you to have additional time. The assessment strategy for such exams is intended to be inclusive by design, meaning that it is flexible enough to accommodate students with a wide range of disabilities and backgrounds and provide every student with an equal opportunity to demonstrate their achievement.

Other than for mode of completion requests on the grounds of disability or a medical condition, the deadline for applications for exam adjustments for Trinity term 2021 has now passed. If you require further adjustments to those outlined, applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis, if recommended by the Disability Advisory Service.

It may be possible to apply to start your papers later if you have legitimate reasons to do so. Applications must be made via your college. This is to accommodate students who are unable to sit the exam at the expected start time for legitimate reasons, such as caring responsibilities, or if you have scheduling adjustments in place that is has not been possible to accommodate. The proposed start time and time zone should be made clear in any application, e.g. to start the exam at 14:30 GMT instead of 09:30 GMT on the scheduled date.

For students with a Specific Learning Difference (SpLD) you will not need to attach a Form 2D to your work in Inspera. This will be done automatically after your exam response has been submitted.

For further information, please visit the exam adjustments webpage.

Know how long you will have to complete your exams

Your exam timetable will be sent to you a few weeks before your first exam and will be accessible through Student Self Service at any point. It will include the open-book exam durations, plus any approved extra time for exam adjustments, and you will also receive email reminders before each of your exams.

If the mode of completion for your exam is Handwritten or Mixed Mode, your timetable will also indicate that you will have an additional 30-minutes technical time to upload some or all of your exam response. The duration will also be included on the front page of the exam paper.

You are expected to spend the same amount of time as you would for an invigilated in-person exam to read the exam paper, plan your answers, and type (or handwrite) your response. The 30-minute technical time allowance in place for handwritten and mixed mode exams must be reserved to capture, upload and submit any handwritten elements of your response. Do not wait until the very end of your exam time to start submitting your response as you may go over your allocated time and incur a penalty as detailed further in this guide.

Most open-book exams will be up to three hours’ (or shorter) duration (plus any technical time, for Handwritten or Mixed Mode of completion) but there are a small number of eight-hour exams, for example through the English Faculty. Your department will advise you on how to structure your time and complete your exam, if you are sitting these longer duration papers and you should also understand the exam adjustment policy for these exams.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

It is extremely important that you have set up your authentication methods well in advance of any online exam, so that you are able to log in to your exam. We strongly recommend you set up more than one method, as outlined below:

  • Set up one method on your mobile device
  • Add an additional alternative method of authentication by setting up the Authy authentication app, which can be installed as a desktop application and requires no admin rights.

Full details and guidance relating to MFA is available from MFA webpages. This includes guidance on setting up MFA in advance, and specific information for students about online exams and MFA.

For a very small number of closed-book exams which make use of online exam platforms and are held at a University exam site (mostly in the Medical Sciences, you must bring your personal mobile device (e.g. phone or tablet) to log into the exam platform (e.g. WebLearn or Inspera) using your Oxford SSO-multi-factor authentication app. Once logged in you will need to switch off your mobile device and place this face down on or underneath your desk, as instructed by invigilators.

For IT support with multi-factor authentication, please contact the local IT Support in your department in the first instance. If the issue cannot be resolved, then you may contact IT Service Desk at 01865 (6)123455.

Get to know Inspera: Take a practice exam

You can get exam-ready with practice exams in Inspera. Follow the step-by-step instructions in the Inspera User Guide to log in to Inspera and experience what it’s like to take an exam in Inspera. It’s an opportunity for you to practise all the core Inspera functionality you’ll need for your real exams. The practice exam includes generic questions and is not a subject-specific mock or past paper.

How to take a practice exam 

Please read the essential guidance on the TT21 open-book exams student webpage and in the Inspera Student Guide. Have multi-factor authentication (MFA) set up on your mobile and also have an additional method of authentication, e.g. the Authy app setup on your computer.

1.     Log in to Inspera: https://oxford.inspera.com/ with your Oxford SSO (go through MFA as needed) 
2.     Your forthcoming exams will appear under My Tests (exams are called ‘tests’ in Inspera) 
3.     Your department will have advised you which practice test you should take - either Format A or Format B (you’ll see both options listed). Two different formats of the same practice exam have been provided so you can practise taking the test based on how you’ll be writing and submitting your actual exam response.     
4.     If you want to practise uploading any part of the exam response, you’ll need to have read the guidance on scanning in the Inspera Student Guide beforehand.
5.     Follow the instructions. If you’d like to read the Honour Code, right click on the link.
6.     Once you’re ready to begin, click Start test.
7.     For these practice exams, you have 20 minutes so you will see what happens when you time out.
8.     the clock will count down in the top left corner as you write your response.
9.     Take a moment to browse around Inspera. Get used to how it looks and feels. You can practise doing different things, depending on the mode of completion your Department has selected for your exam(s) (typedhandwritten, or mixed mode), for example:

  • Type into the response box, enter enough text so that you can practise editing the text. Move around the screens, in particular the text editor, e.g., maximising the text box so it fills your screen, and minimising it again
  • Practise scanning and uploading a file (pdf) 

10.   Just as a reminder, when you submit your exam response, it will not be reviewed or marked by anyone – this whole process is for illustrative purposes only to help you be exam-ready.  

Remember to read the essential student guidance for TT21, so you can be prepared for your forthcoming online open-book exams.

If you experience any technical problems during exams, please complete the help form at: ox.ac.uk/online-exams-help or if you cannot get online, call +44 1865 612121 (Phoneline open from Week 0).

Practise scanning and uploading exam responses, if you have a Mixed or Handwritten mode of completion

If you need to handwrite all or some of your exam response, you will need to scan each page or answer that you would like to upload. Depending on the instructions on the front of your exam paper, you should either: compile all your content into one document so you can upload all your content as a single exam response document (as a PDF); or save each answer in PDF format, uploading to the relevant question. Please ensure you check that all pages or pieces of content are included as expected as part of the PDF before you upload the document.

Do you know how to scan and upload documents?

Full instructions on using scanning apps - Microsoft Office Lens and Adobe Scan – are included in the Inspera User Guide for Students. Please read these instructions carefully and practise using the app well in advance of your exams. If you are familiar with an alternative app or software for scanning and combining images, you can use that instead; just make sure you practise in advance of your exam so that you are confident it will work.

Preparing for your open-book exams

Your board of examiners will provide the rubric for your examination and any other related guidance either in your examination conventions or in other communications exams. As a general rule, ensure you revise as you would normally for any exam.

During open-book exams you will have access to your own textbooks, notes, and other resources. It is important to make sure any revision documents or notes you use clearly identify what is your own work, and what derives from other sources. In an in-person invigilated exam you would be relying on your memory and therefore are unlikely to include material copied directly from sources. In an open-book exam, you will have access to your revision material, and you may inadvertently include verbatim secondary source material within your exam answers if you didn’t adequately identify it at the note-taking stage. Make sure you remain aware of this as part of your preparations for any open-book exam. It is also important that any revision notes or reference documents developed collaboratively, for example in study groups, clearly identify all the authors and secondary sources used.

Your exam answers must be your own work, they may include material adequately paraphrased from other sources, but any material quoted from other sources (including any diagrams, charts, tables or graphs) must clearly indicate the source even though full referencing is not expected. You can copy and paste text from other software into Inspera in an open-book exam but ensure you are familiar with your obligations under the honour code. Exam responses may be submitted to Turnitin for checking.

You should also bear in mind that referring to your own textbooks, notes, and other accessible resources may not be the best use of your time during your exam. Instead, do your best to memorise and learn your notes as you would for any conventional exam.

On the day of your exam: key points to understand in advance

As you will not be sitting an in-person exam, any support systems that you might be used to (such as walking to the Examinations Schools with your friends or meeting up before the exams) will not be available in the usual way. Therefore, you will need to consider this when preparing for the exam, as you will need to be self-reliant and entirely responsible for being punctual and organised beforehand.

Create your own exam conditions

As you will be taking your exams in your college room or in your own home, you will need to create your own exam conditions. Please take the necessary practical steps to be ready beforehand. We recommend that you have:

  • A space which is quiet and free from interruptions, with:
    - A desk
    - A comfortable chair
    - Adequate lighting
    - An internet-connected computer
    - Heating or cooling depending on the weather where you are, as far as this is practicable
  • A way to monitor your time, particularly if you need to account for the additional 30 minutes of technical time to upload any parts of your exam response for Mixed Mode or Handwritten Mode of completion. Note that the Inspera browser will include a countdown clock for your overall exam duration, but it will be your responsibility to manage your time within this.
  • Your books, notes, and other resources.
  • Your candidate number, single sign on (SSO) and password.
  • Drinking water and snacks, etc.

The honour code for open-book exams

Please take the time now, before your first exam, to read and understand the University’s honour code which is included in full below.

The University’s honour code interacts with and must be read and understood in conjunction with other key policies and regulations which interact with the honour code:

The University views cheating, acting dishonestly and/or collusion in an examination as serious disciplinary offences that may result in disciplinary actions, with the most severe penalty being expulsion from the University without a qualification. In the context of open-book examinations:

  • The University considers that accessing the question paper via any other means than directly, via the designated online platform, and/or sharing the question paper with other students, falls within its definition of cheating and of acting dishonestly.
  • The University reserves the right to use software applications, such as TurnitIn, to screen submitted work for matches either to electronic sources or to other submitted work.

Expected standards of behaviour

Students are expected to act as responsible members of the University’s community. In the context of open-book examination, this means students are:

(a) Not permitted to:

  • Discuss the exam with other students or post on social media or other fora within 36 hours of the UK start time.

(b) Permitted to:

  • Refer to their own course and revision notes; and
  • Access offline or online resources, for example textbooks or online journals.

(c) Expected to:

  • Submit work which has not been submitted, either partially or in full, either for their current Honour School or qualification, or for another Honour School or qualification of this University (except where the Special Regulations for the subject permit this), or for a qualification at any other institution; and
  • Indicate clearly the presence of all material they have quoted from other sources, including any diagrams, charts, tables or graphs. Students are not expected to reference, however if you provide a direct quote, or copy a diagram or chart, you are expected to make some mention of the source material as you would in a typical invigilated exam.
  • Paraphrase adequately all material in their own words

(d) Required to confirm as part of each submission:

  • That the work they are submitting for the open-book examination is entirely their own work, except where otherwise indicated; and...
  • That they have not copied from the work of any other candidate, nor consulted or colluded with any other candidate during the examination.

Honour code pledge

When you submit your exam answers at the end of your open-book exam, you will be asked to agree to the following pledge:

I acknowledge the University Honour Code and I hereby confirm that the submitted work is entirely my own and I have not (i) used the services of any agency or person(s) providing specimen, model or ghostwritten work in the preparation of the work I submit for this open book examination; (ii) given assistance in accessing this paper or in providing specimen, model or ghostwritten work to other candidates submitting for this open-book examination.

Materials for your exams

If supporting materials are required for the paper (for example, specific textbooks or case studies) these will either have been provided to you by your department in advance or will be available alongside your examination paper in Inspera on the day.

Know when to start your exam on the day

The vast majority of exams will start at 09.30 UK time (British Summer Time or BST, also known as GMT+1), but there may be a small number scheduled to start at 14.30 UK time. Please make sure you log in to Inspera fifteen minutes before the start of your exam, so that you are ready to begin on time.

If you are in the UK (or in a country where the UK exam time is aligned with your local working day – see exam timings below), you will begin the exam at the UK start time.

If the UK exam time is outside of the local working day where you are, you should follow the guidance below.

Please note these specific exam timings:

Exams starting in the morning in the UK

  • If you are in the UK, or in the time zones GMT+2 to +7
    You should begin your exam at 09.30 UK time

  • If you are in any other time zone
    You
    can start your exam at any point from 09.30 UK time but must start no later than 9:30 local time (i.e. the country you are in when you take the exam) - (this may be the day after the UK start time if your time zone is ahead of GMT). This flexibility is to allow you to sit during daytime hours, if that is your preference.


Exams starting in the afternoon in the UK

  • If you are in the UK, or in the time zone GMT+2
    You should begin your exam at 14:30 UK time

  • If you are in any other time zone
    You can start your exam at any point from 14:30 UK time but must start no later than 14:30 local time (i.e. the country you are in when you take the exam) - (this may be the day after the UK start time if your time zone is ahead of GMT). This flexibility is to allow you to sit during daytime hours, if that is your preference.

The existing exam adjustment process remains in place for students needing to request an adjustment to their exam start time outside the scope of the policy above, for example if you have caring responsibilities which cannot be rearranged for your exams. Please contact your college for support with the exam adjustments process.

A very small number of students, resident outside the UK, may experience a timetable clash, for example when starting a UK afternoon exam on the morning of the next day local time, followed by a subsequent exam scheduled for the morning UK time. If such clashes cannot be accommodated by the flexibility in the policy above, you may request an adjustment to your exam start time through the existing exam adjustments process.

Note: The UK will be in British Summer time (BST) throughout Trinity term. This is also known as GMT+1. To find out what time zone you are currently in, please use the Greenwich Mean Time website.

Starting your exam

Get everything set up for your exam before it is due to start. Fifteen minutes before your exam, log in to Inspera to make sure you can see the exam you’re about to sit. Make sure you have access to the Inspera User Guide if you need to refer to it during your exam.

It is very important that you understand that your exam time will start as soon as you click on ‘start test’ in Inspera.

If you’re typing into Inspera, your work should be saved continuously every 15-seconds, even if you go offline. You will see a countdown clock in the top left-hand corner of your Inspera screen, which includes approved extra time exam adjustments and your 30 minutes technical time, if your mode of completion is Handwritten or Mixed Mode. Once your exam duration has ended, Inspera will end your exam and automatically save any typed or uploaded work so that it can be passed onto your exam board.

Include your word count below each answer

If your examination conventions specify a word count for your exam paper, you will need to include the word count for each question, below your answer. If you’re typing your answers directly into Inspera, the word count for each answer will appear on-screen, so you can simply copy this figure into your response box. If you’re uploading answers, you’ll need to provide an estimated word count (e.g. counting the number of handwritten words per line, multiplied by the total number of lines on a page) and add this to the end of your document before uploading. You can use part of your 30-minutes technical time to do this.

How to upload some or all of your exam response - Handwritten or Mixed Mode

First make sure you review each of the requirements in the list below:

  • Save your documents as a PDF – it will not be possible to upload in other formats.
  • You may only upload ONE document per question. Any scanned images, diagrams or handwriting must be included in the same document. Please make absolutely sure you upload the correct document to each question and that all pages are included as you expect them to be as you will not be able to change this once your exam has ended.
  • In some cases, your department will have informed you that due to specific technical or language requirements you will need to type your response outside Inspera, and then upload your exam response as a single PDF into Inspera.
  • Uploaded documents should not contain any other pieces of information that could identify you to the marker of your paper.
  • The file name should follow the format: PaperNumber_Question Number.pdf, e.g. A15947W1_Q2.pdf.

Once you are ready to upload your documents, you can:

  • Upload a PDF into Inspera (max size 1GB per question)
  • View the PDF you have uploaded
    - Right-click the ‘Download’ button and select ‘open in a new tab’
  • Replace the PDF you have uploaded
    - This will ask you to upload a new file, and delete the existing one
  • Remove the PDF you have uploaded
    - This will remove the PDF for that question (e.g. if you have uploaded the PDF for the wrong question number)

For more details, follow the instructions in the Inspera User Guide for Students, making sure that you have worked through the checklist above before you do this.

Returning to your exam

Your exam will submit automatically when your exam time expires. If you wish to submit and leave the exam before your exam time is over, you can click on the tick icon in the bottom right corner of the screen. This will show you a summary of questions you have answered, with a button for ‘Submit and return to dashboard’. Clicking this button will take you out of your exam, and the exam responses you have already entered will be submitted when the exam time runs out. If you decide to return back into your exam, you can click on the ‘start test’ button again. This will NOT restart your exam, and will return you back into your exam to amend your responses. You can return into your exam as many times as you wish, but ONLY within your examination time. When your exam time (and extra time / technical time, if applicable) has run out, you will no longer be able to access your exam. The exam will continue to show in your ‘My exams’ tab on Inspera until the exam window has closed for all students.

Penalties for late exam responses

A revised policy on late penalties has been agreed and is detailed in your examination conventions as well as below. This policy only applies to handwritten or mixed mode exams – typed exams are automatically submitted and therefore cannot be submitted late.

TimePenalty
First 5 minutesNo penalty
6 minutes - 20 minutesFail mark (0)

You must not leave it until the last minute to submit your exam response. For handwritten and mixed mode exams you must submit within your exam duration (including any exam adjustments) plus allowed technical time. You are not able to submit in Inspera beyond your exam duration.

If you experience technical difficulties that mean you are unable to upload your response, you must immediately contact the Online Exams Support Desk, as follows:

• Primary means of support: Online Service Request form at: https://www.ox.ac.uk/online-exams-help. Please mention that you are currently sitting an online exam, the exam paper code, and paper name (if there is one). Both urgent and non-urgent queries can be submitted via this form; exam-day issues will be prioritised.

• If you are also having internet connection issues and cannot complete the online Service Request form, you can call the support number +44 1865 612121 (or 12121 internal) between 8.30 am and 5:00 pm (UK time), Monday to Friday.

• If it’s outside these core hours, you can call the 24/7 IT help team on +44 1865 612345.

If you submit your exam response late, penalties may be applied. If you believe you have a good reason for submitting late including difficulties related to uploading your response, you should submit a mitigating circumstances notice to examiners to explain this. The Exam Board will use the mitigating circumstances form to consider whether to waive penalties.

Technical help

During TT21 exams, technical support for your exams in Inspera will be available from the Online Exams Support Desk as follows:

  • Primary means of support: Online Service Request form at: https://www.ox.ac.uk/online-exams-help. Both urgent and non-urgent queries can be submitted via this form; exam-day issues will be prioritised.

  • If a student is having internet connection issues and cannot complete the online Service Request form they can call the support number +44 1865 612121 (or 12121 internal) between 8.30 am and 5:00 pm (UK time), Monday to Friday.

  • If you have an urgent query outside core hours, you can call the 24/7 IT help team on +44 1865 612345.


What if…

What if I have an emergency or I am ill on the day?

If your circumstances change and you are too unwell or otherwise unable to sit your exams, please contact your College office immediately for further advice (or your department if you do not have a college).

What if I miss my exam?

If you miss your exam time (according to the start times for your local time zone), it will not be possible to sit the exam late.

You will need to apply for exam excusal from the Proctors and it will only be possible to do this if you have not started your exam. You are considered to have started your exam if you have clicked on ‘start test’ in Inspera. Please contact your college office immediately for further advice on next steps (or your department if you do not have a college).

What if I think there is a factual error in the content of the exam paper?

It will not be possible to query the content of the exam paper during the exam. If you think that there is an error or mistake in your exam paper then you should state what you consider the error or mistake to be at the start of your answer for that question and if necessary, you should state your understanding of the question. You should then try to complete the paper as best you can.

What if I lose connectivity?

Continue to complete your exam. You will still be able to type into Inspera / handwrite your submission. However, you will not be able to upload files while offline. When your internet connection returns, all your typed work in Inspera will be saved. You should complete any uploads.

If you are still offline at the end of your exam, do not close your browser or leave the page. You will see a button for ‘Download and save submission’. Select this, and save the .ia file to your computer. This contains all work uploaded and typed into Inspera for your exam. When your internet connection returns, contact the Online Exams Support Desk www.ox.ac.uk/online-exams-help, and they will help you to upload this and any PDFs you were not able to upload. You will be advised on what to do next so that your department is aware of any issues you had during the exam.

If your internet connection issues persist and you need further help, you can call the Online Exams Support Desk on +44 1865 612121 between 8.30 am and 5:00 pm (UK time), Monday to Friday. Outside core hours, you can call the 24/7 IT help team on +44 1865 612345.

What if I run out of time and haven't uploaded my exam responses by the end of my exam duration?

If you are uploading a response in handwritten or mixed mode, you will not be able to submit via Inspera once the exam duration (including any exam adjustments and technical time) has finished.

You must immediately contact the Online Exams Support Desk, as follows:

• Primary means of support: Online Service Request form at: https://www.ox.ac.uk/online-exams-help. Please mention that you are currently sitting an online exam, the exam paper code, and paper name (if there is one). Both urgent and non-urgent queries can be submitted via this form; exam-day issues will be prioritised.

• If you are also having internet connection issues and cannot complete the online Service Request form, you can call the support number +44 1865 612121 (or 12121 internal) between 8.30 am and 5:00 pm (UK time), Monday to Friday.

• If it’s outside these core hours, you can call the 24/7 IT help team on +44 1865 612345.

If you submit your exam response late, penalties may be applied (see the Penalties for late exam response section on this webpage). If you believe you have a good reason for submitting late including difficulties related to uploading your response, you should submit a mitigating circumstances notice to examiners to explain this. The Exam Board will use the mitigating circumstances form to consider whether to waive penalties.

What if I upload the wrong attachment?

If your exam has not ended, select ‘Replace’ to delete the file, then add a new one.

If your exam has ended, contact the Online Exams Support Desk, as follows:
• Primary means of support: Online Service Request form at: https://www.ox.ac.uk/online-exams-help. Please mention that you are currently sitting an online exam, the exam paper code, and paper name (if there is one). Exam-day issues will be prioritised.
• If you are also having internet connection issues and cannot complete the online Service Request form, you can call the support number +44 1865 612121 (or 12121 internal) between 8.30 am and 5:00 pm (UK time), Monday to Friday.
• If it’s outside these core hours, you can call the 24/7 IT help team on +44 1865 612345.

What if I have mitigating circumstances?

If you believe your academic performance has been seriously affected by COVID-19 situation and/or any medical or personal issues please refer to the mitigating circumstances guidance online.

Your wellbeing during exams

Navigating exams can be difficult, but the University is committed to supporting you as you engage with the process. Your particular exam-related issues and challenges may be the same as those of your peers or they may be different. But whatever it is that makes the exam experience difficult for you, we would like to support you to address the challenges of exams as effectively as you can, so that you can feel proud of yourself and positive about how you approached the process.

You can find advice on the University’s Exam Wellbeing page.

The page has been updated to account for open-book exams and has been developed together with the Counselling Service, and in line with Wellbeing at Oxford - the University’s campaign focused on student mental health and wellbeing.

Closed-book and computer-marked exams sat online

A very small number of exams in Trinity term 2021 will be sat online using the same system as for open-book exams (Inspera) but these specific exams will have a closed-book format. This means that the exams need to be remotely invigilated, via a separate Zoom session. Your department will contact you directly if any of your exams are remotely invigilated and will provide full details of the remote invigilation process. Specific cohorts taking Prelim papers in Biology and Biochemistry will make use of a slightly different set-up for their exams in Inspera and the department will advise you on this directly.

All remote computer-marked exams (for example, multiple choice question exams in the Medical Sciences) will continue to use the existing version of Inspera for those specific exams, rather than the open-book version detailed on these web pages.

Invigilation of closed-book online exams

The vast majority of online exams will be fully open-book online in Trinity term 2021, which means there will be no invigilation (although students will sign an honour code).

A small number of closed-book exams will make use of the ‘Safe Exam Browser’ in Inspera to restrict the use of applications and websites outside Inspera during the exams.

The University does not currently plan to make use of Inspera’s proctoring or monitoring features. As such, there will be no video or audio recording; or the use of facial recognition technology on Inspera during exams. Any change to this position would only be taken after detailed consideration of the privacy implications, as well as consultation with students and staff.

If departments choose to conduct invigilation for specific closed-book exams, this will be carried out independently of Inspera, as was the case for a small number of exams in Michaelmas term 2020. Your department will inform you if invigilation will be used during any of your exams, and you can find more information on the Examination guidance webpages.

Take a practice exam

You can get exam-ready with practice exams in Inspera. Follow the step-by-step instructions in the Inspera User Guide to log in to Inspera and experience what it’s like to take an exam in Inspera. It’s an opportunity for you to practise all the core Inspera functionality you’ll need for your real exams. The practice exam includes generic questions and is not a subject-specific mock or past paper.

How to take a practice exam 

Please read the essential guidance on the TT21 open-book exams student webpage and in the Inspera Student Guide. Have multi-factor authentication (MFA) set up on your mobile and also have an additional method of authentication, e.g. the Authy app setup on your computer.

1.     Log in to Inspera: https://oxford.inspera.com/ with your Oxford SSO (go through MFA as needed) 
2.     Your forthcoming exams will appear under My Tests (exams are called ‘tests’ in Inspera) 
3.     Your department will have advised you which practice test you should take - either Format A or Format B (you’ll see both options listed). Two different formats of the same practice exam have been provided so you can practise taking the test based on how you’ll be writing and submitting your actual exam response.     
4.     If you want to practise uploading any part of the exam response, you’ll need to have read the guidance on scanning in the Inspera Student Guide beforehand.
5.     Follow the instructions. If you’d like to read the Honour Code, right click on the link.
6.     Once you’re ready to begin, click Start test.
7.     For these practice exams, you have 20 minutes so you will see what happens when you time out.
8.     the clock will count down in the top left corner as you write your response.
9.     Take a moment to browse around Inspera. Get used to how it looks and feels. You can practise doing different things, depending on the mode of completion your Department has selected for your exam(s) (typed, handwritten, or mixed mode), for example:

  • Type into the response box, enter enough text so that you can practise editing the text. Move around the screens, in particular the text editor, e.g., maximising the text box so it fills your screen, and minimising it again
  • Practise scanning and uploading a file (pdf) 

10.   Just as a reminder, when you submit your exam response, it will not be reviewed or marked by anyone – this whole process is for illustrative purposes only to help you be exam-ready.  

Remember to read the essential student guidance for TT21, so you can be prepared for your forthcoming online open-book exams.

If you experience any technical problems during exams, please complete the help form at: ox.ac.uk/online-exams-help or if you cannot get online, call +44 1865 612121 (Phoneline open from Week 0).

Was this page useful?*