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It’s exams season: How can you help?

11 Jan 2016

Surprisingly simple ways to support our students through one of the most important periods of their University life


Semester one exams begin on Monday, 18 January, with more than 29,000 of our students sitting exams right across campus before they end on Friday, 29 January.

Exams are among the most important periods of students’ time with us, and teams throughout the University have been busy preparing for this most busy of times. From the Exams team in the Directorate for Student Experience, to academics and support teams in Schools, and from the Central Teaching Spaces team in the Directorate of Estates to the Skills Development team in the Library, hundreds of staff are involved.

But even if you’re not directly involved in supporting exams on campus, you can still play a big part in making this period a little bit easier for students.

  • Keep the noise down

With more than 1100 individual exam sittings to pack into the two weeks, they use up a lot of rooms. That means it’s very likely that your office or meetings will be close to an exam venue.

During the exams period, try to keep noise to a minimum, especially when walking along corridors or through public spaces. Signs are usually posted at exam venues, but it’s possible that there’s a venue near you that you don’t even know about.

  • Let them go first

We’ve all got somewhere to be, and work doesn’t stop during the exams period. But letting students into a lift ahead of you, or letting them cut the line to order a last-minute latte could really make their day and take one less stress away before a three-hour exam.

  • Ask them if they’re ok

AskMe isn’t just for new students in September; you can really help students during exams with simple knowledge about buildings and directions. Exams take place in all kinds of venues, and most students will take theirs in unfamiliar buildings and rooms - like Humanities exams in Sackville Street, or Engineering in the Armitage Centre.

If you spot a bewildered looking student between Monday, 18 and Friday, 29 January, why not offer a bit of help? Even a friendly smile from staff will do wonders ahead of an exam.

  • Know what support is available

If you regularly speak with students, finding out what support is available to them will be really useful to both them, and you.

The main source of exam support for students is the Exams microsite, which explains everything students need to know about exam regulations, avoiding malpractice, as well as where to find revision and pastoral support and past papers. Spend a little time exploring the site, so the next time you’re speaking with students in full revision mode you can point them in the right direction.