Take Home Exams: What are they like?

I sat my Politics, Law and Ethics exam this week. But from home. What was it like?

At 11 o’clock this Tuesday, my Politics, Law and Ethics exam paper became available on Blackboard to complete. I should have been sitting it in an exam hall, with two hours to complete it, but instead, due to coronavirus, I am sitting it at home with 48 hours to complete it.

According to the Christ Church take-home examination centre, “the examinations will be similar to the formal examination you would have taken in-person” and they are also “designed to be completed within the 2-hour or 3-hour time constraint normally given to the examination”.

From Blackboard, you will download a word document with your paper on. From here, it’ll look almost exactly like your paper you would get in a normal exam.

What your front page of your exam will look like

Your paper will tell you exactly who to contact for any academic reasons (this most likely be the tutor of the module) and contact details for iZone, in case of any technical issues. For my paper specifically there was guidance on what exam questions to answer, what marks they were worth, and any reading material they recommended.

This is important: at the start of your exam, you must copy and paste the following statement of authenticity:

By taking the online exam, I confirm that the work is my own.

After, add your full name and student ID number. This can be found on your student card, or Blackboard.

Tips for the exam

1) Revise!

Just because it’s an open book exam with suggested material, still means you should revise. You don’t want to be caught scrambling through a hefty textbook for answers. Questions will usually require short, to the point answers that textbooks may not provide the answers to.

2) In case of any difficulties, contact someone right away

If you have any issues, like something is wrong with your paper, contact your academic tutor immediately for help. If it’s something technical, the iZone are available between Monday to Saturday, 9am – 5pm to help out.

3) Save, save and save again!

Saving your work is one of the most important things to do when writing a proposal or an essay. You do not want to be caught out mid way through your exam and your Word document crashes and looses all of your progress!

4) Don’t unintentionally cheat

The university have confirmed that take home exams will be subject to the same plagarism checks through Turnit In and “other means”. What this means is, that like your coursework and essays, they will be checked to make sure you haven’t copied and pasted from the internet, or copied your friends.

5) Hand the exam in on time

My exam required me to hand it in 48 hours after it was released at 11 am. Before submitting, ensure that it reads through well, and spelling and grammar is good. Then, upload it it to Turnitin. No late submissions are allowed, so make sure you get in before the submission time.

Good luck!

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