Exams: results and support available

We hope your exams went well, but if things didn't go to plan, it may be helpful for you to understand your options, as most formal processes have deadlines. The options available to you depend on your course and the type of issues that affected your exams.


Issues with the exam


Mark checks

Exam Feedback



In the first instance, our Flowchart for processes on examination-related issues (please see below) could help you identify what options might be available to you. Through these processes, you can let the University know about the issues you experienced and the impact on your studies and exam results.

Flowchart for Processes on Examination-Related Issues

If you experienced issues with the conduct of the examination or had mitigating circumstances such as illness or grave cause, our Flowchart for Processes on Examination-Related Issues could help you identify what options might be available to you.

Guide to Getting Through Exams

Our Guide to getting through Exams has guidance and information on any concerns you may have about your exams and tips on how to de-stress before the test. Additionally, sources of information on managing exam stress can also be found on the University Student Wellbeing pages and on the Student Minds webpage here.




An examination is an assessment that receives marks which count towards your University of Cambridge award.

Some examples of issues with the conduct of the examination may include:

• large amounts of external noise;

• your reasonable adjustments were not put in place or adhered to;

• bias during the assessment or the marking process;

• mitigating circumstances for certain postgraduate courses (listed below);

• University's actions relating to COVID-19 and/or industrial action that affected your exam results.

If your exam results were impacted by any of these or you experienced other issues with the conduct of the exam, you can submit an Examination Review within 28 days of receiving your results.

Evidence is required and this could be a medical letter, a letter from your invigilator, University regulations, a letter from your Tutor and/or your Director of Studies if applicable, etc.

The University's procedure can be accessed here.

Our guidance on examination reviews can help you understand the process independently and guide you through writing your application. Please see below.

Information Guide on the Examination Review Procedure

For issues relating to the conduct of the examination, all students can find more information in this guide. If you are registered for one of the following degrees: B.D, M.D, Vet.M.D, Ph.D., Bus.D, Eng.D, M.Sc, M.Litt, M.Phil. Degree by dissertation or Certificate of Postgraduate Study, and experienced mitigating circumstances, you can request an Examination Review.

Information Video on the Examination Review Procedure

We have also produced an information video on the Examination Review Procedure, including details on the different grounds of the procedure and examples of evidence that could be provided to support your application. This information video can be found here.

Guidance for Filling in the Examination Review Form

This guidance is for students who submit an Examination Review and need assistance in filling in the Examination Review Form.

In this guide, you can find information such as what you might want to consider before filling in the form, an example of how a case could be presented, the next steps after you submit the form and where to access further support.



mitigating circumstances

If you are an undergraduate student or a student on certain postgraduate courses (listed below) and you experienced issues such as:

• a bad cold, the flu or a long-term illness which has recently been diagnosed;

• a recently diagnosed disability for which you did not have reasonable adjustments;

• a flareup of a long-term illness or disability;

• bereavement of a close one or a family emergency.

You or your College could let the University know of your mitigating circumstances and the impact on your assessments by submitting an Examination Allowance within three months of receiving your exam results.

An application should be supported by evidence such as a letter from a doctor, College Nurse where appropriate, a hospital note and any other available evidence.

The University's guidance notes for examination allowances can be found here.  

Our resources on examination allowances (see below) can help you understand the process independently, guide you through writing your personal statement, and help you gather your medical evidence.

Information Guide on Examination Allowances

Undergraduate and postgraduate students studying towards one of these degrees: EMBA, LLM, MASt, MBA, MCL, MEng, MFin, MMath, MMus, MSci and PGCE, MPhil by Advanced Study, MRes, MEd and MSt degrees and the Certificate of Postgraduate Study (CPGS) and Postgraduate Diplomas in Economics, Legal Studies and International Law, and who have experienced mitigating circumstances, can submit an Examination Allowance.

Guidance on Writing Your Personal Statement for an Examination Allowance

You can write a personal statement to support your application for an Examination Allowance.

This resource provides guidance on points you could consider including in your statement, an example of a personal statement and a template to help you draft your own statement.

Template - Personal Statement for an Examination Allowance

This is a template to help you write your own personal statement for an Examination Allowance in a word document. If you need it in a different format, please contact the Student Advice Service who would be happy to help.

Guidance on Medical Evidence

This guide is for students who submit applications on medical grounds to the University for an Examination Allowance, Examination Review or Intermission. You can share these notes with your medical practitioner to assist them in providing your medical evidence. Depending on your circumstances, this guidance might be helpful to you in other situations.



Mark Checks

If none of the above options applies to your situation and you feel you deserved a different result, you could request a mark check.

You, your Director of Studies or Tutor could contact your department which should have a process in place to provide mark checks.

The mark check process should:

• check that your marks on individual questions/papers have been added up correctly;

• ensure all your answer booklets have been marked by the Examiners;

• check that any reasonable adjustments relating to the marking of your assessments have been put in place.

Information from the University on mark checks can be accessed here.


exam feedback

According to information from the University, students can receive feedback from External Examiners' reports and any responses to them.

Students may also request internal Examiners' reports including comments about the cohort's performance as a whole.

You, your College Tutor or Director of Studies could contact the department administrator who could provide further information on obtaining feedback on exams.

Further information can be found here.



COVID-19 and Industrial Action Complaints 

If you have been impacted by COVID-19 and/or industrial action during the 2021/22 academic year and wish to submit a complaint you can access details of the procedure here. The deadline to raise a complaint is 18 July 2022.

We recommend that you seek support and advice before submitting your complaint and this could be from a College/Graduate Tutor or the Student Advice Service.  The Student Advice Service can guide you through the complaint process, including helping you present your complaint as comprehensively as possible. 


University Complaint

If you wish to raise issues about the academic provision that may have impacted your studies, you can make a complaint through the student complaint procedure.

Some examples of issues you could raise are:

• issues with the course content or information provided about the course;

• issues accessing resources and facilities and/or the standards of service from the University;

• issues with postgraduate supervision and University teaching.

You should raise your complaint as soon as it occurs or within 28 days of the matter arising.

Details of the University complaint procedure can be found here.


College Complaint

If the issue relates to a provision from your College, a College service or a staff member, you will need to follow your College's complaints procedure. You should be able to obtain a copy of the procedure from the tutorial office or in your student handbook.

This includes issues with your College's academic provisions that may have impacted your student experience or your exam results.

Deadlines for raising a complaint may vary from College to College.


Make an appointment

Make an appointment or submit an enquiry here.

You are also welcome to send us an email at advice@cambridgesu.co.uk.