Release of Examination Papers - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures enact PPL 3.10.02a Assessment – Policy.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Examination script – a student’s written responses to examination questions.

Marking Scheme – the mechanism by which marks, including part marks where appropriate, were allocated to student answers to examination questions.

RTI – Right To Information.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all students and staff of The University of Queensland.

4. Procedures Statement

Students will have open access to past end of semester examination papers with a question paper, or a sample question paper, to be released to the Library following the corresponding deferred and supplementary examination period.

5. Release of Examination Papers

5.1 At the conclusion of the end of semester examination period, schools will provide to the Examinations section, for release to the Library, a copy of the end of semester school-based examination papers, or a sample paper in the case of papers exempted from release to the Library.

5.2 In the case of centrally administered end of semester examinations for which prior approval has been received for exemption from release to the Library, course coordinators must indicate that such exemption has been received when submitting the examination paper to the Examinations section. Unless otherwise indicated, all examination papers will be considered fit for release by the Examinations section to the Library.

6. Exemption from Release of End of Semester Examination Papers

There may be rare and exceptional circumstances that will significantly compromise the educational value of future examinations if the examination paper is released to the Library.

In such circumstances, both school based and centrally administered examination papers may be exempted from release, and instead a sample examination paper must be released to the Library.

6.1 Applying for exemption

6.1.1 Should a course coordinator wish to apply for exemption from release of an examination paper to the Library, a case must be made through the head of school to the President of Academic Board.

6.1.2 The request for exemption must be submitted by the head of school to the President of Academic Board no later than three weeks prior to commencement of the semester in which the course is to be offered.

6.1.3 In deciding whether to approve the application, the President of Academic Board may give consideration to-

  • whether and how the disclosure of the examination paper would prejudice the testing method or procedure, and
  • whether there are any other compelling factors that support non-disclosure, and
  • the alternative methods by which students will be provided with opportunities to prepare for the examination.

6.1.4 Where approval is granted, the President of Academic Board will set the duration of the exemption, up to a period of three years.

6.1.5 Examinations section will maintain the record of approval and expiry. The examination paper cover sheet will reflect the paper is not for release to the Library.

6.2 Provision of sample examination papers

6.2.1 Where an end of semester examination paper has been exempted from release, a sample examination paper must be made available for lodgement in the Library. Sample examination papers must be in a format similar to that of the final examination paper, so that students are well prepared in terms of the requirements (for example: length, scope, rigour).

6.2.2 A new sample paper may need not to be set each year. The sample paper can be re-used, unmodified or with minor changes, for the duration of the exemption from release of the examination paper; however, the sample paper must reflect the expectations for the current year.

6.2.3 Through heads of schools, an appropriate quality control mechanism must be in place to check the ongoing relevance of sample papers, and to ensure that any change in the course content is reflected in a new sample paper.

6.2.4 The Assessment Sub-Committee must conduct an audit of a random selection of non-released end of semester examination papers to ensure that the sample paper is reflective of the actual examination paper.

7. Access to Examination Scripts

7.1 Inspection of examination scripts

Even where exemption from release of an examination script is approved, the University's PPL 3.10.02 Assessment - Procedures entitles a student to inspect the marking scheme or model answers used to allocate marks or grades, and, under supervision, their script and the question paper. However, it does not entitle students to make copies of any of these documents.

7.2 Restricted access to examination scripts

Course coordinators who have been exempted from releasing their examination question papers and who also wish to prohibit students from accessing their answers on the grounds that it is tantamount to providing access to the question papers must make a special case direct to the President of the Academic Board.

8. Right to Information

Access to an examination question paper or examination script may be sought under the Queensland Right To Information legislation. A case for non-disclosure based on educational grounds must be consistent with the prima facie case that would need to be argued under the RTI Act. However, considerations favouring disclosure, such as the desirability of providing students with feedback, will also be taken into account in determining whether an examination question paper should be disclosed under the Act. Course coordinators must take such factors into account when applying for exemption under these procedures.

Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson