Helpful Information for Examiners

The Central Examination Office uses this page to inform all examiners, their administrative offices and all other persons who are interested about recent developments and relevant changes to the management of examinations.

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NEW as of 01/10/2021: Changes to the RPO

Changes to the General Examination Regulations from Winter Semester 2021/22

NEW: Winter Semester 21/22 Dates and Deadlines

Semester dates

Central Examination Office
Rubenowstraße 2
17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 420 1278
Fax: +49 3834 420 1279

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The New General Examination Regulations (RPO)

Which changes take effect as of winter semester 2021/22?

Dissertations - Change of Topic (§ 28 RPO)

(3) ‘[...] Prior to submission of the dissertation, upon request from the student, the topic can be changed following consultation with the supervisors and approval from the chairperson of the examination board. This does not affect the length of the writing-up period for the dissertation. The chairperson of the examination board must pass his/her decision within three working days.’

Following approval from the examination board and consultation with the appointed supervisors of the dissertation, students can now request topics that have already been approved for their dissertation to be changed, for example if the subject focus of their work has shifted in a way that was unpredictable at the start. The request for a change of topic must be submitted in writing to the Central Examination Office in good time. A change of topic on the day of submission will not be considered ‘in good time’. However, corrections of spelling mistakes can still be made at any time.

Recognition of Achievements from Outside of Tertiary Education (§ 43 RPO)

(5) ‘Competencies and skills acquired outside of tertiary education are to be accredited to university studies if they are equivalent to the content and level of that part of studies that is to be replaced. Overall, no more than 50 percent of the studies may be replaced. The recognition criteria pursuant to sentence 1 are stipulated in the subject-specific study and examination regulations.’

From winter semester 2021/22 onwards, competencies and skills gained outside of tertiary education (e.g. during a previous occupation) can be accredited if they are deemed to be equivalent. This was not previously possible.

Registration for Examinations - Changes to Deadlines (§ 41 RPO)

(1) ‘Students must register for each attempt at an examination. Registration for examinations is only permitted within the 5-week registration period (cut-off period) that will be announced in due course at the beginning of each semester. Registration is to be done in electronic form according to the procedures set by the University, in exceptional cases also in written form to the Central Examination Office. For certain examinations, the subject-specific examination regulations may require written registration with the examiner that must be done within a 5-week registration period (cut-off period) that is announced in a timely manner at the beginning of the semester. Students are considered to be registered for the examinations if the requests for admission to the examinations have been received by the Central Examination Office. Only those who have requested allocation of a topic for the dissertation are considered registered for the undergraduate dissertation.

The Central Examination Office will no longer automatically register students for resits of examinations, the students are now responsible for doing so themselves. Furthermore, they are no longer obliged to take the resit on the next possible date.

From now on, the full registration process for examinations will take place online and students will be able to register for free throughout the entire five-week registration period (formerly registration + extended registration period).

Termination of Enrolment due to Exceeding the Standard Length of Study - Extension of Permitted Exceedance (§ 37 RPO)

‘Enrolment can be terminated if the length of studies is more than twice as long as the standard length of study stipulated in the examination regulations and the student has not successfully passed all of the examinations required for successful completion of studies for the degree. This does not apply if the student has submitted a detailed plan for finishing studies within two semesters following attendance of an advisory session with the respective departmental advisory service. If the studies are not completed within four further semesters, enrolment shall be terminated subject to the provisions of § 38.’

Whilst up until winter semester 2021/22 it was decisive whether a module examination had been completed at the latest 2 to 4 semesters (depending on the examination regulations) after the regular examination date, it is now the standard length of study of the entire degree course that matters. This significantly extends the deadlines for taking examinations. In particular, it now makes it possible for the students to decide for themselves in which order they would like to complete their modules (apart from in cases in which there are certain admission requirements pursuant to the respective study and examination regulations). However, we strongly recommend students complete their modules in the order defined in the sample study plans to make sure they complete their studies correctly.

Marking Deadlines for Written Examinations (§ 20 RPO) and Written Assignments (§ 21 RPO)

1. The marking procedure for written examinations shall last no longer than four weeks per examiner; in justified exceptional circumstances, the Central Examination Office can agree to an extension of the deadline (§ 20(2) RPO).

In the interest of the students, the deadline for marking a written examination will now be limited to a maximum of four weeks. Examiners should contact the Central Examination Office if an extension of this deadline is required due to exceptional circumstances.

2. The marking procedurefor written assignments must be completed at the latest by the end of the semester in which the students had registered. If this leads to a marking deadline of less than six weeks per examiner, the deadline is extended correspondingly (§ 21(1) RPO).

In the interest of the students, the deadline for marking a written assignment will now be limited to a maximum of six weeks.

Written Assignments - Obligation to Submit a Declaration of Authorship (§ 21 RPO)

(1) ‘[...] When submitting written assignments, students must declare in writing with signature that they have completed the work – if the work is being submitted as group work, the corresponding proportion of the written assignment completed by the individual – independently with no further aids or sources other than those listed.’

From now on, students must submit a written declaration for every written assignment they submit, in which they confirm that they have completed the work independently. The declaration is only valid if it has been signed by the student. If the declaration of authorship has not been submitted, the written assignment will be marked ‘insufficient’ (5,0) as it has not been completed in the due form (§ 44(2)).

Oral Examinations - Deadline for Recording Results (§ 19 RPO)

(4) ‘[...] The marks [of the oral examination] must be recorded electronically by the examiner at the latest one week after the date of the examination.’

Previously, there were no provisions regulating when the results of oral examinations had to be published online and by whom. As of winter semester 2021/22, examiners must publish the results of the oral examination online at the latest one week after the date of the examination. The minutes of the examinations (as previously) must be submitted for the examination records to the Central Examination Office.

Developing Degree Courses - Ratio between Credit Points and SWS (Contact Hours/Week) (§ 5 RPO)

‘(4) [...] Modules should comprise at least five and a maximum of 15 credit points. A degree course can have a maximum scope of 5 modules per semester of the standard length of study. In each (part of a) degree course, the ratio between credit points and contact hours with a member of teaching staff must be at least 1.5 for all modules that provide at least some on-site teaching. If credit points are awarded for practical sections of the degree course, at least 1 credit point must be awarded per contact hour.

Future changes to existing degree courses and plans to create new degree courses must observe the obligatory ratio between credit points and contact hours per week, as well as the maximum number of modules. This has been introduced, above all, to reduce the workload related to examinations for students and examiners.

Planning a Degree Course – Number of Exams per Module (§ 7 RPO)

‘(1) Module examinations consist of one form of assessed coursework. They can consist of two forms of assessed coursework, if it is only possible to determine that the qualification objective has been achieved through various kinds of assessed coursework. It must be made sure that no more than six pieces of assessed coursework must be completed per semester, apart from the last semester. Deviations to these regulations can be made, if the degree course ensures that no more than five pieces of assessed coursework must be completed per semester, apart from in the last semester.’

Future changes to existing degree courses and plans to create new degree courses must also limit the maximum amount of examinations. This has been introduced, above all, to reduce the workload related to examinations for students and examiners. Exceptions for artistic degree courses are defined separately in § 7(2) RPO.

Planning a Degree Course – Calculation of Marks (§ 9 RPO)

‘(1) The subject-specific examination regulations stipulate that for bachelor’s degree courses the marks of at least 70 percent of the modules weighted according to credit points are included in the final mark. The relevant modules must be clearly marked. The marks of the modules completed at the start of studies, if at all included in the final mark, shall be included with a comparatively lower weighting. Sentence 1 applies correspondingly to master’s degree courses, however, the percentage of modules included in the final mark in these degree courses is 80.

From now on, modules taking place in the first two study semesters at the start of a degree course shall either not be included in the final mark, or only with a reduced weighting. If this is not defined in the subject-specific examination regulations, they will be included in the final mark with a weighting that corresponds to half of the module’s corresponding workload (§ 9(2) RPO).

Examination Management System/Self-Service Portal – Recording of Examination Results (§ 54 RPO)

‘(4) The appointed examiners take part in the digital recording of the results of the assessed and non-assessed coursework and are responsible for entering the results into the examination management system.’

The new provision defines the responsibility for the digital recording of the examination results for the first time. The responsibility lies solely with the examiners as of winter semester 2021/22. The results will no longer be recorded by the Central Examination Office. Step-by-step instructions (in German) for the digital recording of examination results can be found here [de].

Attempted Cheating - Helping Others to Cheat (§ 44 RPO)

(4) [...] ‘The preceding regulations apply correspondingly to students that help fellow students to cheat.’

From now on, examination papers submitted by students who have helped fellow students to cheat will also be marked with ‘insufficient’, even if they have not cheated themselves.

Attempted Cheating - Less Serious Case (§ 44 RPO)

(2) An examination that is considered to have been failed due to attempted cheating may only be retaken once; twice in less serious cases.’ If a retaken examination is considered to have been failed due to attempted cheating, it is also considered to have been failed at the final attempt.

From now on, attempted cheating will be categorised into serious and less serious cases. The examination may be repeated either once or twice, depending on the kind of cheating. Whether it is a serious or ‘only’ less serious case of attempted cheating is to be determined initially by the examiner. The Central Examination Office will convene with the examination boards to compose a list of example rules for orientation.

Retaking of Examinations - Number of Attempts at an Examination (§ 40 RPO)

(1) ‘A failed examination or examination that is considered to have been failed can be retaken three times. [...]’

The maximum number of examination resits has been raised from two to three attempts. However, this does not apply to dissertations or examinations, in which the student had previously tried to cheat.

Additional Courses - Recognition of Study Achievements Completed at the University (§ 32 RPO)

(4) ‘Only assessed and non-assessed coursework that has been completed at the University of Greifswald can be recognised as additional courses.’

Study achievements that have been completed at other universities in Germany and abroad can only be recognised if they correspond to the study content of the subject being studied at the University of Greifswald or their content is to be recognised as equivalent (curricular study achievements). The recognition and recording of a non-curricular study achievement that has been completed externally as an additional course is therefore not possible. The decision regarding the recognition of assessed and non-assessed coursework is made by the responsible examination board upon request.

Important Dates Winter Semester 2021/22

Below you will find an overview of the important dates and deadlines for winter semester 2021/22:

Start of semester 1 October 2021
Start of lecture period 11 October 2021
Appointment of examiners and notification of examination dates 18 October - 1 November 2021
Examination registration period 29 November 2021 - 3 January 2022
Submission deadline for lists of dates and participants 5 January - 14 January 2022
Announcement of examination dates up until 28 January 2022
End of lecture period/start of examination period 31 January 2022
Checking of deadlines 31 March 2022

Marking Deadlines as of WiSe 2021/22

The following deadlines for marking examinations, including their digital recording via the self-service portal enter into force together with the changes to the RPO as of winter semester 2021/22:

Oral examinations: 1 week (max.)
Written examinations: 4 weeks (max.)
Written assignments: 6 weeks (max.)
Dissertations: 4 weeks (without digital recording)

* When marking assessed coursework, in addition to the allocation of marks or points, it might be necessary to record special circumstances that occurred during the examination process. Situations that must be recorded separately:

  • Non-appearance / Non-submission (NE)

  • Non-appearance / Non-submission of non-assessed coursework (NEU)

  • Cheating (TA)

These special kinds of fail can be linked to special examination regulations and must therefore be provided.