Ad hoc exams procedure

Ad hoc examinations are formal University exams, managed by the Exams Team, that occur outside main examination periods. Specific procedures relate to these exams.


The University charges schools for ad hoc exams unless the school can provide reasonable justification to hold them outside the main examination periods. Reasonable justification, for example, could be General Medical Council requirements.

Request an ad hoc exam

The University asks schools to provide a schedule of up-coming ad hoc exams at the start of each academic session.  

If you need to schedule an ad hoc exam, complete the Application to request invigilators form (Word document) as soon as you know details of the exam, and give a minimum of 15 working days' notice. 

All ad hoc exams should be conducted within normal office hours, i.e. exams should start at 9:30am onwards and finish no later than 4:30pm.

If any students taking the exam require Exam Access Arrangements, please also complete an Application to request invigilators - Special Circumstances Venues form (Word document).


The exams team will notify schools of their allocated invigilators for ad hoc exams by email. 

Special circumstances

Amanuenses, readers and prompters

Some invigilators are trained as amanuenses, readers or prompters. Indicate on the request form if a student requires any of these services.

Students using these services are allowed 15 minutes extra time per hour. This is not in addition to any extra time the student already receives. Amanuenses are allowed a 15-minute break during the exam, which is not included in the overall duration.

If a student needs a specialist mentor, the school should arrange this with Disabled Students' Assessment and Support.

Computer exams

If a student needs a computer exam, the school should arrange this in liaison with Disabled Students' Assessment and Support and IT.

Cancel an ad hoc exam

If you need to cancel an ad hoc exam, notify the exams team immediately, giving at least three working days notice. The school will be charged with any costs incurred from a late cancellation.

Change arrangements

If you change the arrangements of an ad hoc exam, such as the duration or date, there is no guarantee that the invigilators will still be available, and the school may need to provide cover. The school will be charged with any additional costs.

Exam papers

Schools can give exam papers to the exams team in advance, or take them directly to the exam venue.

If a school gives exams papers to the exams team in advance, then invigilators will take the papers to the venue, and return them to the exams team at the end of the exam so school staff can collect them. You should provide a contact name and telephone number in case of queries.

If a school wishes to take exam papers directly to the venue, the papers should arrive at least 30 minutes in advance of the exam starting for large venues and 15 minutes in advance for smaller venues.

Ad hoc exam papers should be printed on the same colour of paper as in main exam periods. The standard paper colours are:

  • white, if students are permitted to take the question paper away at the end
  • pink, if students are not permitted to take the question paper with them after the exam
  • blue, if students are required to answer questions on the paper.

Seat lists and candidate numbers

If an exam has four candidates or fewer, schools should provide the Exams Team with the students’ names so the Team can take gender into account when it allocates invigilators.

If an exam has more than four candidates, schools should provide the Exams Team with a seating list.

If schools will use multiple venues, there should be a seating list for each venue. Schools must provide multiple copies so that a complete set of seating lists will be available in each venue, and allocate students from seat number one in each venue.

Contact the Exams Team for venue accommodation numbers.