First attempts process
This page provides you with information on what a first attempt is.
You can also find guidance on the first attempts process, information relating to students wanting to take their first attempts overseas and answers to other frequently asked questions relating to this process.
What is a first attempt?
Some students suffer circumstances beyond their control during the teaching and assessment of modules. Such students are advised to submit a mitigating circumstances case. The School Special Cases Committee (SSCC) may consider the case and agree that the circumstances were outside the student’s control and therefore grant a further opportunity to achieve a true mark (not capped at a pass mark as a resit is) this is known as a first attempt.
When a first attempt is granted and the student accepts it, the original mark is expunged from the student’s record and the student is permitted to retake the examination in the relevant re-assessment period and receive the full mark. (A1 on Banner or C1 if permitted as a carried module for the following session).
The schools update information on the Progression Tool to indicate a first attempt has been approved and accepted, run the Module First Attempts Report (SWRPRFA) and email this to the Assessment & Progress Team, who update the student’s record in Banner accordingly.
The student may find that circumstances change and they need to retain the original mark and lose the first attempt. The school must receive notification of this in writing before the day of the exam or before the student physically takes the examination. If the student sits the examination or the date of examination passes and no notification has been received, the student is not permitted to retain the original mark.
The schools update information on the Progression Tool for both UG and TP students to indicate a first attempt has been approved and accepted, run the SWRPRFA report and email this to the Assessment & Progress Team, who update the student’s record in Banner accordingly.
What is the First Attempts process?
Schools hold the SSCC (Schools Special Cases Committee) and the decisions are made. These should be taken to the Progression & Award Boards for approval.
The students are notified in writing or face to face, (it should be made clear that accepting the first attempt will result in the original mark being expunged, even if the first attempt mark is lower).
The student should confirm in writing their intention to accept the first attempt and that they understand the mark(s) will be expunged and cannot be reinstated. It was suggested that a standard letter stating all modules affected be produced and the student be required to sign this. This should be kept within the school.
Once this confirmation is received from the student, the school should update the Progression Tool to show all students that have been given and accepted first attempts. (Further information can be found on Resit Eligibility and Registration). The schools run the Module First Attempts Report (SWRPRFA) from the Progression Tool and email it to the Assessment & Progress Team. (Board minutes are no longer required).
The report will show all the students with a first attempt, per module, which the school have flagged in the Progression Tool.
The Assessment & Progress Team will use the SWRPRFA report to update the Resit Status Maintenance Form (SWARSIT) in Banner for the re-assessment period (or SFAREGS if the student is resitting as a carried module in the following session). This means that there will be no need for the students to apply online, but if they do, the Assessment & Progress Team will carry out checks and process the application.
Schools need to adhere to the deadlines for submitting first attempt information to enable the Assessment & Progress Team to produce assessment timetables based on accurate data. Please refer to the Programmes and Assessment Timeline for key date information.
Questions often asked in relation to First Attempts:
What do the codes on Banner mean?
In Banner a number of status’ are used to indicate what attempt a student is taking. Before the students apply to retake their assessments, all module status’ are updated to indicate the student is eligible to a further attempt at that module.
- RT – eligible to a further attempt at the module in the re-assessment period.
This status is recorded on SWARSIT – Resit Status Maintenance Form.
- CN – eligible to a further attempt at the module as a Carried Module, the following session.
This status is recorded on SWAREGS – Student Course Registration Form.
Once an application has been received from the student or via a SWRPRFA report from the school, the Banner records are updated accordingly to show the following:
- A1 – First attempt permitted and accepted, to be taken in the re-assessment period.
- A2 – Second attempt applied for, to be taken in the re-assessment period.
- A3 – Third and final attempt applied for, to be taken in the re-assessment period.
- C1 – First attempt permitted and accepted*.
- C2 – Second attempt applied for*.
- C3 – Third and final attempt applied for*.
- T1 – Student permitted to re attend teaching for a first attempt and accepted*.
- T2 – Student applied to re attend teaching for a second attempt*.
- T3 – Student applied to re attend teaching for a third and final attempt*.
* The assessment will be taken in the relevant assessment period, when the module is next offered, in the session following the original attempt.
How many attempts are Taught students permitted:
This depends on whether the student is undergraduate or postgraduate; and if undergraduate, whether they started the programme of study before 2016/2017 or after; please refer to Resit Eligibility and Registration for detailed guidance.
How do students access Minerva (Portal and VLE) and apply to resit?
If eligible, the student should log into Minerva (Portal and VLE) using their University username and password, for more information on how to apply and access Minerva, please refer to Resits.
How do students access Minerva (Portal and VLE) and apply to take approved first attempts overseas?
Due to the current situation, there is an expectation that the majority of assessments in 2020/21 will be online. However, if any resits are planned as written on-campus assessments, then any students wishing to take the assessment in their home country will need to apply to sit it overseas.
For any written on-campus assessments, students may be eligible to take the resit (or approved further first attempt) assessments abroad if:
- Their home address is outside the UK and they are asking to sit the exam in their home country.
- They are working or studying abroad as part of their programme.
- They are an exchange student who has already returned home.
The assessment must be suitable to be taken outside the University and a suitable assessment environment must be available (e.g. British Council; home university).
A flowchart of the process including students applying to sit overseas is available to view in PDF format.
When a student has logged into Minerva and accessed their results information, they will receive information relating to taking assessments abroad. It is the student’s responsibility to access the link to indicate their intention to take the assessments overseas. They must enter the city and the country of their preferred British Council (e.g. Sao Paulo, Brazil) and then submit.
The Assessment & Progress Team will check that the preferred British Council is able to accommodate assessments, and will email the student if there are any problems.
If there isn't a British Council near to where the student lives, but they have found a suitable alternative institution which has agreed to accommodate their assessments, the student should email Overseas Assessments before the deadline with their request, their full name, their student identification number and the name and contact details for the institution.
If they haven't already done so, students should apply for the modules they want to resit or liaise with their Parent School regarding approved first attempts.
What are the deadlines for notifying the Assessment & Progress Team of first attempts?
Different deadlines are set to receive information from schools depending on whether the information relates to a finalist student or a non-finalist, please refer to the Programmes and Assessment Timeline of Events for the relevant deadlines.
The deadline for the receipt of information on finalists applying to re-sit*, in an attempt to improve their award, is driven by the need for decisions on ceremony attendance at the Degree Ceremonies.
The deadline for receipt of information regarding non-finalist students is driven by the need to produce the relevant re-assessment timetable. It is crucial schools meet the deadline for the completion of the progression exercise and deadline for non-finalists to apply to re-sit, to enable the accurate capture of data for the population of the assessment timetable.
*Where a student has passed a module but has been granted and accepted a first attempt, the online process cannot identify and flag these modules, so the students cannot apply on line. The Assessment & Progress Team relies on schools for this information.