Taking an exam


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Taking an exam

When taking an exam, the conditions for students need to be as favourable as possible. It is also important that these conditions are similar for all students.

While taking the exam, there are several factors that influence the reliability and validity of the exam results:

  • The contents of the exam;
  • The instructions prior to the exam;
  • The location and conditions;
  • The tools;
  • The examiners and invigilators.


The contents of the exam

First of all, it is important that the assessment items and/or assignment are formulated in such a way that no questions arise while taking it. The exam may not contain any mistakes.

The instructions prior to the exam

Prior to the exam it needs to be clear to students what is expected of them while taking the exam and which rules apply to the exam they are taking. This is indicated on the exam itself (written or digital) and can also be explained by the invigilators.

The location and conditions

The exam location can influence students’ performance. For example, attention needs to be paid to the temperature, excessive noise and how the tables are set up. In the case of a digital exam, an E-support employee will make sure proper hardware and software are present.

The tools

It needs to be clear to students and invigilators which exam-related tools are allowed to be used during the exam, such as literature, law bundles, a calculator and more. It is important that this information is available timely and unambiguously on Brightspace, on the cover page of the exam itself and on the invigilator form.

The examiners and invigilators

During a written exam, the examiner(s) does/do not need to be present. On behalf of the examiner, the invigilator is responsible for the optimally controlled conditions in which an exam is taken. Also, during a digital exam an E-support employee is present for any technical support during the exam.

Student facilities

Based on a specific request for help or functional disability, students can request special facilities for exams. Think of, for example, extra exam time or software that reads text out loud. The student needs to request this themselves with the student counselor, who will in their turn advise the Examining Board.

On the student website there is a list of all student facilities which, after approval by the Examining Board, can be facilitated. When a student makes use of a facility that may need extra attention, the faculty assessment organisation will contact the examiner.

Rules and guidelines

While taking any exam, certain rules and guidelines in accordance with the EER of the related faculty apply. In addition, there are Radboud-wide exam rules, protocols for surveillance and fraud protocols.

Digital assessment in the Comenius building

Digital assessments with Cirrus are primarily taken in the Comenius building. With 889 exam seats, this building is the main assessment location of Radboud University. In this assessment building, exams of different faculties are taken simultaneously.

Informing students

Planning and preparing a digital exam follows a set amount of steps. Because of this, students can not be added to the list of exam candidates after the registration deadline. Make sure students are well-informed on how to prepare for a digital exam.

  • Students need to register via OSIRIS at the latest 6 working days before the exam. At the scheduled time, they will automatically gain access to the digital exam.
  • To get familiarised with the digital assessment environment, students can take a practice exam.
  • During the exam, students need to know their login details by heart. Smartphones are not allowed during the exam. Thus, passwords stored in a digital vault can not be used.
  • There is an information page available to students. On the page, there is an instructional video, among other things.

Tip: Ask the faculty coordinator for digital assessment whether there is a standard message you can use or ask for help in composing an informative text.

Assigned exam seating

Prior to the exam, students will automatically be assigned an exam seat in the building via a so-called ‘seating code’. The seating code is available to students 3 working days before their exam via their personal schedule.


Taking an exam and the surveillance in the Comenius building is structured via a number of procedural agreements:

  • The surveillance information for an assessment should be submitted to the faculty's assessment organisation at least 6 working days beforehand (different rules apply for lecturers from the Faculty of Medical Sciences). The information can be submitted through a surveillance form, which can be obtained from the faculty's assessment organisation. In most faculties the organisation will approach you and supply this information.
  • All assessments are supervised according to the Radboud-wide surveillance protocol.
  • If you want tools and aids to be checked, you have to do it personally. Supervisors are not able to check whether the book the students have brought is the only right one, or whether they contain something that is not allowed. 
  • By default, a student has access to a digital (not graphing) calculator and digital scrap paper during a digital assessment.
  • Every room has fraud forms available in case of suspected fraud.
  • It is not possible to address the students taking your assessment on location. You can inform students through the (digital) first page of the exam. This is because several assessments take place in one space, and the students from your assessment can be located in different parts of the building.


Attending the exam as an examiner

If you are examiner and would like to attend the exam, coordinate with your faculty's coordinator digital assessment, and please note the following guidelines:

  • Presence of one or several lecturers at the exam should be announced in advance. You can do this by adding it to the additional remarks on the surveillance information form. You do not need to add who exactly is coming.
  • At the start of your visit you report to the desk at the entrance of Comenius B. There are walk-in moments for this:
    • For a morning exam: 8:00 - 8:45 am.
    • For an afternoon exam: 12.15 - 1:00 pm.
    • For an evening exam: 5.30 - 6:15 pm.
  • You will receive an overview of the assessment spots where the students from your exam will be. Based on the signs in the buildings you can find these spots.
  • You can reach students in Comenius A via the internal passage in the basement. 
  • When you enter an exam room you report to the invigilator.
  • To not disturb students, you make sure that your own telephone cannot make noise.
  • Try not to hinder the invigilator. If you come for controlling tools and aids, coordinate with the invigilator where to start your control. If you only want to observe the assessment process, look for a quiet spot in the room.

Download the floor plan for the Comenius building


For more information you can contact the digital assessment coordinator of the Teaching Information Point at your faculty.