Exam complaints

Deadline for complaints
If a student wishes to complain about how the exam has progressed or the assessment itself, they can file an exam complaint. Exam complaints must be submitted within two weeks of the announcement of the grade on DTU Inside. The deadline for oral examinations is two weeks after the examination is held. However, the days from 24 December to 1 January are not included in the calculation of the complaint deadline.

Prior dialogue with the assessor
It is recommended that the student discusses his/her exam answer/performance with the assessor before the student submits an exam complaint. The student must be aware that contact or attempts to contact the lecturer do not have a suspensive effect on the appeal deadline, i.e. it does not extend the two-week time limit for appeal, which must, therefore, continue to be complied with. In the complaint, the student can e.g. state that he/she will send a detailed complaint or withdraw the complaint after he/she has had the opportunity to talk with the assessor.

A conversation with the assessor about the exam answer/performance will not affect the Office for Study Programmes and Student Affairs' assessment of the complaint. The sole purpose is for the student to gain an understanding of and an explanation of the assessment given, which may lead to the student no longer wishing to complain or wishing to withdraw an already submitted complaint or that the student can write a better justification for his/her complaint.

A possible conversation with the assessor about an exam answer/performance cannot lead to a changed assessment unless an error in the assessment is discovered.

Filing a complaint
An exam complaint must be submitted via the Exam Complaint System eksamensklager.dtu.dk.
When the complaint has been submitted in the Exam Complaint System, the student receives a receipt and information email via his/her student email.

Complaints about part exams can only be submitted as part of a complaint about the final grade or other assessment in the course.

A complaint can be submitted on your own behalf, but it is also possible to add co-complainants if several people want to complain together, e.g. about the assessment of a group project. Co-complainants receive a copy of emails sent to the person who sent the complaint and only have viewing access to the system. It is important to ensure that consent is obtained from any co-complainants before they are added to the complaint in the system.

Complaints can be submitted regarding the following:

  1. Legal issues (e.g. non-compliance with rules and legislation)
  2. The basis for examination (questions, assignments, etc.)
  3. The exam process 
  4. The assessment 

The complaint must state what is being complained about and what is desired to be achieved with the complaint. As the Office for Study Programmes and Student Affairs makes a decision based on the complaint, the assessor's opinion, and any supplementary comments of the student, the student should, in the reason for the complaint, compare his/her exam performance with the course's learning objectives, elaborate the course of the exam or the like. Complaints without justification will be sent back to the student requesting further information. If the student does not elaborate on his/her complaint, the complaint will be processed on the basis available.

The complaint must be able to be sent to the assessor as it appears. In its decision, the Office for Study Programmes and Student Affairs cannot include information that the student does not wish to pass on to the assessor. Complaints about teaching/teacher/supervisor must be submitted to the board of studies at the department where the course is offered or where the lecturer is employed. Read more on DTU Inside under 'Study rules'/'Teaching'/'Complaints about teaching and guidance'.

If the complaint does not concern dissatisfaction with the exam but rather offensive or abusive behaviour, and the student wants help and guidance to handle this or wants to report the teacher/supervisor or others for offensive behaviour, he or she must not send an exam complaint as described above. Instead, please refer to these guidelines for offensive behaviour.

The total case processing time for exam complaints is approximately 3-4 months from the time the complaint is received until a decision has been made. The student may continue on the programme according to the applicable rules while the complaint is processed.

Complaints about exams in courses at DTU Admission Course must be submitted to DTU Admissions Course. Contact information can be found on DTU's website here.

What is the position of the student during the complaint process
If the student plans to participate in the re-exam in the course to which the student's examination complaint relates, and a decision has not yet been made regarding the complaint, the following applies:

  • If the student is offered a new assessment (re-assessment) or new exam (re-exam) and accepts this offer, the result of any re-exam will be cancelled, and it will be the result of the new assessment/re-exam that applies. The new assessment/exam does not count as an exam attempt.
  • If the student's complaint is not upheld, the result of a possible re-exam will still be valid, and an exam attempt has been used.

If the Office for Study Programmes and Student Affairs manages to make a decision on the matter before the re-exam is held, but after the registration and de-registration deadline for the exam has expired, the student must contact the Study Administration if he/she wishes to be registered or de-registered for the re-exam. Read more on DTU Inside under 'Study rules'/'Examination'/'Registration and withdrawal'.

Processing of the complaint
The assessor(s) access the student's complaint in the Exam Complaint System.

The assessor(s) he assessor(s), including a possible external examiner, must make an academic opinion based on the complaint. The statement must contain an explanation of the assessment and respond to all of the student's academic complaints. When the assessors have submitted their opinion, the Office for Study Programmes and Student Affairs will make the opinion available to the student in the Exam Complaint System. The student then has the opportunity to make any further comments before a decision is made. This is called a hearing. The student has two weeks to comment on the statement from the assessor(s).

The Office for Study Programmes and Student Affairs may choose to hear the assessor(s) again if the student's comments give rise to it, just as the assessors' further comments can be sent in hearing to the student if the assessor's comments contain new information of material importance to the decision of the case.

When the Office for Study Programmes and Student Affairs believes that the case has been adequately clarified, a decision is made based on the complaint, the assessors' statement(s), and the student's possible comments, if any.

A decision on the matter is made by the Office for Study Programmes and Student Affairs based on the assessors’ statement and the student’s comments, if any. The student receives an email via his/her student email when a decision has been made.

If an exam complaint does not deal with academic issues but only legal or technical issues, e.g. regarding the conduct of a written exam, the case will often be handled without consulting the assessor.

The decision
The decision on the matter may be one of the following: 

  1. The student is offered a new assessment (re-assessment) of a written assignment by new assessors.
  2. The student is offered a new exam (re-exam) by new assessors if necessary.
  3. The student’s complaint is not upheld.
  4. If the exam includes both a written assignment and an oral exam, the student is offered a combination of 1., 2., and 3.

Neither the assessor nor the Office for Study Programmes and Student Affairs has the opportunity to make a decision to raise or lower the student's grade.

If the student is offered a new assessment or exam, the student has two weeks to accept the offer via The Exam Complaint System. Acceptance of the offer is binding on the student, and the new assessment will replace the student's original assessment which is cancelled. The student must know that a new assessment or exam may result in a lower grade. It is not possible to complain about the new assessment/the new exam unless the complaint concerns legal issues.

Appeal of decision
Appeal of academic issues
If the student does not accept the decision on his/her exam complaint, academic issues in the decision can be appealed to a board of appeals. The appeal must be filed within two weeks of the announcement of the decision to the student via the Exam Complaint System. It must be justified in writing and submitted to studenterklager@dtu.dk using the student email address. The case number from the exam complaint in the Exam Complaint System must appear in the appeal.

The decision is made by a board of appeals of 4 members appointed specifically to make a decision on the matter, comprising two external examiners, a lecturer, and a student within the relevant subject area. The decision of the board of appeals may be:

  1. The student is offered a new assessment (re-assessment) of a written assignment by new assessors.
  2. The student is offered a new exam (re-exam), usually by new assessors,
  3. The student is offered a combination of 1st and 2nd if the exam includes both a written assignment and oral exam or 
  4. The student’s complaint is not upheld.

The board of appeals is in no position to lower or higher the student’s grade.
The decision of the board of appeals cannot be further appealed to other authorities with respect to academic issues, and the decision from the board is final.

Complaint against legal issues
Complaints against legal issues can be referred to The Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science. Legal issues can be e.g. non-compliance with the educational rules that apply to the education and whether other legislation (e.g. the Public Administration Act) and the general principles of administrative law have been complied with. The deadline for submission of an appeal is two weeks from the day the decision is announced to the student. The appeal must be submitted to the Office for Study Programmes and Student Affairs via studenterklager@dtu.dk. In the appeal, the case number from the exam complaint in the Exam Complaint System must appear.

When DTU receives an appeal about a decision, the decision is reassessed based on the information the student provided in the appeal. In this connection, DTU may decide to reopen the case if the appeal contains information that is of significant importance to the case or if significant case-handling errors have occurred in the original processing of the case.

If DTU chooses to maintain the original decision, DTU will prepare a statement about the decision and the appeal. The statement will be sent to the student who has the opportunity to comment on it. Finally, the entire case will be sent to the Agency for their consideration. The processing time at the Agency is currently approximately six months.

Errors and deficiencies in exams
If the Office for Study Programmes and Student Affairs or a board of appeals in connection with the processing of an exam complaint becomes aware that there have been errors and deficiencies in an exam, the Office makes a decision on how the error or deficiency can be remedied. This may be with or without the participation of the original assessors. The Office's processing of this type of case does not follow the rules on exam complaints but section 30 of the Examination Order.

If the student's exam complaint contains significant complaints that do not relate to the errors and deficiencies that occurred during the exam, the Office will also decide regarding these complaints.

In the event of errors or deficiencies of a particularly serious nature, or where it must be considered the most correct way to remedy the error or deficiency, the Office may cancel the exam and arrange for an extraordinary new exam.

In the event of other significant errors and omissions, the Office may offer the student an extraordinary new exam. The offer must be given to all students whose exam suffers from the error or deficiency in question. A student may choose to retain the original assessment, even if they have participated in the extraordinary re-exam.

21 JULY 2024