Exam forms

The exam in a course may be written, practical, oral, or a combination thereof, for example, a series of part exams during the course.

With the approval of course descriptions, the Department Board of Studies decides on the form of examination, including the type of part exams, to be used on the course.

Different rules governing the primary forms of examination are described below. The relevant Department Board of Studies can apporve other forms of examination.

Change of the form of examination due to special circumstances
Students may contact the Study Administration using their contact form or, if you are an external party, by writing to studadm@adm.dtu.dk to apply for a change in the form of examination in a course (e.g. from written to oral exam) based on special circumstances, for example, a documented permanent functional impairment. The Office will then contact the course coordinator or the Department Board of Studies for an assessment of whether it is academically sound and practically possible to change the examination form. The Special Educational Support (SPS) team (aus-sps@adm.dtu.dk) in the Office for Study Programmes and Student Affairs can assist in this assessment as required.

A precondition for allowing a change of the examination form is that the exam's academic level is not lowered. Find more information at DTU Inside on 'Study rules'/Exam'/'Special Exam Arrangements'.

Practical exams as part of the teaching or as a final test
Courses comprising exercises (laboratory courses, workshop courses, etc.) may be subject to continuous assessment or include a practical exam at the end of the course. The students must be informed of the criteria for the assessment at the beginning of the course if the exams are subject to continuous assessment. Each student’s contribution must be clearly stated so they can be assessed individually.

Oral exams
As a general rule, all oral exams are open to the public but can be held behind closed doors under special circumstances justified, for instance, on the grounds of student needs. Projects which, entirely or partially, are carried out with private companies may, taking into account any information about trade secrets, know-how, etc., in the report, be treated as confidential and be held behind closed doors too.

Oral exams may extend over several days. Any dates in addition to the specified exam dates must be agreed upon with the students. Students who are unable to attend an examination on these additional days are entitled to participate in the exam on the exam date in accordance with the timetable or on another day, subject to agreement with the lecturer.

Oral exams must be taken before the end of the exam period unless otherwise agreed between the course coordinator and the students.

Due to legal rights, all oral exams must be conducted by two assessors. This also applies where the form of examination includes an oral element. The second assessor may be either an external examiner or a co-examiner/assessor from DTU.

Oral online exam
Oral exams, including oral defense of the final project, cannot generally be held as online exams, and both assessors and students must participate in the exam with physical attendance. Online courses are exempt from this rule.

However, an oral examination can exceptionally be held as a partial  online examination due to unusual circumstances. For example due to an acute obstacle in the presence of one of the assessors, so one assessor participates via an online connection. Individual online exams may also be relevant for guest students who need to take a re-exam after traveling back to their home university. The decision to conduct an oral online examination for individual students or assessors is made by the course coordinator/supervisor.

The Board of Studies must approve the decision to conduct an oral online examination for an entire  course for all students based on completely extraordinary circumstances.

A guide has been prepared for holding an online oral exam for students at DTU Inside under 'Study rules'/'Exam'/'Exam guides', and for lectures at DTU Inside under 'Educational administration'/'Guidance'/'Exam guides'.

Oral group exams
An oral exam can take place as a group exam. Group exams are typically held in connection with written assignments prepared by two or more students (group projects).

In an oral group exam, the individual student must be examined in such a way as to ensure that an individual assessment of each student's performance is made and individual grades or other assessments are given; thus, one grade cannot be given to the group as a whole. It is important that each assessor notes the level and quality of participation of the individual students. The assessors must also ensure that all students participate in the exam to allow individual assessments to be made.

When organizing an oral group exam, the course coordinator must ensure that the time allocated for the exam is adapted to the number of students participating in the exam. All members of the project group are present during the entire exam.

The student must have his/her grade stated in private unless otherwise agreed between the examiner and the students in the group.

If an individual oral exam is held as a follow-up to a group project and as a follow-up to an oral group exam, if relevant, the other students in the group may not be present in the exam room before their own individual oral exam.

The possibility of choosing an individual exam instead of a group exam is only available to students with documented special educational needs. See above under ‘Change of form of examination due to special circumstances.

Special rules on oral group exams apply to final projects. Read more at DTU Inside under ‘Study rules'/'Final projects’ or in the study programme curriculum.

Submission of written assignments
Submission of assignments, reports, posters, etc. may be

Written assignments can be prepared individually or as group assignments/projects. The course coordinator must inform the students if the project is expected to be individualized or not when prepared as a group project. If the project is not subjected to individualization, an oral examination must be held afterwards. This can either be conducted as a group exam or an individual exam. Find more information on group exams above under 'Oral group exams' and on group projects underneath. 

Students can only expect to have take-home assignments corrected/assessed that have been submitted on time.

Assignments must be prepared in the language of instruction. In connection with courses taught in English based on English teaching material, exam assignments must be prepared in English only. The students' exam papers must be prepared in the language of instruction. For assignments in Danish, students can also answer in Swedish and Norwegian. The assessors may allow exam papers to be submitted in other languages. Special rules apply to final projects Se DTU Inside under 'Study rules'/'Final projects'.

Group projects
DTU recommends a maximum of six students for group projects. The course coordinator may decide on a lower or higher maximum number than six if this is in line with the learning objectives for the course.

Special rules apply to group size for BEng projects, BSc projects, and MSc theses. See DTU Inside under ‘Study rules'/'Final projects’.

For group projects/group assignments, an independent grade or other assessment can only be awarded if the individual student’s contribution to the project can be ascertained (individualization). Thus, it is of great importance to the exam form whether the project is individualized or not (see below). 

Before the students commence a group project, the course coordinator must inform the students whether they are required to individualize the project or not. If a group project does not comply with the requirements for individualization or other formal requirements, the paper may be rejected by the course responsible, and no assessment will be given.

For group projects, each student must have their own grade/other assessment; thus, one grade cannot be given to the group as a whole.

If the student has documented special educational needs, it may be possible to have an individual exam instead of a group exam. See above under 'Change of assessment form due to special circumstances.

Group projects without individualization
A group project for which the students’ individual contributions are not specified must, according to the Examination Order, always be followed by an oral exam, as it is not possible to make an individual assessment on the basis of the group project alone. Only one grade will be given as an overall assessment based on the project and the subsequent oral exam. The oral exam can be either an individual exam (i.e. one student at a time) or an oral group exam; see the above.

Group projects with individualization
For group projects/group assignments, where individualization is required, students’ individual contributions must be clearly distinguishable in regard to the chapters and sections in the assignment. For larger group projects, it is accepted that general descriptive sections such as the introduction, problem statement, scope, conclusion, and the like are prepared jointly. Several students may well have the (main) responsibility for the same chapters/sections.

If the project states that the assignment overall has been prepared jointly, this will not fulfil the requirement for individualization.

For individualized group assignments/group projects, there is no requirement for a subsequent oral exam, and the assessment can be done on the basis of the assignment/project alone.

Written exams (written on-site exams)
Written exams are always individual. The duration of the exam must be stated in the course description. 

If less than ten students register for a written exam, the lecturer is entitled to change the assessment form to an oral exam up until one week after the exam registration deadline. This must be done with due regard for the fact that the students were expecting a written exam. The lecturer is responsible for notifying the students in the event of a change in the assessment form. If the lecturer and all registered students agree, another approved assessment form can be applied. If, on the basis of a change in the form of examination announced after the cancellation deadline, the student wishes to be deregistered from the exam, this must be notified to the Study Administration via studadm@adm.dtu.dk no later than 14 days after notification from the course coordinator.

Exam papers must be prepared in the language of instruction. In connection with courses taught in English based on English teaching material, exam assignments must be prepared in English only. The students' exam papers must be prepared in the language of instruction. For assignments in Danish, students can also answer in Swedish and Norwegian. The assessors may allow exam papers to be submitted in other languages. Special rules apply to final projects Se DTU Inside under 'Study rules'/'Final projects'.

The actual exam holding
Students should arrive at a written exam 15 minutes before the exam begins to prepare themselves for the exam to start. Students who show up after the exam has started will not be allowed to participate in the exam. They will then receive an assessment of ‘Not met’ (‘Ej Mødt’).

Music players, ear protectors, electronic earplugs, or the like must not be brought to the exam. Ordinary earplugs are allowed. The usage of earplugs is at the student's risk; for example, announcements during exams can be difficult to hear. 

Mobile phones and smartwatches should be turned off and placed face-up on the corner of the student's exam desk. The student must be aware that it can lead to suspicion of exam cheating if the phone/smartwatch is not turned off or is not lying on the corner of the table with the front facing up.

Find information on aids and materials at written exams at DTU Inside under 'Study rules'/Exam'/'Use of aids and materials at written exams'.

Find information on special exam conditions for written exams at DTU at DTU Inside under 'Study rules'/'Exam'/Special exam conditions'

Written online home exam
It is not permitted to hold a written exam as an online home exam. This was only temporarily allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exams conducted abroad
Exams may be conducted abroad with physical presence provided the reason for doing so is that the student is unable to participate in the university's examinations in Denmark for practical or financial reasons. DTU appoints or approves the place of the exam and persons to organize the practical aspects of conducting the examination abroad. 

DTU defrays the special costs associated with conducting examinations abroad. DTU may ask the student to pay the costs incurred to conduct the examination abroad. However, it is a condition that the student confirms in writing in advance his or her willingness to pay the costs in question. DTU may make it a condition for conducting the examination that the amount is paid in advance. 

The Ministerial Order on Payment for the Services of Civil Servants Serving Abroad (Bekendtgørelse om betaling for tjenestehandlinger i udenrigstjenesten) applies to conducting examinations at Danish representations abroad. 

Rescheduled exam for a cancelled written exam (on-site exam)
In each exam period, a permanent scheme has been established for extraordinary days to hold any rescheduled exams. A rescheduled exam is only to be used as an absolute emergency procedure if, in exceptional cases, a written exam (on-site exam) for a course cannot be held as planned after all options for holding the exam as planned have been exhausted.

A rescheduled exam is an offer to the students, which lapses if they decide not to take advantage of it. Students who do not take advantage of an offer of a rescheduled exam will not have used an exam attempt. Students can only participate in a new exam at the earliest the next time a (re)exam is offered.

At DTU Inside, under 'Study rulres'/'Exam'/'Dates of exam’, there is an overview of the scheduling of rescheduled exams for two and a half years ahead.