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Examination rules and regulations

When you sign up for courses, you are automatically signed up for the examination.

The registration is final
As a rule, you cannot cancel neither course nor examination registrations. This applies unless there are exceptional circumstances.

You can register for an examination, without having been registered for the course. You can do that in the exam enrolment period.
Winter examination: from October 20. -30.
Summer examination: from March 20. - 30.

When might it be relevant to take an examination without having been registered for the course?
It might be relevant for you if you e.g. followed the course previously without passing the examination. However, if you need a stronger grasp of the academic content of the course, it might be a good idea to register for the course again, to attend the course lessons. 

Get access to the latest version of the course in the e-learning system
If you are going to take an examination in a course that you have previously followed, it is relevant to have access to the latest version of the course in SDU’s e-learning system. Here you will be able to find the current course materials, syllabi etc. To access the course, please contact your degree programme secretary.

You have 3 examination attempts to pass each course (with exception of the First Year Examination).

You decide when to use your 2. and 3. examination attempts
You decide when you want to use your 2. and 3. examination attempts. Read more about how to plan your 2. and 3. examination attempts in section 4.

Your registration is final
You cannot withdraw from an examination, when you have registred for it.

Situations where the rules are different
Applying to a wide range of electives and courses being phased out, there are special rules about when you can use your 3. examination attempt. Find the exceptions in the course descriptions.

What do I do, if I fail at the 3. examination attempt?
If you do not pass the exam by the 3. examination attempt, you do not have any more attempts and may, as a rule, not continue your studies. However, if exeptional circumstances are to blame for you not passing one or more of the attempts, you can apply for an exemption. 

If you do not pass your 1. examination attempt, you must take an examination in the course again. Before you go to the exam again, be sharp on what you need to do better next time. For example, by contacting your teacher and getting feedback.

How to get to the exam again
It is your own responsibility to sign up for the 2. (and maybe 3.) examination attempt. Often you have the option of deciding whether you want to take the examination in the same exam period as a reexamination or you want to wait until the course is offered again and the ordinary examination is held. 

Other rules for electives and ”old” courses
There are often other rules applying to electives and courses that are phased out (that is courses where there will be no lessons in the future). One of these rules might be that you will be automatically registered for the reexamination if you fail the 1. examination attempt. This means that you will not be able to decide to postpone your 2. (and maybe 3.) examination attempt. Be extra vigilant is these cases. You can find information about the placement of examinations in the course description

When can you take the examination again?
Example: You did not pass your 1. examination attempt (ordinary exam) in December/January. You now have two options:

Option 1

You can register for the reexamination in February. You can do that through Self-service.

Option 2


You can wait and register for the course when it is offered again, but remember to check the exam information in the course desription. In it you can see if there are any special requirements for when you must take your 2. and 3. examination attempts in that specific course. You can then participate in the course lessons and attend the ordinary examination.


Do you not need to attend the course lessons again?
You can choose to only register for the ordinary examination. You will receive an e-mail from Registration and Legality when exam enrollment is open, where you can register through Self-service.

Courses are often only offered once a year
This means that if you do not pass an examination in the autumn/winter and want to take the course again, you need to wait until the next autumn/winter.

Remember the Active Enrolment Requirements and the Maximum Period of Study
If you postpone one or more examinations until the following year, you must make sure that you are still complying with the Active Enrolment Requirements and the Maximum Period of Study. You are also responsible for making sure that your delay does not affect your SU.

Individual study plan
If you are delayed in your programme, it's a good idea to make an individual study plan.

When is the examination placed?

September until January
Ordinary examination 


February until June
Ordinary examination



*You can only register for the reexamination, if you have already been registered for the ordinary examination in the same semester.

There might be courses where the examination is earlier in the semester
There might be examinations (e.g. projects, attendance requirements, assignments, presentations etc.) that are placed earlier in the semester. Look in the course description to find out if this applies to a course. You can also ask your educator.

How to register for a reexamination in the same examination period
As soon as you find out that you have not passed an examination you should register for the reexamination using Self-service. Ordinarily registration for reexaminations are open from June 1.-30. and January 1.-20. If you find out that you have not passed after this period, you should contact your Study Secretary immediately.

Ordinary examinations and reexaminations are often different
You might find that there is a difference in the configuration of the ordinary examinations and the reexaminations. The ordinary examination might e.g. be an oral examination or multiple assignments during the semester, while the reexamination might be a written assignment. The academic requirements are always the same.

If you are unable to attend an examination due to illness or other exceptional circumstances, you need to let SDU know about it. There are different procedures depending on whether the circumstances are acute or long-term.  

You must always document your illness with a doctor's note.

Illness shortly before an examination begins
If you fall ill acutely or are affected by other exeptional circumstances shortly before an examination begins, e.g. the day before, you must:

  1. Contact your doctor immediately and no later than the day of the exam

  2. Get a doctor's note from your doctor. It does not matter if you are only able to see your doctor after the examination date, as long as you can document that you contacted your doctor to get an appointment no later than the day of the exam, e.g. by e-mail.

  3. Send your notification of illness and doctor's note to Educational Law & Registration

  4. Let your Study Secretary know so that they can take your absence into account when planning the examination.


In case of written take-home assignments this applies before the assignment has been made available. If you have already begun working on the take-home assignment when you fall ill, the procedure is different. See the next paragraf.

Acutely ill during an examination - including ongoing long-term written take-home assignments
What you need to do if you fall acutely ill during an examination, depends one the type of examination - oral examination, written examination, take-home assignment etc. Read what you need to do, if you fall ill during an examination.

If you know in plenty of time, that you will not be able to attend the examination
If a situation arises where you know you will not be able to attend an examination weeks in advance, due to illness or other exceptional circumstances, you need to apply for an exemption to be withdrawn from the examination. Your Study Board assesses your application. If your Study Board approves your application, you will be withdrawn from the examination/-s, you are not able to attend. 

Other things you should be aware of if you fall ill during your studies

Examinations are not the only thing you should be aware of if you fall ill during your studies. Read about illness during your programme.

Do you have a physical or mental functional impairment?
Then you can also receive relevant support through SPS.

Maybe there are exceptional circumstances that make it challenging for you to get through an examination? Everything from dyslexia, chronic illness to pregnancy can potentially justify special conditions of your examination. If so you can apply for an exemption with your Study Board to have your examination changed.  Special examination conditions can be very different, e.g. you can apply for:

  • more time for the examination.
  • to change the type of examination or physical conditions.
  • or something else, that would improve your conditions so that you have equal opportunity to pass, as your fellow students.

The majority of students have no intentions of cheating in examinations. Still, occasionally, students are caught cheating. Often cheating in examinations occur because the students are not sufficiently familiar with the principles for academic integrity and formalities concerning good academic practices.

It has severe consequenses to cheat at university, regardless if it was inteded or not.

Read more about how to avoid cheating at exams

It is not a good feeling to have participated in an examination where you feel that the way in which the exam was conducted or the grading was not fair. Sometimes it results in a need to file an appeal on the conduction of the exam, the grade given or both.

Considerations before filing an appeal
Before writing and submitting an examination appeal, it is a good idea to contact your examiner and ask for the detailed reasons for your assessment. We also recommend that you consider what you expect to gain from the appeal. Are you hoping for a reassessment and a higher grade? Or perhaps a reexamination? In these Guidelines you’ll find a detailed description of what the outcome of an appeal may be.

Should you decide to appeal, please note that the appeal must be submitted within a two-week deadline from the time of publication of the examination results. We suggest that you spend those two weeks talking your exam experience over with e.g. your lecturer/examiner, fellow students or a guidance counsellor, and reflecting on your reasons for appealing and writing the appeal.

Guidance on examination appeals
If you would like to file an examination appeal, you will need the Guideline for Examination Appeals and form for Examination Appeals

Appealing because of a failed exam?
If you failed an exam and have filed an appeal, we recommend that you register for the reexamination anyway. That way you’ll avoid lagging behind in your studies, should the appeal not be judged in your favour.

The written examinations pose certain requirements on your IT equipment. Be sure to make yourself aquainted with the rules:

When you attend a written digital examination you are required to use Exammonitor.

Did you not find an answer to your examination questions? On SDU's central pages you can find the detailed information about examinations.

                 Do you need guidance on what the rules mean for you?

➤ Contact The Student Guidance Service.

Last Updated 16.09.2019