The University of South Africa (UNISA) announced general rules and info on 05 May 2020 regarding the May/June 2020 exams.
Due to the national lockdown, the university has had to make changes towards its approach to how exams will be conducted. On 17 April 2020, the university announced that the May/June 2020 exams will be non-venue based alternative assessments.
The announcement from the university news received a mixed reaction from students, with many wondering how exactly will they write their exams. Many students do not have basic access to internet as well as access to a computer/laptop and with the lockdown in place, cannot venture out to a library/computer lab to write their exams.
Unisa has since stated that students unable to write their online exam assessments in May/June can write their exams in the Semester 2 exam period.
Also Read: Changes Made At Unisa Due to COVID-19
“No secrets on social media”
In the age of social media, nothing stays a secret for too long – not even when it comes to education. Although the university has urged students to not share personal emails that they have received from their lecturer, many have turned a blind eye.
The university has issued official guidelines on how the May/June 2020 exams will be conducted:
Auto Exam Admission
Students will gain automatic admission to the May/June 2020 examination period. This is a huge leap from the norm. Previously, students had to at least complete and submit the first assignment of their modules in order to gain entry to the exam.
Exam admissions for the upcoming exams will be processed by 15 May 2020. While students do automatically qualify for exam admission, students will still have to submit assignments. Failure to submit assignments will affect your final year results. How?
The assignments form part of your year mark. This means that the chances of getting a higher final year mark is possible if students complete all recommended assignments of their respective module(s).
The final year mark will be allocated to a student’s final year mark, but only if the mark is favourable to the student. Exclusion of marks will occur if it is unfavourable towards the student.
It’s imperative that students complete their assignments to the best of their knowledge in order to get a favourable year mark, plus it will lead up to a higher exam mark in the end.
Examination Timetable and Dates
The Semester 1 exams will now start from 25 May 2020 and end at 7 July 2020, with students able to access their updated exam timetable from 15 May 2020.
The new exam timetable created by Unisa will aim to reflect the original timetable structure. This way, students can stick to their scheduled study system instead of for example, having their scheduled final exam first.
However, the university has stated that there may be alterations to the May/June 2020 exams that will be out of sequence (even if unlikely).
Due to the short notice period of exam date changes, there is a large possibility of exam dates clashing with each other. Students can defer one of the clashed exams to the October/November exam period at no cost – even if the idea itself is not ideal.
Time Changes for Exam Sessions
Because of the shift to online exam assessments, many students have wondered how can they complete their exams while adapting to the new system. The university has designed an alteration to its exam framework so that there is enough allocated time to complete the exam.
Students will have time to download, complete, and upload their exam answers. The structure of the online exam assessments is:
- 15 minutes before the exam to download the paper;
- 2 hours to complete the exam; and
- 30 minutes to upload your exam answers.
Due to the high cost of internet in South Africa, many students will be confused over whether they will have to stay online during the 2 hour exam period or not. Many fear that this might not be a feasible method of writing their exams.
Instead, students are willing to wait for the October/November exams to write a venue-based exam – despite knowing that it will take longer to complete their qualification.
More information on changes towards the Unisa May/June 2020 exams will be relayed to students via their myLife email and myUnisa accounts.
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Published: 06 May 2020