Rules for exams



The University of Helsinki provides students with opportunities to take electronic exams in electronic exam rooms (known as an “exam aquarium” or Examinarium) equipped with a video recording system for invigilation. Images captured on camera in the exam rooms are transmitted in real time to the invigilation staff and the recordings are saved on a separate data recorder. Teaching and Learning Services enables the technical invigilation of exams. The Centre for Information Technology and the Centre for Properties and Facilities are in charge of the video recording system and the functioning of the cameras. The faculty, department or independent institute that provides the associated teaching is responsible for the invigilation.

Electronic exams completed in the exam room must comply with the University of Helsinki Regulations on Degrees and the Protection of Students’ Rights. In addition, the separate instructions in this document describe the principles and practices for administering, invigilating and assessing such exams. The exams are also subject to the University’s policy for the acceptable use of IT systems, which also describe the sanctions for misusing the systems and user accounts.

The content and duration of exams
Electronic exams administered in the designated rooms are not identical to traditional paper-based exams as a method of course completion, which is why their duration may differ even if they are part of the same course. The examiner decides on the duration of exams based on the options in the exam system. The maximum duration is three hours. The examiner can also divide a course into several sections completed in the electronic exam rooms, as permitted by the faculty or department.


Students can book an exam for the time period set by the examiner. The exam must be booked in advance. If the exam is in the system already, there is no time limit for booking the exam time. If the student wants the language of the exam questions to be different from the teaching language, they must inform the examiner at least 10 days before the intended exam day, assuming they have the right to request a different language. Students must ensure that the building that houses the exam room is open during the booked time. For information about the opening hours of buildings, please see the University website or contact the building porters.

If it is possible to complete an exam so that it ends after the building has closed, the student must leave the building immediately after completing the exam. Students may have only one booking for one exam at the same time. If students cannot take an exam they have booked, they must promptly cancel the booking to make it available to other students.

Students must ensure that they have the right to take the exam they book. If the student does not have a right to take the exam or they have used all their retake opportunities, the teacher is not required to assess the submitted exam.
The Regulations on Degrees and the Protection of Students’ Rights stipulate that exams must include a retake opportunity.
The number of exam bookings and their cancellations can be restricted if necessary for the functioning of the service.


Students must log in to the exam system with their University of Helsinki username and password. The system shows the remaining exam time on the computer screen and automatically saves the answers at regular intervals during the exam.

The exam time starts at the beginning of the booked time. Students can also begin the exam later during the time slot they have booked, but the exam time will not be extended. The exam will end when the student has submitted his or her answers in the system or no later than when the booking expires, at which point the system will automatically submit the student’s answers for assessment. The student can leave the exam room immediately after submitting or aborting the exam.

The administration of exams is subject to general regulations on exams. The administration and invigilation of exams at the electronic exam room also requires compliance with the special rules below. Students cannot bring anything to the exam room or take anything with them from the exam room. This prohibition also applies to all electronic communication devices and snacks. Students can bring with them only their student card for identification, as well as the key to their locker. It is also allowed to bring a transparent water bottle without any labels. Identity can be confirmed with a student card downloaded to a mobile phone, but the phone must be left into locked lockers situated either immediately inside the exam room or right outside it.

Students cannot leave the exam room during the exam. If they leave the room, the exam will conclude. It is not allowed to leave the exam room during the exam for e.g. toilet break or any other urgent reason; the student must either abort or submit the exam before leaving the exam room. If a student needs snacks or other personal items during the exam for health-related or similar reasons, or must use the toilet during the exam, the exam must be administered in an accessible exam room.

The Regulations on Degrees and the Protection of Students’ Rights stipulate that cheating and disturbing an exam are prohibited. The Regulations also include provisions on procedures to be followed in cases of cheating and on disciplinary action.

The exam room is monitored with recording cameras. Images captured on camera are transmitted in real time to the invigilation staff, and the recordings are saved on a separate data recorder. The recordings and the real-time images can be viewed only by employees responsible for this. The identity of students can be verified before, during or after the exam. Students must bring their student card with them for this purpose.

If a student is found to have violated the instructions of this section during an exam, the staff who detect the violation must suspend the student’s exam. If a student is found to have violated the instructions of this section after the exam, the student can have his or her exam failed on these grounds. When cheating is suspected, the recordings made during the exam must be viewed and the University’s guidelines on cheating and plagiarism; must be followed. The faculty, department or independent institute that administers the exam decides whether to have a student’s exam failed. If an exam is interrupted or prevented by a technical fault, a disturbance in the exam room, a fire alarm or similar reasons, the student must report the matter after leaving the room according to the instructions displayed in the exam room. The matter will be reported to the examiner, who decides on retake opportunities.

If a student cannot take an electronic exam normally or needs assistance in registering for an exam or reading or writing during an exam due to a disability, a learning impediment or other acceptable reasons, efforts will be made to administer the exam in the most appropriate manner for the student. To register for an electronic exam to be completed in an accessible exam room, the student must follow the instructions for special arrangements for exams.


The exam system informs students via email once their exam has been assessed. Students can view unofficial preliminary information about the assessment results as well as the examiner’s feedback, if there is some, by logging in to the system. The final grade of the exam is registered to the study record.

Submitted exams and assessment details are stored in the Examinarium system for one year. This period is based on the time limit for completing a course consisting of partial grades, which usually is one year.