How exams work in Chalmers?

Let me begin with the fact that I hate exams. I get nervous, stressed and my mind goes blank as soon as I read the first word written in the exam. In Chalmers, exams are slightly different (Sweden vs. Mexico), now that exam week is just around the corner I thought it would be a good idea to write a guide/list on how exams work:

This is intended to be a general information guide to illustrate some things you should know before taking an exam.

1. Register for exams.

You need to sign-up for taking the exam, this can be done through the Student Portal (“Studentportalen”). Each and every student needs to register in order to present the exam, the registration portal usually open at least four weeks before and closes about two weeks before the exam week (week 43, Swedes use week numbers don’t ask me why).

Screenshot of Chalmers student portal where students can sign up for exaxms.

2. Anonymous examinations.

Examinations at Chalmers are anonymous. The student’s personal information stays unknown and may not be revealed on the answer sheets. The main reason behind this is to protect the students from being graded inequitable so the examiner will grade in the same way the people he/she likes and the ones he/she dislikes. Oral examinations are not protected by anonymity (this would be weird, like when news channels are interviewing someone and they distort the subject’s voice and blurry the image).

3. Aids permitted.

Pencils, erasers, rulers, and dictionaries (but not electronic ones, just the heavy ones that no one has) are authorized at all examinations. Depending on the examinations different aids are permitted, in my program we are allowed to use a calculator, but just the ones approved by Chalmers. Such a calculator may not be capable of drawing graphs. The approved calculators for the academic year are Casio FX82…, Texas TI30…, Sharp ELW531…(the first part of the type designation). I have a Casio FX82ES PLUS in case you were wondering.

Four pens, an eraser and a calculator on a table.

4. During the examination.

Long story short story, be prepared to show a valid photo identification card, as well as your membership card in the Student Union otherwise you can’t take the exam. Make sure to write all your information on every answer sheet, this includes your anonymous code, course code, and the page number. Another thing to remember is to order your questions and pages in the order which they were given and not in the order you made them. Sometimes multiple persons grade your exam, that’s why every answer should be on a different answer sheet, so they can split the exam and review it at the same time.

Interesting fact, you are allowed to bring snacks to the examination room, except nuts because of allergy reason (they don’t want people dying in the middle of the exam)

5. Taking breaks during the exam.

During the first hour of the exam, you are not allowed to leave the room. After this time, you may take one or two short breaks to fika or just visit the toilet. Although smoking breaks are not permitted during the examination, it takes a lot of time to go outside have a cigarette and return.

Close-up of a cinnamon bun.
Photo: Simon Paulin/

6. Complete the exam on time.

This one is pretty much straightforward, but I think its worth to mention. The exam supervisor will announce when only 15 and 5 minutes remain until the end of the examination. At that point, first you must have finished your exam, otherwise, you are screwed, then you need to check that you have written your anonymous code and numbered each page.

7. Taking the exam all over again.

If you fail an examination (let’s hope this is not your case), you will be allowed to re-take it again the next exam period. There are multiple dates throughout the academic year.

8. Examination results.

After a waiting period of 15 working days, you will receive your results by e-mail as well as through the Student Portal.

Swedish football fans groaning after Sweden narrowly misses a goal.

9. Students with disabilities

Chalmers takes into consideration everyone, even when it comes to presenting an exam. Thereby students with a disability may be granted extended examination hours. All students with special needs will take their exams in rooms dedicated to this purpose and are monitored by a supervisor. Again this all depends on the kind of disability and on the examination type.

10. Cheating

It doesn’t matter if you try or if you succeed, for Chalmers any and all attempts at cheating are taking very seriously. You yourself have chosen your programme, so it makes sense that you master a minimum knowledge that may be helpful to your future career. Any suspicious of cheating will grant you a one-way ticket to the disciplinary board.

A person looks around an exam hall then looks at the palm of his hand. 'You can do it!' is written on his hand in ink.

So now you know the basics, good luck on your exams and don’t be stressed about it, it’s just a piece of paper with questions.


Written by Andrés

20 Oct 2016