Examination Boards

The examination boards are the committees that decide on disputes between students and examiners, as well as exam-related organization. There is an examination board for each degree program. Examination boards deal with applications for hardship with regard to examinations and, during the Corona crisis, in particular with the resulting individual problems during examinations.

How do I write my Examination Board?

As a general rule, an informal letter to the examination board is sufficient. This should contain your data (name, degree program, matriculation number), as detailed as possible your request (e.g. subsequent registration of an examination attempt), as well as your reasons (in the case mentioned above, e.g. RWTH had a technical error, which prevented you from registering). In addition, you should, if possible, attach evidence (e.g. screenshot of the registered exam, or the confirmation email) to the letter.

What happens to my request?

All applications are individual decisions. This means that each person must independently submit an application to the examination board, state their own request and submit the reasons. Decisions of the examination board are always person-related and do not provide any entitlement for other persons. However, decisions must be comprehensible and comparable. Your examination board will contact you if something is still missing in your application, so keep a close eye on your mails when you have submitted an application.

What are possible cases of hardship?

If for some reason you have to write an exam that has to be postponed, for example because you have to meet a deadline for a CP certificate or because you are about to complete your studies and have to finish them urgently by the deadline, then you can submit a so-called hardship application to the examination board. We have written down how this works, how you can find your examination board and what hardship cases can be. A case of hardship means that you are at a considerable disadvantage in your studies due to external circumstances. In this case, hardship could be:

  • You are a person with visa restrictions and are leaving the country in the foreseeable future. Here it is important that you attach all the documents you have, e.g. about the expiry of the visa or the planned departure, to the application.
  • People who plan to finish their studies by the summer semester at the latest, provided that they plan to start a job or do their master’s degree at another university afterwards. If possible, include supporting documents such as a letter of acceptance or a job offer, but you can also apply without supporting documents.
  • People who are at the RWTH for an exchange and plan to return to their home university in the near future. Again, the more supporting documents attached, the better.
  • Individuals whose learning progress agreements or leraning agreements are expiring can also submit a documented application.

or similar situations in which you have significant disadvantages. The examination board will decide in each case individually how to proceed. The most important thing is that you support your request as best you can with written evidence of your situation. Even if your hardship case is not listed here, but you nevertheless get into considerable problems, e.g. by postponing an exam, we advise you to submit an application anyway. Most of the time it also helps to contact your student council, because they usually know the student members of the examination board, who can better defend your case if they have discussed it with you.

Which examination board is responsible for me?

What is an examination board anyway?

There must be one examination board for each degree program, but in some cases several degree programs are combined into one joint examination board. It is quite common for there to be more than one examination board per faculty. The examination board, consists of members and their deputies. The chairperson, the deputy chairperson and two other members are elected from the group of professors, one member is elected from the group of academic staff and two members are elected from the group of students. The examination board is – as the name suggests – not a committee. This is worth mentioning because it does not work to the Faculty Council, the highest body of a faculty, but decides on issues related to problems with exams, recognition issues, student appeals and complaints, etc. In particular, it is an authority in the sense of administrative procedure and administrative process law. Many formal matters, which according to the examination regulations are the responsibility of the examination board, can also simply be transferred to the chairperson of the examination board, if the formalities are not in dispute (e.g. application for subsequent registration for an examination, due to demonstrable technical errors of RWTHonline). Appeals against examination decisions must always be dealt with by the examination board.

Who do I contact with questions?

If you have questions, the student councils are usually the first point of contact, because they usually have the best overview of the situation when it comes to faculty-specific questions. Student members of the examination committee often come from the ranks of the student councils: asta.ac/fachschaften