Corona information page of the examination office

Dear students,

Due to the dangers posed by the Corona pandemic, the 2020 summer semester took a course that no one would have thought possible before. As you know from your own experience, the situation significantly influenced the teaching and examination principles. All teaching and examination offerings had to be transferred to digital formats in order for them to take place at all.

In the following, you will find a list with information containing everything worth knowing about the developments and changes since the beginning of the 2020 summer semester.

Your examination office

From 16.12 2020 to 15.05.2021, stage 3 ("red", high incidence of infection) of the COVID-19 stage plan applied at the University of Göttingen. During this time, no attendance programmes (teaching/examinations) were allowed to take place at the Faculty of Humanities. With the change to level 2 ("orange", increased infection rate) on 16.05.2021, reduced attendance is possible again, provided that the hygiene guidelines can be adhered to. This will continue to apply when the university scales down to level 1 ("yellow", stable, low infection incidence) on 14.06.2021.

The university management has also determined a considerable impairment of university operations for the winter semester (AM I, 24/2020, p. 1072). Attendance teaching is only possible in a few cases. This means that the APO amendment (§22a) still applies, according to which examinations that deviate from the examination regulations require approval. But, based on the experience gained in the summer semester, the application procedure has been significantly simplified. So, examiners who for an examination only want to switch from attendance to digital no longer need to submit an application, as this has already been approved in advance by the dean of studies of the Faculty of Humanities. This means that lecturers only have to apply in cases where an examination is to be taken in a form that deviates from the examination and study regulations. Due to the still critical situation, attendance examinations are only approved in exceptional cases.

Since this semester, the university has been using the software "Darf ich rein? ("May I come in?"), which allows for easy and fast contact data entry using QR codes. As a participant in a seminar in presence, look out for such a QR code in front of or in the room and check in and out using it. You can find more information about this on the page Contact Detail Collection. The codes can also be found on the three break rooms (0.609, 1.601 and 1.701), which the Faculty of Humanities makes available to students in the KWZ ("Kulturwissenschaftliches Zentrum") from November 2 onwards (Mon - Fri, open 10am - 6pm).

Update 06.01.21: The university management extended the period of validity of stage 3 ("red", high incidence of infection) of its COVID-19 3-level system until further notice until 24 January 2021. Therefore, no attendance programmes (teaching/examinations) may currently take place at the Faculty of Humanities.

Update 18.01.2021: Due to the lockdown and the resulting restricted opening hours of the libraries, students of the Faculty of Humanities are granted an extension of 45 days for the processing of written examinations (assignments, essays, portfolios, etc.), provided that the use of libraries is necessary for the completion of the work. Thus, for example, the submission date of 31.03. is postponed to 15.05.21.
The processing time for theses that were already registered at the start of lockdown has also been extended by 45 days. If students register for a thesis during the current lockdown, the processing time will be extended proportionally.
Students can check the extensions granted by accessing their exam registrations in Flexnow.

Update v. 26.03.2021: The university management has extended the period of validity of stage 3 ("red", high incidence of infection) of its COVID-19 3-level system until 1 May 2021. Therefore, no attendance programmes (teaching/examinations) may continue to take place at the Faculty of Humanities.

Please also note the following: Göttingen International: The Winter Semester 2020/2021 under Pandemic Conditions: Information for International Students

Due to the corona pandemic, the university management decided in March to temporarily suspend teaching and examination activities starting on March 16 and to postpone the start of the semester to April 20. The suspension period lasted a total of 35 days. In the case of ongoing examination procedures, the processing time for exams was automatically extended by this period. Examinations that were planned for this time were not allowed to take place. The teaching and examination activities were resumed at the beginning of the semester, but due to the continuation of the pandemic they could only be held digitally.

  • 1. Amendment of the General Examination Regulations (concerns examinations in the Bachelor and Master programs): To make a digital semester possible at all, a legal basis had to be created. This was finally achieved by means of an amendment to the General Examination Regulations (§ 22a, published in: AM I 24/2020 and AM I 27/2020), which now allows the deans of studies at the university to approve deviations from the provisions of the examination and study regulations in their respective areas if there is a significant impairment of university operations, such as a pandemic. Since the examination and study regulations are based on the normal case, i.e. examinations which, with the exception of written examinations, are taken in the presence of the students at the university, the deviation is not only the change of an examination form (e.g. from written examination to oral examination), but also the change of the examination procedure, in this case from presence to online examination (e.g. from oral examination in presence to oral examination via video conference tool).
  • 2. Change of the doctoral regulations (concerns the doctoral procedures): An extension of the doctoral regulations was introduced for the doctoral procedures, stipulating that deviations from the doctoral regulations are permissible if there is a significant impairment of university operations. This was done as Second amendment of the doctoral regulations (§ 26a, published in: AM I Nr. 17, 2020). The new paragraph stipulates, for example, that in times like the current ones, doctoral theses may only be submitted in electronic form, not in paper form, and oral doctoral examinations may be held via video conferencing tools.
  • 3. Resolution of the Faculty Council: A further guideline on the framework in which examinations may or could be held at the Faculty of Humanities in the summer semester 2020 was published by decision of the Faculty Council on 06.05.2020. In this resolution it was determined that in order to protect the health of students and teaching staff, no attendance examinations will be held during the current semester. Exceptions are only conceivable in individual cases and only in the case of written tests (Klausuren). The decision on this is the responsibility of the dean of studies and the examination board. The examiners of the faculty were therefore called upon to find alternative examination formats for their attendance examinations, which would allow them to adequately test their modules' competences, and to have these approved by the dean of studies and the examination board in accordance with the General Examination Regulations (APO) amendment. It was to be taken into account that the substitute type of performance can achieve the purpose of the study or examination performance to be replaced "to the greatest possible extent" (§ 22a, paragraph 1, p. 2 APO). This ensures that an alternative form of examination and the performance which it replaces need not be completely equivalent. There is no unequal treatment of the students here, because even under normal conditions there is no claim that the examination regulations applicable at the beginning of the course of study will not be changed until the end of the course of study. If modules change, the change applies equally to all students, regardless of the time of their enrollment.
  • 4. Approval procedure for Bachelor and Master examinations: On 17.04.2020, the Faculty's departments and institutes were informed about the necessity of an approval procedure. This procedure was explained to them in detail by providing application lists including necessary processing deadlines. The examination office acted as coordinator: it received the applications, presented them to the eamination board and the dean of studies and returned the decision to the departments and institutes. From application to approval, it usually took only one, maximum two weeks.

  • Do I have to submit my paper in paper form to my examiner? No. Please send her/him the examination paper in digital form only. (See also the section ‘How is the application procedure for admission to the final thesis and the entire final examination procedure currently running?’)
  • Many of my exams take place online. Where can I find help with online exams?

  • What is meant by ‘waiver of objection’ (Rügeverzicht)?
    Since the current exams are in formats that differ from the examination and study regulations, students who wish to be examined must confirm that they agree with this form of examination before or when they begin the examination. This is done by means of the ‘waiver of objection’. Only by submitting this declaration does one acquire the right to an evaluation of the examination grade. (§ 22a (1) p. 4 APO) Naturally, no one is forced to make such a declaration. In this case, admission to the examination will not be granted. This does not constitute a failed attempt.
  • When and how do I acquire the right to have my exam performance evaluated?
    You acquire the right to an evaluation when you submit the waiver of objection and submit your examination performance in due time. Grading by the examiner(s) is carried out as under normal conditions.
  • How do the deadlines for term papers affect the assessment in a semester in which teaching and examination activities are considerably restricted?
    Extensions are possible if there is an important reason. In the case of written module examinations (Hausarbeiten), please contact the responsible teacher, in the case of theses (if the reason is a factual one: enclosing an endorsement by your first examiner), please contact the examination board of the Faculty of Humanities via the examination office staff member responsible for your subject. See also the page Disease-related absence from the examination / extension of the deadline for submission of theses.
  • What to do if technical problems occur during an online exam?
    In an oral examination, the technical conditions must be the same for all participants in the examination. It must be ensured that examiners and candidates can also perceive each other's reactions. If necessary, the examination can be briefly interrupted to restore the normal state. In the event of technical problems, the examiner has a certain degree of discretion so that the exam can still be continued in the event of short-term interruptions. If the technical problems persist or recur again and again or if the condition becomes too stressful for the examinee and he/she makes this known, the exam must be interrupted due to the impairment of the exam conditions and repeated at a later time. Technical problems can also occur in online exams with time limits. Under certain circumstances, these can lead to a student not being able to upload the exam in time and thus miss the deadline. This would also result in a non-evaluation (no failed attempt).
  • If I would like to request an extension of the processing time for my paper due to illness, do I have to present a medical certificate?
    The fact that the mere indication by a student that he/she is ill is sufficient was only the case in the changeover phase at the beginning of the 2020 summer semester. The APO amendment currently stipulates that the presentation of a medical certificate can only be waived if it would be unreasonable for the student to present it. You can find out how to proceed in the event of illness on the page Disease-related absence from the examination / extension of the deadline for submission of theses.
  • How is the application process for admission to the final thesis and the entire graduation process currently going?
    It is quite sufficient for students to send their application for admission by e-mail to the examination office staff member responsible for their subject. The signatures of the supervisors do not have to be included. To simplify the electronic application procedure, it is sufficient if the examiners are placed in Cc when applying by e-mail. After completion of the thesis, it must be submitted by the student in PDF format only (uploaded via Flexnow) and is then immediately available to the examiners for evaluation. The fact that the university began to digitize the graduation process a few years ago has proven its worth. As soon as all the necessary documents are available, the examination office can create a digital image of the final documents, which will be available to the graduate a few moments later. Thanks to the verification code included, the image can be used for example for application purposes. The paper copies will be sent to the graduates as soon as they have been signed by the dean of the faculty and the chairman of the examination board.
  • (Doctoral procedure) I am a doctoral student and would like to take my oral examination shortly. Are disputations currently allowed to take place as attendance examinations?
    A disputation may take place if

    • (a) all parties to the examination agree to this,
    • (b) the examination committee organizes a room for the examination and
    • (c) the examination committee assures the examination office that it complies with the university’s hygiene requirements and (if applicable) with the travel instructions of the German Foreign Office.

  • (Doctoral procedure) What are the alternatives with regard to oral doctoral examinations?

    • (a) Conduct the exam by means of a suitable system using image and sound transmission. The decision whether to make use of the possibility of an online examination in the procedure lies with the responsible examination board. (§ 26a p. 1 lit. e) of the doctoral regulations) In addition, the consent of the candidate must be obtained.
    • (b) Performance of the examination in presence, in compliance with the above-mentioned requirements.
    • (c) Postponement into the future, when the pandemic is over.