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Model Examination Policies for Educational Institutions: A Compulsory Application

  • Dr Okafo Okoreaffia
  • 806-816
  • May 27, 2024
  • Education

Model Examination Policies for Educational Institutions: A Compulsory Application

Dr Okafo Okoreaffia

Department of Cooperative Economics and Management; and Dean, Division of Student Affairs, Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Owerri


Received: 13 April 2024; Revised: 21 April 2024; Accepted: 26 April 2024; Published: 27 May 2024


An examination policy is obligatory in order to rationalize the various procedures associated with exams in every educational institution. It is the regulatory instrument that conveys credibility to exams despite its wide criticism of not being a true test of knowledge. This paper canvasses the need for every educational institution to have its own exam policy and presents what can be referred to as a model examination policy document which details the requirements of the 4 critical stages of an exam including the lecture period, preparations for the exam, the examination itself and results from the examination, from where any educational institution can tailor-make its own. It concludes with a clear procedure for aggrieved students to seek redress without being victimized.

Keywords: Examination, Examination Policy, Invigilators, Results, Students’ Grievances


An examination is a formal test of a person’s knowledge or proficiency in a subject or skill. It is an exercise designed to evaluate progress or test qualifications or knowledge (Merriam-Webster, 2024). Examinations play a crucial role in the learning process of students. They do not only test the knowledge and understanding of the subject but also help students to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Examinations compel students to read as much as they can, and as they do, they absorb knowledge unconsciously. Furthermore, because of exams, teachers have to confine themselves to the syllabuses which are aimed at imparting knowledge in a systematic manner.

There are arguments that exam is not the true test of knowledge. While some people claim that examinations only test a certain type of skill, others doubt whether there is really a relationship between passing an exam on a skill and having the capacity to apply the skill (Todorovic, 2020).

In spite of all the complaints, everybody still believes that there must be a way to judge the understanding of the students who have been taught.

That is why Noorazian (2024) posits that an examination is a student’s end-of-course evaluation to determine his or her understanding, achievement, performance or outcome and consequently helps the school authorities and indeed employers of labour and others to assess the candidate’s mental and general ability.

An examination may be a written test, an on-screen test or a practical test involving the person taking the exam, called the candidate and the person who decides how well the candidate performed, called the examiner. Where the person teaching the student is also the person who will determine how well the student performed, then additional care must be taken to ensure objectivity.

Despite the type of examination, it needs to be regulated; and therefore, should be governed by policies.

An examination policy is an administrative document formally issued to guide the conduct of examinations in an institution with the aim of achieving or maintaining a determined standard (Ray et al., 2018). According to Rooney (2022), it is produced to rationalize the various procedures associated with examinations during an academic year. It is also meant to ensure that the planning and management of examinations are conducted efficiently and in the best interest of candidates. It is to ensure the operation of an efficient exam system with clear guidelines for all relevant members of staff; and to provide a standard pattern capable of being reviewed periodically to appraise its effectiveness. According to Ray et al (2018) and Mulford (2003), an examination policy is enacted through agreements reached by relevant stakeholders in the institution after due meetings with the Academic Board, the examinations department of Registry, the Deans of Schools, the Heads of Departments and the Students Union Government representatives. Registrar FPNO, (2020) believes it will necessitate consulting relevant circulars, regulations and documents including the Students’ Handbook.

In arriving at the policy itself, the Academic Board (2023) observed that issues concerning examinations begin during lectures and stretch until the semester results are approved and released. I will therefore prefer to categorize the policy promulgation process into stages in order to delineate the responsibilities of each stage and identify the actors, for prompting and ease of monitoring.

Four stages are evident, namely:

i) Lectures on courses the students are to be examined on;

ii) Preparing for the examination;

iii) The examination itself; and

iv) Results from the examination.

Consequently, my proposal for an effective examination policy is arranged along these four stages with a general remark on the handling of exam malpractices, grievances and series of relevant examination Forms that need to be put in place.


Stage One: Lectures on Courses That Students are to be Examined on.

  • At the commencement of every semester, lecturers and students shall be informed of the tentative dates for the semester’s examinations as a guide to their teaching and learning. This is usually contained in the approved academic calendar for the session.
  • Lecturers shall make efforts to teach their students and to cover the course syllabus/content before the exam. There should therefore be records of every lecture for every class. This will necessitate the introduction of a Lecture Register for each class with columns for the name of the lecturer, the course title, the course code, time lecture began, time lecture ended, topic/s taught, number of students in attendance and remarks entered in it every day (see sample below).


Date Course title and Code Name of Lecturer/Instructor Time Started Topic/s Taught Time Ended No. of students in class Remarks

 The general course representative, on behalf of the class, shall keep this for each class and submit same to the HOD at the end of the semester for analysis.

  • There is need for every student to have a student’s identity card, an authentic form of identification or a class admit card for use in attending lectures.
  • Allocation of Supervisors and approval of Research Project Topics should be concluded in the First Semester to create time for administering questionnaires etc during the first semester holidays and to enable its completion before the end of the Second Semester Examination.
  • Each Faculty/School, through the Dean, should ensure that all facilities, equipment and materials required for lectures and instructions are ready before the commencement of lectures.
  • There should be effective monitoring by a team set up by each Dean to ensure that the facilities and materials remain available throughout the semester while the monitoring team should also monitor the quality of teaching that goes on in the institution.
  • All Continuous Assessment tests/assignments/practicals/etc., should be concluded at least one week before the commencement of examinations otherwise it would spill over and affect/delay the conclusion of results.
  • Anyone found negligent in any of these stated areas (i-vii) should be dealt with, in accordance with the provisions of the Staff Disciplinary Manual.
  • Unless there is uniformity in the Faculty/School, course lecturers should clearly announce to the students what constitutes Continuous Assessment and how they intend to evaluate students’ performance for it.

Stage Two: Preparing for The Examination

  • Each Faculty/School, through the Dean, should ensure that all facilities, equipment and materials required for the examinations are ready three weeks before the commencement of examinations.
  • The Examination Time Table should be released at least two weeks before the commencement of the examinations and the Deans and HODs should ensure that all lecturers and students see them early.
  • If possible, the exams of such general courses that are school-wide should be scheduled first in the Time-table and should come up first.
  • Heads of Department should study the general Time Table and come up with their own Departmental Time Table to assist in the invigilation of courses they provide services or the ones others give their services.
  • The various Departmental Time Table Representatives should work in unison to ensure that on the days General Studies Courses are scheduled, no other Departmental courses would hold. This will minimize and completely eradicate the problem of students missing their examinations because of an avoidable clash.
  • The departmental invigilation schedule should be released by the HODs at least one week before the commencement of the examinations and a copy sent to the Dean of their Faculty/School.
  • An orientation programme should be organized for all academic staff annually to sensitize them on the rules and regulations guiding examination conduct. This can be done on Faculty/School-by-Faculty/School basis.
  • Lecturers must set questions from the topics they taught.
  • Questions set by junior lecturers should be moderated by the HOD or any Senior Lecturer who is specialized in that field and who shall be nominated by the HOD so as to ensure standardization of questions being administered.
  • Where there are part-time programmes, their examination questions shall be vetted by the HOD to ensure that the standards of the programmes, do not fall short of what obtains in the regular programme.
  • Examination questions should be evaluated to ensure that they relate to the course contents of what are in the syllabi.
  • There should be, at least, one-week revision period preceding every semester examination. This is not a period to introduce new topics but to review what had been taught.
  • Where the institution wants to introduce CBT examinations, the CBT Exam Time Table should be published at the same time the examination Time Table is published.
  • Research Project deadlines and defense dates should be published during the release of the examination Time Table.
  • HODs should ensure that there are no undue delays of Research Project supervision by Supervisors.
  • Where there is a confirmed case of undue delay on the part of the Supervisor, the HOD should re-assign the supervisee immediately.
  • A comprehensive list of students qualified to take any examination should be produced by the HOD at least one week before the commencement of the examination and it should be in tandem with the Result Roster from MIS. This should include a list of those who are to write carry over or repeat exams. NB: This therefore implies that all reference lists shall be published early to inform students who may be involved so that they can participate in the lectures and the examination.
  • Only designated venues with required capacity should be used for examinations.
  • The integrity of question papers should be ensured. On no account should unauthorized persons have access to them.

Stage Three: The Examination Itself

  • Each department should provide invigilators for their students’ examinations with the course lecturer as the chief invigilator.
  • There should be at least 2 invigilators in a hall of 50, excluding the chief invigilator, and an additional invigilator for every additional 50 students and fraction thereof in that same hall.
  • Where there is a shortage of invigilators, Professors and Chief Lecturers may be requested by the Deputy Vice Chancellor/Deputy Rector/Deputy Provost, (Academic) to assist. Where the situation is critical, s/he may also direct that senior non-teaching staff of the department be deployed by the HOD to assist the lecturers in order not to under-invigilate an examination or postpone it.
  • Invigilators should be in the examination hall at least 10 minutes before the commencement of the examination to ensure that the venue is ready (Richmon American International University, 2018) and to sign into an Invigilation Attendance Sheet and sign out at the end. This should be handed over to the Dean of that Faculty/School immediately after the examination for appropriate action.


S/No. Name Department Sign In Sign Out
  • Lateness to invigilation without reasonable excuse should be reported to the HOD by the Chief Invigilator for appropriate sanctions.
  • Students should not be allowed to leave the examination hall and come back once the exam has started unless on health grounds or for other reasons which the invigilator must find satisfactory.
  • Signing of the examination attendance sheet by students is compulsory and the only evidence that a student took the examination.


                     Attendance Sheet No. _____

S/No. Name Reg. No Sign In Sign Out
  • Only one copy of the attendance sheet should be signed by students and later photocopied. This shall hasten the process and make for uniformity of the different copies.
  • A photocopy of the students’ attendance sheet should be submitted to the Dean alongside the invigilators’ attendance sheet not later than 24 hours after each examination.
  • The chief invigilator should reconcile the number in the student’s attendance sheet with the number of scripts at the end of the examination and enter it in the Examination Script Reconciliation Form, bearing in mind that he/she shall later account for that number of scripts in the Result Roster.


Course Title _______________________________              Course Code _____

No. in Attendance __________________________

Any discrepancy ____________________________

Remarks __________________________________

Signature of Invigilators Present

S/No. Name Department Sign In Sign Out
  • There should be a provision in the examination script to reflect the attendance sheet number and attendance serial number for ease of accounting for missing scripts or reconciling discrepancies.


Attendance Sheet No. Serial No. where you signed
  • Students should be prohibited from entering the examination hall with their phones, earpiece, Bluetooth or any other electronic devices. Invigilators should announce it before the commencement of each examination and thereafter confiscate any such devices found on students in the examination hall, document it and hand it over to the Dean of the school not later than 24 hours after the examination and collect an acknowledgement from the Dean.
  • The incident should be included in the examination report of that course.
  • Any lecturer/invigilator who confiscates any of the prohibited devices and later returns same to the student shall be treated as an accomplice.
  • Invigilators should go to the examination hall with copies of the Examination Misconduct Form and announce its availability (this should provide for old and new prohibitions like phones, earpiece and other electronic devices).
  • Invigilators are advised to avoid any form of physical contact or altercations with any student perceived to have offended the rules and regulations guiding examination conduct but employ the examination misconduct form.
  • Examination duration hours should be in agreement with the course credit units. For one (1) credit unit course, the examination duration shall be one (1) hour, two (2) units – two (2) hours, three (3) units- three (3) hours, etc.
  • Examination Start times and durations should be strictly adhered to. Any changes should be duly approved by the Deputy VC/Deputy Rector/Deputy Provost, Academic.
  • Invigilators should on no account stop the examination when students are yet to exhaust the allotted time for the particular paper except on the grounds of gross misconduct of students, which poses a threat to life of both invigilators and the students.
  • Emergency stoppages of examinations before the stipulated time can only be authorized by the HOD and NOT the chief invigilator. This means that the invigilators must invite the HOD of the department taking the examination for him/her to announce the decision, if the situation is beyond their control, or the Dean of the Faculty/School, in the absence of the HOD.
  • There should be an examination monitoring team from every Faculty/School, headed by Deans of schools, to monitor every examination within their Faculty/School. This team shall report every examination activity to the Deputy VC/Deputy Rector/Deputy Provost (Academic) on daily basis during every semester examination period.


FACULTY/SCH________    DEPARTMENT________ SESSION_________      SEMESTER________

S/No. Course Title Course Code Date of Exam Venue/s of Exam No. of Scripts No. on Attendance No. of Misconduct Cases No. of Invigilators Date of Submission of Result  


  • Students should be directed to come to the examination halls with their identity cards and school fees receipt before being admitted into the halls. Where identity cards are not ready, Departments shall provide Students’ Departmental Albums to fish out any impersonator.
  • Students should not be allowed into the examination hall after 30 minutes of commencement of examinations. This is to avoid those who wait to see the question papers outside, solve them before entering the exam hall. They usually have collaborators.
  • Students should never be involved in the invigilation of examinations.
  • Any lecturer or invigilator that employs students for invigilation should be duly sanctioned.
  • Any lecturer obtaining permission not to participate in an examination he/she is scheduled to invigilate should provide a suitable replacement.
  • Any lecturer who absents himself/herself from invigilation without adhering to the rules should face appropriate sanctions.
  • Sitting arrangements during examination should be a maximum of 3 students per pew of 12 feet. Only 2 students should sit on any pew less than 12 feet, to ensure standards.
  • Carryover and Re-registration students should provide a form of identity or confirmation from their HOD. This is to show that they are bona fide candidates for the examinations.
  • As much as possible, there should be gender-mix among invigilators.
  • There should be no gender demarcation among students during examination except on religious and/or cultural grounds. This must have reflected also during teaching.
  • Students should be prohibited from defending their projects with their folders when they have not concluded their projects.
  • Any undefended project should be treated as Carry Over.
  • Any form of cheating in the examination should be treated as malpractice and treated in line with Regulations otherwise the credibility of the examination and the resultant certificate may be called to question. Therefore, clear instructions on what constitutes cheating should be written in front of the answer script.
  • Special attention and consideration should be given to students with disability during the examination (University of Iowa, 2024).
  • At the end of every semester examination, every HOD should send a copy of all question papers to the school library.

Stage Four: Results from The Examinations

  • The Management Information System (MIS) unit should make available updated students’ Result Rosters to each department at least one (1) week before the commencement of the examinations.
  • Lecturers that have their Departmental courses to teach and mark, should be given six (6) weeks to grade and submit all such results while the departments that handles general courses of entire Departments in the School shall be given eight (8) weeks to grade and submit all such results.
  • Lecturers that have other courses in addition to their Departmental courses shall be given eight (8) weeks to grade and submit all such results.
  • Preparation of Comprehensive Results by HODs and submission of same to the Examinations Departments should be done in two (2) weeks.
  • Lecturers should submit the variables and values they used for Continuous Assessment to the Departmental Board meeting.
  • The Marking Guide for all papers taken in each department should be produced by the lecturer(s) responsible for the courses and copies submitted to the various departmental Heads.
  • Departmental Board Meetings should be held to consider the results within one (1) week of preparing the comprehensive before submission to the Examinations Departments for reconciliation. This meeting should actually do its job of considering results as this will ease the work of other tiers above.
  • Rosters should be accompanied by a copy of the Attendance Sheet and the Examination Scripts Reconciliation Form while submitting to the HODs.
  • Proof-reading of Results by Examinations Departments should be done within one (1) week.
  • Computation of Results by the Examinations Departments should be done within four (4) weeks.
  • Reconciliation of Results between Examinations Departments and HODs should be done in one (1) week.
  • Each department should submit a comprehensive report after each examination to the Dean of their Faculty/School.
  • School Board meetings should be held within one (1) week.
  • Any adjustments in the results made by a School Board should be entered in the Minutes of the School Board meeting and sent to the Deputy VC/ Deputy Rector/ Deputy Provost (Academic) to reflect before the next Senate or Academic Board meeting.
  • Re-computation of Results by Records and Statistics Departments should be done in three (3) weeks.
  • Reconciliation of Results between Examinations Departments and Records and Statistics Departments should be done in one (1) week.
  • Final production of Semester Results by Examinations Departments (Typing and Collation) should be done within two (2) weeks.
  • Approval of Results by the Senate or Academic Board should be done within one (1) week.
  • Any adjustments in the results made by the Senate or Academic Board should be entered in the Minutes of the Senate or Academic Board meeting and sent to the Vice Chancellor/Rector/Provost or to any Executive Assistant nominated to handle such issues to reflect as final approval.
  • Examinations Departments should distribute the approved Results to relevant Departments and Units including Records and Statistics Departments and ICT to publish the results in the relevant platforms within one (1) week.


S/No Task Duration Cumulative
 I i   Grading of Students’ Results by Departmental lecturers



ii   Grading students results by the lecturers teaching GNS courses

6 weeks

42 days


8 weeks

56 days

6/8 weeks
2. Preparation of Comprehensive Results by HOD and Submission of same to Examinations Departments 2 weeks


10 weeks
3. Departmental Board meeting and Submission of Results to Examinations Departments by HODs 1 week

5 days

11 weeks
4. Proofreading of Results by Examinations Departments 1 week

5 days

12 weeks
5. Computation of Results by Examinations Departments (Regular and Evening) 4 Semesters 4 weeks

28 days

16 weeks
6. Reconciliation of Results between Examinations Departments and HODs 1 week

5 days

17 weeks
7. School Board meeting 1 week

5 days

18 weeks
8. Re-computation of Results by Records

and Statistics Departments

3 weeks

21 days

21 weeks
9. Reconciliation of Results between Examinations Departments and Records & Statistics departments 1 week

5 days

22 weeks
10. Final production of Semester Results by Examinations Departments (Typing and Collation) 2 weeks

10 days

24 weeks
11. Approval of Results by Academic Board 1 week

5 days

25 weeks
12. Uploading of Results online 1 week

5 days

26 weeks
13. Total Number of Weeks                                                                           26 weeks 26 weeks
  • Records and Statistics Department of the Registry remains the official custodians of the authentic results and academic records of students and the management should ensure that only trust-worthy personnel are posted there.
  • Any student who wants a hardcopy of his/her results, for any purpose, at any point in time should be able to access it and even print out copies based on any conditions stipulated by management.


  1. There should be a Faculty/School Examination Malpractice sub-committee for each school. They should meet one (1) week after the conclusion of examinations to consider cases referred to them and conclude within two (2) weeks. SUG principal officers and Executive members as well as the SUG judges of that school shall be observers in the sittings of the sub-committee.
  2. The hearing should be made in the presence of the chief invigilator and/or the invigilator that caught the student and other witnesses.
  3. Where the sub-committee is satisfied with the student’s defence, the Dean shall dismiss the matter and return any device confiscated from the student and submit a report to the Deputy VC/Deputy Rector/ Deputy Provost (Academic) which will counter the inclusion of the matter in the examination report and to the main school misconduct committee for ratification.
  4. Where the sub-committee is not satisfied with the defence of the student, it should recommend appropriate disciplinary action to the main school malpractice committee and hand over whatever confiscated devices to the Chief Security Officer of the institution within 24 hours.
  5. The main school malpractice committee shall listen to appeals from students in the light of decisions reached by the sub-committees and if satisfied with the appeal, would exonerate the students and direct the CSO to hand over the devices to the students.
  6. Where the main committee is not satisfied with the appeal, the recommendations of the sub-committee shall be upheld and the erring students shall forfeit all such devices in addition to facing the appropriate disciplinary action (Onyibe and Ibina, 2015).


Students may complain about the teaching method of the lecturer, the irregularity of the lecturer in attending lectures, collecting/extorting money from students, abuse of continuous assessment, downgrading during marking, sorting for higher marks, etc. There should be a clear procedure for students who are aggrieved to make their complaints and get justice without being victimized. Deans of Faculties/Schools should receive such complaints and protect the students involved. Such complaints should be handled confidentially and investigated. If found to be correct, those involved should be appropriately sanctioned to serve as a deterrent for others. If found intentionally frivolous, the student who made the allegation should also be appropriately sanctioned.


Finally, these are general recommendations. Each educational institution can use it as a guide to produce what would be effective for it. However, I firmly believe that if these proposals are vigorously publicised and decisively implemented, the conduct of exams and the prompt release of results will become seamless to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. I also know that it will take a lot of discipline and dedication from staff before they support this and the firm courage of management to make it work. That is why it is important that these recommendations be discussed by all the relevant staff to arrive at what is peculiar to it before implementation of what would then be referred to as an effective examination policy.


  1. Academic Board FPNO (2022) Federal Polytechnic, Nekede Owerri Examination Policy Document
  2. Registrar FPNO (2020) Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri Students’ Handbook for 2020 to 2025
  3. Merriam-Webster (2024) Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary sourced from
  4. Mulford, Bill (2003) School Leaders: Challenging Roles and Impact on Teacher and Schools Effectiveness. OECD Commissioned Paper. sourced from
  5. Noorazian, Noordin (2024) Importance of Exam. SCRIBD. sourced from
  6. Onyibe, C. O.; Uma, U. U. and Ibina, E. (2015) Examination Malpractice in in Nigeria: Causes and Effects on National Development. Journal of Education and Practice, vol6, No 26. Online ISSN: 2222-288X
  7. Ray, M. E.; Daugherty, K. K.; Lebovitz, J. D.; Rudolph, M. J.; Shuford, V. P. and DiVall, M. V. (2018) Best Practices on Education Construction, Administration and Feedback. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 82(10); 7066. Doi: 10.5688/ajpe7066
  8. Richmon American International University (2018) Examination Policy and Procedures. Sourced from
  9. Rooney, Therese (2022) Examination Policy for 2020/2021. Phoenix Performing Arts College. Sourced from
  10. Todorovic, Igor (2020) Importance of New Class Teaching Methods in Curricula Developing Countries. Faculty of Economics, University of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina in Handbook of Research on Enhancing Innovation in Higher Educational Institutions.
  11. University of Iowa (2024) Examination Policies and Best Practices; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Sourced from

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