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All about exams during the pandemic

Table of contents

How do the exams work?

Please check the semester rules.

Where can I get a test the day of my exam?

You can take a self-test on campus.

What happens if anybody tests positive for COVID-19 after an in-person exam?

If the infected person reports the infection to HTW Berlin, all students checked into the examination room will automatically receive a message. Since high security measures are ensured during examinations, other participants are not considered close contacts (no quarantine necessary).

For more security, HTW Berlin nevertheless requires a rapid antigen test before your next in-person exam or your next class on campus. You can get the antigen test at the 3G Check.

Do I have to take a module again if I did not take the exam in the first and/or second exam period?

In general you do not have to take a module again. You only need to take the exam and then register for it again accordingly. It is important that you comply with the examination regulations of your degree program that apply to you. For some modules there are exceptions regarding the retaking of modules. In case of doubt, please ask.
VERY IMPORTANT: In many modules you have to take examinations during the ongoing semester. If you do not register (again) for a module, you will not be informed about these achievements automatically. Please ask the lecturer immediately after the start of the course about the examinations and register in the Moodle course.

Legal regulations on failed examinations

HTW Berlin implements the regulations in the new Berlin Higher Education Act of September 2021 as follows:

  • The so-called three-semester rule has been suspended and is thus de facto abolished.
  • The number of failed examination attempts is generally limited to a total of three. What's new: if a subject-specific counselling interview has been held, a fourth examination attempt is possible. Students are automatically informed after failing the second resit examination.
  • A Bachelor's or Master's thesis can be repeated twice in case of failure. This results in a maximum of three attempts to write the thesis.
  • In case of failure, the thesis colloquium can be repeated twice. This results in a maximum of three examination attempts for the colloquium.

Exams taken and failed in the summer semester 2022 will be considered as not taken. The same rule applied for winter semester 2021/22, summer semester 2021, winter semester 2020/2021 and summer semester 2020 exams.

These changes have the following effects:

Examinations that were not passed (5.0) are not counted towards the failed attempts according to Section 15 (3) Sentence 1 RStPO and may be rewritten. There is no retake option for passed exams.   

According to the confirmation of the Berlin Senate, this change does not apply to exams that are graded as failed due to attempted cheating.

This also does not apply in the case of unexcused tardiness of a set examination date. This is especially the case if you do not submit your Bachelor's/Master's thesis by the deadline or do not appear for the final colloquium. Quote from the Berlin Senate: "The assessment as "failed" is based on the unexcused absence and cannot be attributed to pandemic-related restrictions in the course of studies."

What about the three-semester rule?

In accordance with the new Berlin Higher Education Act, the Academic Senate of HTW Berlin has decided that the three-semester rule is no longer applied. The rule has de facto been abolished.

How is the camera used for distance exams?

E-exams written at home are generally defined as open book exams; the use of additional materials is therefore permitted. Lecturers may ask you to turn on your camera for authentication.

To authenticate, you will be asked to show your student ID to the camera. Prior to this, you should submit the signed Consent to use cameras as part of digital exams at HTW Berlin [PDF].

Also during the exam it should be ensured that help of third parties (personally or e.g. by using cell phones, ...) is not used. Lecturers are in principle entitled to ask you to use the camera during the exam.

The following applies to electronic examinations written at home:

In order to prevent cheating during an digital examination, students may be required to activate the camera and microphone (video supervision).

Video supervision shall be set up in such a way that the protection of privacy are not restricted more than necessary for the justified purposes of control.

Video supervision shall be carried out by supervisory personnel of the university.

Automated analysis of image or sound data from video supervision is not permitted.

We point out that the use of the camera takes place in a private environment objects, etc., that should not come to the attention of external parties are not within the "hearing or viewing range" of the camera it is to be excluded as far as possible that third parties do not enter the room during the examination.

What do I need to know regarding plagiarism and cheating issues?

We would like to draw your attention in particular to the rules for examinations written online and open book (distance e-examinations):

Your exam must be a self-contained exam paper. For electronic examinations in distance, certain aids are permitted. These can be e.g.: own notes, printed works (e.g. textbooks, lecture notes), internet sources.Your lecturer will inform you which documents/materials are permitted. Please pay attention to these specifications – in case of doubt, please do not hesitate to ask.The requirement of good scientific work also applies in an exam. If texts or essential ideas are taken from documents accompanying the exam, they must be clearly marked as a quotation in order not to be considered plagiarism. Please point this out to the students.   Any communication with others (with the exception of the supervising person) as well as the verbatim transfer of text passages (including from other or jointly pre-written texts) without the use of quotation marks and indication of the source (so-called copy/paste) are inadmissible. Please keep in mind that the requirement of good scientific work also applies in an exam. If you take over texts or essential ideas from documents accompanying the exam, they must be clearly marked as a quotation; the unmarked takeover is considered plagiarism.If violations are considered as an attempt at deception, the work will be graded as "insufficient" (5.0). The examination attempt is then considered to have been made! See also examination regulations.In particularly serious cases of attempted cheating (e.g. repeated attempted cheating, full plagiarism, organized collaboration of several persons), this may result in your de-registration.

What can I do in case of problems with grades or exams?

Generally, teachers are free in their performance of teaching and examinations. However, there is of course a framework determined by law in which they act. If you have the impression that decisions are not correct or that rules are not applied correctly, we recommend you to contact the teacher first and describe your point of view in a reasoned, factual and formally correct manner.
If the discrepancy cannot be resolved this way, please contact the offices of your study program. In case of an examination matter, contact the examination board. In case of organizational issues, contact the study program office or the program spokesperson.
If you have not been able to solve the problem, proceed as follows: For organizational/content challenges, please contact the Dean's Office of the department. Only if your appeal is rejected/decided by the examination board, contact the examination office. A frank word: It does not make sense to skip any of these steps. HTW Berlin strives to make quick, correct and appropriate as well as fair decisions. To this end, the respective responsible offices must also be involved. If you act differently, the process will unfortunately take longer, but will not lead to a different decision.