Rights related to examination

Here we collect the most important information for students related to examinations at ETH.

Inspection of examinations

In an ETH-wide directive, the conditions for examination inspections at ETH are regulated uniformly and bindingly for all departments. These are minimum requirements, so the departments are free to grant students more rights.

Either the lecturer organizes an inspection on his or her own initiative, i.e. he or she offers a date for the inspection within the first three weeks after the grading conference (do not miss this date, otherwise your right to an inspection will expire). On the other hand, within 6 months after the announcement of the grades, you can ask the lecturer to schedule an inspection by e-mail, which the lecturer will then offer within three weeks.

A person must be present at the examination inspection who can answer questions about the corrections and the distribution of points. Usually, this is an assistant who was involved in the examination and its correction and who is competent in the subject matter.

During the inspection the following must be available:

  • the problem definition
  • the own solution with the inserted corrections
  • the possible maximum number of points per task
  • the grade scale
  • the sample solution, if available

There must also be the possibility to take notes. There is no right to a complete copy of the solution or the exam. It is at the discretion of the respective lecturer whether he/she allows this.

The detailed regulations can be found in the directive Viewing and transfer of performance assessment records. Should there still be problems, please contact your student association.

If you have further questions, please contact us at any time at hopo@vseth.ethz.ch.

Failure to pass the exam

Unfortunately, it happens again and again at ETH that students do not pass exams with success.

If this is the first time this happens, we recommend that you contact fellow students or your own professional association if you do not pass an exam. They will certainly be able to help you with the exam collections as well as tips and tricks for each exam, or by contacting the lecturer. During the exam inspection, students can look at their own mistakes, which can be very helpful if you plan to repeat the exam. We wish you good luck with your second attempt!

This further text is intended to show further possibilities of what you can do if you have taken an exam or an exam block without success. This is especially important if you have not been successful the second time.

Article 14.1 of the “Leistungskontrollenverordnung ETH Zürich” states that one may repeat a performance assessment or an examination block only once. Article 7.2 of the same regulation refers to this, and additionally states that one is excluded from a program of study if, after failing an examination twice, one is unable to achieve the required number or type of ECTS points. In this case, please first read your own study regulations (which can also be found in the collection of laws). Look for possibilities, such as compensatory subjects, to avoid exclusion.

Unrightful conditions

In the event of unrightful conditions during the examination or during the evaluation, we would like to draw your attention to the “Information sheet on legal remedies and remedies“. This provides information on the possibilities and their uses. If you decide to contest the results, you must request an appealable decision from the Registrar’s Office within 30 days of receiving the results (e-mail). Basic exams, which are communicated in writing, are ordered directly. This order is the basis for any appeal.

If you have informed yourself about this, we strongly recommend that you contact your Director of Studies. The director of studies can advise you in individual cases. Discuss the case with them and explain why you did not pass. After this discussion, you must consider whether you want to continue or give up. If you decide to continue, your complaint will be forwarded to the appropriate department and a decision will be made. But be aware that this whole process can take a long time and if it is not successful, you will lose time.

Exclusion & Further Study

If you are excluded from the program, for example by failing the basic examination block twice, there are other possibilities if you want to continue your studies:

As a third alternative you can enroll for an orientation semester. You keep your student status and can re-orientate yourself. You can also take exams during the orientation semester and the ETCS can be credited to you later. Here you can find the directive.

We wish you good luck! If you need support contact us at hopo@vseth.ethz.ch. We are here for you and will help you as much as we can with our experience and relationships.