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Exam information

Exam sessions | Types of exams at the School of Biology | Notes | Additional informations

Exam sessions

The School of Biology exams are organised in 3 sessions:

  • winter session (months of January and February)
  • summer session (months of June and July)
  • autumn session (months of August and September) = catch up session

The schedules for the exam sessions are published approximately 1 month before each session. Once the schedules have been published they should not change except in cases of a force majeure. The teachers are deemed to taken note of the exam dates by validating the final schedule communicated to them via email prior to publication.

The exam schedules for the sessions are available at the bottom of the page " Exams" accessed from "You are a student?"

Types of exams at the School of Biology

The details of the tests listed at the School of Biology are as follows:

  • written test (QCM - short questions - short answers / questions to be developed)
  • oral test (between 15 and 30 minutes)
  • practical test (e.g. marks for PW, exercises, oral presentation, a trip report)

At the start of the academic year, the teacher sets the duration of the test depending on the type of test chosen and the amount of material examined.

For some courses, participation in the exam depends on obtaining a study validation (in relation to the student's participation in practical work or exercises). Teachers define the conditions for obtaining this validation at the start of the semester (for example presence of PW, sufficient reports submitted).

These conditions are also included in the exam procedures

The procedure, duration of the test, the authorised equipment during the latter as well as the conditions for obtaining the course validation are included in the "exam procedures ". These exam procedures are published at the start of the year (or semester for the third year of the Bachelor's and Masters) and serve as rules.


The final exam notes range from 1.0 to 6.0 and are in ½ points. A note of 4.0 is the pass mark.

The conditions for success are described for each step of the Bachelor and Masters degrees as well as for the Bachelor's degree in pharmacy.

A note of 0 is reserved for cheating or an unjustified absence from a test. It results in a failure of the exam attempt.

On the Bachelor's programme, exams for which the note obtained is 1.0 must be repeated, even if the average for all of the exams exceeds 4.0

The final note for a course can be a combination of several notes (for example test during the session, practical note, note for exercises). It is not necessary for the intermediate notes to be in ½ points.

Additional informations

Any questions relating to the exams can be addressed to Jennifer von Schinkel (021 692 40 15; Jennifer.VonSchinkel@unil.ch) or to the Teachers Affairs Manager: Raffaella Guidi (021 692 40 12 ; Raffaella.Guidi@unil.ch

The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CSE) at UNIL offers various educational workshops, some deal with the drafting of exams. Please consult the training available using the link below:

Centre for Teaching and Learning

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Amphipôle - CH-1015 Lausanne  - Suisse  -  Tel. +41 21 69240 10  -  Fax +41 21 69240 05
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