Additional Examination Attempts
Students enrolled in Bachelor's programs at TH Köln have the option to use up to four "additional examination attempts" if they have failed the same exam three times or if they are not satisfied with the grade of a passed exam.
This replaces the former regulations on attempts not counted if failed ("Freiversuch") and additional oral examinations.
FAQ on additional examination attempts
Who can take an additional examination attempt?
All undergraduate students can take additional examination attempts in their respective Bachelor's programs. Exceptions apply for programs offered in cooperation with other universities. This is currently only the joint degree program in Business Information Systems which is offered in cooperation with Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
How many additional examination attempts can I take?
You may take up to four additional examinations attempts over the course of your Bachelor's program. You can use these to retake an examination which you have already failed three times. It is possible to use all four additional attempts on the same exam. Up to two of your additional examination attempts may be used to retake an examination that you have already passed in order to achieve a better grade.
Please note: It is generally not possible to worsen your grade. In case you get a lower grade in your retake exam, you will keep the (better) result from your first attempt to pass the exam.
For which examinations can I use the additional examination attempts?
You may use the additional examination attempts for any examination that is part of your Bachelor's program with the exception of your Bachelor's thesis and the final oral examination.
You can use your additional attempts to retake an examination which you have already failed three times. Up to two of your additional attempts may be used to retake an examination that you have already passed but would like to try to achieve a better grade.
If an exam consists of several individual parts, you may also use an additional attempt to retake one part of the exam. If you want or need to retake two or more individual parts of the same module one time each, you only need to use one additional examination attempt.
You cannot use an additional attempt to retake an exam which you failed due to (attempted) cheating.
What do I need to do to use one of my additional examination attempts?
As soon as the Office of Student and Examination Services has received the information that you have failed the same exam three times (or an additional attempt to take an exam), it determines if you are entitled to an additional examination attempt. If so, you will receive an application form along with the letter confirming that you failed the exam three times (or an additional attempt). You need to return the form within one month in order to apply for an additional attempt. In this case, the Office of Student services will register you for this exam for the next examination period.
If you want to retake an exam in order to achieve a better grade, please use the form "Application to retake a passed exmination to achieve a better grade" to register for this exam during the next registration period.
If you intend to take the re-take the examination with another examiner than the one of the passed exam, please let us know by making a note on the registration form.
Which deadlines do I need to consider when applying for an additional attempt?
If you failed an exam three times (or if you failed an additional attempt) and have received a form to apply for an (another) additional attempt, you need to return this form within one month if you want to take an additional attempt. If you miss the deadline you are no longer entitled to an additional attempt.
If you want to retake an exam to improve your grade you need to register for this exam using the form "Application to retake a passed exmination to achieve a better grade". This must be done during the next registration period for the next possible date to take this examination. If you do not register during this registration period you are no longer entitled to use an additional attempt for this exam.
Can I withdraw from an exam which counts as an additional examination attempt?
If you have registered for an exam to improve your grade you can withdraw from the exam during the usual withdrawal period. This will automatically cancel your application to retake an exam to improve your grade. In this case, your are not using one of your four additional attempts, however, you will not be able to use an additional attempt for this particular exam at a later date and you will keep your orignal grade.
In case of an excused withdrawal (e.g. due to health reasons) from the next possible exam date you need to re-register for your additional attempt for the following exam period, irrespective of whether you are retaking the exam to improve your grade or after you have failed it three times. If you do not re-register for the following exam period, you lose one of your additional attempts. An excused withdrawal from the following examination date is possible and the same regulations apply.
What happens if the next possible exam date is during my internship or semester abroad?
If it is a mandatory internship or semester abroad (according to the examination regulations for your program) you need to register for your additional attempt for the next possible exam date following your internship/semester abroad.
What happens if I am on a leave of absence during the next possible exam date?
If you are taking a leave of absence due to pregancy, parental leave, health reasons or to care for a family member, you are to re-register for your additional attempt for the next possible exam date following your leave of absence.
If you are taking a leave of absence for any other reason, you are required to take your additional attempt while you are on leave.
If you are on parental leave or taking care of a family member but are making use of your right to take exams while you are on leave, you are also required to take your additional examination attempt while on leave.
When is an additional attempt considered 'used'?
If you take the additional examination or do not show up for the exam without properly withdrawing. An attempt is also considered 'used' if you applied to take the additional examination but are no longer enrolled on the next possible exam date.
How can I find out how many additional attempts I have used already?
Your academic record which is available for download in PSSO shows the number of additional attempts you have used and/or applied for. It also shows how many of the four additional attempts you have used to improve the grade of a previously passed exam.
I have already taken attempts not counted if failed ("Freiversuch") and/or additional oral examinations in the past. Will these count towards the maximum number of additional attempts?
No. If the examination regulations of your program allow attempts not counted if failed and/or additional oral examinations, these regulations still apply to all exams taken before September 1, 2018. They do not count towards the maximum number of additional examination attempts which can be used for exams taken on or after September 1, 2018.
What happens if I transfer to different examination regulations in the same program?
If you transfer to different examination regulations of your Bachelor's program any additional examination attempts that you have already used will still be considered used under the other examination regulations. This also applies to examinations that do not exist in your new examination regulations.
What happens if I transfer to another program?
If you transfer to a different Bachelor's program at TH Köln, you will again have four additional examination attempts at your disposal. Exception: If you have already used some of your additional attempts for examinations that are also part of your new program (if the respective module is a joint module of both your old and new program), these attempts will be considered as already used.
I have failed an examination in my program three times. Can I use an additional examination attempt and take the exam in a different program?
No, this is not possible. Additional examination attempts can only be used for examinations that are part of your program.
Can I worsen my grade with an additional attempt to improve my grade?
It is not possible to worsen a grade by taking an additional examination attempt. Should you receive a lower grade in your additional attempt you will keep the (better) grade from your first attempt to pass the exam. However, one of your additional examination attempts is considered used.
Who can I contact if I need advice or additional information?
The Office of Student and Examination Services will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding additional examination attempts. Please note the office and phone hours of the Office of Student Services on your campus.
You may also contact your faculty's academic adviser or the Central Academic Advising Office.
Please note: Prior to using one of your additional attempts for an exam that you have already failed three times, we strongly recommend that you make an appointment for an academic counseling session in your faculty. The goal of this session is to figure out what went wrong during your previous attempts to pass the exam and to help you achieve a better result in your additional attempt. Please countact your faculty's academic adviser to find out who offers these counseling sessions for your program.