Detailed information on registering for and withdrawing from exams as well as on retaking exams.
Registration for and admission to exams
You may only participate in course and module examinations to be taken throughout your program after you have bindingly registered for them. In some cases, this may also apply to assessments. These registrations must be filed within a time frame specifically set for this purpose. Please do so on our online platform for student and examination services (PSSO); in exceptional cases, you may do so in your Office of Student Services by putting your name down on a registration list or by completing and submitting a registration form. The registration deadlines are determined by the individual examination boards and will be published on the program’s bulletin boards or online on PSSO. Apart from registering for an examination, you are required to meet the admission requirements in order to participate in it. In addition to being enrolled in the according program or being admitted as a cross-registered student, you usually must have passed specific examination prerequisites (Prüfungsvorleistungen) or preceding exams (vorgeschaltete Prüfungen) or must have provided proof of having completed specific internships. Please refer to your program’s examination regulations or study regulations for details. Whether you are admitted to an examination you registered for, will be posted on your program’s bulletin boards and recorded online in PSSO. Should you encounter problems or have questions when registering for an exam, please make sure to contact your Office of Student Services in time. The registration for your thesis and final oral examination must be submitted in writing. Please download the corresponding registration form online or pick it up in the Office of Student Services. Upon completion, please return it to the Office of Student Services.
Withdrawal from examinations
You may generally withdraw from a course or module exam up until one or at times two weeks prior to the set examination date in writing without losing an examination attempt. You will not have to state a reason for your withdrawal in this case. Please withdraw via the Online Examination and Student Services (PSSO); in exceptional cases, you may do so in your Office of Student Services by putting your name down on a withdrawal list or by completing and submitting a withdrawal form. If you choose to submit this form by mail, please take note of the standard mail delivery times. When withdrawing, you are to make absolutely sure that you meet the deadlines for withdrawal. Should you encounter problems or have questions when withdrawing from an exam, please make sure to contact your Office of Student Services in time. If you fail to withdraw in time and do not take the examination concerned, your absence will be evaluated as a failed attempt resulting in a grading of “insufficient” (5.0). Should you intend to cancel your registration for the Diplom / final thesis, you may only do so in writing up until the day the decision on the registration is published.
If you fail the first attempt of a course or module examination, you may retake each examination twice. If you do not pass the thesis or final oral examination, you may retake each once. Passed examinations may not be retaken unless your program has adopted provisions that allow you to improve your grade in a free examination attempt (Freiversuch).
Free examination attempt (Freiversuch)
If an examinee registers within the standard program duration for a course or module examination in the advanced stage of his/her program by the date stipulated in the examination regulations but does NOT pass this examination, some programs will deem the exam "not taken" (Freiversuch – free examination attempt). Please consult the examination regulations, applying to you as to whether they include free examination attempts or not.
A second free examination attempt for the very same exam is non-permissible. If the examinee passes the free examination attempt, he/she may – differing from the general provisions on retaking exams – retake the corresponding exam once for the purpose of improving his/her grade. Examinees are required to request admission to such a retake for the next examination date possible. After having completed the retake, the examinee will receive the better of the two grades.
Please note: An exam may only be considered a free examination attempt if you actually took the examination. Students who register for an examination by the date stipulated in the examination regulations but do not appear for it without having properly deregistered or having withdrawn from it for a good reason will receive the grade “insufficient” (5.0) on their first examination attempt!
Students may be able to extend the date up until which they are able to take a free examination attempt if one of the following circumstances applies and is attested to:
- for longer periods of serious illness during the program, to be attested to by a public health officer (Amtsarzt)
- if a female student is on maternity leave for at least four weeks during the lecture period
- if a student spends parts of his/her studies abroad, the date may be extended by up to three semesters as long as the student provides proof of having attended courses of eight weekly periods per semester (Semesterwochenstunden) and if he/she submits an academic record each semester
- if a student is a proven member of a university body designated as such by law or by the University Constitution, the date may be extended by up to three semesters
- if the program duration is delayed due to a student’s disability, the date may be extended by up to four semesters
Taking examinations early
In principle, taking university examinations ahead of the dates stipulated by the corresponding examination regulations is permissible (section 94 (4) of the North Rhine-Westphalia Higher Education Act). However, this only applies under the condition that the admission requirements for the examination concerned have been met and attested to.