Top Tips For Your Summer Assessments

We know all too well just how testing these past six months have been, especially for those of you going through exams and assessments. If you're preparing for the Summer Vacation Assessment Period, we've put together some useful tips to help you through.

We know all too well just how testing these past six months have been, especially for those of you going through exams and assessments, trying to finish the academic year. All of the changes and challenges have led to great periods of adjustment for everyone, so we wanted to give you some useful tips ahead of the Summer Vacation Assessment Period.

To give you a little bit of background, for any failed assessments taken after 1 March, the University offered First-Sits over Capped Resits as one of their responses to Covid-19. If you failed an assessment you took prior to 1 March, these will lead to Capped Resits, unless any adjustments were made through the Extenuating Circumstances process.

This is all outlined in the FAQ on the Student Intranet here.

What's the difference between Resits and First-Sits?

Resits are your second and final attempt at an assessment. Your grade for a Resit is capped at a pass (40 for undergraduates and 50 for postgraduates). If you fail your resit you will not be permitted another attempt, unless you have an Extenuating Circumstances application accepted.

If you have been offered a First-Sit (undergraduate) or Uncapped Resit (postgraduate), this means you can retake (or take if you didn’t complete it the first time) your failed assessment with no penalty. Your marks are uncapped meaning you will be awarded the grade your work has been marked at (rather than just a pass). If you fail your First-Sit or Uncapped Resit, you may be permitted a Resit.

What makes the 2020 Summer Vacation Assessment Period so different?

Like all assessments from 1 March, you will be taking them away from the normal examination setting. This could be from your living room, a desk in your room, a home office, your dining room table - wherever it may be, it is going to be a different set up to what you're used to.

Our top tips

  • Be sure to thoroughly check your exam timetable!
  • Try to set up your work station somewhere free from distractions.
  • Turn your phone off, like for a normal exam, to avoid being distracted or tempted to pick it up.
  • Try to get a good sleep the night before.
  • Stay hydrated!
  • Eat well. Have a balanced breakfast that will satisfy your hunger. We’ve all been in exam halls where someone’s stomach starts rumbling and it sounds like whale noises… this isn't less distracting at home!
  • Make sure you have everything you need prior to the assessment. If you aren’t sure, please contact your department for help.
  • Reach out for emotional support if you are struggling to cope during these difficult times. The Student Wellbeing triage team offer wellbeing advice and guidance to students to support you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle that will enable you to make the most of your Royal Holloway experience.

We want to wish you all the best in completing your summer assessments!

Further support

We appreciate the volume of information being sent your way could be quite overwhelming, so we've created a Coronavirus Hub to give you quick links to key advice, guidance, and our latest news updates. With dedicated pages for housingacademic, and welfare advice, as well as links to government advice and College FAQs, it's your one-stop shop for all the vital information during this time.

The Advice Centre is a free, independent and confidential service for all students here at Royal Holloway. Our friendly, experienced and professional staff will provide a listening ear and offer general and specialist advice. We’re here to support you with a whole range of issues, big and small, and if we’re not the best people to help you with a particular issue, we’ll point you in the right direction.

Email us at with any questions or to ask for a phone appointment.