Can CPS lie to you

5 situations your board of examiners will save your ass

by Tim Reichel

Studying is complicated.

Not because of the many lectures and 1,000 exams each semester. Not because of the annoying fellow student with a cowboy hat or the incompetent lecturer in the classroom. This is part of your degree program and will not get you down that easily.

I mean something else.

Your studies will only get annoying and complicated when you feel the madness of the German university bureaucracy.

At the latest when you forget to register for an exam, submit your certificate too late or have time problems with your thesis, you will notice how cumbersome and confused the administration of your university is.

At the latest when you have to change exam regulations for the first time or want to add a touch of individuality to your rigid course of studies, you no longer see your university as a place of intellectual freedom, but rather as a narrow-minded administrative authority.

And then you need help.

You need yours Examination Board.


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What exactly is an examination board?

If you are new to the university or if you haven't been in the mood to deal with the formalities, I'll explain to you in two sentences what an examination board is.

Brief info: An examination board is a university body and is responsible for the administration and coordination of a degree program. This group is made up of professors, university staff and students and decides on legal questions or problems.

Specifically, your examination board has the task of ensuring that all exams in your degree program run smoothly. Your examination regulations are the legal basis and clearly state what the rules of the game are like.

In many situations, however, there is scope for decision-making. And you should know this leeway and ask your examination board for help with problems during your studies.


Your examination board can help you with this

In the event of bureaucratic or legal problems during your studies, your examination board is your first official contact at your university.

After contacting us and a short personal consultation, you usually have to submit a written application in which you describe your problem and provide a strong reason. Only then does the committee deal with your request and can help you.

But let's look at a few examples:


1. Forgot exam registration

It's actually very simple: If you want to take an exam, you have to register for it beforehand. However, if you miss the registration deadline, you will not be allowed to take your exam and will have to wait until the next exam date.

This is super annoying, messes up your entire planning and, in the worst case, can even drag out your studies.

To prevent this from happening, you can submit an application to your examination board and apply for an examination registration at a later date.

Some committees are very strict on this issue, while others are very accommodating and want their students to study quickly. It is best to find out in advance about the general attitude of your examination board on this question, if you need help with a subsequent registration.


2. Recognition of academic achievements

All examinations that you take outside of your degree program cannot be taken into account for your studies without further ado. That would be easy and unfortunately it is not easy at the university.

So if you would like to have modules that are not included in your examination regulations recognized for your studies, you have to convince your examination board of this and submit an application for recognition.

This also applies to exams that you have taken without registering and to achievements from the semester abroad.


3. Module change

Most courses of study have been standardized very much after the transition from Bachelor to Master and only allow a few options. Especially when it comes to interdisciplinary modules that are organized by chairs from other faculties.

If you want to deviate from this uniformity, you can submit an application to your examination board and request a module change. In this way, you swap one module for another, equivalent module and thus change your course plan.

By the way, you can proceed in the same way if you made the wrong choice and want to exchange an elective module. As a rule, you don't know from the start exactly what you're getting yourself into.

Talk to your examination board beforehand and ask which application options are realistic.


4. Objection to an examination (repetition)

Your examination board ensures that your exams are carried out properly. If one of your exams did not expire properly or your examiner gave an unfair assessment, you can appeal that exam. If successful, this results in either a re-evaluation or a repetition of the test.

In this article, I'll show you how to deal with a dispute.

So if you find out during the exam or later in the exam review that you have been treated unfairly, you can request a repetition of the exam.


5. Extension of the deadline for the final thesis

Regardless of whether it is a bachelor thesis, master thesis or seminar paper: Many problems can arise when writing a thesis at university. And problems take time. Time that you don't have, because the deadline for submitting it is getting closer.

In this situation, your examination board can help you and, depending on the application, extend your processing time. It is important that you provide an appropriate reason and submit your application on time.


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If you have bureaucratic or administrative problems at the university, your examination board can help you and save your ass.

In the university's bureaucratic jungle, you get lost quickly and rarely find your way around on your own. I know what I'm talking about.

As a student, I was much too late to find out how my examination board works and what hidden options there are in the course of study. Meanwhile, I am a study advisor and coordinator of such an examination board and can only advise you to find out about this institution at your university as early as possible.

Because then you are prepared if problems arise or you can avoid many difficulties right from the start.

Have you ever had contact with your examination board? Then write me what your experience was like. That would be interesting.


Image: © Ryan McGuire /