Examinations

In contrast to school, examinations are not as frequent at university. Possible examination formats include written exams, term papers, presentations, protocols, oral exams, or practical coursework. In each case, the teaching staff members determine the form in which the examination will take place. Most examinations take place at the end of the semester or at the beginning of the semester break and cover the material of the modules attended.

The following information refers exclusively to the bachelor's and master's degree programs (specialist and teacher education) at the University of Bremen. For the examinations in the Law degree program leading to the first state examination in law, some special rules apply (only available in German), which will be explained to you at the beginning of your studies.

Contents:

Contact

► Content-related counseling on examination questions: at the academic advisory offices / with an academic advisor

► Administrative questions / PABO: at the respective examination offices

 

Digital Examination System: Grade Reporting via PABO (Bremen Online Examination Office)

With the introduction of the bachelor's and master's degree programs, the University of Bremen implemented a digital examination system. This means that grade reports (or "pass reports" for ungraded modules) are made available via the electronic examination administration system FlexNow, also known as PABO.

The teaching staff members forward the grade reports directly to the module leaders or their front offices. Then the responsible persons enter the grades digitally and make them visible to the students. This should be done by mid-May in the winter semester and by mid-November in the summer semester. A prerequisite for the entry of grades is always registration for the module examination by the deadline in PABO; only then will you appear on the "examination participant list" and your grade can be entered electronically into the list.

If the grades are not entered in time, please contact either your academic advisor, the academic advisory office, the persons responsible for the module, or the examiner if you have any problems.

You can view your study progress, check examination results, and create transcripts of records in the PABO online portal.

Modules and Credit Points

All bachelor's and master's degree programs are divided into modules. Modules are teaching units formed according to content, usually extending over one semester, in exceptional cases over two semesters. These units can be composed of different types of teaching and learning: classical forms such as lectures, exercises, seminars, internships, term papers, presentations, but also multimedia and internet-based learning can be elements of modules.

Each module is assigned a certain number of credit points (CP). They are often called credit points, performance points, or ECTS points (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). Credit points are awarded for each exam passed; they indicate quantitative academic progress. By the time a master's degree is awarded, 300 CP must have been earned, usually 180 of them in the bachelor's program. Thanks to the "European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System," CPs are valid throughout Europe. Unlike previously in school, these points are not used to grade individual performance, but rather to define the required average workload for a module. The preparation and follow-up of classes, the time required to obtain certificates of achievement, and the preparation for examinations are included in these calculations. In addition, the time spent on tutorials, exercise groups, literature research, etc. must be added. 1 CP corresponds to a workload of about 30 hours on average. Approximately 30 of these CP are to be acquired per semester, for the 6-semester bachelor's program a total of 180 CP, for the 7-semester program 210 CP. With regard to the former, the program is designed to be completed after 6 semesters, assuming a workload of 40 hours per week and 45 work weeks per year.

Each module is completed with an examination. Examinations usually take place at the end of the semester or at the beginning of the semester break. Module examinations are relevant to the degree, i.e. the grade of each module examination - weighted by the proportion of CP in the total number of graded CP - is included in the final grade on the bachelor's degree certificate. This means that over the entire course of the degree, achievements are made that together result in the final grade. Thus, for each successfully completed module examination, the student is credited with the defined number of CP, and in addition, individual grading is applied.

An example: The workload for a module is specified by the course organizer as 6 CP. A student takes the module examination with a grade of 2.1. This grade is then weighted, i.e. with
6/180 = 3 %, and is incorporated into the final grade.

Exam Registration

During the semester, you will determine in which courses within your modules you want to and will be able to take an exam this semester. You must register for the module(s) you will be completing this semester or in which you will be taking a partial examination (TP) with PABO by the deadline. Students are responsible for registering themselves for exams. Each module will have its respective exam offered each semester.

You can find the registration deadlines on the examination offices' homepage in the corresponding examination schedule.

In order to inform you about successful registration for an examination, you will receive a confirmation email from the examination office. This email is sent to the email address assigned by the University of Bremen during enrollment. You should therefore check this email address regularly and it is recommended to set up forwarding to your primary email address.

Tip: You should only register for the module examination for multi-semester modules in the semester in which you complete the module!
For modules with partial examinations (TP), however, you must register for each TP in the semester in which the respective partial examination is taken.
Examples:
a) 2-semester module (without TP), last coursework and examination in the 2nd semester = registration for the module examination in the 2nd semester
b) 2-semester module (without TP), last coursework and examination in the 1st semester = registration for the module examination in the 1st semester

What to do if registration does not work?

If you are unable to register for examinations for technical reasons, you must contact your examination office. If you are studying in the faculties 6-12 or to become a teacher, please contact the Central Examination Office during the registration phase using the form "Notification of a technical problem during examination registration." The form can be found on the forms page of the Central Examination Office under "General Forms".
If you are studying in faculties 1-5, you must contact the respective decentralized examination office in this regard.

Deregistration from Exams / Withdrawal

If you realize that you will not be able to complete the final examination(s) in one or more modules, you can deregister from the module examination via PABO within the specified deadlines. The deadlines for deregistration can be found on the homepage of the examination office in the corresponding examination schedule. You can deregister within these periods without having to give a reason via PABO.

Special Case: General Studies - Generally No Need to Register via PABO!

If courses are attended as part of General Studies, registration via PABO is usually not required. In contrast to the compulsory and compulsory elective fields, a mock form is required here for confirmation of achievement. For this purpose, you can use the so-called "Certification of Achievement" under "General Forms" on the ZPA homepage.

The certificate must be signed by the instructor and stamped by the degree program office or the institution to which the instructor belongs. The instructor can usually tell you who is responsible for stamping the certificate and where you can pick up the completed certificate. It is important to have the number of credit points/CP and, if applicable, the grade noted on the certificate by the lecturer. You can only submit the certificate to the examination office once it has been stamped.

One exception is the so-called E-General Studies with online courses. In this case, examination registration usually takes place via PABO.

What happens if module grades are not submitted in PABO?

The teaching staff generally has to enter the examination results from the summer semester into PABO until 15.11. For results from the winter semester, grades must be submitted by May 15. If the Examinations Office has not received a grade by these deadlines, the examination note "Assessment pending" is entered in PABO so that a follow-up registration for the examination attempt in the following semester is possible in the event that the examination has not been passed.

The examination remark does not replace the entry of the examination result, as it is only a provisional entry. The module coordinators remain responsible for entering the examination result. This must be submitted in writing to the relevant examination office after the above deadlines have expired.

If grades are not entered on time or if you require an early grade, please first contact the examining teacher and the module coordinator directly. If this does not help, please contact the relevant dean of studies.

 

Repeat Exams (+ Corona Exceptions)

Please be aware of deviating special regulations that may arise in the course of the corona pandemic. Information on special corona regulations can be found on the university's corona website under "Degree Regulations" and on the information sheet entitled "Prüfungsrücktritt wegen Corona und Quarantäne" (only available in German).

The following regulations only apply to Bachelor's and Master's degree programs. All examination information for the Law degree program (First Legal Examination) can be found on the homepage of Faculty 6 (in German).

Applies to Bachelor's and Master's degree programs:

You must register yourself again via PABO in order to retake the exam. There is no automatic registration!

The examination office expects a result report for the module examinations you have registered for in the subsequent semester. If no results are reported or if you do not pass the module examination the first time, you have 4 subsequent semesters to successfully complete the module:

To successfully complete a module, you will have

1 semester of registration + 4 subsequent semesters.

The deadline begins with the semester following the first time you take the exam. Thus, if all available attempts are used to the maximum, up to five exam attempts can be taken. If the registration for an examination is missed, it cannot be taken. In this case, the student forgoes a possible examination attempt. Failure to take an examination for which a student has registered is considered a failed attempt.

The number of repeat attempts is not counted; as a student, you are entitled to one repeat examination per semester - regardless of the frequency with which the courses are offered (thus, the minimum entitlement is: 1 regular examination plus at least 4 repeats). In principle, more than one attempt per semester can also be offered, but for staff resource reasons this is often only possible in exceptional cases.

Please note: There are only two attempts in total for Bachelor's and Master's theses.

Anyone who has definitively failed an examination in a Bachelor's or Master's degree course after the subsequent 4-semester retake period has expired will be exmatriculated by the university. Sometimes it may be possible to change your degree course, in which case any examinations taken and CPs earned can be recognized; the corresponding application must be submitted online within the usual application deadlines. The Central Student Advisory Service offers advice and information on your further study options after a final failure.

Non-Attendance of Exams Due to Illness

If participation in the examination is not possible for health reasons, a doctor's note (certificate of incapacity to work, "Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung") together with the "Withdrawal from Examination Owing to Illness" form must be submitted to the examination office (or sent by post) immediately. The same applies in the case of illness of a child or close relative. As a rule, doctors only issue certificates of incapacity for work electronically. Therefore, make sure that your doctor also issues you with a paper certificate.

In case of withdrawal from an examination due to illness the retake period for this examination will be extended by one semester, provided that no further examinations are or have been offered in the current semester.
A notification of illness for the first-time participation in an examination is considered a deregistration from the module. In this case, the five-semester examination period does not start until the next registration for the first examination.

Academic Adjustments for Impairments and Chronic Illnesses

All students who are restricted in their studies due to a health impairment can make use of a so-called academic adjustment, i.e. apply to the examination board for an adjustment of the examination format. It does not matter whether the disability is visible or invisible, whether it is a physical or mental illness, or whether it is officially recognized (disability ID card) or not. Students with partial performance deficiencies (dyslexia/dyscalculia) or attention disorders (such as AD(H)D) are also entitled to academic adjustments. The Office for Students with Disabilities or Chronic Diseases (KIS) provides counseling on academic adjustments.


Extension of the Examination Period

If you have other very good reasons for extending the time limit for retaking an examination, you can submit an appropriate application for an extension of the time limit to the examination board via the examination office responsible. An application for an extension of the time limit can only be made within the period specified by examination law ("1+4" semester). The examination board or the chairperson will then decide on your application. The application must be submitted as soon as it is possible for you and before the end of your repeat semesters.

Verifying Registration and Transcript of Records via PABO

You can check the status of your modules, the semester of registration, any extended sick leave, etc. in PABO at any time.  To do this, you must register with PABO and create a current data sheet excerpt. This detailed information is only visible on the data sheet excerpt!

Thesis – Admissions, Enrollment, and Degree Withdrawal

In order to be admitted to the bachelor's or master's thesis, it is absolutely necessary to be enrolled in the corresponding degree program.

However, once you have been admitted to the thesis by the examination office, enrollment is no longer mandatory. Even if you have to repeat the thesis, enrollment is not mandatory. However, if you have not re-enrolled for the upcoming semester, it is recommended that you submit the complete application for admission to the master's or bachelor's degree thesis at least 4 weeks before the end of your enrollment period to ensure that you are still enrolled at the time the application is processed by the examination office.

Please note that certain services (e.g. SuUB) can no longer be used after withdrawal from your degree.

Stays Abroad and Examinations

During a semester abroad at a foreign university or an internship abroad, students can be exempted from the semester ticket. You can find the relevant application in the MOIN portal. A semester leave of absence due to a stay abroad is not possible, as no final examinations may be taken during a semester leave of absence (with the exception of parental leave), see the section "Leave of absence" below.

In terms of examination law, you should note the following when staying abroad: If you are already registered for an examination at the University of Bremen, this examination may not be taken abroad. If you are currently in an on-going exam procedure, you can submit an application to the examination board to have the exam procedure suspended during your stay abroad, i.e. the semester abroad will then not be counted towards your five-semester exam time frame.

For ERASMUS stays, a learning agreement must be signed in advance. This regulates which final examinations you will take abroad and how these can be recognized for your studies in Bremen. It is generally advisable to draw up a learning agreement before starting your studies abroad, even if it is not a requirement to do it then. A learning agreement forms the basis for the recognition of your achievements, but does not replace the application for recognition, which you can submit to your subject's recognition officer after your return from abroad.

Leave of Absence

A leave of absence is possible without giving reasons after the first semester for a maximum of 2 semesters during the entire course of the degree program.

Students who were enrolled at the University of Bremen in the 2020 summer semester or 2020/21 winter semester can take a third or fourth semester leave of absence for "other" reasons during the course of their studies in addition to the two permitted semesters. You apply for this online by uploading the so-called "corona form" ("Corona Bescheinigung") from the president.

The leave of absence must be applied for via the MOIN portal by February 15 or August 15 before the start of the new semester. It is not possible to apply for a leave of absence for previous semesters.

During the leave of absence, no examination-relevant work (including internships and stays abroad) may be carried out.Official semester leaves of absence extend the "1+4" deadline for final examinations. In the case of a stay abroad, an informal application for an extension of the deadline can be submitted, on which the examination board will decide.
An exception to this is leave of absence due to parental leave, during which examinations can – but do not have to – be taken! Please note that in the case of leave of absence due to parental leave, semesters in which exams are taken will be counted towards the exam (1+4) period.

BAföG loan recipients and child benefit recipients must notify the relevant authorities of their leave of absence themselves. Students who require a visa should obtain the necessary permission from the immigration office before applying for a leave of absence.

Recognition and Transfer of Previous Achievements

An application for recognition and credit can be submitted for achievements that were completed prior to or outside of studies at the university. This applies to students who have changed university location and/or subject, or who have completed achievements during a semester abroad. In this case, it is referred to as credit transfer. In the case of non-university achievements (e.g. a voluntary social year, internships, vocational training), this is referred to as recognition.

The application for recognition / transfer of achievements, including further information, can be found under "Forms - General Forms" on the Central Examination Office's homepage (faculties 6-12 and teacher education) or on your faculty's web pages. Please complete the form and submit it, along with originals and copies of certificates of achievement, to the person responsible for recognition or transfer of credit in your field of study.

You can find the responsible contact person on the respective degree program page under the menu item "Degree Programs" on the Central Examination Office's homepage (faculties 6-12 and teacher education) or you can inquire at your respective academic advisory office or contact the relevant academic advisor.

As soon as the recognition or credit transfer has taken place, you will be able to see it in your student data. In addition, you will receive a written notification of recognition / transfer.

 

Examination Regulations

Framework Examination Regulations

There are framework examination regulations that apply equally to all degree programs known as the General Part (AT) of the examination regulations (PO). The framework examination regulations that apply to all bachelor's degree programs are abbreviated to AT-BPO, while the framework examination regulations for all master's degree programs are abbreviated to AT-MPO.  The AT regulates structural requirements, the make-up and tasks of the examination boards, retake regulations, how to deal with attempts at cheating, and other cross-degree program matters. Only the appendix to the subject-specific examination regulations is directly relevant for planning your studies.

Subject-specific examination regulations

The reading version of the subject-specific examination regulations valid for first-year students can be found at this website under the respective degree program in the tab "Formalities". Degree curricula can be found in the appendix to the subject-specific examination regulations.

In addition, there is a complete directory of current and older examination regulations, which also contains amendment regulations and previously valid examination regulations. Here you can find transitional regulations if the examination regulations change during your studies.

Special Case: First State Examination in the Law Degree Program

The Law degree program, which concludes with the First State Examination in Law, holds a special position. There is no division into subject-specific and general examination regulations. The examination in the first state examination is held partly by the university (university specialization examination at the end of the specialization program), and partly by the state judicial examination office (written examination after acquisition of all necessary certificates at the university). On the website of Faculty 6: Law you will find information about examinations in this degree program.

 

Forms

Examination-related forms can be found on the forms page of the Central Examination Office (ZPA), which is responsible for the law, humanities, and social science faculties (6 to12) as well as the teacher education programs.

The forms page is divided into "General Forms" (e.g. reporting a technical problem when registering for exams), "Forms for the B.A. /M.A. Thesis Phase," and "Study Program-Specific Forms," which are in turn subdivided into bachelor's, master's, and state examinations. This is where you can find the forms specific to the degree programs of the above-mentioned faculties 6-12 and teacher training.

The examination offices of the natural sciences and engineering faculties 1 to 5 have their own course-specific forms on their websites in addition to the general forms of the ZPA:

Examination Offices at Uni Bremen: Contact

At the University of Bremen, the examination offices are responsible for submitting applications for recognition / transfer of academic achievements, issuing certificates of examination, notification of sickness prior to examinations, etc. The decentralized examination offices are responsible for the faculties 1 to 5 with all degree programs in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

The offices of the faculties 6 to12 in the Central Examination Office are responsible for the degree programs in the humanities and social sciences, as well as the teacher education programs (educational sciences and subject-specific teaching methodology).

We have linked all responsible examination offices sorted by faculty for you here:


Examination Office Mailboxes

Documents for the examination offices can be posted in the respective mailboxes. You can find where the mailboxes of the decentralized examination offices are located on the websites linked above. The external mailbox of the Central Examination Office (ZPA) is located next to the main entrance of the ZPA building in the Central Campus Area ZB on the boulevard next to the Mensa cafeteria. It is accessible at all times, including weekends, and is emptied several times a day Monday through Friday. ► Campus map of the University of Bremen

Final Exam Failures Outside of Retake Period

Anyone who has definitively failed an examination in the bachelor's or master's degree program after the retake period of 4 semesters has expired will be withdrawn from their degree program by the university. Sometimes a change of study program is an option, in which possibly completed exams and acquired CPs can be recognized; the corresponding application must be made online within the usual application deadlines. In our info brochure "Endgültig durchgefallen - was tun?" (pdf only available in German), you will find all information on this topic.
Counseling and information on your further study options after a final fail is offered by the Central Student Advisory Service.

Points of Contact for Examination Problems