Ressu follows a system where there are 5 terms in one school year. Every term ends in an “exam week” (which actually lasts for 8 school days). Each code has its own day according to the schedule in Calendar. However, some courses, for example sports or arts, do not have exams. Students probably have a day off to study if they do not have a course on a particular code.
The schedule showing time and location for the exam week will be posted on the notice boards and doors before the start of the week. Lunch is served every day, also during the exam week.
Remember that it is not a good idea to start cramming for the exam the night before – study continuously during the term and try to see how the things learnt during one particular lesson fit the whole. It is important to keep revising throughout the term – this helps prevent exam week panic attacks!
Many exams are held in the Liikuntasali Hall. Bags must be left by the entrance or the front wall. Do not leave any valuables in them, and make sure that phones are on silent or turned off. It is not advisable to bring phones or other valuables along into the school, because the school will not be able to replace them if they go missing. The insurance policy of Helsinki city does not cover students’ possessions in case they disappear.
Pens, pencils, and other materials needed for the examination must be in a see-through container or carried in separately by hand. Materials/equipment allowed in the examination (answer sheets, data booklets, dictionaries, calculators, etc.) must not contain any extra notes/information/writing or extra pieces of paper, as this is considered an attempt to cheat! Cheating in an exam is a punishable offence. Only loose paper is allowed for writing examinations - no booklets or notebooks are allowed.
There is no access to mobile phones or other electronic appliances during an exam. During course exams phones can be in the exam hall provided they remain inside school bags at the front of the room, either switched off or on silent. Accessing a mobile phone in an exam is considered cheating. During IB final exams, mocks or lukio matriculation examinations it is forbidden to bring mobile phones along into the exam room.
Students should make use of the bathroom facilities before the exam. Bathroom breaks are allowed only in special cases – they are not a chance to take a little walk. Students must always follow the invigilating teachers’ instructions.
The 8th day of the exam week is also called Feedback Day. The teachers normally discuss course assessment, return exams etc. Exams held on the first 6 days of the exam week get the feedback on this day – exams held on the last 2 days of the exam week have a separate “feedback session” later. All codes have a 40-min session. These sessions are vitally important. You want to find out how you can avoid making the same mistakes twice!
The exams generally last from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the course. Exams normally start on the full hour and end 15 min before the full hour. Students may leave the examination after half of the total time has elapsed. For example, if a 2-hour exam starts at 10:00, students can leave any time after 11:00 and the exam ends at 11.45.
IB Diploma Programme
There are 5 exam weeks, one after each term. That means that the lessons do not follow the regular timetable; instead, every code has its own day and usually that subject is taught for three 75-min lessons that day if there is no scheduled examination. It is also possible to organise an excursion during the day.
During Term 4, the IB2s will sit Mock Exams in all their subjects. These exams will be as similar to actual IB final exams as possible, giving the students an idea of how they are doing in their subjects and how much work is needed to prepare for the finals.
Absence from exams
Missing an exam without a valid reason is not acceptable. In the case of illness, the course teacher must get a written explanation for the absence as soon as possible, by the Feedback Day at the latest. In other cases of absence, the teacher should be contacted in advance. Without a valid excuse, the teacher can assess the course as failed. The teacher is also allowed to give you a course grade based on the failed exam and other assignments completed during the course.