There is a written examination on the Inf1-DA course material at the end of the year: marks on this determine your grade for the course. The exam paper follows a similar format each year, and there is a resit paper in August.

2016/17 Inf1-DA Examination
Date: Tuesday 16 May 2017
Time: 0930–1130
Place: The Pleasance Sports Hall

Marks and Grades ·Exam Format · Calculators · Exam Dates
Results · Special Circumstances · Past Papers

Marks and grades

Courses at Edinburgh use a standard scheme where work is marked out of 100 and assigned a grade from A to H. Undergraduate courses use the Extended Common Marking Scheme CMS1. The pass mark for each course is 40, and an A grade requires a score of 70 or higher.

Link: Extended Common Marking Scheme

Exam format

The Inf1-DA exam lasts two hours and has three questions, each made up of several short sections. You should attempt all three questions. The marks available for each question and sub-question are shown on the exam paper.

This is a “closed book” exam: you cannot take any books, notes, or other reference material into the examination hall. If you wish to take a dictionary into the exam then please contact the ITO to arrange for special permission.

I recommended you write your exam answers in blue or black ink, with diagrams in pencil. However, markers will always work to do their best with whatever is submitted.


You may use a scientific calculator in the Inf1-DA exam, and I recommend that you do take one with you. It cannot be graphing or programmable, and there is a standard list of permitted calculators. In particular this includes the Casio FX-83GT PLUS which the manufacturers boldly claim is “allowed in every UK exam where a calculator can be used.”

Link: Use of Calculators in Examinations

Exam dates

Exams at Edinburgh are taken during a period known as an exam diet, usually three in a year: one diet at the end of each semester, and further diet for resit examinations at the end of the summer.

The main Inf1-DA exam takes place in the April/May diet; with a resit examination in the August diet. The exact dates and times are set centrally by the University, taking into account all course registrations by all students to avoid direct clashes. The Student Administration Service published these dates on Monday 6 March 2017. You can find details for all courses in the searchable exam timetable. For Inf1-DA search under course code INFR08015.

Links: Exam information; Exam timetable.


Exam scripts are assessed anonymously following a set scheme and marking criteria approved by the School’s external examiner, a senior academic from outside Edinburgh. These results are then considered at a Board of Examiners meeting which assigns grades following the University Common Marking Scheme.

All results are shown to students individually through EUCLID; they are not made public. This usually happens within a week of the relevant Board of Examiners meeting. This year, the meeting is on 20 June and you should get your results by Friday 23 June at the latest.

Progression from first-year to second-year study depends on results across all courses, and is decided at a separate Progression Board meeting. For first-year Informatics students that meeting is on 28 June this year; with another meeting in September for those taking resits.

Link: Board of Examiners meetings

Special Circumstances

If your examination performance on the day is seriously affected by circumstances outside your control, then tell your Personal Tutor about this as soon as possible. They can, if appropriate, help you prepare and submit a Special Circumstances case to be taken into account by the Board of Examiners. This can only be done before the Board meeting, so please don’t wait until after the results are out — that’s too late.

Past papers

The University Library publishes copies of past exam papers in all subjects. Some of these are only available from within the local network: if you connect from outside Edinburgh then you may need to log in with your EASE username and password.

The ITO also publishes solution guides for many first and second-year Informatics courses.

Link: Exam papers online; Papers with solutions at the ITO

Q. What would you say to students considering taking this course?

Prepare for exam early.

— Anonymous student feedback in a previous year