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.

2017/18 Inf1-DA Examination: Main Diet Entrace to Pleasance Sports Hall
Date: Friday 11 May 2018
Time: 0930–1130
Place: (Surname A–S) St Leonard’s Land Games Hall
(Entrance at the back of the buildings via Viewcraig Gardens)
(Surname T–Z) The Pleasance Sports Hall
2017/18 Inf1-DA Examination: Resit Diet Google Streeview image of entrance to St Leonard's Land from Viewcraig Gardens
Date: Thursday 9 August 2018
Time: 1430–1630
Place: Gym 3, St Leonard’s Land

Please enter at the back of the buildings via Viewcraig Gardens.

Links: Campus Maps; Google Streetview

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. In some previous years dictionaries have been allowed: these are no longer permitted unless directed by the Student Disability Service.

I recommend 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.

Link: Exam hall regulations


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 (College of Science and Engineering, 14 September 2017)

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 publish these dates online. 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.

Progression from first-year to second-year study depends on results across all courses, and is decided at a separate Progression Board meeting.

All results are shown to students individually through EUCLID; they are not made public. By our current schedule we expect to return Informatics 1 results some time between 27 June and 3 July: and in any case as soon as possible within that.

Resit exam results will be returned by 31 August. A progression board meeting the following week will then use these results in deciding admission to second-year study.

Link: Student Administration Key Dates

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. You can also contact the Informatics Student Support Officers at 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