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Department of Computer Science and Technology


Exams Advice for June 2022

All CST papers (with the exception of the 1A NST Maths papers, see below) will be three-hour online examinations on Moodle with additional time for uploading answers. The structure of the exam papers will be very similar to those used in previous years and is available online. Candidates who normally qualify for additional time in Examinations will continue to receive the same additional time. Check with your College if you are expecting extra time and have not yet received notification. 

All CST examinations will be open book, so you may refer to your course notes and other resources if you wish. You may NOT discuss your answers with anyone else during the examination. We will ask all students to abide by an Honour Code (see below). The Examiners may conduct online vivas with students after the exams have been completed.

For the 1A NST maths exams, both Paper 1 and Paper 2 will be in person in the University sports hall, on 13 and 15 June.  Details are now published in the University exam timetable 2022.  Link to the NST Mathematics Course website for past papers etc.

Preparation for the Tripos exams 2022

The CST exams will be run online on Moodle. Before the exams, download your Blind Candidate Number from your self-service page on CamSIS. The Student Admin team will send you the link to the Moodle page a few days prior to the exams.

You should read the following guidance:

Form and Conduct instructions

Dates of the tripos exams

The paper lasts 3 hours. You are allowed 15 mins upload time plus a 10 minute grace period (to use if you have difficulties uploading), after which the penalties noted in the table below apply, at the discretion of the examiners.

You should have received notification if you are allowed extra time for your examinations.

For each paper you answer 5 questions. (Note: Students are strongly advised to only answer five questions, as only five will be marked and there is no guarantee this will be the best five. The examiners may simply mark the first five that they receive, so submitting more than that gives no advantage.  Students are advised to concentrate on providing five good answers rather than spreading themselves too thinly by answering more than are needed.)

Submit each question answer in a separate PDF. As the file name, use your candidate number, paper and question number (e.g., 1234A-p1-q6.pdf). Also write your candidate number, paper and question number at the start of each PDF.
Up to 10 minutes grace period None

10 minutes grace period plus up to 10% of permitted writing + uploading time

10% of marks

10 minutes grace period plus 10-20% of permitted writing + uploading time

20% of marks

10 minutes grace period plus over 20% of permitted writing + uploading time

Significant breach managed via the Office of Student Conduct, Complaints and Appeals as Academic Misconduct.


The current guidance regarding plagiarism still applies and is given here. However, for the open book examinations this year, it is permissible for you to quote from your own previous work directly without attribution. In addition, you may also use material from lecture notes without attribution.

Word Limit

For typed answers, there is a 4 page limit per question answer.  The minimum font size is 12pt.  Diagrams do not count towards this limit, and there is no limit on handwritten answer length.

Computer Science Tripos Honour Code

  1. We take it as a principle that maintaining the integrity and fairness of examinations should be regarded as a collaboration between students and the Department.
  2. The students undertake that they will not help others in examinations and will not receive any help from others (students or non-students).
  3. Students will actively contribute to ensuring that all students adhere to the code.
  4. Students will keep to the conditions of the assessment and will accurately report those conditions where asked.
  5. The Department will not make any attempt at remote invigilation of online examinations.

Further information regarind Honour Codes

An honour code is a mutual agreement on academic integrity by students and faculty. For example, Stanford’s honour code is set out here.

Note the emphasis on mutuality: Stanford takes the principle of trust very seriously and does not invigilate (`proctor’) exams in any way. Indeed faculty are not allowed in the examination room.  Since, unlike Stanford, we do not have 100 years of tradition of an honour code to fall back on, we recognise that there may be people who have suspicions about integrity in online examinations. The examiners will therefore conduct vivas as necessary to ensure the integrity of the process.

Further help is available on the following student pages

Student pages on Assessment mitigation

Course impact statement for students

Practice exam

We hope to organise a practice exam as we did last year, on Friday 27 May (11.30-14.30). This is to give you a chance to practice uploading scripts to Moodle under exam conditions. You can use it as a mock exam if you wish, or purely as an exercise to practice uploading answers to Moodle. Details and the link will be emailed to you prior to the practice exam.

General Advice

Try and make sure you have a quiet comfortable place to sit your exam

How to write and submit your exam answers

0. Make it easy for your examiners to award you the marks you deserve by prioritizing LEGIBILITY, so that they may actually read your brilliant ideas. Specifically:


1.1 - type, rather than handwrite if you can, any lengthy pieces of English prose, particularly if your handwriting is hard to read

1.2 - ensure that anything handwritten is high resolution, not pixellated and reasonably high contrast

1.3 - if you use a camera rather than a scanner, please ensure uniform illumination and avoid shadows

1.4 - produce one and only one pdf per exam question 

1.4.1   NOT one single pdf containing answers to multiple exam questions eg- 1234A-p1-q1 and 1234A-p1-q2 and 1234A-p1-q3 etc.

1.4.2   NOT multiple files for a single question eg- one for 1234A-p1-q1a, another for 1234A-p10q1b, another for pictures, another for equations etc.


2.1 - mix typed text and handwritten diagrams and equations in a single pdf

2.1.1 - put each such “external” image on its own A4 page, if embedding it in the text is time-consuming; but keep it in its logical place in the text (it is OK to have lots of white space)

2.2 - write the whole script longhand on paper, provided your handwriting is beautifully legible and you comply with 1.2 and 1.3

2.3 - use a tablet, or pen and paper as preferred, for writing figures and equations


3.1- produce pdf pages in any other format than A4

3.2 - write in a typeface smaller than 10 pt (or, equivalently, handwrite in tiny script)

3.3 - feel compelled to do anything typographically elaborate with LaTeX or ascii art; if it’s complicated, draw it freehand

3.4 - use pencil or other low-contrast writing implements; black ink preferred

Part IA Students only - Guidance for your Maths papers

Your Maths exams are run by the Natural Science Department and the code of conduct will be different this year from your Computer Science exams. The two Maths papers will be closed-book and in-person.  Note: Calculators are not allowed for these papers.