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Department of Computer Science and Technology


Exam format for June 2023

Papers for Part 1A and Part 1B will be in-person, closed book, duration 3 hours. Part 1A NST Maths papers will also be in-person, closed book*.

Papers for Part II will be online, open book, duration 3 hours 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 here.
  • We will ask all students to abide by an Honour Code (see below).
  • Check with your College if you are expecting extra time.
  • The Examiners may conduct vivas with students after the examinations have been completed.

The draft examination timetable is now published on the dates of the tripos exams web page. 

*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.  Link to the NST Mathematics Course website for past papers etc.  Note: Calculators are not allowed for these papers.

Preparation for the Part II online tripos exams 2023

General information

  • The Part II 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 examination Moodle page a few days prior to the exams.
  • Try and make sure you have a quiet comfortable place to sit your examination.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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.

    You should read the following guidance

    How to write and submit your exam answers for an online exam

    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. PLEASE DO:

    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 - use lined or plain paper (not graph paper)

    1.3 - ensure anything handwritten is in black pen and is high resolution (not pixelated and reasonably high contrast)

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

    1.5 - number your pages and produce one and only one pdf per exam question (NOT one single pdf containing answers to multiple exam questions eg- 1234A-p1-q1 and 1234A-p1-q2 and 1234A-p1-q3 etc. and NOT multiple files for a single question eg- one for 1234A-p1-q1a, another for 1234A-p10q1b, another for pictures, another for equations etc.)

    1.6 - ensure you have scanned in ALL of your answer sheets


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

    2.2 - 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)

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

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


    3.1 - write your name, crsid or anything that could identify you on your answer papers

    3.2 - produce pdf pages in any other format than A4

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

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

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

    Form and Conduct instructions

    • Dates of the tripos exams
    • All CST Examination papers last 3 hours.
    • 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.)


    The current guidance regarding plagiarism and academic misconduct 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.

    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 regarding 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


    Updated: 26 January 2023