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Follow-up oral examination to obstruct cheating

As the students have completed unsupervised examination assignments, it may be good to follow up with some form of oral examination. This page describes good follow-up questions and gives suggestions for situations that the teacher/examiner needs to consider before the examination.

Follow-up oral examination

Reports, presentations of completed work is a form of oral examination where the student is given the opportunity to show the work done. During oral examinations, the student can supplement a text with oral reasoning and explain that the work and knowledge is the student's own and not someone else's. What is to be followed up with an oral examination is based on the course's character and content. If the oral examination has primarily the purpose of obstruct cheating, it may be an advantage that it is based on a number of assignments where the student only at the examination gets to know which assignment is to be examined orally. To get inspiration about different types of homework, see the page about Home examination .

Benefits of follow-up oral examination

The advantage of this type of oral exams is that it can often be a shorter time, as it can be shaped so that it will more determine whether the student is approved, than nuance a grade from the entire scale. The student has also thought through the main question in advance, which also means that theexam can be completed faster. It can also feel safer for the student to complete as the preparatory work has a clear focus area and this form of presentation is more common form than an independent oral examination, which makes the situation feel more comfortable.

Good follow-up questions

To verify that the student really understands what the student is presenting, follow-up questions should be asked. Everyone can rehearse a script, of which if the student is allowed to present completely without follow-up questions, the oral examination works less well. If the students report in groups, other participants of the examination can be given the task of asking questions, but it is important that this does not also become a part that the student can rehearse in advance.

A good way to see if the student has an understanding of what is presented is to ask the student to change some of their reasoning and discuss how it affects the work. The student who does not fully understand his work has difficulty with this. Of course, this can also occur when the student has performed at the peak of his or her ability, of which it is important that an examination assignment can be solved at all approved grade levels.
Examples of good follow-up questions:

"If you were to use another method instead, is it possible? What would you do then?"
"If the initial conditions are these instead, how does that affect the end result?"

Incorrect answers and development

It should be thought through how the teacher should handle if the student answers incorrectly to a follow-up question or presents an incorrect solution. Should the teacher interrupt the presentation and give the student the opportunity to orally correct what is incorrect or is the student directly rejected in the event of an incorrect presentation? or will the student get Fx, ie the opportunity to complete at another time. Choose what suits you as a teacher and the course best.

If the student reports assignments submitted early in the course, it is likely that the student's knowledge has developed. Consideration should be given to how the student should be allowed to account for his or her development. How it should be handled when the student at the oral exam can pressent a correct more nuanced reasoning than what has been submitted in writing.


Of course, as not all students can report at the same time, the teacher should plan for some intensive working days for the implementation of the oral examiantion. Although oral exams take time to complete, the "assessment work" is almost non-existent and many teachers who have worked a lot with oral exams experience the total workload approximately the same as for a classical written exam. How the appointments are distributed among the students depends on the nature of the course and the number of students. It can often be easier to let the students book in groups, as there will be no gaps in the schedule if a student cancels, but it should be considered whether the examination questions are suitable for the students to listen to each other or alternatively be answer together. A good starting point for the form of presentation can be the same as the students are expected to work in before the oral examination. If the students have worked individually, it is usually a good idea for them to report individually. If the students are expected to work in groups, the students should report together. When group reporting and when it is planned that the teacher is the one who distributes who is to talk about what, it is important that the plan is carefully thought through so that the students are well aware of how the exam will proceed. This approach can otherwise be socially inconvenient.

Group division

Something to keep in mind before the oral examination is also if the examination benefits from the teacher choosing groups, for example according to what grade the students work for or according to what the level of the students' submitted solutions. If the teacher chooses groups, students with solutions that feel similar to each other can also present together to nuance for the teacher why the solutions are similar to each other. It can also be an advantage to let the students choose for themselves, present at a time that suits them, in a group they are comfortable with (but remember that there will always be some who ends up alone). Sometimes it can simply be easiest to randomly select the groups. However, a recomendation is to provid more timeslots than there are students, this makes it easier for students to find a suitable time and thereby reduces the administrative work.

Scheduling appointments with the help of Canvas (Canvas Community)

Teacher stories - Oral examination from different points of view

Presenter: Gunnar Tibert (Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the SCI school), 2020-11-25. This webinar was held in Swedish.

Gunnar Tibert talks about his many years of experience of oral examination in several different courses; what it is like to have an oral examination on site or digitally, and how it was evaluated by the students. Two different types of oral examinations for courses at the advanced level are presented, with conditional freedom of choice for the student regarding level and subject as a common theme.

Go to KTH Play for access to presentation material:
Teacher stories - Oral examination from different points of view (KTH Play)

Contact and support for examination

Do you have questions about examination? There are contact persons for planning and coordinating examinations at each school, and you can also get help with digital arrangements from E-learning.

Contacts for examination

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Last changed: Feb 20, 2023