Academic Support

Most students will have some problem with academic work at some point during their degree so it's really important that you know about the support available to you. Academic problems can often be short lived – the result of a busy week, or tackling a particularly challenging area of your degree, but it is not uncommon for people to have longer term issues relating to work. If you have any academic-related problem which you would like to raise you should (depending on the nature of the problem) try and talk directly to your tutor. If you would like to talk to someone else about the matter you can talk to anyone on Welfare Subcommittee or the Peer Supporters but the Dr WHOs or us are probably the best bet.. Alternatively, the Senior Tutor Nicola Trott ( who is directly in charge of academic things is helpful (we're very happy to be a go-between if you don't want to talk directly to a member of the SCR.)


Most students will sit collections at the beginning of every term, which are exams sat in hall in normal clothing and set by your tutors. These aren't anything to panic about - they're used as indicators of how you are doing and help you get used to sitting University exams. You will also sit University exams either in Hilary Term (called 'Mods', if you're studying Classics, Law or Oriental Studies) or in Trinity Term (called 'Prelims' for everyone else). These are sat in sub-fusc and in exams schools or Summertown. You need to pass these to continue with your course but if you don't first time there is an opportunity to retake, which we and your tutors will support you through.

In University exams there are strict regulations about what you need and can/can't bring in:

  • You are allowed a pencil case but it must be clear.
  • Water is allowed in bottles with a sports cap.
  • You need your bod card, and it's a good idea to bring along your exam timetable or learn your candidate number.
  • Carnations are traditionally bought for you by friends/subject parents- white for the first exams, red for the last and pink for the ones in the middle.

There is a tradition of trashing but be careful what you're trashing your friends with and where, the college and University rules vary and the Proctors are relatively strict, especially in the summer.


  • Being well prepared and confident for exams is important so it's a good idea to start revision in good time. Using past papers, revision timetables, organised workspace and materials are all good ideas when revising, as is active revision.
  • To be in the best state to revise try to avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, have a regular sleep pattern and make sure to continue to eat well.
  • The pack you get in Fresher's week has good exam/revision tips so make sure to look back at that!
  • The Counselling Service also offers group sessions on mindfulness, procrastination and sleeping so if you are struggling with any of these things then this is a good port of call.
  • It's also a good idea to take a break to relax, socialise or exercise- Welfare Tea is a great way to do this, or eating in hall. Towards the end of Trinity Welfare Tea tends to happen every day so that you can come and offload to any of Welfare Subcommittee or just sit and drink some tea and eat some biscuits.