Free attempt and free semester regulations

Dear members of the University,

In our e-mail on 13.01.2022 we detailed the necessary pandemic-related measures for examinations in the winter semester 2021/22 and let you know that we would provide further information about the free attempt regulation. Today we would like to inform you about the changes that were made to the Coronavirus Higher Education Supplementary Regulations (Corona-HEVO) which came into effect on 16.01.2022. The following regulations apply for the winter semester 2021/22:

Standard period of study

The Coronavirus Higher Education Supplementary Regulations (Corona-HEVO) stipulate that, according to Section 4, the regulations regarding standard periods of study in Section 103 of the Higher Education Act (HSG) also apply for the winter semester 2021/22:

  • The CAU will therefore not count the winter semester 2021/22 as an actual semester (“Fachsemester”) for regulations under university law which are related to the standard period of study or number of semesters (e.g. invitations to compulsory academic study advice sessions).
  • The semester numbering will be continued on CAU certificates (e.g. certificates of study periods). The CAU will soon provide a certificate to download via the CAU portal for the winter semester 2021/22 in accordance with Section 103 (2) HSG. This certifies that the degree may be delayed on account of the COVID pandemic. It can be enclosed with the certificate of study periods where necessary.
  • The free semester regulation also applies for regulations related to educational financial support law which are related to the standard period of study or number of semesters. If you have any questions about this procedure, which documents need to be submitted, etc., please contact the Amt für Ausbildungsförderung (BAföG-Amt, Office for Educational Funding) or the facility that sponsors your scholarship.

Free attempt regulation

In accordance with Section 5 of the Corona-HEVO, the following applies in the current winter semester:

  • For examinations that are assigned to thewinter semester 2021/2022, have been taken and failed, an additional attempt at the examination will be granted if the type of examination specified in the respective degree-specific examination regulations has been replaced by another type of exam that was not provided for in the degree-specific examination regulations. For example, if the degree-specific examination regulations exclusively stipulated a written examination and this was replaced by a term paper.
  • A free attempt will not be granted if the change to the type of examination is only changing it to an electronic examination, e.g. if a written examination is held online instead of in attendance, or if an oral examination is held by video conference instead of in attendance.

The following also applies for

  • Students who are caring for children under the age of 14 and whose learning or examining situation has been made considerably more difficult due to school or daycare facility closures: an examination taken and failed in the winter semester 2021/22 is counted as a free attempt. In the event that they fail an examination, students can contact the responsible Examination Office so that a free attempt can be recorded subsequently. This requires appropriate proof (copy of the child’s birth certificate and (simple) proof about the closure of the school or daycare facility).
  • Examinations which fulfil the criteria above will be recorded in the examination administration system by the examiners as a free attempt when they enter the grades (abbreviation in the QIS system: CFP).
  • A free attempt will also be granted retroactively for examinations in the winter semester 2021/22 which fulfil the criteria above. We ask students to refrain from sending enquiries to Examination Offices and lecturers because this process will take a little time.
  • The free attempt regulation relates to university examinations. Free attempts cannot be granted for state examinations because these are not subject to the regulations in the Higher Education Act (HSG) and therefore also not subject to those in the Corona-HEVO.
  • Unexcused failure to attend an examination or failing to submit coursework (such as a term paper) will NOT lead to a free attempt for an examination which fulfils the criteria above for granting free attempts. The option to make a justified withdrawal application remains unaffected by this.
  • Failure of an exam due to attempted cheating will not lead to a free attempt under any circumstances.

Lecturers will inform the students as quickly as possible (at least 14 days before the exam date) if a free attempt can be granted for examinations. 

Further information:

With kind regards,

Claudia Ricarda Meyer, Chancellor
 Prof. Dr Markus Hundt, Vice-President