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Academic year and examination

Academic year and examination

Credits and grading system

All courses are measured in credits, studiepoäng/sp. Credits are a value allocated to course units and they describe the workload required to complete the course/module. One credit (studiepoäng) is equivalent to one ECTS credit. The courseload for one academic year is 60 credits, and one credit equals 25-28 hours of work.

The grading system used at ÅAU corresponds to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

ECTS definitions
A (5) EXCELLENT: outstanding performance with only minor errors
B (4) VERY GOOD: above the average standard but with some errors
C (3) GOOD: generally sound work with a number of notable errors
D (2) SATISFACTORY: fair but with significant shortcomings
E (1) SUFFICIENT: performance meets the minimum criteria
Some courses are graded on a pass/fail basis.

Please note that only successfully completed courses are recorded in the student’s transcript of records, i.e. failed courses are not listed.

The basic and intermediate level courses are typically taken during the first three years of study. The advanced level courses are taken by fourth and fifth year students and are intended to support the work of thesis writing.


Assessment of courses usually includes lectures, course participation, essay writing and/or a written examination. Some courses are taught over the whole term for two hours per week, others are taught for several hours per week over a shorter period of time. Generally speaking there are no final examinations, as course examination takes place immediately after each course. If a student fails the examination there are usually two possibilities to re-sit the examination. Exchange students are in general required to sit their examinations and finish their courses while they are still registered as present at Åbo Akademi University.

Information about examinations at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Business and Economics.

Practical information, including instructions concerning examination, on courses offered by the Open University.

If an exchange student needs to take an examination for the home university while on exchange at ÅAU this can usually be arranged. This must however be accepted by both Åbo Akademi University and the home university and the arrangements must be made at least two weeks prior to the examination.

Read more about examination rules and regulations in Åbo Akademi University Examination and Assessment instruction and Regulations regarding examinations.

E-exam stands for electronic exam. It enables students to write their exams on a computer in a room equipped with video surveillance. E-exams offer students more flexibility. The system enables students to write exams  at more flexible times. Contact the lecturer/course examiner to discuss the possibility of writing an electronic exam.

Academic conduct

Plagiarism and cheating is strictly forbidden in all examinations and essays. Students are not allowed to bring any books, papers or other reading material to the examinations unless the teacher has given specific permission beforehand. If cheating or plagiarising is discovered or suspected, the instructor will inform the student(s) involved and undertake an investigation of the matter. If a student has been found cheating in an examination or having plagiarised, the matter will be brought to the attention of the Rector. The consequence in both cases for exchange students is that the Rector will inform the home university of what has happened. The student will always be informed of the matter and has the right to be heard and have the support of a student ombudsman. Please see Åbo Akademi University Examination Instructions.

Updated 12.1.2018