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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - International Office

Examinations

Though it is not necessary to register for classes (with the exception of seminars), you must register for the exams that you like to take via Agnes. Exams at the HU generally last 60-90 minutes, but there are some that take longer as well. There are two examination periods in each semester. You may choose to take any given exam in either the first or second period. The first round of exams takes place over a three week time frame following the last lecture and the second round takes place just before the next semester starts. The second round can be used for a retake if you should fail the exam in the first try. After you successfully passed an exam, the grade cannot be amended.

 

Contents:

  1. Exam Schedule
  2. Exam Registration
  3. MEMS: Choosing your Major
  4. Exam Preparation
  5. Writing an Exam
  6. Additional Tips for your Exams
  7. Grading System
  8. Exchange Students: How to get the results
  9. Degree Students: How to get the results

 


Exam Schedule

The Humboldt-Universität offers two rounds of exams after each semester. The approximate dates will be:

Winter term:

  • Round 1: Mid February - first week of March
  • Round 2: First two weeks in April

Summer term:

  • Round 1: Mid July - first week of August
  • Round 2: First two weeks in October

It is important that you are present in Berlin for at least the first round of exams - without a sucessfully passes exam, we cannot issue any credits or certificates.

The exact dates of the exam period will be published around November/May along with the respective registration deadlines on the homepage of the registrar’s office (“Prüfungsbüro”). Please note the deadlines: if you are not registered for an exam, you cannot participate and you will not receive any credits!

Information on Exam Dates: www.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/studium/pa/termine

 


Exam Registration

To register for exams you can simply use Agnes. In order to do so, you will need a TAN list (transaction number). The TAN list will be sent to the address you stated during your enrollment. Make sure your address is stated correctly in Agnes! If you would like to change your address, you can do this directly via Agnes. In case you did not receive a TAN list by December/May, just go to our “Prüfungsbüro” and they will issue one for you.

The registration for exams will only be possible during a certain time. During this registration period, you can register and de-register for as many exams as you like. After the deadline has passed, registration is not possible anymore. If you have registered for an exam, but decide to not take it, you can drop the course up to five working days (Mon to Fri) before the exam via Agnes. Note that you will not be able to then take the exam in the second round.

There is only one registration period each semester for both rounds of exams.

To register, follow these steps (or see step-by-step guide):

  1. Log into Agnes with your HU account
  2. Choose “Prüfungsan- und –abmeldung” (“Apply for exams”)
  3. Enter a TAN (this works like online banking - it makes sense to cross the numbers off after you have “used” them)
  4. Choose the exam you like to register for (degree students should make sure that the exam is listed in the right field)
  5. Choose WHEN you want to take it (first or second round)
  6. Enter another TAN
  7. Repeat steps 3-5 for every exam
  8. Check under “Registered Exams” if everything is as you want it to be
  9. If needed: click on the respective exam that you would like to de-register and confirm the de-registration with a TAN

 

After the first exam period, it is only possible to apply for the second round if you failed in the first round or in the case that you were sick (in which case you will need to present a doctor’s note to the exam office). There is no automatic system that will register you again for the second round, you have to do it yourself!

If you have registered for an exam, but decide to not take it, you can drop the course up to five working days before the exam (unregistering at AGNES). Note that you will not be able to then take the exam in the second round.

Registering for the second round after the registration deadline will only be possible for one of these two reasons: Either you have failed the exam in the first round or you are sick on the day of the exam. In the latter case you will need to present a doctor’s note within three days after the exam to the “Prüfungsbüro”. Make sure the doctor’s note is issued for the date of the exam.

In both instances you will be able to register for the exam again for the second round. If you don’t pass an exam in the second round, the next chance to take the exam will only be after the course was given again - most probably the year after. For exchange students this means that a retry after the second round is not possible anymore.

Please note that your yourself are responsible for registering for an exam in the correct manner, meaning you should ensure to register the exam in the correct field. Changes after registration involve a complicated procedure and should be avoided. In most cases, registering for seminars are done manually and directly with lecturers.

Information on Exam Registration: www.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/studium/pa/anmeldungen

 


MEMS: Choosing a Major

As a MEMS student you will choose a Major with registering for the first course that you take under your major. Either it’s at the first registration period, or you choose to start with your major later.

If you are taking a course under your Major, register the exam under the Major Section. For example, if your Major is “Macroeconomics” and you are taking the course "Economic Growth", the exam shows up twice. Once under "Major Macroeconomics" and once under just "Macroeconomics".

After choosing one exam under your major, you will not be able to register for an exam under any other major. Instead, you will find these majors under "Fachlicher Wahlpflichtbereich D"

If you are not taking any course under your Major, you do not choose your Major yet!

 


Exam Preparation

By now, you probably also noticed that a lot of courses here will be really quantitative. Just to avoid some troubles for you in the future, here are some hints on how to make it as at the HU:

  • Use both exam periods. Check the exam list and then plan your exams accordingly. Especially if you want to do 30 ECTS in one semester, it might be good idea to not write all 5 exams in one week.
  • Study early and often. We know everybody says this and nobody really does it. Just keep this in mind and try to force yourself to regularly do something for your coursework. You will see that you will be a lot more relaxed during the exam weeks.
  • Form Study Groups with other people. This is kind of obvious, but study groups really help. Also, this way you can meet people and have coffee during breaks.
  • Review old exams. You can sometimes find them in Moodle or on the institute‘s website. If you can’t find any there, you can also ask the “StuRa” for old exams. They have a database of previous exams available. Just stop by the “Studentencafe” (self organized coffee place) in the ground floor and ask about the exams. You might want to check they offers out online: www.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/studium/studierende

 


Writing an Exam

Two days before the actual exam date, the location of the exam will be announced on the website of the “Prüfungsbüro”. Often, the exam will neither be held at the same time nor in the same room that the lecture was held. Sometimes there might be multiple locations or you will need to go to our main building. So look at this in time to make sure your studying efforts will not be wasted. 

Most importantly, always bring your student ID and a photo ID with you to an exam. Keep in mind that when you take an exam, the result will always appear on your transcript (“Leistungsnachweis”) along with the grade. In case you pass the exam after a second try, the “fail” will not appear on your final transcript. If you notice during the exam that you would like to have a second try at it, you may always “cancel the exam”. This means that you will fail the exam and thus be able to retake it in the second round. Once you have passed an exam, however, there is no option to repeat the exam in order to improve your grade.

Be aware that grading is pretty tough. You can see how previous exams were graded on the website of the “Prüfungsbüro”. You will notice that exams with a better average than 3.0 or less than 30% failing are the exception rather than the rule. Unfortunately for you, international students do not get a bonus.

The only exception is, that exchange students may take a dictionary for English or German to the exam. Attention: if there is ANY note or comment in the dictionary, it will be counted as attempted cheating (means a fail), even if the comment has nothing to do with the exam!

So again, if you want to do a certain amount of ECTS, take the exams that you are feeling unsure about in the first round. This gives you the chance to retake them in the second round.

 


Good to know

  • If you take an exam, it will definitely appear on the transcript. Nevertheless, the fails will not appear on your FINAL transcript.
  • If you fail in the first round you can repeat it in the second round (you have to re-register!).
  • For excahnge students, a fail in the second round is irrevocable
  • It is possible to “delete the exam” during the exam (strike thorough), but then it is also a fail.
  • If you've passed an exam, there is no option to repeat the exam in order to improve your grade.
  • Registration for seminars at the institutes – no withdrawal possible afterwards.

 


Grading System

Academic performance is assessed by grades on a scale from 1.0 to 5.0. Additionally, each course carries a certain weight, which is expressed in credit points. The more credit points a course carries the more weight it provides towards the overall grade.

The German grading system can be translated to the ECTS system (A to F) as shown in the box.

Information on Exam Results: www.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/studium/pa/noten

 

German Grade ECTS Grade
1.0 and 1.3 A
1.7 and 2.0 B
2.3 and 2.7 C
3.0 and 3.3 D
3.7 and 4.0 E
>4.0 F (failed)

 


Exchange students: How to get the results

After your stay in Berlin, you will receive a transcript of records from the School of Business and Economics, that lists all the exams you took at our school (and the ones you registered for). You will need this document in order to transfer the credits to your home university. For informational purposes, you can check your grades in your Agnes account, too.
We will be sending the transcript to your home address in your country. At the end of the term, we will ask you to change your address in Agnes to the address where you want the transcript to be sent to. Please note, that we will only send transcripts to addresses outside of Berlin. If your are still in the city, you may just pick it up at the “Prüfungsbüro” (examination office) in room 7-10 in SPA1.

Write an e-mail to pruefungsbuero-wiwi@hu-berlin.de (including your enrollment number!) if you have taken any seminars. Since you don’t register in Agnes for Seminars, without the e-mail we don’t know about the seminars and might send the transcript without the seminar grade to you. Once all your grades have been published (April/September), the examination office will send the transcript to that address (not to your home university). Please be aware that this can easily take up to ten weeks, especially if you took seminars!

A further note: this document will only show the grades from our school. For any outside-of-ourschool-courses (e.g language courses or Berlin Perspectives) it is your own responsibility to make sure that you obtain a separate certificate with your grades. Talk to the teacher of the course or the representatives from the respective examination office, best would be before you even taking that course.

Sounds complicated? Don’t worry, we will inform you about this process step-by-step during your stay in Berlin. The only thing to notice right now is that it may take some time to get the official transcript.

Make sure that we can always reach you by post!

  • Before exams time: state your Berlin address in Agnes
  • During exams time: change it to your home country address in Agnes

 


Degree students: How to get the results

You may always pick up a current grade overview at the “Prüfungsbüro”. After completion of your studies, you will receive your degree certificate at your graduation ceremony. If you can’t make that, you can obviously pick it up at the “Prüfungsbüro” or have it mailed to you. It will take a couple of days between the publication of your last grade and the issue date of your certificate.