Health and Human Sciences numeracy test scheme

Ensuring that applicants are considered fairly and consistently

This page contains all the information you require prior to sitting your numeracy test for prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students. The Numeracy Test Scheme has been introduced to allow applicants, who have achieved a D/3 grade at GCSE mathematics, the opportunity to demonstrate that they have the numerical ability required to be accepted on to our selected health programmes. The test has been designed to assess your ability to complete numeracy questions similar to what would be expected of you working in a health professions context. The content of the test includes numeracy such as fractions, decimals and division and will not require the use of additional mathematical equipment other than a calculator.

Passing this test will allow an applicant to enter onto their chosen Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry and Human Sciences programme, but it is not an accredited qualification. The University of Plymouth strongly encourages applicants to continue to sit their Mathematics GCSE.

The scheme consists of five exams that take place between February and September, with an additional exam available during our Confirmation and Clearing period. Each test will be held under standardised test conditions and therefore any academic offences such as cheating, conferring or distracting other applicants will result in disqualification.

The following regulations have been written to ensure that applicants are considered fairly and consistently. Please read the following information carefully.

If there are any questions you may have that are not answered on this page, please email healthinterviews@plymouth.ac.uk or call +44 1752 585858.

Eligible programmes

School of Nursing and Midwifery:

  • BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult Health)
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health)
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing (Child Health)
  • BSc (Hons) Pre-Registration Midwifery
  • MNurs (Hons) Nursing (Adult Health and Child Health)
  • MNurs (Hons) Nursing (Adult Health and Mental Health)
  • MNurs (Hons) Nursing (Child Health and Mental Health)
  • MSc Pre-registration Nursing (Adult Health)
  • MSc Pre-registration Nursing (Child Health)
  • MSc Pre-registration Nursing (Mental Health)

School of Health Professions:

  • BSc (Hons) Dietetics
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
  • BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) Podiatry
  • BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy 
  • BA (Hons) Social Work
  • MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration)

2019/20 test dates

  • 3 Exam 1 – Thursday 27/02/2020 12:30-15:00
  • 3 Exam 2 – Thursday 19/03/2020 12:30 -15:00
  • 3 Exam 3 – Cancelled
  • 3 Exam 4 – Thursday 18/06/2020 12:30-15:00
  • 3 Exam 5 – Thursday 09/07/2020 12:30-15:00
  • 3 Exam 6 – Clearing and Confirmation - To be confirmed
 

Regulations

1. Eligibility

1.1 Only applicants that have received a conditional offer from the University of Plymouth for an eligible programme within the Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry and Human Sciences are eligible to sit the test in an attempt to satisfy the numerical ability element of their conditional offer.

1.2 Applicants that have sat their Mathematics GCSE or O Level and achieved a grade 2, 3, D, or E, or have sat their Mathematics CSE and achieved a grade 2 or 3, are considered by our Admissions team to sit the exam. Oversees qualifications that are comparable to the above grades, as confirmed by UK NARIC, will also be considered. Applicants must have attempted their Mathematics GCSE at least once but not yet achieved a grade C / 4 or above are eligible. Applicants that do not meet these criteria will not be eligible to sit the exam and must achieve an alternative qualification to meet their programme’s entry requirement.

1.3 Applicants that achieve 70% or above within the Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry, and Human Sciences Numeracy Test will pass. Applicants that do not achieve the pass mark but score above 55% will have the opportunity to take the test on a further two occasions (a maximum of three attempts in total). Please note, if an applicant applies later in the cycle, due to the amount of time available for the applicant to sit the test and the course start date, there may not be another opportunity for the applicant to re-sit the test. Applicants should consider this carefully when applying, and attend all exams they are invited to. To be eligible for the resit opportunity applicants must score between 55% – 69%. Applicants that score below 55% will have failed the test and will not be invited back to re-sit the test. No allowances will be made on either side of these benchmarks.

1.4 For University applications received before the January 15 deadline, and for those that have been made a conditional offer before 6 May 2020, there will be a maximum of three attempts available (providing an applicant achieves the 55% benchmark), if further opportunities are available within that application cycle. However, applications received after January 15 will have fewer opportunities due to the course start date and application processing time, as applicants cannot defer entry for the eligible courses. For more information on UCAS deadlines, please visit www.ucas.com/ucas/events/find/scheme/undergraduate/type/key-date. Applicants are advised to take this into consideration when applying for programmes within the Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry, and Human Sciences.

1.5 Extra time is available for individuals that are entitled to extra time or reasonable adjustments due to being diagnosed with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Applicants who require reasonable adjustments to be made should email healthinterviews@plymouth.ac.uk at the earliest opportunity.

1.6 All Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry, and Human Sciences numeracy tests will be held in an accessible location on the main University of Plymouth campus, reasonable adjustments will be made. Applicants with any concerns or feel they require additional adjustments to be made, please email healthinterviews@plymouth.ac.uk. We are not able to hold the test at any other campus or location, apart from our Main Campus.

2. Prior to the exam

2.1 Applicants that are eligible to sit the test will be notified via email at least four weeks prior to the test date for Exams 1-5. Applicants will be invited via email and, if they wish to sit the test, will need to register via the registration link in the email. The test is not a mandatory requirement of applying to the University of Plymouth, however, provides an additional opportunity for selected health applicants to achieve the numeracy element of their chosen programme’s entry requirement. Applicants will successfully need to achieve all entry requirements and offer conditions to successfully secure a place on their chosen course.

If applicants apply for the specified programmes during the clearing period, the notice period for Exam 6 may be reduced. This is due to the date exam results are published, (e.g GCSE Mathematics), the date the application was received, the amount of time available for the applicant to sit the test and the course start date. Applicants cannot defer their application and should take this into consideration when applying for selected health courses. By registering for the test, applicants acknowledge that they have not had the normal notice period. A reduced notice period during the Clearing period will not be accepted as extenuating circumstances should applicants not meet the required pass score.

2.2 Applicants will be given a link to online revision materials and are strongly advised to use these in their preparation, in order to give themselves the best chance of passing.

3. Extenuating circumstances

3.1 Applicants will not be eligible to apply for extenuating circumstances. By attending the test applicants are confirming they are fit and well enough to sit the test. Where a resit test is available, applicants who feel unwell should defer to a later test date if they feel their health circumstances may affect their ability to perform. Applicants should email healthinterviews@plymouth.ac.uk at the earliest opportunity if they are unable to make the test, so advice can be given. Modified assessment provisions will be made for applicants who may be disadvantaged due to learning difficulties or disability. Applicants should email healthinterviews@plymouth.ac.uk if you have a disability that requires modified exam arrangements.

4. What to expect on the day

4.1 Applicants are advised to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the exam start time and must bring photo ID, a calculator and a pen with them. More information can be found under YOUR RESPONSIBILITY DURING EXAMS. Please note a mobile phone is not considered an acceptable calculator and use of mobile phones during the test will not be permitted.

4.2 Once applicants are registered, and their IDs have been verified by invigilators, all bags must be placed on the floor at the front of the test room. Mobile phones must be put away in bags and any mobile phones found to be in use during the test may result in disqualification from the test. Further information can be found under EXAMINATION OFFENCES.

4.3 There will be two test papers to complete on the day which require answers to be handwritten. One that allows the use of a calculator and one that does not. Paper A will take one hour. Paper B will take one hour.

4.4 Applicants will be allowed a 15-minute break between papers but must ensure they are back in their seat ready for paper B within 15 minutes.

4.5 No conferring between applicants will be permitted, and each applicant will be seated one space away from the next. The test will be held under test conditions and therefore no talking, use of mobile phones or distracting other applicants will be allowed. Breach of the aforementioned test conditions may result in disqualification from the scheme. Further information can be found via EXAMINATION OFFENCES.  

4.6 If applicants require to use the toilet during the test they will be accompanied by an invigilator.


5. Lateness

    5.1 Applicants are advised to arrive at least 15 minutes before the stated start time of the test, and any applicants that arrive more than 15 minutes late will not be allowed into the test room and will be invited back to another test date. Please note, if an applicant applies later in the cycle, due to the amount of time available for the applicant to sit the test and the course start date, there may not be another opportunity for the applicant to re-sit the test. Applicants should consider this carefully and plan their journey, to ensure that they arrive promptly. Modified assessment provisions will be made for applicants who may be disadvantaged due to learning difficulties or disability. Applicants should email healthinterviews@plymouth.ac.uk if you have a disability that requires modified exam arrangements.

    Extra time will not be awarded to any late arrivals.

    5.2 Applicants will be notified of the time and date of the test a minimum of four weeks prior to the test for Exams 1-5, ensuring that all applicants are given adequate time to make travel arrangements for their test. If applicants apply for the specified programmes during the clearing period, the notice period for Exam 6 may be reduced. This is due to the date exam results are published, the date the application was received, the amount of time available for the applicant to sit the test and the course start date. Applicants cannot defer their application.

6. Results

6.1 Applicants will receive their results within ten working days of sitting the test by email. The results will be sent to the email address that the applicants used to register for the test. The email will state the applicant’s score in each paper; the overall total score; and whether or not the applicant has met the required standard in order to pass the mathematical component of their conditional offer. The Faculty Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions team are unable to release results until all papers have been marked and will not release any marks early.

6.2 If you pass (score 70% or above)
If an applicant successfully passes the test by achieving a score of 70% or above the Admissions Team will mark the Numeracy element of their conditional offer as satisfied. Please note that this will not be reflected on UCAS Track. Only scores of 70% or above will be considered a pass, with no exceptions. Please note that passing this test only satisfies the Numeracy element of particular Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry, and Human Sciences programmes as detailed above and does not affect any other outstanding conditions to be satisfied.

Successful completion of the test is only valid for the application cycle in which the test is taken. Should an applicant not take up their place on the programme that year, and subsequently, reapply for a programme within the Faculty for the next academic year, their previous pass score will not be carried over and they will be required to successfully resit another Numeracy Test.

6.3 If you fail but score 55% to 69%
If an applicant fails to achieve 70% but scores 55% to 69% and this is their first or second attempt at the test they will be invited to another attempt of the exam if further opportunities are available within that application cycle. No exceptions will be made to the resit benchmark under any circumstances.

Applicants can make a subject access request to obtain a copy of their paper, as long as they are only asking for a copy of their own paper. Requests will be fulfilled within one month of the request.

6.4 If you fail and score less than 55%
If an applicant scores less than 55% on any of their attempts, they will be marked as failed and will not have any further resit attempts for that application cycle.

6.5 If an applicant has completed three re-sits and failed to achieve 70%
If an applicant fails to achieve 70% by their third attempt, they will be marked as failed and will not have any further resit attempts for that application cycle. If the applicant will not achieve any other accepted Mathematics qualifications by 31 August of that year, their application will be processed as unsuccessful and they will be advised to reapply to the University of Plymouth the following year. They will not be able to defer their place.

 

Preparing for your exam

How do I book my exam date?

You will receive an invite email from the University of Plymouth informing you what the scheme is and how you can register if you are eligible to sit the test. You will be provided a link to our booking portal where you can register for the exam. Each exam will be released individually and will only be available to book an exam once it has been released. You will receive an automatic confirmation email once you have successfully booked on.

Where and when will the test be held?

Please check the details of your confirmation email carefully. Please ensure you allow plenty of time to travel to the test as late arrivals will not be allowed to sit. Please refer to our campus map if you have any issues finding the location.

How can I prepare for my exam?

You can access online resources provided by the University’s Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching via http://www.cimt.org.uk/maths-equivalency/ .This will help you to prepare for your test, featuring sample questions, and provides tips that focus on improving numeracy skills.

What do I bring with me on the day?

We require photo identification (i.e. driving licence or passport) to be presented upon arrival for your exam, placing this face-up on your desk. The invigilators will check that the data corresponds with our list of expected and eligible applicants. If you are unable to provide photographic ID a photograph will be taken of you, and you will need to provide a copy of photo ID retrospectively via email to applications@plymouth.ac.uk in order for us to verify your identity. Please note, this which may delay you receiving your results. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your ID, please email admissions@plymouth.ac.uk or call +44 1752 585858.

You will also need to bring your own calculator and a pen.

I have a disability such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia, do I get extra time?

Extra time is available for individuals that are entitled to extra time or reasonable adjustments due to being diagnosed with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Applicants who require reasonable adjustments to be made should email healthinterviews@plymouth.ac.uk at the earliest opportunity.

What am I not allowed to take into an examination venue?

  • You won't be permitted to bring a bag, coat, hat, jumper with a pocket, mobile phone, pager, electronic dictionaries or translators to your desk. These must be left at the back of the room.
  • You won't be able to have other reading material at your desk.
  • Paper or other items won't be allowed in the exam - unless specifically stated on the rubric of the paper.
  • You can only take writing materials and calculators (when permitted) to your exam desk.
  • You'll have to place all unauthorised items in the amnesty bin before entering your exam venue.

Amnesty bins

Invigilators will provide an amnesty bin for you to deposit any unauthorised items. This includes crib notes, books or any items not permitted in the exam room. If any unauthorised items are then found on or at your desk, this will count as an examination offence.


 

Exam procedures and information

Your responsibility during exams

Our invigilators are trained to spot you if you're breaching assessment regulations. If an invigilator suspects you of cheating during an exam:

  • We'll endorse your script at the point you were writing when the alleged offence was discovered.
  • We'll remove any unauthorised materials from you. Normally we'll keep these materials for inspection.
  • In exceptional circumstances, we may return property – at the discretion of the senior invigilator – at the end of the exam.
  • You'll be allowed to continue the exam. At the end, we'll give you a set of paperwork outlining the nature of the alleged breach.

We'll ask you to complete a response pro-forma which you must return within five working days. On this pro-forma we'll ask you to indicate either:

  • That you accept the allegation (you agree that you committed the offence). If you want, you can enclose a statement setting out any mitigation that you'd like the panel to take into consideration when dealing with your case. This doesn't guarantee a lighter penalty.
  • Or that you wish to contest the allegations (you don't believe that you committed any offence). If you choose this option you'll have the opportunity to appear before a central committee of senior staff to set out your case.

IMPORTANT: Please don't ignore the allegations. If you don't respond we'll assume you've accepted that you breached the rules, and we'll impose an appropriate penalty. If you have problems completing this form, please email examoffences@plymouth.ac.uk. We can't deal with personal visits or discuss matters on the phone.

Handwriting

It's your responsibility to ensure that your handwriting is legible. If you're concerned about your handwriting, we advise that you discuss this with your school/college.

If the person marking your exam script finds all or any part of it illegible, reasonable attempts will be made to identify other members of staff who are able to decipher your handwriting. If your script is then still deemed illegible, the University accepts no responsibility and the indecipherable sections will not be marked.

Reasonable Adjustments

Reasonable adjustments: all education providers have a duty to make anticipatory ‘reasonable adjustments’ to make sure disabled or SEND students and applicants are not discriminated against. Where a SEND or disabled person is at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with people who are not disabled, there is a duty to take reasonable steps to remove that disadvantage by changing provisions, criteria or practices, altering, removing or providing a reasonable alternative means of avoiding physical features and providing auxiliary aids.

Individual Exam Arrangements

Modified assessment provisions are designed to give equality of access to students who may be disadvantaged due to dyslexia or disability when being assessed under time constraints. They can be made for any written time constrained assessment that contributes towards a final mark for a module.

Please email healtinterviews@plymouth.ac.uk if you have a disability that requires modified exam arrangements, and we can work with you to ensure that these are delivered.

Extenuating Circumstances

Extenuating circumstances are circumstances which:

  • affect your ability to attend or complete the test
  • are exceptional
  • are outside of your control

Applicants will not be eligible to apply for extenuating circumstances. By attending the test applicants are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the test.

Examples of circumstances which would NOT be considered:

  • You slept in or your alarm clock did not go off.
  • Your car broke down, or your train or bus (or equivalent) was delayed or cancelled.
  • Child care problems, or problems with similar caring responsibilities which could have been anticipated.
  • Unspecified short-term anxiety from all sources, mild depression or examination stress.
  • Minor illness, such as a cough/cold/sore throat or minor viral infection, unless the illness is incapacitating and at its peak at the time of a time-specific assessment such as an exam or test.
  • Family celebrations, holidays, house moves, or similar events, in which you have input to, or control over, the date or may choose not to participate.
  • Misreading timetables of any kind, or time management problems, such as mis-reading the start of the test.
  • Appointments of any kind, including legal or medical appointments, which could be rearranged.
  • Sporting, recreational or voluntary commitments

Examination Offences

We take any attempt to breach our assessment regulations very seriously. If you've committed a breach, you're likely to face a range of penalties – which may prevent you resitting the test. This could affect your ability to obtain the numeracy entry requirement on your chosen programme, which could have an effect on your application with us.

A few examination offences examples:

  • Be in possession of a mobile phone.
  • Obtaining or attempting to obtain access to an unseen examination or test paper prior to the start of the examination/test.
  • The introduction or use in an examination or test of any crib sheets, revision or other notes, books, paper or devices of any kind other than those specifically permitted in the rubric of the paper.
  • Failing to comply with the instructions of an invigilator or examiner, or with the printed instructions for candidates.
  • Removing from an examination or test any script, paper, or other official stationery (whether or not completed) unless specifically authorised by an invigilator or examiner.
  • Being party to any arrangement whereby a person other than the candidate fraudulently represents, or intends to represent, the candidate in an examination or test (personation).
  • Communicating, or attempting to communicate with another applicant or with any third party other than the invigilator/examiner during an examination or test.
  • Copying or attempting to copy the work of another applicant- whether by overlooking his/her work, asking him/her for information or by any other means. Or, knowingly allowing work to be copied.
  • Making false declarations in an attempt to obtain modified assessment provisions or special consideration (e.g. of extenuating circumstances).
  • Attempting to persuade another member of the University (student, staff or invigilator) to participate in any way in actions which would be in breach of this Regulation.
  • Being party to any arrangement which would constitute a breach of this Regulation.

What happens if I'm accused of cheating?

Our invigilators are trained to spot you if you're breaching assessment regulations. If an invigilator suspects you of cheating during an exam:

  • We'll endorse your script at the point you were writing when the alleged offence was discovered.
  • We'll remove any unauthorised materials from you. Normally we'll keep these materials for inspection.
  • In exceptional circumstances, we may return property - at the discretion of the senior invigilator - at the end of the exam.
  • You'll be allowed to continue the exam. At the end, we'll give you a set of paperwork outlining the nature of the alleged breach.

We'll ask you to complete a response Pro-forma which you must return within five working days. On this Pro-forma we'll ask you to indicate either:

  • That you accept the allegation (you agree that you committed the offence). If you want, you can enclose a statement setting out any mitigation that you'd like the panel to take into consideration when dealing with your case. This doesn't guarantee a lighter penalty.
  • Or that you wish to contest the allegations (you don't believe that you committed any offence). If you choose this option you'll have the opportunity to appear before a central committee of senior staff to set out your case.

IMPORTANT: Please don't ignore the allegations. If you don't respond we'll assume you've accepted that you breached the rules, and we'll impose an appropriate penalty. If you have problems completing this form, please email examoffences@plymouth.ac.uk. We can't deal with personal visits or discuss matters on the phone.

How do I report cheating?

Before an exam:  

  • If you've got information about someone’s plans to breach the assessment regulations, you should inform the invigilator before the start of the exam.
  • We'll keep your actions confidential and the person at the centre of the allegations won't be aware that you were involved.
  • Your information will enable the invigilators to watch the alleged offender closely. If they're caught, we won't need you to appear as a witness at any stage.

During an exam:

  • If you see someone cheating during an exam, you should raise your hand to attract the attention of the invigilator nearest to you.
  • When the invigilator approaches you should either communicate your concerns quietly or write them on a piece of paper.
  • We'll keep your actions confidential and the person at the centre of the allegations won't be aware that you were involved.
  • Your information will enable the invigilators to watch the alleged offender closely. If they're caught, we won't need you to appear as a witness at any stage.

 

After your exam

What is the pass mark?

The pass mark is an average of 70% over both papers. Paper A does not allow the use of a calculator. Paper B does allow the use of a calculator. Applicants that achieve 55-69% will have failed their test but meet our re-sit threshold, and will be invited back to re-sit their exam, a maximum of three attempts are allowed, please refer to the regulations for full details. Applicants who achieve below 55% will have failed their test and will not be invited to re-sit.

When will I receive my test results?

We will endeavour to inform all applicants of their results within 10 working days. Results will be sent via email, including the marks you achieved in each paper.

If I pass the Numeracy Test Scheme, but don’t pass my Maths GCSE, will other universities accept this as evidence of my numerical competency?

No. The Numeracy Test Scheme does not award you a recognised qualification. It is an internal screening process only applicable to applicants with conditional offers, for selected programmes, within the Faculty Health: Medicine, Dentistry and Human Sciences, with the University of Plymouth.