Exams at CBS

As a CBS student you will end each course with an exam. The exam form differs from course to course, so you will meet different kinds of exams during your studies, such as written sit-in exams or oral exams.

Exam forms

You can experience many different types of exams during your studies at CBS. The most common exam types are:
Written exams 

  • Projects: where you work with a theoretical problem or a case based on practice - either individually or in groups.
  • Shorter written exams: where you are given an assignment you have to answer within a limited time period e.g. 24-, 48- or 72-hour exam assignments.
  • Sit-in exams: where you show up at CBS and do a written exam typically in 4 hours - with or without exam aids.

Oral exams 

  • A presentation on a given topic.
  • A syllabus exam where you draw a question or topic to discuss - with or without preparation time. 
  • Oral defence of a written product. This could fx be a case based project or a paper written individually or in a group.

For most international students, oral exams are a new experience. An oral exam is an examination in the curriculum. It can sometimes start out with you giving a presentation you have prepared in advance. The oral exam takes the form of a dialogue between you and the examiners, and your whole curriculum can be included in the discussions.

Partial exams
In some courses at CBS, the exams are divided into partial exams. This means you do not finish the course with one overall exam after the teaching has ended, but that the exam is divided into several but smaller exams during the semester.

Compulsory activities
In some courses at CBS, you must pass one or more compulsory assignments in order to take the exam. The compulsory assignments can fx be an oral presentation, a written assignment or a multiple-choice test.
The purpose of the compulsory assignments is both to give you feedback on how well-versed you are in the syllabus up to that point, and to prepare you as best as possible for the upcoming exam.

Most common exam forms

The type of exams you will encounter the most depends on the programme you get enrolled into. On some programmes the students have more written sit-in exams, while students on other programmes more often might have to hand in a project and defend it at an oral exam afterwards. 

The exam form for a course is determined based on how to best examine the students in the course syllabus. Therefore, courses like microeconomics or statistics are most often written sit-in exams, where you have to do various calculation exercises to find the right result. In other courses such as marketing or organisational theory, where it is more about arguing your way to a solution, you often have to hand in a larger project report, which is then defended at an oral exam afterwards.

The most common exam forms therefore depend on the type of mandatory courses in a study programme and how to best examine the students in the course syllabus for each course. 

Individual and group exams

At CBS, you may experience both individual exams and group exams. At a group exam you usually write a project in collaboration with your fellow students. The project is often defended individually at an oral exam afterwards.

Sometimes your lecturer or the programme administration will place you in a group. Other times, you get to decide for yourself who you want to form a group with. In both cases, working in groups can be both challenging and very productive. 

Read more about group work at CBS

Exam attempts

At CBS you have 3 exam attempts in total to pass each course. So, if you do not pass an exam the first time, you have two more attempts to pass the course. Most students pass the exam the first time, but it can sometimes be necessary to use an extra exam attempt.


You are only assessed on your performance at the exam. Your grade is neither affected by attendance nor how active you are during class.

The exam assessment is usually on the 7-point grading scale. Some exams are however assessed on a pass/fail basis. The final grade is definite, which means that your fellow students’ exam efforts do not have any implications for your grade. The assessment of your performance is solely based on how well you meet the academic requirements specified for the relevant exam.

In Denmark, a 7-point grading scale is used. 12 is the highest grade possible, and 02 is the lowest passing grade. The Danish grading scale is compatible with the ECTS grading scale.

Read more about the Danish 7-point grading scale. 

Special conditions for exams

If you have a disability that prevents you from taking your exams on the same terms as your fellow students, you can apply for special conditions for exams.

Read more about special conditions for exams.

The page was last edited by: Web editor - Student Communications // 06/18/2024