There are three kinds of examinations that you will encounter during your time at Hertford.

First, there are College-only examinations called Collections that you sit at the beginning of each term. These examinations relate to work you have done in the preceding term. They do not form part of your final degree classification. They are, however, important opportunities to gain valuable practice in examinations. They also provide material upon which your tutors can gauge academic progress when writing references.

Secondly, there are First Public Examinations that students sit towards the end of Trinity Term of the first year. These are called the Physics Preliminary examinations (prelims) and papers are taken in four subjects: two papers in mathematical methods, covering topics including calculus, complex numbers and vectors and differential equations and wave motion; and two papers in physics covering mechanics and special relativity and electromagnetism, circuit theory and optics.  A fifth paper is taken in one of 3 optional papers, currently on Quantum Ideas, Introductory Astronomy and Functions of a complex variable. In order to continue into the 2nd year, students must be awarded a pass mark in the four core papers.  The marks in the prelims do not count towards the final degree classification.

Exams at the end of the 2nd, 3rd and for those doing a 4-year course, 4th year contribute to the degree classification awarded.  These are called the Finals examinations.