Oral exams take place at two different points in during their study:
- As final examination to end their study (i.e., when the students have finished all necessary courses, they have an oral exam about 2-3 courses in a field, e.g., an oral exam about PDE and numerics of PDE).
- As an alternative of exams for specific courses (i.e., there is are timeslots on 1-2 given days after the course has ended, and the students come there for a 20-30 minutes oral exam).
If you have maybe about 10 students in your course, you are not in charge to set a lot of rules what and how to ask at such an oral exam, but for more people it is hard to be fair since you either ask exactly the same questions (where the students coming at last have advantages) or the oral exams differ too much in the topics of the course or in difficulty.
In oral exams which end the study is it even more difficult since you examine the same content over years and decades.
What are good guidelines to have fair oral exams in both cases?