Exam rules

Before the Exam

View your exam timetable

Six weeks before the start of the exam period, you can view your exam timetable. It's important you check your timetable carefully so we've made a list of everything you need to check in Review your exam timetable.

Bring your student card (M-Pass)

To confirm your identity, you need to bring your student ID card (M-Pass) to every exam. If you don't have one, bring your NRIC, driver’s license or passport. If you don't bring an approved form of photo ID to your exams, you could be fined or reported to your school, so make sure you bring your ID with you!

What you can take into your exam

Contact your lecturer or unit coordinator if you're unsure whether your exam is open or closed book. See definitions below. They can also confirm items which are specifically permitted in your exam.

Open Book: Open book exams allow you to take in permissible written notes, texts or resource materials into the exam. They test your ability to find and apply information and knowledge, so are often used in subjects requiring direct reference to materials. Digital devices are not permitted in open book exams so ensure the material you bring is in written or hard copy format.

Closed book: Closed-book exams don't allow you to take notes, books or any other reference material into the exam. You need to rely entirely on your memory to answer questions.

Specifically permitted items: Your lecturer will advise you if there are any specifically permitted items you need to take into your exam.  These will also be listed on your exam paper if they apply. So for example, normally you’re not allowed to bring in a calculator, however, if your lecturer specifically requests that you bring a calculator, then you're permitted to take a one into the exam room.

The table below outlines what you're allowed to take into open and closed book exams. Supervisors will regard any material or item on your desk, chair, or person to be in your possession. Possession of unauthorised materials in an exam is a disciplinary offence.

ItemOpen bookClosed book
BagYou can take your bag and other personal items into the exam. You must place all of your belongings under your desk when the exam is in progress. Please make sure they are clear of the aisle.
CalculatorsUnder normal circumstances, calculators are not permitted in the exam room unless your lecturer advises you to bring a one in. Only some types of calculators may be permitted. You're responsible for checking with your lecturer:
  • if there are any restrictions
  • and if there are, when and where to get a security sticker to identify that your calculator is authorised.
CapYou can wear a cap but you may be asked to remove it as staff need to be able to verify your identity. They could also ask you to remove it at any point during the exam.
ClockThere are clocks in every exam venue so you do not need to bring a clock.
Dictionaries (hard copy)YesNo
Dictionaries (electronic)NoNo
Food and drinkWe prefer that you don't bring snacks or a drink into the exam, but if you do, you must place it on your desk to be inspected. Water is available at the exam venues. If you want to bring your own water, you can bring any type of water bottle. Please don't bring food that has a strong smell or is noisy to eat.
Mobile phonesYou can bring your mobile phone into your exam but you must switch it off (including the alarm) and place it in your bag under your desk. You could face an on-the-spot fine if you're found to have your mobile phone on you during exams, or if it rings or sounds an alarm.
Paper, including blank paperYesNo
Pencil casesYesNo
Stationery: pens, grey lead pencils (HB preferred), highlighters, eraser, sharpener, ruler.YesYes
USB devicesNoNo
Watches (analogue)You can wear your analogue watch into your exam but you must remove it from your wrist before the start of the exam and place it on your desk.
Watches (digital and smart watch)You can wear your smart watch or digital watch to your exam but you must switch it off (including the alarm) and place it in your bag under your desk. You could face an on-the-spot fine if you're found to have one of these on you during exams, or if it rings or sounds an alarm.
Whiteout (correction tape)You can bring whiteout into your exam but you must not use it for multiple choice. For any other materials (such as a scriptbook), we recommend crossing out the answer neatly and re-writing it.

Entry to the venue

We recommend you arrive at your exam venue at least 20 minutes early. At many venues, the supervisors will let you into the exam room around 10 minutes before the start time, so you can find your allocated seat, put your student ID card out and secure your belongings underneath your desk.

If you forget your seat number, each exam venue has a seat number list where staff can assist you once the venue is open.

If you're sitting an online exam, you can set up and login, ready to start your exam.

Arriving late

If you arrive late, please see the supervisor at the head desk. If you arrive more than one hour late, we may not permit you to enter except under exceptional circumstances.

During your exam

Exam reading time

From semester two 2019, exams will no longer have a separate reading or reading and noting time. It's incorporated into the overall exam time. It's always a good idea to read through your exam instructions and questions before you start answering, but you can start answering straight away.

General exam rules

Do not communicate in any way with other students. Don't draw attention to yourself by looking around the room or at other students. The supervisors won't allow you to leave:

  • until one hour after the exam has started
  • during the last 10 minutes.

If you enter an exam on the wrong day or at the wrong time, you need to remain there for one hour after the exam starts. You won't get extra time if you turn up at the wrong time or place.

If you need to go to the toilet, raise your hand in the air. Stay in your seat until you get permission from a supervisor.

If you're sitting a paper-based exam, your handwriting must be legible. Number all answers and complete cover pages during the time allowed for writing.

In an online exam, your work is autosaved every 30 seconds and your exam will be automatically saved and submitted at the scheduled end time.

Do and dont's for exam success

Please watch this video for Dos and don’ts for exam success.

At the end of the exam

The supervisors will give a warning ten minutes before the end of the exam. They will also announce when your exam has ended. You must stop writing when instructed to do so. If you continue to write, you may be reported to your faculty and face disciplinary procedures. Stay in your seat until the supervisor announces you can leave the exam room.

You must not keep any exam materials or remove them from the room.