Easy guide to exam conduct

We want your exam to go as smoothly as possible, so read through this guide to ensure you know what the rules are and what is expected of you. If your examinations/assessments are to be taken online, you should read our additional guidance for taking online examinations and assessments. For in-person examinations, we recommend you do the following:

Be organised before your exams

  • Check where your exam venue is in advance: your exam venue may be in a building that you are not familiar with.
  • Remove any annotations, notes, paper, or post-it notes from texts: check your dictionaries, statute books or other permitted texts to ensure that they are clean. If you have more than one copy, only take the clean copy to the exam. 
  • If you are permitted to take a calculator into your exam, delete any stored items. Check with your school or department, whether you are allowed a calculator in the exam. 
  • Put permitted stationery in a transparent pencil case: Pens, pencils and other permitted stationery items need to be in a transparent pencil case or clear plastic bag. Remove any correction tape/fluid (e.g. tippex) and notes from your pencil case as you cannot take these into an exam.
  • Dress appropriately for the exam: some venues may feel warm and others may feel cooler, so consider wearing layers of clothing as you will not be allowed to wear a coat, jacket or scarf in the exam.
  • Wear a simple (non-smart) wristwatch: if you think you may have problems seeing the clocks in the examination hall wear a wristwatch, as you won’t be allowed to use your mobile phone to check the time.
  • Arrive at the exam venue early - give yourself time to sort out your belongings and go to the toilet before you go into the exam venue.
  • Listen to the Invigilator’s announcements before you go into the exam venue – they are there to remind and help you.

In the exam venue, before the exam starts

  • Put your belongings in the designated area: This includes any scarfs, hats, caps, coats or jackets. You are not allowed to keep your coat or jacket on the back of your chair.
  • Make sure any phones or smart watches are completely switched off (not just on 'Airplane mode', 'Flight mode' or 'Do Not Disturb' mode) and place them under your desk or in a designated area: We would recommend that you do not take valuables such as a phone, smart watch, purse or wallet to the exam but if you do they must be stored correctly. The exception to this being that you will need your mobile phone for any computer-based examinations.
  • Make sure that your hands/arms are clean and have no writing on them: if you have writing on your person, you MUST tell the Invigilator before the exam starts. Do not write on yourself during the exam. 
  • Check your pockets: make sure you do not have any not permitted items, such as revision notes, papers, your phone, or any device that access or store information. If you do have something in your pockets that is not permitted or you are unsure about, you must tell the Invigilator before the exam starts.
  • Listen carefully to the Invigilator’s instructions.

During the exam

  • Raise your hand if there is a problem during the exam (for example, you cannot see the clock): the Invigilator will come to speak to you and support you with any issues. 
  • Inform the Invigilator if you realise you have something on you that should not be permitted: you will usually be able to continue the exam but they may ask you some questions.
  • Speak to the Invigilator if you are concerned about another student’s behaviour in the exam.
  • Listen carefully to any further instructions given by the invigilators, such as those related to time-remaining and then end of the examination.

Further Information

For further advice on what you can and cannot take into an exam please visit the ‘Exam rules and regulations' intranet page. 

For further advice on rules for online examinations and assessments, please visit the 'Guidance for online examinations and assessments' intranet page. 


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