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Examinations: Guidance for students

1.    Introduction

1.1 This document sets out guidance for students with regards to examinations.

2.    Purpose

2.1 The document applies to students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes of study.

3.    Scope

3.1 This document refers to all formal examinations which take place as part of a student’s programme of study. 

3.2 The document sets out the practical arrangements for students’ participation in and conduct during examinations, including arrangements for what students can or cannot take into examinations.

4.    Guidance


4.1 If you have not fulfilled the Work and Attendance regulations prescribed for your programme of study, and you have been formally notified of this, you will not be allowed to sit University examinations.

4.2 If you are re-sitting an examination you must pay the appropriate re-examination fee.

4.3. You should arrive at the examination room in good time for the start of the examination; at least 15 minutes beforehand is recommended. If you arrive late, you will be admitted up to 30 minutes after the pre-scheduled timed start, but you will not be given any extra time. If you are more than 30 minutes late you will not be admitted, and you should then report immediately to your School.

4.4 If you are absent from an examination without a valid excuse, you will be deemed to have failed that examination. Misreading the timetable is not a valid excuse.

4.5 If you have been given a particular seat number for an examination you must sit in the seat that has been assigned to you, unless an invigilator tells you to move to another seat. Seat numbers are given on your individual student examination timetable.

What to bring to Examinations

4.6 You must bring your University Registration Card and leave it visible for inspection on your desk for the duration of the examination.

4.7 Since different people are comfortable in different room temperatures, you may find it advisable to wear extra warm clothing when attending January examinations.

4.8 The University takes no responsibility for the loss of students' belongings from examination rooms. You are therefore strongly advised to take with you into the examination room only those items you need to complete the examination (pens, ruler, etc). If you need to keep your pens and pencils together at the examination desk, they must be in a transparent pencil case or small transparent plastic bag. Any personal property that you do choose to bring into an examination room (coats, bags, other valuables etc.) must be left in a designated area (usually at the front or back of the room).

4.9 As a general rule you are not allowed to bring food or drink into an examination room, except for a small packet of sweets (or similar) and a small bottle of water or other soft drink.

What not to bring to Examinations

Electronic Equipment

4.10 Electronic calculators are permitted to be taken into examinations. However, calculators with facilities for storing and retrieving text are not permitted. The University's full policy on the use of calculators in examinations is available online and should be on display outside all examination rooms. Electronic organizers, PDAs, portable or palm-top computers and similar devices are not permitted. It is your responsibility to consult the full policy on calculator use and know and observe what it says.

4.11 Electronic devices such as NetBooks, MP3 or iPods must not be taken into the examination room. If you are found in possession of any unauthorized equipment, whether or not you intended to use it, it will be confiscated by invigilators. You will be subject to disciplinary action and will normally find that, as a minimum penalty, your examination paper will be cancelled (that is, given a mark of zero). More severe penalties are available, depending on the circumstances of individual cases.

4.12 Mobile phones, watches, spectacles with google glass technology and any other portable or wearable technology:  when you take your seat in the exam room, if you still have any device on your person, the invigilator will instruct you to place your phone, your watch, activity tracker or any other wearable or portable device that can access, store, retrieve data of any nature in the clear plastic bag provided, seal it and place it under your seat.  If you are found in possession of any wearable or portable technology during the exam you will be subject to disciplinary action.

4.13 The University has a specific policy on the use of dictionaries in examinations. It is available online and is on display outside all examination rooms. It is your responsibility to consult this policy and know and observe what it says.

Other non authorised materials

4.14 It is a serious offence to take to your examination desk any books, notes, blank paper, other materials or aids that have not been specifically authorized for use in that examination. If you are found in possession of any unauthorized material, whether or not you intended to use it, you will be subject to disciplinary action and will normally find that, as a minimum penalty, your examination paper will be cancelled (that is, given a mark of zero). More severe penalties are available, depending on the circumstances of individual cases.

4.15  Ensure that your hands and person are clean of any writing or symbols.  If you are found with any writing or symbols on your hands or person, you will be subject to disciplinary action.


4.16 It is an offence: to copy from the work of another candidate, or allow copying from your own work; to obtain assistance from another candidate, or provide assistance to them, by whatever means; and to impersonate another candidate, or allow yourself to be impersonated.

Conduct during Examinations

4.17 You must write your registration number (the 7 or 8 figure number on the front of your Registration Card) on every examination answer-book you use. Remember to fill in all the other information asked for.

4.18 You must write all your answers legibly. If your work is deemed illegible by the examiners you will normally be required to pay for it to be converted to typescript. You must write in blue or black ink. Pencil is not allowed, except for graphs and diagrams.

4.19 Examinations are marked anonymously. At the end of the examination make sure you fold over and seal the gummed edge of the panel on the top corner of each of your answer-books, before they are collected from you.

4.20 You must write only in the examination answer-books provided (including any rough work). Do not tear pages out of answer books. Any work that you do not wish to submit for marking must be clearly crossed out, but must not be removed from the answer book. You must not remove answer books (used or unused) from examination rooms. Any other materials that have been provided for the examination must not be removed. Students found doing any of these things will be subject to disciplinary action. Question papers may be taken away unless you are specifically told verbally or in writing not to do so.

4.21 You must maintain silence throughout the time you are in the examination room. You must not cause any kind of disturbance or distraction, or attempt to communicate with other candidates, by any means.

4.22 You must remain seated at all times. You must raise your hand to summon the attention of an invigilator for whatever purpose. If you wish to leave the examination room temporarily you may only do so if accompanied by an invigilator. If you wish to leave the examination before the allotted finishing time you must remain seated and raise your hand: an invigilator will come to collect your answer book, after which you may leave, silently. You are not permitted to leave during the first 30 minutes or the last 15 minutes of the examination. At the end of the examination you must stop writing immediately you are told to do so and remain seated and silent until all answer books have been collected.

4.23. If a fire alarm should sound during an examination, follow the instructions given by the invigilator. These will be the standard procedures for evacuating the building. You should leave the room in an orderly way, without talking and without taking anything from your desk, or from the room. Leave the building and assemble in the designated area. You must not leave this designated area. You should return to the examination room immediately when you are instructed to do so. Candidates who are still absent once the examination has re-started will not be re-admitted. As a general rule, examinations will not re-start after an interruption if more than three-quarters of the examination time has already elapsed.

And finally

4.24. If you are at an examination and you realise that you have failed to comply with any of these rules, or have any questions, you should contact an invigilator immediately. Students failing to do this, when knowingly breaking examination regulations, may face disciplinary action.

5.    Supporting documents

The Assessment Framework contains other relevant guidance to students relating to examination practice, including the Policy on Examinations, Guidance on the use of calculators and Guidance on the use of dictionaries.


Updated and approved, November 2015