Guidance for on-campus exams

On-campus exams may be traditional 'pen and paper' exams in an exam room, or they may be an online exam taken in a computer cluster. Your exam timetable will specify what type of exam it is.

Before the exam

  • Make sure you know which room you are in, as this may be different from other students taking the same exam (some larger exams are split across multiple rooms).
  • Read the University exam rules and regulations.
  • You will be allowed into the exam room at least 10 minutes before the exam start time (larger rooms may allow more time). If you’re late you will not get any additional time. If you arrive more than 30 minutes after the official start time, you will not be allowed to sit the exam. In this case you should contact your School support office as soon as possible.

What you can / cannot bring into exams

  • Make sure you have essential items for completing the exam (e.g. pens, pencils and other permitted writing / drawing tools, and a calculator if allowed). Extras will not be provided.
  • You may bring water in a clear bottle, but no other food or drink.
  • You may use a pencil case if it is completely transparent.
  • For open book exams, your lecturer will let you know which books or materials you are allowed to use during the exam.
  • Try not to bring valuables – you will have to leave personal belongings in a designated area away from your desk.
  • You may not bring in any blank paper, including graph paper. You will be given as many answer books as you need to write notes, calculations and answers during the exam.
  • If the exam is closed book, you may not bring any books or study notes. This includes writing or symbols on your body or clothing.
  • You may not wear any headwear (except for religious reasons) or earphones / earplugs.
  • You may not bring to the desk any electronic device that holds or transmits data. Phones, tablets, laptops and other devices must be turned off and left in your bag.

During the exam

At the start of every in-person exam, an invigilator will read aloud the University’s “standard announcements”. These explain what will happen during the exam and the rules you must follow – you can see them below.

  • Please enter the exam room in silence.
  • Please make sure all phones and devices are fully switched off, including any alarm functions.
  • Remove any revision notes or other items from your pockets and place with your personal belongings. Put your coats, bags, books, notes and any other unauthorised materials in [designated area] before you go to your seat.  You must carry your student ID card, pens, and pencils to your desk in your hands.
  • University authorised calculators are only allowed when stated in the exam paper rubric
  • You must sit in the seat number allocated to you.
  • If you still have any coats, bags, notes, books or any other unauthorised materials at your desk, please remove them to [designated area] now.
  • Complete the front cover of your answer book.
  • Do not write anything else on your answer book yet other than the front cover details.
  • Complete both side of the attendance slip and leave it on the corner of your desk with your ID card.
  • If you have any questions, either now or during the exam, raise your hand and an invigilator will come to you.
  • Check again your pockets and remove all items remaining there. Raise your hand now if you have anything on or around your desk that should not be there. 

For online Blackboard exams:

  • Click the button to login and enter your details, once in Blackboard navigate to your course and locate the exam. Please raise your hand if you have any problems. 
  • Remember to save your answers as you go. You can change and re-save your answers at any time. If your computer has any problems, any unsaved answers may be lost permanently.
  • In the case of technical problems we may have to move you to another PC and if you experience repeated problems we may have to revert you to paper. Please be aware you will not be moved PCs more than twice.
  • We will now show you the exam entry password. You should enter the password in the box and start the exam as soon as possible. The exam has then started and will continue until you are told to stop working.
  • In the event of a fire alarm, please leave the room immediately, without talking and without taking anything from your desk. Leave by [designated exits] and assemble in [designated fire assembly area].
  • Your student ID card must be placed clearly visible on the top right-hand corner of your desk, and remain there throughout the examination.
  • If you have forgotten your card, and you do not know your student ID number, then tell the invigilator when your attendance slip is collected. You will be given your number later during the exam.
  • Read the instructions on the front of the answer book carefully and ensure you follow them. 
  • Do not tear or remove pages from answer books.
  • You must do all rough work in the answer booklet. Do not bring or use scrap paper for rough work.
  • You must not talk to other candidates during the exam.
  • Calculators with a full set of alphabet keys are not allowed. If you have a calculator on your desk it will be checked during the exam.  Remove any calculator lids and place in the plastic bag.
  • If you have a pencil case that is NOT transparent and all items can be seen, then you must take out what you need and place the pencil case on the floor under your chair.
  • In the plastic bag on your desk you should put any devices that store or access data (such as phones or smart watches), if you still have them. They should be switched off. You should also place in the bag any other items you may have in your pockets – you should have nothing in your pockets during the exam. Once you have sealed the bag, place it under your chair. You are NOT permitted to open the bag at any point during the examination.
  • For exams of more than one hour: You must not leave the examination room in the first 30 minutes or the last 15 minutes of the exam. Or for exams of less than one hour: You are not allowed to leave the exam room until the end of the exam.
  • The time is now [time].  The exam lasts [exam duration].  You may now start.

Disability Advisory and Support Service additional announcements:

  • As there are different exams with different end times in the room, you will be given an individual time check 15 minutes before your exam ends.
  • For those with timed rest breaks, raise your hand clearly to request a rest break and then again when you wish to return to your desk.  Rest breaks are required to be taken away from your desk or working area.
  • After each rest break, a revised exam end time will be noted on your desk and whiteboard.
  • You have 15 minutes left.
  • From now until the end of the exam, no candidates are allowed to leave the examination room.
  • If applicable: Transfer any answers to multiple choice question sheets if you have not already done so.
  • Please stop working now.
  • For online Blackboard exams: Please press ‘save and submit’ to finish the exam. Do not log out – a member of staff will do this for you.
  • Candidates are not allowed to remove any papers from the exam room.
  • If you have any problems please raise your hand.
  • Please ensure you have written your student ID and seat number on any additional paper you may have used and this will be collected.
  • Fold over and seal the gummed edge on the top corner of each answer book you used, before they are collected. Make sure they are securely sealed.
  • No candidate is allowed to remove an answer book from the examination room.
  • An invigilator will now collect your script. Please remain seated and silent until all the scripts have been collected.
  • Don't forget to take your ID card and collect all your belongings from [designated area].
  • You may now leave the exam room.

Technical support for online exams

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