This page outlines what we expect of students during an exam. It is also your responsibility to read and comply with the Examinations Procedures.

Taking materials into the exam room



  • water in a clear plastic bottle with the label removed
  • permitted exam materials
  • disposable ear plugs
  • your wallet (for safekeeping), as long as it is placed on the floor under your chair for the duration of the exam
  • your mobile phone (for safekeeping), as long as it is switched off and placed on the floor under your chair for the duration of the exam.


  • laptops
  • personal belongings
  • headphones
  • electronic devices (including smartwatches and electronic dictionaries)
  • calculator instruction manuals
  • food
  • valuables. 

Do not bring valuables to an examination. Any bags, handbags, briefcases, laptops etc. must be left outside the examination room at your own risk.

How do I know what exam materials are permitted?

Before an exam, we advise you to:

  • check each electronic course profile for advice about permitted materials (e.g. calculators, notes, dictionaries, pencil types etc.)
  • talk to your lecturer or course coordinator about approved materials
  • have your calculator checked and labelled at a Student Centre
  • contact your school or faculty for advice about calculator or dictionary policies.

During the examination, the front cover of the exam paper will state what materials you are authorised to use.

All material brought into the exam room will be checked by an examination supervisor to confirm that it is permitted.

Material or equipment brought into the examination room that is not on the list of permitted materials may be treated as unauthorised material. This material will be confiscated and may result in a charge of student misconduct.

Student ID cards

You must display your student ID card for the duration of an exam.

If you don't have your student ID card, you will be refused entry into the examination room.

Failure to present your student ID at an exam is a breach of section 5.3.4 of the Examinations Procedures.

If you don't have your student ID, you must have your identity confirmed at a Student Centre in order to gain entry to an exam room.

Staff at the Student Centre will issue you with a certified document that you can use in place of a student ID card.

You will not be provided with extra time to complete your exam if you have to visit a Student Centre because you do not have your current student ID card with you.

If you are a cross-institutional student, you must also obtain a UQ student ID card and present it at examinations.

If you are an external student, we advise you to obtain a student ID card. If, at any point, you choose to sit an examination on campus, you will be expected to present your current UQ student ID.

Mobile phones and electronic devices

We strongly discourage students from bringing valuable items to an examination. All electronic devices (e.g. laptops, iPads, smartwatches) must be left outside the examination room at your own risk.

You may bring your mobile phone into the exam room for safekeeping, as long as it is switched off and placed on the floor under your chair for the duration of the exam.

You must not have a mobile phone or electronic device on your person or in your pocket at any time during an examination.

Being in possession of a mobile phone (unless it is under your chair) may result in a charge of student misconduct.

Mobile phones and electronic devices must be completely switched off in and around exam venues. Please do not set your phone to silent mode – switch it off.

Any phone or electronic device that is found switched on or that rings during an exam will be confiscated for the duration of the examination and may result in a charge of student misconduct.

Exam invigilators are authorised to use equipment that detects the use of electronic devices.


You will not be permitted to wear a watch during an examination. Watches must be placed on the corner of your desk for the duration of the examination.

Smartwatches (e.g. Apple Watch) and wearable technologies (e.g. Fitbits) are treated as electronic devices.

Written or printed materials

Written or printed materials may include dictionaries, texts, notes, or annotations. These materials may or may not be allowed, depending on whether they are authorised for use during a particular exam.

Check with your course coordinator or school for advice about what written or printed materials you are permitted to bring for each exam.

If you are permitted to bring in a single A4 page of notes, please note that your course coordinator is required to specify how much material should reasonably fit on a page.

If you attempt to use unfair techniques to gain an advantage (e.g. shrinking and scanning / photocopying a page to fit additional text), you may be prohibited from bringing the page into the exam room.

Written material may be collected from students at the end of the examination and sent to the course coordinator for scrutiny.


Where permitted, calculators can be used in examinations.

The approved calculator for all courses is the Casio FX-82 (any model). 

Other calculators can be used during an exam, but they must have an official 'Approved' sticker. See the Approved Calculators page for more information.

Arriving at an exam venue

Students must allow for enough time to travel to an exam venue and must take traffic conditions into account (e.g. peak hour traffic). All reasonable attempts must be made to plan transport in a way that avoids or minimises travel delays.

On the day of your exam you should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your exam's scheduled start time. If your exam is at the UQ Centre you should plan to arrive 30 minutes before your exam begins.

When you have arrived at your examination venue, you should have your student ID card in hand, ready to present at the door.

For advice about finding an examination venue, see the Exam Timetables and Venues page.

Once you enter the examination room you should proceed directly to your seat in silence and follow any instructions given by an examination supervisor.

Do not commence writing, or begin to complete any forms until you are instructed to do so.

What if I arrive late to an exam?

Arriving within the first 60 minutes of an examination.
Late students are permitted to enter an exam room until 60 minutes (one hour) of the exam has passed (e.g. if an exam starts at 8am, we will allow entry until 9am).

Arriving after the first 60 minutes of an examination.
Late students who arrive more than 60 minutes (one hour) after the start of an exam will not be permitted to enter the exam room (e.g. if an exam starts at 8am and you arrive at 9.05am, you will not be allowed to enter the exam room).

If you are late because of exceptional circumstances beyond your control (e.g. a major public transport delay), you may be eligible for a deferred exam.

What if I become sick during an exam?

Illness during an exam is not considered an acceptable reason to leave an exam mid-way and then apply for a deferred exam.

However, medical conditions that suddenly present themselves during an exam (e.g. an epileptic seizure) are considered exceptional circumstances.

See the Deferring an Exam page for more information.

Leaving the exam room

If you leave an exam room without remaining under supervision, you will not be allowed to re-enter the examination room.

If you want to temporarily leave an exam room (e.g. for a toilet break), please raise your hand and wait for a supervisor.

If you complete your exam early (i.e. more than 30 minutes before the scheduled finish time) and you want to leave the exam room, please raise your hand and remain seated until a supervisor has collected your examination materials.

Please note that you are not be allowed to leave an exam room during the first 60 minutes of an exam.

When you leave an exam room, you must be as quiet as possible and avoid disturbing other students.

This extends to any conversations you have immediately outside the exam room – please move away from the building quickly if you want to have discussions or meet with your friends.

Please be aware of other students who are sitting exams in adjacent rooms or nearby venues. Your conduct, at all times, must comply with the expectations of the Student Charter.

You will not be permitted to leave the examination room during the last 30 minutes of the exam, except in the case of emergency or illness.

If the duration of your exam is 60 minutes or less, you will not be allowed to leave the exam room early – even if you have finished your exam. This is to ensure that students who are running late do not have an unfair advantage (i.e. if a late student were to arrive at a venue where students had already finished their exam, they might hear information about the exam.)

Finishing an exam

If your exam is longer than 60 minutes, you will be given a 30-minute and 10-minute warning before the end of the exam.

Exams that are 60 minutes or less will be given a 10-minute warning before the end of the exam.

You must ensure your name and student number are on all your exam papers, answer booklets and multiple-choice answer sheets before an exam ends.

We cannot identify or mark your exam if your name and student number are not on your exam papers.

If you are required to fill out any additional details (e.g. the number of answer booklets you used), you must ensure these details are completed before the exam ends.

When your exam has concluded, place any exam papers or question sheets inside the answer booklet. You will be given precise instructions on the day by the exam supervisors.

You must remain quietly seated – and no one is allowed to leave – while papers are collected and counted.

Examination papers and answer booklets are the property of the University and are not to be removed from the examination room.

Exam preparation help

Student Services holds exam workshops for students who want to learn how to prepare effectively, handle stress and avoid common mistakes.