Exam rules (paper-based)

These rules apply only to paper-based exams. For rules applying to eExams, see eExam 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 ID card (M-Pass)

To confirm your identity, you need to bring your student ID card (M-Pass) to every exam.

If you've lost your ID card or don't have one, you can bring your passport or Australian driver's licence instead. If you don't bring an approved form of photo ID to your exams, you could be fined or reported to your faculty, 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 exams

Open-book exams allow you to take any 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.

Closed-book exams

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.

Specific 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 cover page if they apply. So for example, normally you’re not allowed to bring in a calculator, however, if your lecturer specifically requests you bring a calculator, then you're permitted to use one during your exam.

This table outlines what you're allowed to have in open-book 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.

Items you're allowed to take into open book and closed book exams.
Item Open-book exams Closed-book exams
Bag You 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.
Books Yes No
Calculators Under normal circumstances, calculators are not permitted in the exam room unless your lecturer advises you to bring 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.
Cap You 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.
Clock There are clocks in every exam venue so you do not need to bring a clock.
Dictionaries (hard copy) Yes No
Dictionaries (electronic) No No
Food and drink We 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 phones You 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.
Notes Yes No
Paper, including blank paper Yes No
Pencil cases Yes No
Stationery: pens, grey lead pencils (HB preferred), highlighters, eraser, sharpener, ruler. Yes Yes
USB devices No No
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 15 to 20 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.

We don't delay start times as a result of construction works announced in advance on train or tram lines. We may however, delay an exam if a major unplanned transport disruption occurs such as a major road accident on the Monash freeway. See parking and travel during exams to plan your travel ahead of time.

During your exam

Exam reading time

The reading time (or reading and noting time) is 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 ten 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
  • need to go to the toilet, raise your hand in the air. Stay in your seat until you get permission from a supervisor
  • are sitting a paper-based exam, your handwriting must be legible. Number all answers and complete cover pages during the time allowed for writing
  • are sitting an online exam, your work is autosaved every 30 seconds and your exam will be automatically saved and submitted at the scheduled end time.

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.

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