Exam rules

Before the exam

Check with your lecturer if the exam is open book or closed, and which items you are permitted to bring into the exam.

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

Authorised items

You may be allowed to bring specific items to your exam, but check beforehand. These usually include:

  • your student ID card
  • standard stationary: pens and grey lead pencils (HB pencils are preferred for scanning readability), eraser, sharpener and ruler
  • pencil cases in open book exams only
  • personal items in a closed bag that can be placed under your desk.

Unauthorised material

Depending on the type of exam, there are items that you're not allowed to use.

Closed book Open book
  • books
  • notes
  • any paper (including blank paper)
  • pencil cases
  • calculators
  • electronic devices (includes mobile phones, smart watches, digital watches, electronic dictionaries)
  • other items
  • calculators
  • electronic devices (includes mobile phones, smart watches, digital watches, electronic dictionaries)
  • other items


Only some types of calculators may be permitted. You're responsible for checking for any restrictions with your faculty. The following faculties may restrict the type of calculators authorised for use:

  • Business and Economics
  • Engineering
  • Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Science.

Refer to your unit outline to check:

  • if any calculator restrictions apply
  • where and when to get a security sticker to identify an authorised calculator.

Exam clashes

You will usually:

  • sit two exams on the same day
  • have to stay in the venue under supervision during the break
  • be allowed to study during the break between exams (excludes use of all electronic devices)
  • not be allowed to use a mobile phone.

At the exam venue

Unauthorised material

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 discipline offence.

Mobile phones and smart watches

If bringing in a mobile phone, smart watch or digital watch, you must switch these devices off (including the alarm) and place them in your bag under the desk.

You could face an on-the-spot fine if you are found to have one of these on you during exams, or if it rings or sounds an alarm.


You must remove your watch from your wrist before the start of the exam and place it on your desk. Smart watches and digital watches are treated the same as mobile phones, see above. Please be aware, there are clocks in every exam room.

Food and drink

We prefer that you don't bring food or drink into the exam as it could disrupt others. Water is provided at all exam venues.

However, if necessary, you can bring a snack and a drink, at the discretion of the exam supervisors. You can bring any type of water bottle. Do not bring food that has a strong smell or is noisy to consume. Everything must be put on your desk to be inspected.

Entry to the exam

Supervisors will let you into the exam room a few minutes before the exam starting time. Go directly to your pre-allocated seat (see venues and allocated seating) and put your student ID card on your desk.

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.

Exam reading time

Once all students are seated, you'll be given your exam paper. Some venues may have your exam paper on your table. Make sure you get the right exam paper.

Follow all instructions given by the supervisor in charge of the venue. All Monash University exams have a standard, either:

  • a 10-minute reading/settling period
  • a 30-minute reading and noting time.

During the exam

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 10 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.

If you need to go to the rest room, raise your hand in the air. Stay in your seat until you get permission from a supervisor.

Your handwriting must be legible. Number all answers and complete cover pages during the time allowed for writing.

Dos and don'ts for exam success

At the end of the exam

The supervisors will give a warning ten minutes before the end of the exam. After this time, they will give an instruction to stop writing. You must stay in your seat until all papers are collected then the supervisor will give you permission to leave.

You must not keep any exam paper content or remove exam papers or script books from the exam venue.

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