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Supervised in-person exams

Calculator and linguistic dictionary approval

If you are allowed to bring a non-programmable calculator or a linguistic dictionary into your exam, you will need to have it approved at the Student Centre first. Visit our page about approvable calculators and dictionaries for more information.

There are certain rules and regulations governing exams to make sure every student is assessed on a fair and equal basis. It is important for you to become familiar with these instructions before you sit your exam.

On the day, arrive early to ensure that you have enough time to find your exam room and confirm your seat number. You will be allowed to enter the exam room 15 minutes before the start of the exam.

Do not bring unnecessary valuable items to your exam. You will be asked to leave your bag in the designated bag area. If you choose to leave your phone in your bag, make sure it is switched off.

What to bring and permitted materials

Photo identification

You will need to bring one form of valid photo identification to your exam, which includes your full name. We will accept:

  • a University of Sydney student card
  • a passport (Australian or international)
  • an Australian driver license
  • an Australian photo card.

We are not able to accept identification that has expired. You may use a digital Government-issued ID stored on your phone if you do not have any of the physical IDs mentioned above. A picture or PDF version of a digital ID, or photocopies or photos of your identification will not be accepted.

In the exam room

Details of any extra materials you're allowed in the exam, such as a textbook, a calculator or a language dictionary will be listed in your end of semester exam timetable. Make sure you understand how calculators are managed by reading through our information about calculator approval.

As well as the materials permitted by the examiner, you may also bring the following items into the exam room:

  • your student card, keep it visible on your table throughout the exam
  • stationery such as pens, pencils and eraser
  • small items of food, such as sweets or mints
  • a bottle of water in a clear container.

The following items need to be stored under your desk or seat during the exam:

  • purse or wallet
  • mobile phone, switched off
  • watches
  • hat.

You are not permitted to bring the following items into the exam:

  • earplugs, we will supply you with a pair if required
  • pencil case
  • a recording or scanning device or implement.

Anonymous marking

It's important that you enter the correct Student ID number, seat number and venue on your answer materials, as formal and replacement exams are marked anonymously.

This means that answer materials marked by your examiner (eg. exam papers, answer books, graph answer sheets) won't include your name. The only items that will include your name are the attendance form, and any multiple choice answers that will be marked by a computer.

Rules and regulations

  • You cannot leave the room in the first 30 minutes of your exam (including reading time).
  • You will not be admitted to the exam more than 30 minutes after your exam has commenced.
  • Your room supervisor will tell you when you can start writing, and when you have 10 minutes remaining before pens must be put down.
  • If you need to use the toilet, quietly notify the supervisor by raising your hand. You should not take any of your belongings to the toilet.
  • You cannot leave the exam during the last 10 minutes.
  • If you wish to leave before the last 10 minutes of the exam, quietly notify the supervisor by raising your hand.
  • At the conclusion of the exam, you need to remain in your seat until exam materials are collected and counted and you have been given permission to leave the exam room.
  • You cannot leave the exam room with any confidential papers, including the exam paper, answer book, graph paper, drawing paper or any other materials.
  • Be respectful of your peers and remain quiet before, after and during the exam.

Student misconduct

The University takes any attempt to gain an unfair advantage over other students very seriously.

If you bring any unauthorised aids or materials into the exam room, you risk confiscation of these items which would then be subject to a report. This may lead to misconduct proceedings under the University of Sydney (Student Discipline) Rule 2016. If misconduct is proven, a range of penalties may apply, including failure in the unit of study or exclusion from the University.

Watches (both analogue and digital) and electronic devices are not permitted in exams, with the exception of approved calculators.


If you have left something in an exam room, first return to check if the item is still there. Exam supervisors will forward any valuable items to the Services Building (this can take up to 24 hours).

We will contact you where an item can be identified as yours. You can also register your lost items.

Exam tips

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Student Centre



1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864)
or +61 2 8627 1444 (outside Australia)

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Last updated: 22 March 2024

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