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What rules apply for online exams?

What to bring and permitted materials

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 and your Canvas exam or test site. If you’re exam is supervised through ProctorU, approved materials will be checked by your proctor before the exam begins.

You can have water in the exam as long as it’s in a clear glass/bottle.

Otherwise you are only allowed materials that have been specified by your unit of study coordinator.

Calculators and linguistic dictionaries

Your unit of study coordinator will let you know if you’re allowed a calculator or dictionary in your exam.

Students from a non-English speaking background can use a standard linguistic dictionary in examinations. You will need to contact your unit of study coordinator.

Language translation plugins are not allowed for any online test or exam. Check that any language translation plugins in your browser are disabled before you start.

If you have been allowed to have a language dictionary in your exam, this cannot be a dictionary that:

  • contains images of any kind. This includes dictionaries that have had pages with images torn out.
  • is electronic
  • contains notes
  • is a standard English-to-English dictionary
  • is a textbook-style dictionary, such as an accounting dictionary
  • is a textbook of any kind.

Additional rules for ProctorU supervised exams

Student card or government-issued ID required

Before your exam starts, you will need to show one form of valid photo identification which includes your full name. We will accept:

  • a University of Sydney student card
  • a passport (Australian or international)
  • an Australian driver’s license
  • an Australian photo card
  • Government Issued ID (only applicable for remote students)

You may use a digital Government-issued ID stored on your phone if you do not have any of the physical IDs mentioned above. Please note, a picture or PDF version of a digital ID is not acceptable. To do this:

  • let your Proctor know that you will be using a Digital ID (Type A exams only)
  • show the digital ID as you would with an ID card, ensuring that the name and photo are clearly visible in the ProctorU screen
  • get off your seat and place the phone away from your desk while in the camera view
  • return back to your seat to continue with your exam

We will accept your identification if it has expired. Photocopies or photos of your identification will not be accepted.

When proceeding through identity checks, students who wear full-face veils are welcome to request a live proctor of a specific gender. Please use the 'chat now' button to do so.

If you do not have one valid form of photo identification as listed above, you will need to find one before your exam starts. If you are struggling to obtain valid photo identification before your exam, you need to submit an enquiry explaining your situation so the Exams Office can work with you to find a suitable solution. You cannot sit your proctored exam without showing valid photo identification.

Communication devices and headphones

You are not allowed to communicate with anyone else during an online test or exam. This means during a proctored test or exam, communication devices such as mobile and smartphones are not permitted in your exam environment (on your desk, or on your person).

Because headphones are often enabled for communication purposes, you are also not allowed to wear headphones.

If you are observed wearing headphones or any kind of earpiece that can be used for communication purposes, regardless of whether you are using it for this purpose, this will most likely be seen as an example of exam cheating and a breach of academic honesty.

Student Centre



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

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Last updated: 18 October 2022

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