Sitting your examinations | University of Oxford
Sitting your examination
Walking to exams
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Sitting your examinations

Information relating to the Coronavirus pandemic:

For the most up-to-date advice and guidance relating to Examinations and Assessments, please refer to the dedicate 'Advice and support for students' webpage at

The information provided below provides a summary of key regulations applicable to all exams. It is your responsibility to read and adhere to the Examination Regulations.

Taking items into an exam


  • University ID card
  • Stationery, ideally in a clear plastic bag/pencil case
  • Sub fusc; and academic gown and mortarboard


  • Non-carbonated water in a clear, spill-proof bottle (sports/valve cap)
  • Calculator (if permitted for the exam paper)
  • Watch and wallet (subject to inspection by invigilator)
  • Individual timetable (subject to inspection by invigilator)
  • In-ear ear plugs

Permitted, with a signed letter from the college

  • Silent blood testing kits for diabetic students
  • Glucose drink (eg Lucozade)
  • Glucose tablets (eg Dextro energy tablets)
  • Insulin syringes/supplies
  • Asthma inhalers
  • Epi-pen
  • Over-the-counter and/or prescription medicine
  • Small unobtrusive snack (please note nuts may not be taken into the exam)
  • Medical aids (eg wrist splint/support, back support pillow, ice pack)
  • Coloured overlays


  • Unauthorised material (including revision notes) or equipment relevant to the exam
  • Good luck charms and items
  • Coats and bags (these should left in the designated holding area)
  • Screw-cap bottles/non-clear bottles/fizzy water (except with prior approval)
  • Mobile phones/MP3 players/cameras and similar electronic devices
  • Smart watches

Do not bring valuable items to the Examination Schools. Items which are not permitted in the exam will have to be left either in the main hall or marquee at your own risk.

Find your candidate number

Your candidate number can be found in Student Self Service and appears on your individual timetable.

Sitting your exam


Do not

Arrive 20 minutes before your examArrive just as your exam is scheduled to start
Read carefully the instructions on the front of your exam paperLeave your exam within the first or last 30 minutes
Write in black or blue inkWrite in pencil
Cross through your rough notesIf you don't cross through your rough notes they may be marked by an examiner
Complete the question numbers you have answered on the front page of the script bookletComplete the examiners column on the front page of the script booklet
Complete your candidate details on the front of our script booklet: candidate number, date, examWrite your name, university ID or Student Self Service number on the front of the script booklet

Exam conduct


Do not

Raise your hand if you have a questionCommunicate with any person during the exam, other than the invigilator
Raise your hand if you suspect there is a mistake on the exam paperAsk if you do not understand a word or phrase on the exam paper, neither examiner nor invigilator is permitted to answer
Raise your hand if you need to leave the room, for example in the case of illnessLeave or re-enter the exam unless permitted by an invigilator
  • You must remain silent in the exam room until all scripts have been collected and you are told to leave the room.
  • After your exam please listen to the instructions from the invigilators.
  • Unruly, disruptive or anti-social behaviour at the end of your exam will be reported to the Proctors and you may be fined.

Fees payable for exams

You may be liable to pay fees for certain exams or for late entry or late alteration of options. Full details of fees are available from the fees and funding page.

Avoiding plagiarism

  • Plagiarism is the copying or paraphrasing of other people's work or ideas into your own work without full acknowledgement.
  • All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition.
  • Intentional plagiarism can carry severe penalties, including failing your degree.
  • Learn how to avoid unintentional plagiarism and see examples of what to avoid at avoiding plagiarism.

Jury service

  • You cannot claim exemption from Jury service.
  • If you are summoned to serve during term-time, and particularly when sitting exams, you should apply to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau for deferral or excusal, as set out in the summons.
  • You should also seek the advice of your college office.

Alternative exam arrangements for religious observances

  • If you wish to uphold religious observances which impact on your ability to sit exams on particular days or times of day speak to your college office as early as possible.
  • An application for scheduling preferences should be submitted as an alternative exam arrangement application via your college office.
  • Scheduling adjustments must be applied for by the end of Week 4 of Michaelmas Term in order for your preferences to be taken into account whilst during the setting of the exam timetable.
  • If it has not been possible to meet your preferences and your exam timetables does clash with your religious observance, you may need to apply for an adjustment to your individual timetable under Part 12 of the Examination Regulations.

Behaviour after exams

The opportunity to celebrate following your final exam is one that has no doubt been well deserved, however you are reminded that you are expected to comply with the University’s Code of Conduct when doing so.

The code clearly outlines the university’s expectations when you are celebrating with your friends immediately after your exams, including:

What you can do:

  • meet your friends (but move away from the building quickly)
  • bring flowers, balloons, or gifts (including bottles for opening later)

What you cannot do:

  • bring any food or fluids with the intention of throwing or spraying them
  • throw anything else (including confetti, glitter) which will cause litter
  • open any alcoholic drinks

What happens if you break the Code:

  • you may be required to identify yourself to a Proctor or other university officer
  • you will be told to leave the area immediately
  • you may be fined a minimum of £80 by the university, the city, or the police
  • or you may be referred to a Proctors' Disciplinary Hearing/the Student Disciplinary Panel (which can impose an unlimited fine, rusticate or expel you)

For more information, visit the Proctors’ Office website.

Mitigating circumstances notices to examiners (MCE) process

If you believe your academic performance has been seriously affected by a medical or personal issue you can submit a mitigating circumstance notice so that the examiners are made aware of the situation.

You are urged to discuss the circumstances you believe have affected your performance with your college, or department for non-matriculated students, in the first instance to determine the best course of action.

Further instructions on what to include in a mitigating circumstance notice to your examiners, timing of notifications, how these are considered by your examiners and complaints procedures can be found in the Guidance Notes.

Before completing full details of your circumstances, you will need to request to start a new notice by providing a very brief reason to your college in Student Self Service.

Mitigating circumstances that may have impacted on your performance in an exam may include:

  • Acute illness
  • Unforeseen circumstances such as a traffic accident or bereavement
  • A disability or long-term health condition that has not been fully mitigated by alternative exam arrangements

Complaints and academic appeals

  • Complaints concerning the conduct of university exams or circumstances that affected the teaching or tutorial support on your course - raise concerns with your senior tutor.
  • If, following such a discussion, you have a complaint about procedures not being correctly followed during an exam, or you have reason to believe that your exam was not conducted fairly, you may make an academic appeal to the Proctors.
  • Please refer to the Complaints and Appeals procedures in the University regulations.
  • If you are a graduate research student you should raise your concerns with your director of graduate studies.

Submitting a notice to your examiners of mitigating circumstances

1. Discuss your circumstances with your college office in the first instance and consult the Examination Regulations.

2. Request to start a notice in Student Self Service giving a brief description for your College Office (or department for non-matriculated students) to review, ie “illness during exam”. This description will be sent to your college in an email please do not include confidential details in this description.

3. Once your College Office (or department for non-matriculated courses) activate a mitigating circumstances notice you will be notified and can complete the notice in full in Student Self Service.

4. It is your responsibility to write a statement explaining how your performance has been affected and upload any supporting documentation for submission to your College Office (or department for non-matriculated courses). Additional information can be uploaded as supporting documentation, for which there is a limit of 2MB per document.

5. Your College Office (or department for non-matriculated courses) will review these details and submit your notice for consideration by the examiners for your course.

6. Notices must be made as soon as possible after completing the affected assessments, and before they are marked. Notices need to be submitted by noon on the day before the final meeting of the examiners which will decide the results.*

7. The examiners will consider your mitigating circumstances and any supporting documentation very carefully during the exam board meeting.

8. You will be able to view the outcome of your mitigating circumstances notice via the results screen in Student Self Service when your year outcome has been released.

*Notices received after the board has met will not usually be forwarded to examiners. However, in exceptional circumstances, the Proctors may agree to forward such notices to the board of examiners.

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