Sitting your examinations | University of Oxford
Sitting your examination
Walking to exams
Copyright © Greg Smolonski. This image comes from Oxford University Images - All rights reserved.

Sitting your examinations

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

Taking items into an examination

Required:

  • University ID (Bodleian) card
  • stationery, ideally in a clear plastic bag
  • sub fusc; mortar boards and gowns may be removed during the examination
  • calculator, if appropriate (your department will inform you whether or not you will be allowed a calculator for specific papers).

Permitted:

  • non-carbonated water in a clear spill-proof bottle (sports cap)
  • provided you bring a signed letter from your college with you to the examination: silent blood testing kits for diabetic students, with glucose drink (for example, Lucozade) and / or glucose tablets (for example, Dextro energy tablets) in case of hypoglycaemia, 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 examination), medical aids such as wrist splint / support, back support pillow, ice pack.
  • watch and wallet (subject to inspection by invigilator)
  • yellow individual timetable (subject to inspection by invigilator)
  • a small packet of sweets eg Polos (you are advised to remove any noisy wrappers and packaging prior to entering the examination, chewing gum is not allowed).

Disallowed:

  • unauthorised material (including revision notes) or equipment relevant to the examination
  • good luck charms and items
  • coats and bags must be left at the coat hangers in the Great Hall or marquee
  • screw-cap, non-clear bottles, fizzy water (except on medical grounds with prior approval)
  • medicines (unless prior approval granted)
  • mobile phone and any other devices

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

Find your candidate number

You can locate your candidate number on the Examination and Assessment Information page in Student Self Service or by looking on the top of your individual timetable.

Sitting your examination

Do

Don't

Arrive 20 minutes before your examinationArrive just as your examination is scheduled to start
Read carefully the instructions on the front of your examination paperLeave your examination 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, examinationWrite your name, University ID or Student Self Service number on the front of the script booklet

Examination conduct

Do

Don't

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 examination 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 examination unless permitted by an invigilator

You must remain silent in the examination room until all scripts have been collected and you are told to leave the room. After your examination please listen to the instructions from the invigilators. Unruly, disruptive or anti-social behaviour at the end of your examination will be reported to the Proctors and you may be fined.

Fees payable for examinations

You may be liable to pay fees for certain examinations 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, however, if you are summoned to serve during term-time, and particularly when sitting examinations, 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 examination arrangements for religious observances

If your examination timetable includes clashes with religious observances which you wish to uphold, you can apply to the University for an adjustment to your timetable under Part 11 of the Examination Regulations. To make an application, refer to the alternative arrangements page.

Application for consideration of factors affecting performance in examinations

If you would like University examiners to be aware of any factors that may have affected your performance before or during an examination, you are advised to discuss your circumstances with your college and consult the Examination Regulations. You should speak with your college office about completing an application for Factors affecting performance in examinations. Your college will provide you with appropriate proformas for you to complete.  Your college will submit the application (including all supporting materials provided by you) for consideration by the Chair of Examiners.

Factors including acute illness, unforeseen circumstances (for example a traffic accident, bereavement), a disability or long-term health condition may be considered. It is your responsibility to submit the form together with the relevant supporting evidence as soon as possible after sitting the affected papers, and before your examination is marked (applications need to be received by noon on the day before the final meeting of the examiners which will decide the results). Applications received after this will not usually be forwarded to examiners. However, in exceptional circumstances, the Proctors may agree to forward such applications to the board of examiners.

This form should not be used to request alternative examination arrangements.

Complaints and appeals

If you want to make a complaint about the conduct of University examinations you should raise concerns with your senior tutor. If you are a graduate research student you should raise your concerns with your director of graduate studies. Details of the examination complaints procedure is available from the University regulations page.

Behaviour after examinations

The opportunity to celebrate following your final examination 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 examinations, 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 can’t 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, or rusticate or expel you).

For more information, visit the Proctors’ Office website.