Before the day of the exam

Know what needs to be prepared before the day of the exam; know what you can or cannot take into an exam room.

Check with your module leader, if you are allowed to use a translation dictionary, a calculator or text books in your exam.  Do not arrive to the exam room with the wrong items.  It should say on the front of the exam question paper what type of dictionary or calculator you are allowed to use, or if text books are allowed.  Any item not permitted will be confiscated and spares will not be given.


  • Basic (i.e. non-programmable) calculators may be used in exams, unless specifically stated on the exam paper. In some exams, there may be a restriction on the type of calculator you're allowed to use. Miniature information processors for the storing of information aren't permitted and their use will be regarded as cheating. 
  • Some schools have an authorisation process for calculators which you must follow. It is your responsibility to check whether or not you're allowed to bring a calculator into your exam and to check that the type of calculator you are using is permitted. 
  • Spare calculators are not provided.


  • You are only allowed to take a dictionary into the exam with you if it is specifically stated in the exam paper rubric (the instructions on the front of the examination paper) that it is permitted. Always check with your module leader before the examination whether or not you are permitted to take a dictionary for that exam. Electronic translators aren't allowed under any circumstances.  
  • All exam venues will be supplied with a basic English language dictionary that you may request to use by raising your hand and speaking to the invigilator during the exam.  
  • Where a dictionary is permitted, it must not be annotated, augmented or otherwise altered in any way apart from the inclusion of the owner's name inside the front cover.  Annotations include, for example, notes (including single words), cross-references, highlighted text or underlined text.  Any annotation other than the owner's name on the inside cover will be considered an attempt to introduce an 'unauthorised' item into the exam room under the Cheating, Plagiarism, Fraudulent or Fabricated Coursework and Malpractice in University Examinations and Assessments Regulations.
  • You are personally responsible for the dictionary you bring to the exam. To claim it is borrowed or second hand will not be an acceptable defence.

Text books

  • It's your responsibility to check whether or not you're allowed to bring a textbook into your exam. Unless informed otherwise, textbooks are not permitted. If your school allows textbooks to be used in exams, check if any annotations are allowed.

Only take to the exam, that which you need.  Any belongings not needed for the exam or not allowed in the room must be left in a designated area.  In some rooms there are almost 600 students sitting their exams which means a huge pile of belongings.  Belongings are left at the owners own risk.  It is not the responsibility of Examination staff to ensure the safe keeping of items left in the designated areas.

Visit the toilet before you enter the room, you will not be able to go until the exam has started and only then if an Invigilator is available to escort you to the toilets and back to your seat.