Exam Question Papers

What information will show on my exam question paper?  How will I know if I am allowed a calculator or a dictionary?

All exam question papers are based on, one of three, University templates:

  • White paper template – this template is printed on white paper and informs you and the Examination Staff, such as the Invigilator, that the exam question paper can leave the examination venue at the end of the examination.  (You are allowed to take the exam question paper away with you after the exam).
  • Blue paper template – this template is printed on blue and indicates that you are required to answer some or all of the questions on the actual question paper, rather than in a script book.  In some cases you may need to answer some questions on the question paper and others in a script book.  Clear instruction should be given on the front of the exam question paper.  There will be a place on the front of the exam question paper where you should write your student number and your seat number.  These papers cannot leave the examination venue and must be handed in for marking at the end of the examination.  If you have used one or more script books, it is your responsibility to ensure your blue exam question paper and your script books are attached together, using the treasury tag which should be on your desk.
  • Pink paper template – this is printed on pink and means that the exam question paper must not leave the examination venue.  All exam question papers must be handed in at the end of the examination.  There will be a note on the front of the exam question paper stating “Please do not remove this paper from the exam venue”.

All exam question papers have a rubric.  The rubric is a set of instructions or an informative list to aid the completion of the examination.

The front page of the exam question paper will show:

  • The module code (this should show on every page)
  • The module title
  • The school responsible for the examination
  • The time you are allowed to complete the examination
  • The number of pages the examination paper is made up of
  • Any additional materials needed, such as graph paper, MCQ card or a Cambridge Statistical Table
Information relating to whether or not calculators and/or dictionaries can be used in the exam.


  • The school may authorise the calculator before the examination and place a secure label on the calculator, or they may list a number of approved calculators in the rubric of the exam.  You should always check with your module leader before the exam to ensure you have the correct calculator, because the Invigilators will remove yours, if it is not on the list of approved calculators.

Translation dictionaries 

  • You must check with your module leader before the exam, if you wish to take a dictionary into the exam.  If you are allowed to take in a translation dictionary, it must not be annotated in anyway and must be a basic translation dictionary.  You are not allowed to take an English language dictionary into any exam.  All exam venues are supplied with an English language dictionary and you may raise your hand and ask the Invigilator, if you need to use it.

Information specifically about the exam such as:

  • If the exam is made up of more than one section
  • What marks each section is worth
  • If a section is to be answered on a blue paper, or on a multiple choice answer card
  • If there are more questions on the exam question paper than you need to answer
  • If you need to answer a certain amount of questions from one section

Read carefully the front of the exam question paper, do not turn over and start reading the questions until you are instructed to do so by an Invigilator.  Check carefully that the module code and exam title match that which you are expecting to take.  Make sure your exam question paper does not have a module code with a different last two digits to what you are expecting.  Note: Resit papers may have a module code ending in 09, if you are taking the paper for the first time you will need a different paper.  Raise your hand and tell the Invigilator.