Exam preparations and arrangements

Make sure you’re familiar with all the important information about your exam so that you can do your best on the day and avoid any problems.


Make sure you're ready by following our guidelines for things you can prepare before the day of your exam.


Print a copy of your exam timetable, and check for changes the day before your exam.

  • You must be available to sit your exams for the entire published exam period. This includes Saturdays and bank holidays.
  • Holidays or other social commitments won't be accepted as a reason for missing an exam. The exam timetable may change, so you shouldn't make any personal arrangements during the exams period.
  • If you miss an exam without good reason, you will be recorded as absent for that exam and will forfeit an attempt.
  • You should check your personal exam timetable (via Portal or UniLeeds app) for your allocated venue and seat number, where applicable.
  • If you misread the timetable or fail to find the venue, this will be treated as deliberately missing an examination and you'll be recorded as absent without good cause. 

Exam clashes
Report any exam clashes (ie two exams timetabled at the same time) or any other exam problems immediately to the Exams Team. Include your full name, student number and the module codes and titles for all exams affected.

Consecutive exams
If you have three exams in direct succession, report this immediately to the Exams Team. Include your full name, student number and the module codes and titles for all exams affected.

Definition of three consecutive exams
Each exam period has two exam sessions a day, therefore an example of three consecutive exams would be:

  • Monday morning exam (09:00 start)
  • Monday afternoon exam (14:00 start)
  • Tuesday morning exam (09:00 start).


  • Make sure you know the venue of your exam.
  • Don’t be late. Plan your travel and route and arrive 30 minutes before your exam begins.

Exams held at more than one venue

  • We try to use venues that are near each other or in the same building, but we still recommend that on the day of the exam you allow at least 30 minutes to make sure you are in the right place.
  • On the day of the exam, you can check the seating lists which are posted outside each venue approximately 20-30 minutes before the start of the exam.
  • Candidates in that room will be listed in alphabetical order. If your name doesn't appear, look for the statement "If your name does not appear here, please see the supplementary list". The list will display which groups of candidates are seated in which venue.
     Carter, A Simpson, B   Room X
     Turner, R  Zeng, G  Room Y


  • Remember to bring your student card with you, as it is the only form of ID accepted. You must bring it to all exams and display it on your desk.
  • If you're unable to present your University ID card during an exam, your details will be recorded. An identification check will be carried out on you, and you will not be able to leave the exam room until this is completed. If you then attempt to attend further exams without your ID card, you may find yourself excluded from the exam. Your name and student number must be written on the front of all exam script books. 
  • Any student ID cards left in exam rooms will be taken to the Student Services Centre counter.
  • If you've lost your student ID card, you'll need to visit the Student Services Centre counter and buy a new one. 


  • Basic (ie 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.

Pens and pencils

  • Pens should be black or blue only. If you use a red or green pen or a pencil, your work may not be marked.
  • Pencils - multiple-choice answer cards should be completed using an HB pencil.
    Make sure you have a sharpener or spare pencil and an eraser.


  • 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.


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.

Other equipment

Check you have all the equipment you need for your exam. If you borrow equipment you must make sure there are no notes or annotations that may be viewed as cheating.

On the day

Prepare yourself for the day of the exam by planning things properly. 

Prohibited items

  • food or drink - you may take a clear water bottle with all labels removed
  • coats
  • bags
  • pencil cases (even transparent ones)
  • blank paper
  • mobile phones/tablets/bluetooth devices
  • personal music players
  • notes of any kind
  • headwear (unless for religious reasons).

If you bring these items with you, invigilators will specify a place where they must be left.

Phones must be switched off, with all pre-set alarms disabled. Your phone should be put inside the clear plastic bag provided at the start of the exam and placed on your desk, as instructed by the invigilator. If you're found using your phone during the exam, this will be investigated as cheating.

Check you have no notes written on your hands, arms or clothing. Any writing observed on you will be investigated as cheating.


  • If you’re too ill to take the exam or your condition may be a danger to others, go to your GP for advice and request a medical certificate stating you were unfit to attend and submit this to your parent school as evidence of mitigating circumstances.
  • You should also check the details of mitigating circumstances if you're unable to attend your exam for other reasons, such as adverse weather or other emergency.


  • Check the seating list outside the exam room and sit in your allocated seat. 
  • If your name isn't on the list(s), inform the invigilator straight away, before entering the exam room.


  • Talking isn’t allowed in the exam room. You may not speak to anyone other than an invigilator. Talking to friends, even if just wishing them good luck, will be automatic grounds for investigation for cheating.
  • If you need anything during an exam, raise your hand to attract the attention of an invigilator but don't leave your seat without permission.

Your exam script, rough work and notes

  • Use any left-hand page in your script book for rough work. 
  • Cross out anything you don’t want to be considered by the examiner. 
  • Removing any sheets from the script book will void it and it won't be marked. 
  • If you need more pages, ask the invigilator for an extra script book.

Entering the exam

  • You'll be permitted to enter the exam room at least five minutes before the time indicated on the timetable. The exam will begin when all students are seated and at the specified time.
  • You must sit in the seat allocated to you (see seating instructions, above).

If you arrive late for an exam

You should make every effort to arrive on time for your exams and at the correct exam venue. However, if you are late, take the following action:

If you're less than 60 minutes late:

  • Enter the exam room quietly and respect the other students who have already started. 
  • Make yourself known to the invigilator.
  • You will not regain any time you have lost by being late but you'll be able to record your details on a form, including the reason for lateness.
    The invigilator will note your arrival time on the form, and it will be sent to the school for consideration during marking and moderation, contributing to any decisions about the award of first attempts.

If you're more than 60 minutes late:

  • You may not enter the exam room. 
  • Go straight to the nearest exams sub-office (see exam venues to find out which sub-office is responsible for each venue). A decision will be made as to whether the circumstances leading to your late arrival are sufficiently serious and beyond your control to justify you being granted permission to start the exam late.
    If permission is granted, a decision will also be made regarding the arrangements under which the exam will be conducted.
  • Even if you're allowed to take the exam, there is no guarantee the examiners will accept that the reasons for your late arrival are sufficient for a grade other than AB (absent).

If you arrive after the exam has finished

  • You won't be permitted to take the exam under any circumstances, and will be recorded as absent.
  • Go to the nearest exams sub office to speak to a member of staff. 

Aural/audio exams

  • If you are late (by any amount of time) you will not be permitted to enter the exam venue. 
  • Go to the nearest exams sub office to speak to a member of staff. 

Leaving the exam

Leaving early

  • You must ask permission from an invigilator if you wish to leave the exam early. You won’t be allowed to leave within the first 60 or the last 10 minutes.
  • If you're allowed to leave the exam early make sure you do so as quickly and quietly as possible.
    Be aware that other rooms may have exams that have not yet finished. 

The end of the exam

  • When instructed, stop writing and remain silent and in your seat until all the script books have been collected and the chief invigilator informs you that you may leave.
  • If you've used more than one script book, fasten them together with the provided treasury tag.
  • If you're required to use a multiple choice question card (MCQ), make sure your student ID number is marked correctly on the card. Don't attempt to attach it to your script book - damage to the card may prevent accurate scanning.
  • Don't remove any unused exam stationery from the exam room. Possession of such items outside of an exam could be considered as evidence of attempted cheating.