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Exam instructions

07 June 2024

Infringement of the Examination Regulations is very serious. Read the exam instructions carefully and make sure you understand them.


Start times and entry information

The Mid-year Examination Period is two weeks in duration. Most exams will start at 9.30am, 2.30pm and 6:30pm.

The End-of-year Examination Period is two weeks in duration. Most exams will start at 9.30am, 2.30pm and 6.30pm.

Exam rooms will be published on the last day of lectures for each semester.

For on-campus exams: Report to your assigned room 15 minutes before the official start time.

For online from anywhere exams: Most exams will be delivered from the course Learn site. Log into the site 15 minutes before the official start time. This is particularly important if the exam is being supervised in some way. You may be requested to report earlier for some online exams - please follow the instructions. Ensure that you download and test any necessary software at least one week before the exam date.

You may not enter an examination room later than 45 minutes after the start of the examination.

No alternative sitting will be available if you miss your exam or arrive 45 minutes or later after the official start time of your examination.  An exception to this is if you have valid grounds as covered under the regulations for Special Consideration.

In the examination room

Students must display current, clearly identifiable photo identification in every examination they attend.

While your Canterbury Card is preferable; other acceptable forms include:

  • Passport
  • New Zealand drivers licence

You must bring your original photo identification. Electronic photos or scans on a phone are not acceptable.

You are encouraged not to bring your bags into the examination room. If there is a significant event and the room is evacuated, you will not be permitted to take your bag.

Personal items

You may take the following items to your desk. These must be contained in a named, clear plastic Ziploc bag. This is to be placed under your chair and must remain there for the duration of the exam session.

  • Cell phone
  • Watch (analogue or smart watch)
  • Wallet
  • Keys

If your items are not in a named, clear plastic Ziploc bag, you cannot take them to your seat. You must place them in the area designated by the room supervsiors.

Exam equipment

Only the items below may be on your desk in the examination room:

  • Canterbury card or suitable alternative (NZ driver licence or passport)
  • Pens, pencils, rubbers and, where authorised, drawing instruments. These should either be held in your hand or in a small, clear Ziplock plastic bag.
  • A bottle of water. The bottle must be clear/plain with no stickers or writing on it.
  • Additional course materials as authorised by the examiner (e.g. course books, notes, calculators).  These items will be advised on the email sent to you by the Examinations Office on the final day of lectures for the semester.

If you find that you have accidentally taken any revision notes or other unauthorised materials into the exam room, you must immediately notify the room supervisor.

You are not permitted to have a cell phone or any other electronic communication device on your person or in adjoining areas (e.g. toilets) during the period of the examination. 

Electronic communication devices, including but not limited to:

  • cell phones
  • laptops
  • tablets/iPads
  • watches (all - smart watches & analogue)
  • fitness trackers
  • timers & stop watches
  • iPods & mp3 players
  • headphones (unless otherwise specified)
  • electronic earbuds

These must be left with your personal belongings at the front of the room, with the Room Supervisor or (in the case of small items) be placed in a clear Ziplock bag under your desk for the duration of the exam.

All devices capable of emitting sound must be switched off with the alarm function disabled. If your device emits any sound during an examination/test you shall be liable for a fine of up to $120. Cell phones, watches, keys and wallets may be stored under your chair in a named, clear plastic Ziploc bag for the duration of the exam session (see above).

If you are found to have any prohibited device on your body in an examination room or in an adjoining area (including toilets) during an examination, you shall be liable to a fine of up to $120.

If you are seen attempting to use a communication or storage device, or if you are thought to have used a device during the exam, the matter will be referred to the Proctor.

If you need to be contactable during an examination, in case of emergency, you may leave your cell phone with the Examination Control Room Staff who will pass on any message received.

Calculators are not permitted unless the examiner has authorised their use. Only self-powered, noiseless, handheld calculators, without data storage facilities are allowed.
Spare calculators are not provided for examinations, so it is important that you have your calculator pre-checked if required.

Courses requiring a UC-stickered calculators for the Mid-Year 2024 examinations.

If required, please ensure your calculator is stickered well in advance of the examination period.

Your Final Examination Timetable will note if each of your exams has one of the following conditions:
- No calculators are permitted.
- Calculators with a 'UC' sticker approved. This must be a model from the approved list below and you must have organised for it to be stickered in advance of your exam date.
- Any scientific/graphics/basic calculator is permitted.

It is your responsibility to ensure you have read the instructions for each of your exams and that you have the correct calculator and sticker (if required).

Calculator checks

For examinations which require a "UC Stickered" Calculator: checks take place from the Information Desk (Te Pātaka, Puaka - James Hight, Level 2) on a drop-in basis Monday to Friday, between the hours of 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

If your calculator was stickered before 2024, the sticker is still valid, even if your calculator model is not on the list. Alternatively, you may borrow an approved calculator from the UCSA or Puaka-James Hight. A bond is required which is refunded when you return the calculator (EFTPOS/credit card). 

Your Final Personal Examination Timetable emailed to you will advise if you are required to have your calculator to be checked and stickered for a particular exam.

Students are responsible for ensuring that their calculators meet requirements. No spare calculators will be provided to the exam room.

No other supplementary material or equipment relating to the use or operation of the calculator, other than spare batteries is permitted.

On entry to the exam room you may be given a card with a seat number printed on it. You must sit in this seat. If, for medical reasons, you need to sit on an aisle seat, please email at least seven working days before the exam is scheduled.

Immediately after taking your seat, fill in the attendance slip and answer book cover with your name, student number, course code and course title in the spaces provided. (Anonymous marking papers and answer booklets are should be filled in with ID number only, not name, i.e. Law courses.)

Do not start reading the examination questions or writing answers until the Room Supervisor announces that you may begin.

You will not be permitted to leave the room:

  • During the first hour of the examination
  • During the final fifteen minutes of the examination.

Once the supervisor announces the end of the examination do not add anything more to your answers.

  • You must hand in your answer book together with any other paper to the supervisor before you leave the room.
  • Please remain quiet until all answer booklets have been collected.
  • Do not attempt to discuss any aspect of the examination with any of the examiners for the course before the results are published.

Lost property

If you have lost property check the Examination Control Room or Security.

During the examination

This is considered an extremely serious offence which may lead to expulsion from the University. If you have accidentally taken revision notes or other unauthorised material into the examination room, hand them immediately to the supervisor.

You will be informed:

  • When you may begin working on the examination
  • When only fifteen minutes remain
  • When you must cease work. Do not continue to write after time is called.

Do not:

  • Look at other candidates’ answers
  • Talk or communicate in any way with other candidates

Answer in English and write in ink unless the question paper gives other instructions. (You may answer in Te Reo Māori provided you have made prior arrangements).


  • Write clearly; illegible answers will not be marked.
  • Start a new page for each question
  • Clearly identify the number and/or part of the question you are answering.
  • Do not copy out the question.
  • Do not tear any pages out of the answer book.
  • Rough working may be done in the answer book or you may request extra sheets from the supervisor. Clearly cross out rough working before handing in your book.
  • Tie all extra sheets including rough working into the answer book at the end of the examination.
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