What to take into an exam

What you can and cannot take to your exam desk.

What to take to your exam desk

You must bring your UCard to all your exams. There is a seven-digit student number on the back of your UCard. You must write this number on every exam paper you use.


  • You may only use a calculator during your exam if the exam paper instructions allow it. 
  • All calculators must be left on the desk during the exam. 
  • Check with your school to see if your calculator needs to be approved before the exam. 


  • You may only use a dictionary during your exam if you have permission to use one or your exam paper instructions allow it. Your school will advise you in advance if your exam paper allows a dictionary. 
    • You can request to use a dictionary by completing the request form.
    • If permission is granted, you will be given a copy of the form which you must display on your exam desk.
  • All dictionaries will be checked for unauthorised notes.
  • You are not allowed to use an electronic translation device in any exam.


  • If you need to take medication with you to your exam desk you must make this known to the invigilator.
  • Accompanying leaflets and packaging should not be taken to your exam desk.

Pencil case and stationery

  • Pencil cases must be transparent (clear) and must not contain any paper.
  • Any pencil cases which are not transparent will be searched by the invigilators during your exam. This is likely to disturb your concentration.
  • You are responsible for bringing your own stationery (pens/pencils/rulers/erasers) and equipment (such as calculators if the exam allows).
  • Each exam venue has a small supply of spare stationery, but not enough for every student. If you have forgotten anything, ask the invigilator for help.


Display your card on the top right-hand corner of your desk, so that an invigilator can check it.  


  • You may bring an unlabelled, transparent bottle of water into the exam room. 
  • No other containers will be permitted. 

What not to take to your exam desk

If you bring any of the following items to your exam desk you may be suspected of cheating and reported. 

Bags, coats, hats and headcovers

  • Leave any bags and coats at the back of the exam hall. 
  • Hats and headcovers must also be left in this area unless they are worn for religious or medical purposes. 

Correcting tape and correction fluid

  • Correcting tape and correction fluid are not allowed. If you use these items, you may be suspected of cheating. 
  • If you make a mistake, cross it through neatly.


Unless you have a specific medical need and it is part of your study support plan, you must not bring any food to your desk. 

Mobile phones, headphones, smartwatches and other electronic devices

All mobile phones and other electronic devices must be switched off and left at the back of the exam hall or at home. 

Revision notes

Revision notes are not allowed in any form (unless permitted in the exam paper instructions). 


We recommend you leave any valuables at home. Personal items are brought in to the exam room at your own risk and must be left at the back of the hall with coats and bags. 

We are not responsible for any items lost from, stolen from or damaged in exam venues. 

Rules and regulations

Exam rules and regulations, including what to expect on the day, what happens if you arrive late and rules on cheating.

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