Examinations

Examinations

The University has general rules that will apply to you in every exam you sit and some exams may have specific rules about what you can and cannot bring. 

Students must also ensure they are available until the final session date for exams. Session dates can be found in the Important Dates calendar. You can find out more about exams in the Examination Policy. If you need more information about a specific exam, it's best to ask your lecturer.

Before your exams

Plan your time well and prepare well in advance.

Talk to your lecturer

Your lecturer is the best person to ask any exam related questions. They will also tell you what materials you can bring into the exam.

Lecturers usually provide more information about the exam in the final lectures of each teaching session.

Revise your work

Revision tips

  • Don't just memorise
  • Set goals — what do you plan to learn in this session?
  • Study in short blocks (no longer than 50 minutes, then a 5–10-minute break)
  • Don't study the entire semester's materials in one day or one session
  • Identify and summarise important issues, theories, concepts
  • Identify relationships and links within and between lectures
  • Develop possible questions/topics
  • Discuss with other students
  • Review past exams
  • Write practice answers in the time limit
  • Apply your knowledge — work through problems in textbooks, tutorials, past exams
  • Develop concept maps, diagrams and timelines to aid memory, and to link concepts, themes and issues.
  • Refer to our quick guide on exam preparation.

What you can bring

Materials/items that must be brought into an exam:

  • Photo ID - Students will need to bring their Macquarie University Campus Card as photographic proof of identity to each examination. Other forms of acceptable photographic ID include a current Australian drivers licence, a current Australian Proof of Identity card or a current passport.
  • Stationery - Students should bring pens, pencils, erasers, rulers and other drawing instruments that may be needed for an exam in a clear non-coloured plastic bag.

Materials/items that may be brought into an exam:

  • Water - Students can bring bottled water into the exam but it must be in a clear and unmarked bottle.
  • Electronic devices (such as computers, tablets, and phones), purses and wallets may be brought into an examination room but must be placed under the student's desk before the exam commences. All electronic devices must be switched off.
  • Watches - You may bring a watch, however, all watches must be removed and placed at the top of the examination desk, where they can be seen clearly and easily by supervisors, and must remain there for the duration of the exam. All alarms and alerts must be switched off.
  • Other items - Students should check well in advance if any additional materials are required. Ensure any additional materials (e.g. calculator, translation dictionaries) comply with the stated requirements.

What you cannot bring

Materials prohibited from examinations include (but are not restricted to):

  • bags — the University has arranged for bag rooms to be available for students to deposit personal belongings during exams
  • pencil cases
  • blank paper, note pads, writing paper/pad
  • electronic recording devices

Exam clashes 

Exam clashes occur when a student has two examinations scheduled on the same date and time. They are sometimes unavoidable due to the large number of students sitting for examinations and the wide range of units offered.

Two exams scheduled on the same day at different start times - for example, 9:00am and 1:30pm - do not clash and students are expected to sit both exams as normal.

How to tell if you have a clash exam

If you have clashing exams, the words 'clash exam' will appear against the applicable units when you log in to check your individual exam timetable. For students who have clash exams, the start times have been adjusted to alleviate the clash however you will be required to sit these exams under "clash conditions" where you sit both examinations over the morning and afternoon sessions and remain under supervision until you have completed both examinations. You may have lunch during the break and study, but you will be supervised throughout.

What to do if you have a clash

We'll send an email to your official student email account within five working days of the official release of the draft exam timetable to confirm that you have clashing examinations. This email will advise you about what will happen next.

On the day 

Some students find exams stressful. The more you have prepared, the more you will be able to relax and focus on the day.

Before the exam

  • Don't stay up all night studying - try to relax and get some sleep. Have something healthy to eat before the exam.
  • Make sure you have everything you need, e.g. pens, pencils, rulers or other materials as specified by your lecturer.
  • Ensure you arrive in plenty of time, especially if you're planning to deposit your personal items at the bag room facilities, as there could be queues. The bag rooms are usually open an hour prior to the start time of the exam.
  • Double check your room and seat location.

Bag room locations and times

Bag rooms are staffed by members of the Security Office. All property is left at your risk and the University will not be responsible for any loss or damage. Don’t leave your personal belongings outside the examination venue as thieves are active on campus.

During the exam

  • Try to remain calm.
  • Listen to the supervisor's instructions.
  • Most exams start with reading time where no writing is allowed. Use this time wisely — make sure you understand the instructions on the front page of the exam paper and that you have read the questions carefully.
  • Plan how you will answer the questions.
  • Stay focused on what you are doing and ignore the people around you. If someone leaves early, it does not necessarily mean that they found the exam easy. If you're finding the exam difficult, the chances are that other students are too.

Where to get help

  • Study skills - find information on preparing for your exams.
  • ask.mq.edu.au - search our library of student administration related questions and answers or submit an online enquiry to get the answers you're looking for.
  • Campus wellbeing and support services - offers a range of high level support and assistance for students
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