Give yourself the best chance to succeed by getting familiar with the instructions, processes and expectations governing end-of-semester exams.
Most examinations take place directly after StuVac (study vacation week), but not all. Some lecturers run exams during semester, or they issue a take-home or online paper. Read your unit of study guide thoroughly at the start of semester to ensure you’re aware of when you need to be ready.
Keep a close eye on your university email and learning management systems such as Blackboard for important announcements leading up to the end of semester.
Make sure you understand what will be expected of you during the exam. Talk to your lecturers or tutors, read your course notes, and consider organising a group study session with classmates.
Once your results are released, they will be available in Sydney Student. (Go to 'My Studies', then 'Assessments').
Exams are governed by strict rules and regulations to ensure every student is assessed on a fair and equal basis. We strongly encourage you to read through the instructions well before the date of your exam.
Sometimes exams for two or more subjects will be scheduled on the same day. If this happens, you’ll receive an email from the Examinations Office advising you what arrangements have been made. In most cases, your two exams will be scheduled for the same day.
Typically, you will be instructed to sit one exam in the morning, and the other in the afternoon with a minimum 40-minute break.
If you have three exams clashing, you will sit two of them in one day, and the third the following day.
Students with evening exam clashes are not automatically notified – you will need to report the clash to your department or school.
If you have an exam timetable clash and have not heard from the Examinations Office by one week before the formal exam period, email email@example.com.
A timetable for all formal, end-of-semester exams will be available on Sydney Student (go to ‘My studies’ then ‘Assessments’).
Your timetable will include your seat number, time, venue and location of your exam.
Your seat number will also be listed outside the exam room prior to the exam. If you don’t see your name, contact a supervisor.
If you don’t get a timetable, or if any of the details on your timetable don’t match your enrolment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a serious illness, injury or circumstances arise that affect your ability to complete or submit an assignment, you may have grounds to apply for special consideration.
You can apply for special consideration on our Staying on Track page. Only well-attested serious illness, injury or misadventure affecting a specific assignment or exam period will be considered legitimate grounds for special consideration.
If you have a longer-term illness or difficulties, you are encouraged to contact Disability Services and your faculty.
The University takes any attempt to gain an unfair advantage over other students very seriously.
If you are found taking any unauthorised aids or materials into the exam room, you risk confiscation of these items which would then be subject to a report. This may lead to misconduct proceedings under the provisions of the University of Sydney By-Law 1999 (as amended). If misconduct is proven, a range of penalties may apply including failure in the unit of study or exclusion from the University.
With the exception of approved calculators, electronic devices and watches (both analogue and digital) are not permitted.
You can check which materials you are permitted to bring into your exam through your personalised exam timetable.
Open book/open note examinations are identified in the examination timetable. If you are in any doubt about a particular paper being open book/open note, you should check with the course coordinator or faculty before the examination.
All exam answers should be in English, unless otherwise directed.
Students from a non-English speaking background can apply for permission to use a standard linguistic dictionary in examinations. This is usually limited to students who did not sit the NSW Higher School Certificate (or equivalent) and enrolled at the University as an international student.
You will need to bring your dictionary to the Student Centre to be approved for use before taking it into an examination. Please note, this will be done on the spot but only during business hours Monday to Friday. Once checked and stamped, you can use it in examinations throughout your university enrolment.
Please note that the Student Centre can only approve dictionaries which are:
The Student Centre cannot approve:
ESL students in the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery may use translation dictionaries in Year 1 of the Master of Nursing (Graduate entry), including Bachelor of Nursing (Post-Registration). Translation dictionaries are not permitted in Year 2, and no dictionaries are permitted in third year.
Approved dictionaries are checked at random during examinations for unauthorised notes or materials that may constitute academic misconduct.
The Examinations Office centrally approves basic non-programmable scientific calculators for use in exams where a non-programmable calculator is permitted. Calculators that meet these requirements will be given a sticker. You will need to bring your calculator to the Student Centre for approval before using it in an examination.
The Approvable Non-Programmable Calculator List details popular models that can be approved on the spot by front counter staff. Calculator models that are not on the approvable list will need to be assessed before being approved.
Programmable or financial calculators that have the following features cannot be approved by the Examinations Office:
The use of programmable calculators in exams where non-programmable calculators are permitted constitutes academic misconduct.
Calculators permitted for each exam are listed with the exam timetable.
You can borrow an approved non-programmable calculator from the Students' Representative Council Office: call + 61 2 9660 5222.
You can take a small bag into the exam room, but you need to place it in the designated area – check with the exam supervisor if you’re not sure.
If you take small valuables such as a purse, wallet, laptop or mobile phone into the exam with you, you need to place them on the floor under your desk until you are given permission to leave. You need to switch off your laptop and mobile.
Please don't leave money or valuables in your bag. The University cannot accept responsibility for the loss of any personal property.
If you have left something in an exam room, first return to the room to check if the item is still there. If it isn’t, exam supervisors may have forwarded it the Student Centre. Items can take up to 24 hours to arrive at the Student Centre.
Student Centre staff will contact students about their lost items when possible. After 2 weeks lost property will be forwarded to Campus Security.
You can ask to see your completed examination scripts, within the script retention period (six months from the date of the release of the result). Ask the examiner or your department.
If your exam paper includes questions that are used on more than one occasion, you can only read your paper under supervision.
Some past exam papers are available on the University Library website.
|Result code||What it means|
|PX||Pass (A,B,C Scale)|
|AX||Absent - Fail, Supplementary Examination Awarded|
|AF||Absent - Fail|
|PY||Pass (A,B,C Scale)|
|PZ||Pass (A,B,C Scale)|
|DF||Discontinued - Fail|
|DC||Discontinued - Not to count as failure|
|DP||Discontinued with permission|
|K1||Equivalent to Honours Class I|
|K2||Equivalent to Honours Class II, Division 1|
|K3||Equivalent to Honours Class II, Division 2|
|K4||Equivalent to Honours Class III|
|FP||Fail, May Proceed|
|1H||Honours Class I|
|1M||Honours Class I and University Medal|
|M2||Honours Class I and University Medal (Shared)|
|2U||Honours Class II, Division 1|
|2L||Honours Class II, Division 2|
|3H||Honours Class III|
|TO||Terminating Pass, Optional Supplementary Examination|
|TS||Terminating Pass, Supplementary Examination (Concessional)|
|PC||Pass With Credit|
|PH||Pass at Honours Level|
|PM||Pass With Merit|
|TC||Terminating Pass (Concessional)|
|UC||Unit of Study Continuing|
|SU||Fail - Supplementary Examination Awarded|
|FS||Fail - Concessional Supplementary Examination|
|SC||Supplementary Examination to Count as Annual|
Student Centre, Level 3
Jane Foss Russell Building, Darlington Campus
9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (during semester)
8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (during examinations)
8.30am to 4.30pm, Saturday (during examinations)