Departmentally-arranged exams and tests

This guidance is to assist you in preparing for examinations that are not centrally-organised or administered. Tests that count as coursework are also included under these guidelines and should be administered as a formal test/examination.  Adopting best practice will reduce opportunities for cheating and appeals.

The Examinations Office can supply answer booklets for a charge and they can be ordered online. The Examinations Office may also be able to supply or loan other materials on request.

Room preparations

  • All rooms should be of sufficient size to minimise opportunities for cheating.  Ideally students should not sit next to each other but have at least one empty space between them.
  • Students should be able to see a clock clearly.  Clocks and stands may be borrowed from the Estate Management Helpdesk (order in advance).
  • Arrangements should be made for a telephone to be available in case of emergency.
  • The following documents should be available at the front desk of the Examination room (available from the Examinations Office,
  1. Exam Room Handbook 
  2. Incident Report Form, to be completed by the Senior Invigilator in the event of any abnormal occurrence (including the late arrival of a student) and sent to the Registry for information.
  3. Suspected Case of Cheating Report Form, to be completed by the Senior Invigilator if they suspect a student of cheating and sent to the Registry for information.
  • Toilets should be checked prior to and during the examination for the presence of notes/papers that could aid a student to cheat.
  • A check should be made with the Estate Management Helpdesk that no building works are to be carried out in the vicinity of the examination room.
  • Allow your invigilation staff plenty of time for setting up and clearing up (for which they will need to be paid).  For up to 75 students they should have 30 minutes’ set-up time.  For more than 75 students, 45 minutes’ set-up time is required.  

Examination requirements

  1. Arrangements must be made to allow candidate anonymity for marking of scripts. 
  2. Attendance must be accurately recorded.  For smaller groups this should not cause a problem.  For large cohorts several members of staff may be required to take a register.
  3. All papers must have a written rubric.  Rubrics should state if any materials are to be provided/available.  
  4. Each page of the paper should be numbered and all papers must be checked for errors and adequate numbers printed.  
  5. A question should not be split across two pages – the whole question should appear on the same page.  This is particularly important for examination papers for students with individual needs.
  6. Any additional materials required for the examination should be available, such as graph paper, mathematical tables, photographs etc.  
  7. Students must be informed that during the examination normal Examination Regulations (.pdf) apply.  This includes regulations regarding cheating, calculators and other electronic items.  
  8. Scripts must be collected before any students are permitted to leave the examination room.


The complete range of announcements is printed in the Exam Room Handbook, copies of which are available to borrow from the Examinations Office,


  • Invigilators must have adequate experience and/or training.  The Examinations Office has a pool of experienced invigilators which each Department can use without the need for additional contracts – please ask for the list.
  • The number of invigilators must be in line with normal University Practice. ie.
  • For 1 student:  1 Senior Invigilator (or Scribe/Reader if appropriate)
  • For 2-25 students:  1 Senior Invigilator and 1 Invigilator
  • For 26-50 students:  1 Senior Invigilator and 2 Invigilators
  • For 51-100 students:  1 Senior Invigilator and 3 Invigilators
  • And then at least 1 additional Invigilator for each additional 50 students.
  • Try to ensure that the genders of the invigilators are mixed in every exam venue, so that students can be escorted to the toilet by someone of the same sex.
  • All invigilators should be present throughout the entire examination (except when absent with a student).
  • There should always be a Senior Invigilator present.
  • Where it is not possible to give students adequate space to minimise cheating an increased number of invigilators will be required.

Students with individual needs

The Disability and Wellbeing teams in Student Support are responsible for assessment and approval of requirements for students with Individual Needs.  If you require a list of individual exam arrangements for the students sitting the exam, please contact the designated member of staff in your Department who has access to the Individual Needs database and can compile a report of the information you require.  If you do not know who this is, please ask your Departmental Manager.  Any student who is not listed on the report, but who requests individual arrangements, must be referred to the Disability or Wellbeing teams via the Support Desk on the first floor of the Silberrad Student Centre. 

  1. Adequate arrangements should be made for any students with Individual Needs.  These may include extra time, a separate room, a scribe, computing facilities etc.
  2. Any student claiming additional arrangements that have not been officially approved must be referred back to the Support Desk on the first floor of the Silberrad Student Centre.
  3. If Student Support have advised that a student has a specific learning difficulty, dyslexia or requires a scribe, purple exam scripts for Individual Needs students can be ordered online.  
    Please ensure that either the SpLD or Scribe box is ticked on the front cover of the exam script. 
  4. Students with extra time should ideally be placed in a separate room to avoid disruption when students leave the main examination room.
  5. Departments are responsible for appointing a scribe if required by a student for departmental examinations and tests.  Payment of the scribe is the responsibility of the Examinations Office.  
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