Image description

Exams: On the day

Student page

What you need to know about your written exam day

Time, date and location

Search the exam timetable for details of your exams.

As per the general regulations of the college, you are expected to attend all days prescribed as part of your programme, including exams.

It is your responsibility to know the date, time and place of each of your exams as shown on the timetable. Misreading the timetable is not an acceptable excuse for being late or absent for an exam.

Sometimes changes to times, dates and venues are unavoidable. You should check the timetable on the day of your exam.

If you find that an exam timetable contains a clash for you (two exams scheduled at the same time, or a direct overlap) you must report this to the Assessments team immediately by emailing assessments ( Although great care is taken to avoid students sitting more than one exam in a day, the nature of the scheduling may mean that on occasion this cannot be avoided.

Arriving for your exam

You should arrive at your venue at least 20 minutes before the start time of your examination. This will allow time for you to check the location of your seat, which will be displayed on the outside of the venue.

Coats and bags are to be stored in the allocated areas inside the exam room, you will not be able to collect these until the exam is over. Therefore, you should only bring what is absolutely essential with you to an exam.

You may not enter the exam room for the first time after the first 30 minutes (unless accompanied by an Officer of the College).  If you arrive for an exam 30 minutes after the start you must report immediately to the Assessments Manager in the Student Centre.


Your Goldsmiths ID Card must be taken to each exam and be displayed on the desk.  Invigilators will check your identity.

If you have clothing that obscures your face you must report to the Assessments Team in the Student Centre 15 minutes before the exam. A female member of staff will check you against your ID in private.

Candidates wearing any other form of headgear will be asked to temporarily remove it for inspection.

Any student without a Goldsmiths ID Card card will be sent to the Assessments Team in the Student Centre so that their identity can be verified.

If needed, new Goldsmiths ID cards can be obtained from the security office in advance.


An Invigilator will be present at all Goldsmiths exams. The role of the invigilator is to manage the running of the examination, overseeing the security and conduct of the examination and ensuring that the exam venue is safe and comfortable.

Invigilators will not answer questions about an exam paper, including interpreting questions. However, if you believe there is a genuine error on an exam paper, you must notify an Invigilator immediately. Do not attempt to discuss with others sitting the same paper.

To attract an Invigilators attention, please raise your hand and wait for them to come to you.

In the exam room

You are required to observe all instructions given to you by Examiners, Invigilators or Officers of the College responsible for the conduct of examinations. Threatening or offensive behaviour towards any student, member of staff or other employee or visitor will not be tolerated and shall be dealt with as per Section 11 of the General College Regulations.

There may be more than one exam taking place in the exam venue you have been allocated and it is therefore important that you sit in the correct place. Please take note of the seating arrangements and desk allocations displayed on the outside of the venue when you arrive. If you have not been allocated a seat, alert an Invigilator or Registry Assistant upon entry to the exam room.

  • You may not enter the exam room until instructed by the Invigilator
  • Once in the exam room, talking to other students is strictly forbidden and may be treated as misconduct
  • You must sit at the desk allocated to your candidate number as per the allocation list on the outside of the examination room
  • Coats and bags must be left in the designated area
  • Small personal items can be kept in a plastic bag under your desk. This includes keys, phones and watches
  • All watches and electronic devices are to be switched off, removed and put into the plastic bag under your desk
  • You must not leave your desk unless permitted by the Invigilator
  • You cannot eat in the exam room, unless you have express permission in the form of a RASA
  • A plastic bottle of water is permitted, carbonated drinks are not permitted
  • If you wish to speak to the Invigilator, or require any additional materials, raise your hand and wait until the Invigilator comes to you

At the start of the examination the invigilator will make a series of announcements. You must listen carefully to all announcements, even if you have had other exams as the information may be supplemented with instructions that are specific to the exam you are sitting. Failure to follow these instructions may impact on your performance.

Resources and materials

You must bring your own writing materials (pens/pencils, rubbers, sliderules). Items cannot be in a box or in any other container.

You must not bring (unless specifically permitted and written on the exam paper):

  • Books, including dictionaries
  • Personal papers
  • Revision notes

For mathematics exams electronic calculators may be used (this will be confirmed on the exam paper):

  • Calculators must not be programmed prior to the examination
  • Calculators which display graphics, text or algebraic equations are not allowed

Your exam paper

  • Answer books must be used for all exams
  • Follow the instructions on the front cover
  • Complete the cover sheet of the exam script fully.
  • Do not write your name on the front of your answer book or exam paper (if sitting a constrained paper)
  • Draft answers must be written in the answer book and crossed through
  • All answers to exams must be in English, unless otherwise instructed
  • Additional answer books are issued once you have completely filled an answer book
  • A note will be made in your answer book if you leave the hall

Toilet breaks

You are encouraged to remain in the exam room throughout the duration of the entire exam to ensure you use all the available writing time for your paper. To reduce disruption and ensure question security, students are not permitted to leave an examination venue during the first 30 minutes or the last 15 minutes of an examination, unless there is an emergency or you become unwell.

This means you will not be permitted to go to a toilet for the first 30 or last 15 minutes of the examination.

If you need to use the facilities outside of these times, please raise your hand to attract the attention of an invigilator and request to leave the venue to go to the toilet.

Please be aware that you may need to wait your turn if other students are in the process of being escorted to the toilet.

You cannot take anything from the exam room during the exam, including your bag, mobile phone or wallet. An invigilator may ask you to empty your pockets before you enter a toilet cubicle to ensure you have no unauthorised materials or equipment in your possession.

Please leave the room in silence and follow the instructions of the member of staff who escorts you to the toilet. Be mindful of other exams that may be taking place around the college.

The times that you leave and re-enter the venue will be logged. Time used for using the toilet will be lost, unless previously agreed with the Disability Service and Assessments team.

Feeling ill during an exam

If you feel unwell during an exam you must make the Invigilator aware and, if necessary, you will be taken from the venue to the Assessments Manager and may be escorted to the medical centre.

If you think illness may have affected your performance during the exam, you must inform the Assessments Manager or Departmental Business Manager immediately, in writing. Find out more about mitigating and extenuating circumstances.

Finishing early

You may not leave the exam room within the first 30 minutes or the last 15 minutes of an exam.

If you would like to leave early, you must attract the attention of an Invigilator or Registry Assistant who will collect your materials. Do not leave until you are told to do so.

If you leave early you will not be able to retrieve your bag/coat until the end of the session.

Emergency alarms

In the unlikely event of the exam being interrupted by an emergency alarm you must follow the Invigilators’ instructions. You will be asked to leave the exam room, you may not talk to other candidates and you must not discuss the exam paper. All exam material must be left on the desk. You will be told where to assemble to wait for further instructions. The exam will commence under the direction of the Invigilators and Assessments Manager.

End of exam

  • Tie all supplementary answer books inside the main answer book
  • You must remain at your desk until all the scripts have been collected by the Invigilator
  • Do not collect your belongings or leave the exam room until instructed by the Invigilator
  • You must leave promptly and in silence
  • If your exam finishes before other exams in the same room, leave quietly and do not disturb other candidates by talking, either in the room or outside
  • Do not remove any exam materials from the room
  • In some cases you may not be allowed to take the exam question paper from the room, please check the exam paper instructions 
Was this page helpful?