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Your exams: what you need to know

If you are taking your exams this guidance explains what you need to do to make sure that you are following the regulations so you can concentrate on getting the results you want.

Be prepared for your exams

At the start of each academic session you should make sure you register for the modules you are taking so you are entered for the correct examinations. You will need to register, when prompted, for your term 2 modules in term 1. Your exam timetable will then be emailed to you in term 2 for the main exam period and will also be available on Portico. If the exams listed on your timetable are incorrect, you should contact your department immediately. 

If you feel you require special assessment exam due to dyslexia or a medical condition you should apply at least six weeks before your first exam.

Find out more about special exam arrangements 

Your candidate number which you should use for most exams will be emailed to you in term 1 and will also be available on Portico. You can print your candidate card to take to your exam, however, you must not write on it. You must take a form of photo ID with you to your exam, however, you are not required to take your candidate card if you can remember your candidate number. 

Read more about how to prepare for success


Make sure the day goes smoothly

Make sure you know where all of your exams will be held. This will be listed on your exam timetable. Make sure you arrive at the exam hall about 30 minutes before the exam start time. If your name does not appear on the candidate lists, you should inform a member of the invigilating staff or member of the Examinations Section as soon as possible. 

Check what stationery and materials are permitted for your exam and put your stationery in a clear pencil case. If a calculator is permitted, check which models are allowed under the regulations. 

You are only permitted to take clear bottles of still non-carbonated water into your exam. Non-essential items and valuables should be left at home and invigilators will advise you on where to put bags, coats, and revision notes on the day. 

Sit in your assigned seat and if you do bring valuables, mobile phones or exam timetables into the hall these should be placed in the plastic wallet under your desk. All electronic devices should be switched off, not just placed on silent.

Your photo ID, pencil case, calculator and reference materials, if you're allowed them, and candidate number card, if you need it, should be placed on your desk.

Make sure you have the correct exam paper but do not open it until you are told to do so, check the information on the the cover.

You are not allowed to leave the exam hall within the first 30 minutes or in the last 15 minutes of the exam unless you feel unwell. If you feel unwell, need more stationery or need the toilet, raise your hand to attract the attention of an invigilator. 

Write in blue or black ink unless you are doing an MCQ exam or drawing a diagram for which pencils may be used. You should do all rough work in your answer book and cross through it. 

At the end of the examination you will be given one minute to put your material - answer books, question papers, MCQ cards and handouts - into the exam answer book envelope ready for collection. You should leave any reference materials on your desk and leave the hall as quietly as possible taking all your personal possessions with you. 

In the event of an emergency, you should leave all materials behind and follow the instructions of the hall supervisor. 


If things go wrong on the day of your exam

If you are less than 30 minutes late for your exam, you will be allowed to sit your exam for the remainder of its duration. Your exam will finished at the same time, you will not be given extra time. If you arrive more than 30 minutes late, you should report to your home department immediately. 

Check the status of your transport route well before you set off.

If you feel your performance in your exam has been affected by circumstances that are outside of your control, you may be eligible to submit a claim for Extenuating Circumstances to be considered by your department. 

Find out more about Extenuating Circumstances

If you leave personal property at the exam hall and it is found, it will be transferred to the UCL Lost Property Office in Foster Court (provide link).

If you realise after the exam that you have used an incorrect candidate number or your student number this is usually not a problem but you should inform your department straight away. 


What happens after your exams

The results of your exams will be available on Portico once the Board of Examiners has met and results have been ratified by UCL. This is usually mid-July for undergraduate students and November or December for most postgraduate students. Your department might release results to you which will be strictly provisional. All successful final year students will receive their degree certificate about 8 to 10 weeks after official confirmation of award by UCL. 

If you fail your assessments, you might be eligible to take resits as part of the Late Summer Assessment period.