Exam Tips

After having your head buried in subject revision, it is easy to overlook some basic things in preparation for exam day. Here are a few things that we think are important to keep in mind to survive your end of semester exams.

Student ID

All students are required to display their University of Melbourne student ID card on their desk for the duration of the exam. Students who have lost their ID card must inform an exam supervisor prior to commencement of writing time and provide alternative photo ID (passport, Australian drivers licence or proof of identity card) as well as a copy of their statement of enrolment. Any issues that can’t be resolved regarding verification of a student’s identity may be pursued as a student discipline matter, which is governed by Academic Board Regulation 8. See our page on Misconduct for more info.

Unauthorised materials

The University’s Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326) sets out what can and can’t be taken into exams with you. Any breaches of this policy will be investigated as academic misconduct under the Student Academic Integrity Policy (MPF1310). If a finding of academic misconduct is made due to having unauthorised materials in an exam, penalties can include receiving zero marks for the exam or subject, and in some cases suspension or termination of enrolment.

In addition to the loose pens, pencils, erasers and rulers that you can take into the exam venue, other authorised materials include:

  • clear bottle of water
  • pharmacy medications and other items in accordance with alternative exam arrangements
  • mobile phones, tablets, laptops, wallets and purses must be placed underneath your desk (electronics to be turned off and no items to be taken into the toilets, this includes smart watches)
  • additional items as indicated on the examination cover sheet in the case of open book exams

The following items are deemed to be unauthorised materials according to section 5.70 of the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326):

  • textbooks
  • course notes and other study materials (unless the examination is open book)
  • calculators, unless authorised by the examiner
  • electronic devices not covered elsewhere in this schedule
  • pencil cases
  • notes of any kind including those written on rulers, calculators or calculator covers, on the student’s body or anywhere else
  • periodic tables and formula sheets
  • blank paper
  • any other item or material that may cause disruption or provide students with an unfair advantage

For more information on responding to allegations of misconduct, see our page on page on Misconduct.

Check the time and location of your exam

Not all exams are on the main campus so make sure you check where you’re going. It’s also a good idea to check the timetable a few days prior to your exam in case there have been any changes.

Getting to the Royal Exhibition Building (REB)

A lot of exams are held at the REB, which is a longer walk than you might expect, so plan ahead so you know where you’re going.

The Royal Exhibition Building is located just north of Melbourne’s CBD, next to the Melbourne Museum in Carlton Gardens.

Public Transport Options:

  • Tram 86 or 96 to corner of Nicholson and Gertrude Streets
  • Free City Circle Tram to Victoria Parade
  • City loop train to Parliament Station
  • Bus routes 250, 251 and 402 to Rathdowne Street
  • Take the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle to stop No. 5 (a day ticket is $10)


Local bicycle facilities include bike lanes on Rathdowne St and Canning St. There is also a shared pedestrian/bike path on Nicholson St. Bicycle racks on the Plaza provide ample bike parking just outside the front door.

Car Park:

The Melbourne Museum undercover car park is open from 6:00am to midnight daily. Enter via Rathdowne Street or Nicholson Street.

For more info, including a map, please see Museum Victoria’s website.

Keep an eye out for the purple marquee for our Exam Support Stall where you can get water, pens, pencils, tissues and other essentials for your exams.

Allow extra time for travel

Plan to leave earlier than you normally would to get there, just in case there are any delays on your trip. All forms of transport have the potential for delays and you are expected to plan for minor changes or disruptions.

Reading time

The exam start time includes relevant reading time. So if your exam start time is 8:30am, and you are permitted 15 minutes of reading time, then your writing time will commence at 8:45am. Remember not to write on your paper during reading time.

If you’re late to an exam

If you arrive late to your exam due to factors outside your control, and these circumstances can be independently verified, you may be admitted to the exam if no student has already left the exam. If this is the case you will not be given extra time to complete the exam. If you believe your exam performance was significantly impacted due to these reasons you may be eligible to seek an opportunity to re-sit by applying for special consideration. See our Special Consideration page for more information and contact us for advice if you believe this is the case.

More information

University Policy

Other Information