The purpose of this Policy and the associated procedures is to achieve coordinated and consistent examination practices across Australian Catholic University (ACU).
This policy applies to all central and School-based examinations at ACU, and to all staff and students.
Terms used in this policy and the associated procedures are consistent with the ACU Glossary of Terms. In addition, the following words and expressions in this policy have the meanings listed below:
Central examination means any examination administered by the Timetabling, Examinations and Results (TE&R) Section.
School-based examination means any examination administered by a School, Faculty or other academic organisational unit.
Examination adjustment means a change to examination conditions that take account of an ongoing medical or personal condition.
Special examination adjustments means a change to examination conditions that account for a temporary disability or acute medical condition.
4.1 Standard study periods
There will be a designated, maximum three-week examination period at the end of the first and second semesters for the conduct of central examinations.
4.2 Non-standard study period examinations
Examinations for units offered in non-standard study periods will be arranged and conducted by the relevant School.
4.3 Deferred examination periods
There will be a deferred examination period not less than two weeks after the end of the central examination periods for the first and second semesters.
4.4 Examination sessions
Examinations may be held within the period 8 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday (including public holidays) and 8 am to 5 pm Saturdays throughout the examination periods.
An examination may be a central examination organised by the Timetabling, Examinations and Results (TE&R) Section of Student Administration, or a school-based examination organised by the relevant School.
5.1 Central examinations
5.1.1 All central examinations will occur within the examination periods as identified in the common academic calendar. Examinations falling outside these periods will be organised by Schools (see Section 5.2).
5.1.2 Schools are responsible for:
- production of quality-assured examination papers;
- submission of examination papers to TE&R in accordance with the timelines identified in the Procedures;
- ensuring availability of a designated responsible academic staff member during examinations in accordance with Section 8 of the Procedures;
- collection of examination papers in accordance with Section 14 of the Policy and Section 9 of the Examinations Procedures, marking and submission of results.
5.1.3 For central examinations, TE&R Section is responsible for:
- timetabling of examinations within the period designated for central examinations, including deferred examinations;
- publishing a timetable online for the advice of students and staff;
- allocation of examination rooms;
- coordination of professionally-printed examination papers;
- secure management of examination papers;
- supply of examination writing booklets and multiple choice answer sheets;
- provision of adequate examination supervision (invigilation);
- processes relating to recruitment, appointment and management of examination supervisors;
- implementing any examination adjustments for students as required in accordance with Section 13.
5.2 School based examinations
5.2.1 School-based examinations may be held during the designated central examination period, or at any other time specified for an examination in the published unit outline.
5.2.2 School-based examinations held during the central examination period should be held during the examination session commencing at 5.00 pm or on Saturdays.
5.2.3 In the event of a clash between a central examination and a School-based examination, the central examination will have priority and the School-based examination will need to be rescheduled.
5.2.4 School-based examinations will not be held during the Universities Australia common vacation week, or an official pre-examination study week as identified in the common academic calendar, without prior approval from the Academic Registrar.
5.2.5 For School-based examinations, the School is responsible for:
- setting and publishing an examination timetable;
- ensuring that School-based examinations do not cause a timetable clash with central examinations;
- organising examination venues;
- quality control of examination papers, including content and ensuring adherence to the standard ACU format;
- printing of quality-assured examination papers;
- supply of examination materials (for example, writing booklets and multiple choice answer sheets;
- provision of adequate examination supervision (invigilation);
- where appropriate, processes relating to recruitment, appointment and management of examination supervisors;
- acting on advice from the relevant Disability Adviser regarding reasonable adjustments for students with a disability;
- marking of examination papers and submission of results
5.3 Examinations in courses with professional experience requirements
5.3.1 For any course, or course cohort, with a professional experience component occurring during the central examination period, effort will be made to schedule all examinations during a minimum of one calendar week out of the three-week official examination period.
5.3.2 If a clash between a professional experience placement and a scheduled examination is identified at the time of publication of the final examination timetable, a student may submit an application for a Deferred Examination. Such applications will receive automatic approval and the student will be notified in accordance with Section 15 of this policy.
5.4 Supplementary examinations
5.4.1 For standard study periods, where supplementary assessments take the form of written examination, they will be managed by TE&R section. All other forms of supplementary assessment will be managed by the relevant School.
5.4.2 Supplementary examinations will be held concurrently with any deferred examinations for the unit.
5.5 Concurrent use of the same examination paper
5.5.1 Concurrent use of the same examination paper is permissible only:
- where an examination is being held for the same unit in multiple locations at the same time;
- where required for units being taught out or as part of transition arrangements
5.5.2 Requests for concurrent use of the same examination paper must provide the following:
- a separate examination request and examination paper for each campus hosting the examination, even where content is identical;
- where concurrent use of an examination paper is requested to be used for multiple units the request must identify each of the units and campuses to be examined concurrently.
5.5.3 Requests for use of an examination paper for multiple examinations will be accommodated where possible. If not possible, an additional examination paper will be required
6.1 Central examinations can be between one and two hours in duration including reading time.
6.2 The central examination timetable will be scheduled in one or two hour blocks.
6.3 Examinations will be scheduled taking into consideration the mix of units undertaken by students and endeavouring to minimise, or preferably eliminate, clashes of examinations for units taken by class cohorts or individual students.
6.4 Subject to space constraints, priority will be given to the scheduling of central examinations for units with enrolments of 400 students or more in examination weeks 1 and 2.
6.5 Where clashes cannot be avoided, special arrangements will be made to enable affected students to undertake the examinations as close as possible to the scheduled time.
6.6 A student may be required to undertake a maximum of two examinations in a single day or three examinations in any two consecutive days.
6.7 A student should have a minimum of a two hour break between end time of one examination and start time of another.
7.1 Final central examination timetables will be published at least six weeks prior to the commencement of the main examination period and at least one week prior to the commencement of the deferred examination period.
7.2 Examination timetable information will be made available online to staff and students. It is the responsibility of each student to:
- identify the dates, times and venues of examinations they are to attend; and,
- notify TE&R of any clashes by the published due date, using the prescribed form.
8.1.1 Venues for examinations must adhere to the University examination standards. See Schedule 1 for minimum requirements for examination venue
8.2 Students will sit examinations at the campus or ACU Satellite Centre at which they attend classes for the unit being examined, or an established examination centre.
8.3 Online, Multi-mode and Off-campus units
8.3.1 Students enrolled in a unit offered in multi-mode or at a location other than an ACU campus or Satellite Centre, may sit examinations at the campus, ACU Satellite Centre or established examination centre closest to their semester address. Students will be notified of the location of the examination venue via their personal examination timetable.
8.3.2 Students enrolled in a unit offered in online mode will undertake their examinations online.
8.4 Variation of examination venue
8.4.1 In exceptional circumstances a student may apply to sit an examination at a venue other than those outlined in Sections 8.3.1 and 8.3.2.
8.4.2 The application must be made in writing to the Academic Registrar at least six weeks before the commencement of the relevant examination period.
8.4.3 If a variation of exam venue is approved to enable a student to sit the examination at an alternative venue, the student may be required to pay a prescribed fee.
8.5 In situ examination
8.5.1 In exceptional circumstances a student who is remote from the University on practical experience and is required to undertake an examination during that practical experience, may apply for an in situ School-based examination.
8.5.2 The application must be made in writing to the Head of School at least six weeks before the commencement of the relevant examination period.
8.5.3 The student must be notified of the outcome of the application within ten calendar days of the receipt of the application.
8.5.4 If approved, the School will be responsible for ensuring appropriate local supervision is arranged.
8.5.5 If an in situ exam is approved, to enable a student to sit the examination at an alternative venue, the student may be required to pay a prescribed fee.
9.1 Examination papers will be produced in accordance with the Procedures for Examinations–Staff.
10.1 Examination supervisors are responsible for the conduct of examinations and for ensuring compliance with this policy. A student must comply with all directions given by the examination supervisor and the supervisor’s decision is final.
10.2 A supervisor may require any person in the examination room to:
- confirm their identity and eligibility to be in the examination room through provision of an ACU Card;
- show that they are not in possession of any unauthorised device or material as specified in section 11.3 of this policy, or the Academic Honesty Policy;
- answer any question relating to their behaviour whilst under examination supervision;
- leave an examination room if a supervisor considers that a candidate's behaviour is such as to disturb or distract any other candidate;
- surrender any device or material, which the supervisor considers to be unauthorised, for the duration of the exam; and/or
- comply with any direction that the supervisor deems necessary to ensure the proper and efficient conduct of the examination.
11.1 Conduct of candidates
11.1.1 A candidate must comply with the Academic Regulations, the Academic Honesty Policy and Student Conduct and Discipline Policy.
11.1.2 Candidates are subject to the provisions of the Dealing with Instances of Falsified, Fraudulent or Misleading Documentation Policy.
11.1.3 Candidates must carry and produce their ACU Card on demand at each examination. It must be displayed prominently on the desk during the examination. In cases where student does not have their ACU Card, ACU will implement other identity checking processes.
11.1.4 Candidates will have their attendance recorded at every examination.
11.2 Examination conditions
11.2.1 Entry to Examination Room
22.214.171.124 A person other than the supervisor, or other authorised person1, may not enter or remain in an examination room during an examination, or during the period of 45 minutes immediately preceding or immediately following an examination session, without the permission of TE&R.
126.96.36.199 A candidate, on entering an examination room, must proceed to the place to which that candidate is directed by the supervisor. A candidate must not leave that place without permission or direction from a supervisor.
188.8.131.52 A person, whether a candidate or not, who is permitted to enter or leave an examination room must comply with conditions as outlined by the supervisor.
11.2.2 Starting time
184.108.40.206 The time listed on the examination timetable is the time when the examination commences. Candidates must not commence writing until the supervisor has given permission.
11.2.3 Late arrival
220.127.116.11 Candidates who arrive within the first 30 minutes after the start of an examination will be permitted to undertake that examination but will not be allowed additional time.
18.104.22.168 Candidates who arrive later than 30 minutes after the start of an examination will not be permitted to undertake that examination.
11.2.4 Early departure from examination rooms
22.214.171.124 Except in the circumstance provided for in Section 11.2.5, a candidate must not leave the examination room until 30 minutes after the commencement of, or during the final 10 minutes of an examination.
126.96.36.199 Candidates who wish to leave the examination room prior to the scheduled finish time (and within the times specified above) must adhere to instructions provided by the supervisor.
11.2.5 Illness during examination
188.8.131.52 If a candidate becomes ill during an examination and temporarily leaves the examination venue, but remains under supervision, no extra time will be allowed for the candidate to complete the examination. In this circumstance the candidate may submit an application for special consideration as per the Assessment Policy and Assessment Procedures.
184.108.40.206 If the candidate decides to continue the examination, the Examination Supervisor may make a decision to move the student to an alternative location, to reduce disruption to other students. The time required for the move will be added to the student’s allocated examination time.
220.127.116.11 If the candidate cannot continue with the examination, the supervisor will note this and report the matter to TE&R.
18.104.22.168 If a candidate becomes ill during an examination and is unable to continue the examination, the candidate may submit an application for a Deferred Examination. If a Deferred Examination is granted the original sitting of the examination will not be marked.
11.2.6 Conclusion of examination
22.214.171.124 At the conclusion of the examination all candidates must maintain examination conditions until all papers have been collected and the supervisor has given students permission to leave the examination room.
11.3 Materials in examinations
11.3.1 Nominated materials permitted in examinations
126.96.36.199 Where specified books or other materials (restricted open book examinations) are permitted to be taken into an examination, such materials will be limited to those specifically approved by the Lecturer in Charge and such materials will be listed on the examination paper cover sheet.
188.8.131.52 Where an examination is designated 'open book', the relevant text book and allowable materials may be taken into the examination.
184.108.40.206 The supervisor or other authorised person will inspect any such materials to ensure that they comply with the approved list provided by the Lecturer in Charge and do not contain any unauthorised materials.
220.127.116.11 The use of e-books is not permitted in any examination.
11.3.2 Use of dictionaries in examinations
18.104.22.168 English language dictionaries are not acceptable in an examination room.
22.214.171.124 A student may take a standard English/foreign language dictionary2(bilingual dictionary) in printed, not electronic format, into an examination in any unit. Specialist dictionaries, for example medical dictionaries, are not permitted.
126.96.36.199 The dictionary must not contain any notations or any additional material and must be presented to the supervisor for inspection.
188.8.131.52 Students will be refused permission to use dictionaries that contain notations or additional materials.
11.3.3 Use of personal electronic devices in examinations
184.108.40.206 Personal electronic devices may not be brought into or used in an examination room except with the prior approval of the Lecturer in Charge. Such approval must clearly identify the category of electronic device allowed in the specific examination.
220.127.116.11 Electronic devices which can be approved are restricted to those which are hand-held, internally powered, silent and not capable of wireless communication with other electronic devices.
18.104.22.168 Calculators and other electronic devices approved for use in an examination must have any programmable memory cleared prior to being brought into the examination room. Non-programmable calculators, where allowed, must have volatile memory only and must not have alpha facilities
22.214.171.124 A candidate using an authorised electronic device in an examination is responsible for its operation. Any failure or malfunction of the device will not constitute grounds for a deferred examination or other special arrangements.
11.3.4 Mobile telephones
126.96.36.199 Mobile telephones must not be used in an examination room. If a mobile telephone is brought into an examination room, it must be switched off and placed face down on the floor under the candidate’s desk. Non-compliance will result in the mobile telephone being confiscated by the Examination Supervisor.
11.3.5 Materials left outside examination room
188.8.131.52 The University accepts no responsibility for the security of any materials left outside an examination room.
11.4 Availability of Lecturer in Charge
11.4.1 Paper-based examinations
184.108.40.206 The Lecturer in Charge of a unit, or alternative contact as approved by Head of School or equivalent, must be contactable during the whole of the examination to answer any questions which may arise regarding the examination paper. TE&R staff or examination supervisors must not make a determination regarding the content of an examination paper.
11.4.2 Computer-based examinations
220.127.116.11 In addition to Section 11.4.1, the Lecturer in Charge must be present for at least 15 minutes at the beginning of a computer-based examination to set and deliver the required password for/to students and to ensure the examination commences appropriately
18.104.22.168 Lecturers in Charge must provide students sitting a computer-based examination, and the examination supervisor(s) with written information equivalent to that provided on the cover sheet of a paper-based examination.
11.4.3 Examinations conducted in a clinical or science laboratory
22.214.171.124 Where an examination is conducted in a clinical or science laboratory, the Lecturer in Charge must be present for the duration of the examination and is responsible for the supervision of all students undertaking the examination
11.4.4 Examinations conducted in a clinical or science laboratory
126.96.36.199 If an electronic device has been approved for use in an examination, the Lecturer in Charge, or nominee approved by the Head of School or equivalent, must be present to inspect such devices to ensure that they comply with sections 11.3 of this policy.
12.1 Where an examination is affected by an unexpected interruption (for example, a power failure, computer/software malfunction, earthquake, bomb threat, fire alarm etc.) the supervisor will implement appropriate immediate action including any action necessary under the Critical Incident Management Policy.
12.2 Minor disruptions to an examination, for a period of 15 minutes or less, will be accommodated by the provision of an equivalent period of additional time added to the end of the allocated examination time by approval of the National Manager, TE&R.
12.3 The Academic Registrar or nominee will determine the appropriate course of action in the event of a significant disruption to an examination. A significant disruption may include repeated minor disruptions in the same examination session.
12.4 In the event of an evacuation of an examination venue, the Academic Registrar in consultation with the Executive Dean or nominee will determine which of the following outcomes will apply, with consideration to minimising disadvantage to students:
- the examination may be declared void and a new examination scheduled for a date and time within the current examination period;
- students' examination scripts may be marked and the mark stand;
- organising examination venues;
- as well as the outcome in paragraph (b), an additional assessment item may be set with a suitable due date for submission.
13.1 Permanent disability and/or chronic medical condition
13.1.1. Adjustments to the examination conditions for students with a permanent disability and/or chronic medical condition will be incorporated in Education Inclusion Plans developed by Disability Services.
13.2 Unexpected temporary disability or medical condition
13.2.1 If a student has an unexpected temporary disability or medical condition, the student may apply for special adjustments to examination arrangements through submission of the relevant form to TE&R.
13.2.2 If, due to the timing of the request, the University cannot implement the requested provisions, the student may be required to sit the examination during the deferred examination period.
13.3 Notification of examination adjustment and special adjustment requirements
13.3.1 Students with a disability and/or medical condition should consult a Disability Adviser to register for examination adjustments as early as possible, preferably at the time of enrolment and no later than the census date of the relevant study period.
13.3.2 Disability Services will provide TE&R with a provisional list of examination adjustment requirements by the end of lecture week seven and a final list of all examination adjustment requirements by the end of lecture week nine. Requests for Examination Adjustments after week nine will not be considered for central examinations in the main round.
13.3.3 Where examination adjustments are not advised to TE&R by the above date, one of the following actions will be taken:
- The student may be required to sit their examination/s during the deferred examination period; or
- Disability Services may liaise with the relevant School/s regarding the provision of a School-based examination/s outside the central examination period; or
- Disability Services may liaise with the School/s regarding alternative assessment/s in lieu of an examination/s.
13.3.4 The Student will receive written advice of the decision on any application for an examination adjustment by TE&R section, with advice of such approval also being provided to the relevant School.
14.1 Lecturers in Charge, or nominee, must collect students’ examination scripts in person from the designated location, within 2 working days of the examination date consistent with Section 9 of the Examination Procedures for Staff.
15.1 Central Deferred Examinations
188.8.131.52 Where a student is unable to attend an examination due to illness or other exceptional circumstance beyond their control, the student is required to submit the relevant form for deferred examination along with Professional Authority as per Section 15.4 of the policy.
184.108.40.206 Applications for deferred examinations must be submitted along with the required supporting documentary evidence no more than five calendar days after the examination.
15.1.2 Determination of application for a deferred central examination
220.127.116.11 The Academic Registrar or nominee will determine the outcome of an application for a deferred central examination.
18.104.22.168 TE&R Section will notify a student of the outcome of their deferred examination application in writing no less than 48 hours prior to the commencement of the deferred examination period.
22.214.171.124 Where the application is approved, the details of the examination date, time and location will be published on the students’ Personal Examination Timetable.
126.96.36.199 In cases where an application is submitted prior to the originally scheduled examination and the application is refused, the student will be notified of the decision, in writing, prior to the originally scheduled examination.
15.2 School-based deferred examination
188.8.131.52 Where a candidate is unable to attend an examination due to illness or other exceptional circumstance (beyond their control) the candidate is required to submit the relevant documentation for a School-based deferred examination with the Lecturer in Charge as per section 15.3 of this policy.
184.108.40.206 Applications for deferred examination must be submitted along with supporting documentary evidence as per section 15.4 of the policy no later than five calendar days after the day of the examination.
15.3 Determination of application for a deferred School-based examination
15.3.1 The Lecturer in Charge will determine the outcome of an application for a School-based deferred examination.
15.3.2 The School will notify the student of the outcome of their deferred examination application in writing not less than one week prior to the examination date determined by the Lecturer in Charge.
15.3.3 Where the application is approved, the written notification will include the details of the examination date, time and location.
15.3.4 In cases where an application is submitted prior to the examination and the application is refused, every effort will be made to contact the student prior to the scheduled examination.
15.4 Evidence in support of application for deferred examination
15.4.1 Any application for a deferred examination must be supported by appropriate documentary evidence (Professional Authority). An electronic version of the documentary evidence may be submitted, but a student may be required to produce the original on demand. The authenticity of documentary evidence may be confirmed with the named provider.
15.5 Limit on number of deferrals
15.5.1 An examination or alternative assessment may be deferred no more than once after the original scheduled examination.
15.5.2 If the student is unable to undertake the deferred examination or assessment, further deferral of the examination will not be granted and the Lecturer in Charge will be required to provide a final result for the unit.
15.5.3 If the student provides evidence of continuing exceptional circumstances, the Course Coordinator, after consultation with the student and the Lecturer in Charge, may recommend to the Head of School or equivalent that:
- the student's enrolment in the relevant unit be cancelled without academic penalty (but with financial liability);
- other alternative assessment be arranged, having regard to the circumstances of the case.
16.1 Subject to Section 16.4 of this policy, past examination or sample papers for every unit that has a final examination will be published in the ‘Past Exam Repository’ page located on the Library website as outlined in the Examination Procedures - Staff.
16.2 Where there are multiple examination papers for the same unit in the same semester, only one paper is required for publication.
16.3 The following categories of examinations will be exempt from publication:
- multiple choice examinations;
- examinations involving practical work;
- computer exercises;
- modelling and extended problem-solving mathematical problems;
- electronic examinations or tests conducted using LEO;
- examinations or tests with unresolved copyright implications.
16.4 Where all or segments of examination papers are exempt from publication, Lecturers in Charge are required to provide students with sample examination questions relevant to the examination paper for that unit of study via LEO at the commencement of the study period. No material with unresolved copyright issues may be used.
16.5 Where a paper contains both exempt and non-exempt questions, the exempt segment may be deleted prior to publication.
16.6 Examination papers will not be given to students at the conclusion of a central or deferred examination.
16.7 Past examination papers will be available for up to three years from the date of publication on the ‘Past Exam Repository’ page.
17.1 Expulsion from examination room
17.1.1 An Examination supervisor may expel any candidate from the examination room, where that candidate is believed to be in breach of this policy.
17.2 Report and investigation
17.2.1 An Examination Supervisor must report any alleged breach of this policy to the National Manager, TE&R, who will refer the matter to the relevant authority.
17.2.2 In cases of alleged cheating the matter will be referred to the Head of School responsible for the unit and must be investigated and resolved in accordance with the Academic Honesty Policy.
17.2.3 In cases of alleged falsified documentation the matter will be referred to the Academic Registrar, and must be investigated and resolved in accordance with the Policy on Dealing with Instances of Falsified, Fraudulent or Misleading Documentation.
17.2.4 In all other cases the matter will be referred to the Designated Officer and must be investigated and resolved in accordance with the Student Conduct and Discipline Policy.
18.1 Student responsibilities
18.1.1 Students are required to be available to undertake examinations throughout the periods designated for central examinations, including supplementary examinations and deferred examinations.as published in the common academic calendar.
18.1.2 Students are required to be available to undertake School based examinations at the dates and times specified in the relevant unit outlines.
18.1.3 Students are required to familiarise themselves with the provisions of this policy and the related policies as listed.
18.2 Staff responsibilities
18.2.1 Staff responsibilities relating to examinations are detailed in the Procedures for Examinations–Staff.
19.1 Records related to Examinations will be maintained in accordance with the Records and Archive Management Policy and Records and Retention and Disposal Schedule of the University.
Any venue that is used by Australian Catholic University for examinations must adhere to the following minimum standards:
- Appropriate lighting.
- Air conditioning.
- Adequate space.
- Preference for flat floor. Lecture theatres may be required at times due to lack of flat floor space.
- Desk and chairs for open book examinations.
- Single desks wherever possible.
- Quiet surrounding (no construction noise and no facilities/construction work).
- Wheelchair access requirement for students with examination adjustments.
- Amenities (male, female and accessible)
- Venue must comply with safety regulations.
- Close to public transport and/or parking facilities
2 Lecturers in Charge should be aware that bilingual dictionaries normally include the meaning of words in the foreign language.
Page last updated: 2017-06-28
Short url: https://handbook.acu.edu.au/949446