Apr 18 2018

How long before the exam do you have to arrive?

What are you allowed to bring in to the exam venue?

What happens if you're caught with unauthorised items?

Find out all these answers and more!


  • bring your College Card to each exam,
  • ensure you have nothing written on any part of your body before entering the exam venue,
  • leave your personal belongings and unauthorised items outside or at the edge of the room,
  • double check the venue for your exam,
  • arrive at least 20 minutes before the start of your exam,
  • leave the exam venue quietly, bearing in mind that other exams may still be in progress in the same venue or nearby.


  • have unauthorised items on your person such as mobile phones, bags, smartwatches or written materials of any kind  (scroll down for more info on this)
  • bring in a pencil case unless it’s entirely transparent and clear,
  • turn over the question paper or begin writing until told to do so by the invigilator,
  • leave the exam venue in the first half hour or last half hour of the exam,
  • communicate with any other candidates in the exam  venue.

Something you hopefully know about is the Instructions to Candidates. At Royal Holloway we want exams to be as fair for everyone as possible so the following items are unauthorised and must not be left on your person or taken to your desk/chair, unless held in a bag underneath:

  1. personal items, such as bags, purses and wallets,
  2. outdoor clothing, including coats, hats and scarfs - unless worn for religious reasons (please see 6.3),
  3. pencil cases, except those which are entirely transparent and clear,
  4. mobile phones, electronic notebooks such as iPads or other electronic equipment,
  5. ‘Smartwatches,’
  6. Food - you may have a small quantity of sweets or chewing gum but these must be placed in a small, clear plastic bag on your desk,
  7. drink, except for soft drinks contained in a clear plastic bottle with all labels removed,
  8. written material of any kind (for the only exception to this please see 4.4),
  9. paper of any type including scrap paper,
  10. electronic or paper dictionaries, unless expressly permitted by the Sub-board of Examiners (see 6.13),
  11. calculators, unless authorised and expressly permitted by the Sub-board of Examiners (see 6.13 and 6.14).

Please note that if you’re found with any of the above items or any other unauthorised items on your person at any point during your exam it will be treated as an assessment offence and investigated in accordance with the Regulations on Assessment Offences.