Academic Support

Academic Support Exam Irregularities

Exam season can be very stressful and students often feel under pressure during this time of the academic year.

Revision and preparing for exams aren’t easy for everyone, and sitting a formal exam (especially if it’s your first one at Uni) can seem very daunting.

It can be especially challenging if you feel underprepared. But, no matter how tempting it might be to have a sneaky look at prohibited materials or devices during an exam, it really isn’t worth it. By doing this and trying to get an unfair advantage through the use of unauthorised materials you risk a serious penalty.

What If You Don’t Adhere to the Formal Examination Rules?

Failure to comply with the University’s formal examination rules could result in sanctions that could affect the outcome of your degree. So please, do not commit an exam irregularity. Learn more about Exam Irregularities and what counts as an exam irregularity on the University's website.

Remember, if you need advice or support when it comes to your assessments, Guild Advice are here to help. You can get in touch with the Advice Team via their online form.

Exam Irregularities FAQs

If your question is not answered below please email the Guild Advice Team.

An examination irregularity occurs when a student:

  • Seeks to improve their performance in an examination by accessing, or attempting to access, material not listed on the front of the question paper
  • Fails to follow the oral or written instructions for the examination, either given on the question paper or by the Invigilator
  • Possesses or accesses non-permitted materials during an examination, including mobile devices and notes
  • Communicates or attempts to communicate with another party (except invigilators) during an examination
  • Creates a disturbance during an exam

The University’s easy guide to exam conduct provides some really useful tips on following the rules and expectations for exams:

  • Be organised before your exam
  • Remove any annotations, notes, paper, or post-it notes from texts
  • If you are permitted to take a calculator into your exam, delete any stored items
  • Put permitted stationery in a transparent pencil case
  • Wear a simple (non-smart) wristwatch if you think you may have problems seeing the time in the exam venue
  • Arrive at the exam venue early
  • Listen to the Invigilator’s announcements before you go into the exam venue, they are there to remind and help you
  • If you are stressed about exams and are finding it hard to cope, please ensure that you seek support from your Wellbeing Officer and the University's Mental Health and Wellbeing services. You can also talk to our Guild Advice team if you need guidance on finding the most appropriate support for you
  • Raise your hand if you encounter a problem during an exam. The Invigilator will come to speak to you and support you with any issues
  • Inform the Invigilator if you realise you have something on you that should not be permitted: you will usually be able to continue the exam but they may ask you some questions
  • Speak to the Invigilator if you are concerned about another student’s behaviour in the exam

I’ve received notification that I am being investigated in relation to an allegation of an exam irregularity and I need some advice, what can I do?

  • Contact your Guild Advice team. The Advisors can provide you with advice and guidance on the full University process so that you are fully informed and can also support you with finding a ‘Friend’ to attend any relevant meetings with you
  • You can contact the team via email:, submit an advice request form on the Guild’s website, or attend a drop-in session to see an Advisor face to face (new enquires, during semester only). Visit Guild Advice to see our drop-in sessions times.

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