CQU logo CQU homeCQU azCQU enquiries
CQU handbook
[Previous]  [Table of Contents]


Examinations - Rules



  1. Ancillary Materials” refers to materials supplied by CQU. It includes but is not limited to: graph paper; statistical books; formula sheets; periodic tables; conversion books; optical mark reader cards and legislation.
  2. Closed book examinations” refers to examinations where the candidate may not take into the examination room any study materials (including textbooks, study guides, lecture notes, printed notes from web pages and hand-written notes). Exceptions are ancillary materials considered necessary by the lecturer for the completion of the examination, which must be specified on the frontice of the examination paper.
  3. Examination centre” refers to the physical location where a candidate may, given appropriate conditions, undertake a formal CQU examination.
  4. Electronic devices” include, but are not limited to, calculators with alphanumeric keyboards or other programmable forms, mobile telephones, pagers, any form of electronic dictionary and other electronic means of communication.
  5. Examination script” refers to the worked examination answer booklet and/or examination paper, rough working paper and other ancillary materials related to that examination.
  6. Students should familiarise themselves with the definition of “misadventure” set out below, which is relevant in the administration of Academic Regulations relating to:
    1. requirements to complete a course;
    2. the award of a deferred examination;
    3. withdrawal (without academic penalty) from a course;
    4. exclusion from enrolment; and
    5. restructured/provisional enrolment.
    6. Misadventure” is defined as an unexpected event which is not part of the normal risk of academic studies, employment, family or social life and which is outside the student’s control to prevent or to overcome. It must also be clear the misadventure disrupted previously satisfactory work.

    Except in the case of applications for deferred examinations, it must be shown the alleged misadventure seriously interfered with the student’s studies to the extent that had it not occurred, he or she would in all likelihood have given a satisfactory performance.
  7. Normal risk” is defined as such matters as the average student could be expected to meet in his or her environment. In the normal program of events the following would be regarded as part but not an exclusive list of normal risk:
    1. inability to cope with studies or to adjust to family life;
    2. demands of employment (in themselves or in consequence of promotion), including periods of pressure and being absent temporarily from one’s normal place of residence;
    3. tension with or between parents, spouses and other persons closely involved with the student;
    4. demands of sport, clubs (including CQU Clubs), all social activities and religious commitments; and
    5. need for financial support.
    These examples do not preclude consideration of extreme cases which arise in any of the categories as a result of unexpected situations beyond the student’s control.
  8. Under normal circumstances, “unauthorised” materials refers to materials brought into the examination room by the candidate that are not specified on the master exam cover page. Unauthorised materials include, but are not limited to brief cases, mobile phones, pagers, other electronic communication devices, shopping bags, hats, programmable electronic calculation devices, electronic dictionaries, paper, tissues, blotting paper, writing paper, food and fluids other than water, graph paper.
  9. Allied Health Practitioner” does not refer to practitioners of alternative medicine, naturopaths, herbalists, etc. unless they are registered practitioners.

Formal examination periods are contained in the Calendar of Principal Dates in this Handbook. The University will endeavour to schedule examinations only in the one-week period designated for examinations. However, it may be necessary to schedule examinations outside of these designated periods. Online examinations will not be administered by Student Administration.



Examination Advice

  1. Each term externally enrolled students at CQU will be issued with an Examination Advice notice, which is a personalised examination timetable detailing the dates, times, and locations of examinations a student is required to sit.
  2. Students must ensure that all details printed on this advice, and in particular course enrolment details and examination centre locations are correct. Should any information appear incorrect, and/or changes required, students should notify the Examinations Section immediately. Failure to notify the Examinations Section of any changes and/or concerns may jeopardise a student’s examination candidature.
  3. Students, who have not received an Examination Advice approximately 21 days prior to the commencement of the examination period, are responsible for contacting the Examinations Section to determine the status of their candidacy and to ensure the correct examination timetable for courses to be examined.
  4. All students have access to their own personalised examination timetable via e.rolment. If unable to access e.rolment contact the Student Service Line on 1300 550 900 for assistance.
  5. Examination room information can also be found on the Room Allocation Roster, which will be available on Faculty noticeboards two weeks prior to the exam period.

Examination Timetable

  1. A draft examination timetable will be published on e.rolment and circulated to Faculty Noticeboards to allow for comments and objections for a two-week period. After completion of the two-week period, when all comments and objections have been considered, the draft timetable will be updated and published as the FINAL TIMETABLE. Because the draft timetable is subject to major change, if incorrect information regarding dates, times and locations is gained from this Timetable it will not be considered grounds for a deferred examination.
  2. Comments and objections should be made in writing, setting out full details to the Manager, Examinations, Student Administration.
  3. Examination timetables, draft and final, will be published on all main CQU noticeboards, and e.rolment.
  4. Students, who have requested late enrolment changes and are unaware of their examination candidacy, should contact the Examinations Section no later than 21 days prior to the commencement of the examination period.

Examination Centres

  1. All active examination centres are available for selection by students via e.rolment. If unable to access e.rolment contact the student services line and a centre will be allocated.
  2. If an active examination centre is not available within 100 km of a student’s residential address, contact the examinations section to make arrangements to open a new centre.
  3. Selection of Examination Centres should be finalised six weeks before the commencement of an examination period.
  4. In exceptional circumstances the Examinations Section will endeavour to make changes to an examination centre outside the above deadline, however changes cannot be made within 14 days of the commencement of the Examination Period. Requests should be made by phone initially, however documentary evidence will need to be supplied to the Manager, Examinations before a decision can be made.
  5. Internal students, as defined by their program attendance, are required to sit for examinations at the campus of their enrolment. Requests for permission to sit for examinations at another CQU campus or external examination centre should be submitted to the Examinations Section six weeks before the commencement of an examination period and MUST be accompanied by full supporting documentation.
  • Only in exceptional circumstances will an internal student be permitted to sit for an examination at another centre.
  • Candidates requesting a change due to exceptional circumstances must write, with supporting documentary evidence to the Manager, Examinations. The change of centre fee is $30 per course and an invoice will be generated at the conclusion of the exam period.

Invigilator Responsibility

  1. Examination invigilators are empowered to give directions to candidates concerning the conduct of examinations. They are, on behalf of the Vice-President and Registrar, in control of the examination room.
  2. Invigilators will instruct candidates when to enter the room, commence perusal, commence the examination and when the examination is finished.

Examination Times

  1. Examinations at CQU campuses and external centres begin at 9 am and 1.30 pm, with the settling in period and perusal time commencing prior to these times.

Settling in Period

  1. Candidates are admitted to rooms 20 to 40 minutes (as the case may be) prior to the commencement of an examination for settling in purposes. During this period the candidate may complete the front of their examination answer booklet, and attendee card, if required.
  2. Candidates should arrive at their Examination Centre in sufficient time to allow settling in prior to commencement of examinations at 9 am and 1.30 pm.

Perusal Time

  1. Candidates are given perusal time of 10 to 30 minutes, as the case may be, prior to the commencement of the examination. During this time candidates may not write IN the examination answer booklet or on drawing paper, optical scanning paper, or graph paper supplied for the purpose of answering the examination.
  2. Candidates may not write directly on the examination paper if it is a multiple choice examination.
  3. Candidates may write on rough paper, except where the examiner has specifically stated on the master exam cover page writing may not occur during perusal.
  4. Lecturers are required to attend perusal time of their course examinations. They should then be easily contactable by telephone to answer any queries that may arise for the duration of the examination.
  5. Candidates are not permitted to use electronic devices during perusal time.

Late Entry

  1. Candidates who arrive for an examination up to one hour late are required to present themselves to the invigilator prior to taking a seat in the examination room. No extension of time will be given.
  2. Candidates will not be permitted entry to an examination room after one hour from the commencement of that examination.
  3. Candidates will not be permitted to leave an examination before the expiration of one hour or during the final 15 minutes of the examination.

Candidate Conduct

  1. Head wear is not to be worn by candidates in the examination room.
  2. Candidates are not permitted to eat or smoke during an examination. Candidates are not permitted to bring any drink other than water into the examination room. Candidates may only bring drinking water into the examination room in clear, plastic, non-labelled bottles.
  3. Candidates are not permitted to communicate by any means with another candidate during an examination.
  4. Candidates requiring assistance from an invigilator must raise their hand.
  5. Any electronic device capable of circumventing the objectives of examinations shall not be permitted in examination rooms.
  6. There must be no breach of examination security by talking, looking around or passing notes during an examination.
  7. Candidates may only bring into the examination room basic writing materials and authorised materials, as indicated on the master exam cover page. Unauthorised materials, such as bags or briefcases of any description, may not be taken into the examination room. Items of this nature may be placed in the area established for this purpose by the invigilator.
  8. Candidates must complete the front of their examination answer booklets and write their name and student number on their examination paper before they are permitted to leave the room.
  9. An attendee card will be printed for each student, for each examination of which they are a candidate. Students who attend their examination must keep the attendee card as proof of having sat the exam.
  10. All examination answer booklets remain the property of CQU and are to be used for authorised purposes only.
  11. All candidates must bring into the examination room and keep displayed their current CQU student identification card. Internal candidates who do not possess a CQU student identification card will not be permitted entry into an examination. These candidates must present themselves to Student Administration before the examination commences. Distance students (sitting at External Centres only) who do not have a CQU student identification card may provide as identification their driver’s licence or passport, and their Examination Advice.

Candidate Responsibility

  1. Students must be aware it is their responsibility to ensure correct knowledge of examination dates, times and locations. Such information should be taken from the FINAL Examination Timetable and/or the candidate’s individual Examination Advice. Failure to do so, including misreading of the timetable, WILL NOT in any circumstances constitute grounds for the granting of a deferred examination.
  2. Students must sit their examination at the scheduled dates and times. Requests to sit earlier or later will be refused other than in exeptional circumstances beyond the student’s control e.g. subpoenaed to appear in court.
  3. Students should not arrange marriage or other ceremonies, vacations or special occasions which will coincide with CQU formal examination periods. These events will not be accepted as the sole grounds for the granting of a deferred examination. Please ensure Final Timetable is checked before making arrangements.
  4. Students who have a dual enrolment with another university and find they have a clash with that university’s examinations may not be granted deferred examinations, if this is the sole reason. Students with examination clashes should contact the Examinations Section immediately to discuss options.
  5. Candidates must not purchase tickets for overseas or vacation travel prior to the completion of their examinations.
  6. Students with a pre-existing disability or chronic illness who require special exam conditions must register with the Equity and Diversity Office no later than Week 3. The only exception to this would be those students who can demonstrate that there had been a change in their circumstances warranting late registration. This advice must be provided no later than 21 days prior to commencement of the examination period. Without notice students will be required to attend their examination without accommodation; in this case, the Examinations Manager should be advised that ‘special consideration’ will be required. Supporting documentation must be provided by a doctor, therapist or another appropriate professional upon registration.
  7. All end of term examinations prepared by the Vice-President and Registrar will be conducted during the official examination periods as approved by Academic Board, and indicated on the Calendar of Principal Dates. The University will endeavour to schedule examinations only in the designated one-week period. However it may be necessary to schedule examinations outside these designated periods.
  8. Sanctions will be applied to all candidates who are debtors of the Examinations Section and to CQU. Students with unpaid examination charges will not receive examination results. Sanctions will also be applied when a change of exam centre fee is payable.

Examination Papers

  1. Candidates are only able to take examination papers printed on white paper with them from the examination room, except in cases where advised otherwise by the exam invigilator. All other coloured examination papers must be collected and accounted for by the invigilator and returned with worked examination scripts. Lecturers may refuse to mark an examination unless all coloured examination papers are returned.
  2. Copies of past years’ examination papers (subject to release) will be available on the CQU Student Association web page.

Deferred Examinations

Before lodging an application for a deferred examination, students should familiarise themselves fully with the definition of misadventure and the concept of “normal risk” as outlined on the previous pages. Whereas deferred examinations may have been applied for and granted previously, students should note only those applications for deferred examinations which satisfy and comply with the prescribed guidelines will now be successful.

Deferred Examination Applications will now be assessed by the Faculty who has Academic Ownership of the Course. In the first instance the lecturer of the course will approve completion of all other assessable coursework and a final decision on approval of the deferred examination will be undertaken by the Dean (or nominee) of the respective Faculty.

It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure an application for a particular course is referred to the relevant Faculty with supporting documentary evidence (as specified below). This may mean three separate applications (as the case may be) with copies of evidence attached.

  1. A candidate, who for medical, allied health or compassionate reasons, misadventure or other circumstances beyond the candidate’s control was, or will be, unable to sit for the formal scheduled examination may apply for a deferred examination, provided the event was not considered by CQU to be normal risk.
  2. A deferred examination may not be granted if, in the opinion of the Dean (or nominee) more timely notice of difficulties would have permitted arrangements to have been made for the original examination to be taken.
  3. Deferred applications must be completed on the designated form. Supporting information must be provided by the medical or allied health practitioner completing the reverse side of the application form, or by an official certificate, where the form is not available.
    Applications for deferred examinations on medical or allied health grounds which do not provide this information will not be considered further.
  4. A candidate who applies for a deferred examination on medical or allied health grounds must submit a certificate from a registered* medical, dental or health practitioner stating:
    1. the date on which the student was examined;
    2. the nature, severity and duration of the complaint; and
    3. the practitioner’s opinion of the effect on the student’s ability to undertake the examination.
      The University requires sufficient information to determine whether to accept the medical certificate as a basis for a deferred examination or for special consideration. Non-specific statements that the student was “not fit for duty”, or was suffering from a “medical condition” or “illness” will not be accepted. Additionally, the University will not accept multiple doctors’ certificates for differing medical conditions over a short period of time.
    4. The University will not accept certificates that rely upon the patient rather than the practitioner saying, for example, “the client states that …” or “according to the patient”.
    5. Only in exceptional circumstances will retrospective medical certificates be accepted. The University will, however, accept certificates where the nature of the complaint cannot be divulged for reasons of privacy (e.g., a venereal disease). The practitioner should indicate this on the certificate.
    6. Examples of unacceptable certificates will include:
      “The patient is suffering from a medical condition which will prevent her from sitting the exam”. “The patient states that he has suffered from the illness for ‘x’ days”.
    7. Examples of acceptable certificates will include:
      “The patient is, in my opinion, suffering from a medical condition, the exact nature of which I cannot divulge for reasons of patient privacy, but which will be exacerbated if she sits an exam at this time”.
  5. Candidates, whose applications are based on medical or allied health grounds and for which a medical certificate has been supplied, do not need to complete the statutory declaration on the form.
  6. A candidate who applies for a deferred examination or for special consideration on other than medical or allied health grounds must furnish corroborative evidence in support of the application.
    Additionally an applicant should clarify the situation by completing and signing the statutory declaration on the reverse side of the application form. The declaration must clearly state the disability or exceptional circumstance which precluded the candidate from taking the examination at the appointed time and/or appointed place.
  7. Where a student is unable to sit for an examination on account of demands of employment requiring the student to be interstate or overseas at the time of the examination, arrangements may be made for the student to sit for the examination at the appointed time at another university or established distance education examination centre. Applications should be made in writing, with supporting documentation, at least three weeks before the examination date to the Manager, Examinations in Student Administration.
  8. Where a student is seeking a deferred examination on the basis of an unavoidable work commitment, an official statement to that effect from the student’s employer will be required. The employer must explain the exceptional nature of the work commitment and the inability of the student to sit the examination.
  9. Applications for deferred examinations must be lodged, on the appropriate form as soon as possible, but no later than seven days after the date of the examination. This applies, except in special circumstances, where the Dean (or nominee) considers the late application should be accepted.
  10. The Chair of the Faculty Education Committee will make a determination on whether or not a deferred examination should be granted, taking into account the satisfactory completion of all other items of assessment in the course. The student must have the ability to pass the course prior to sitting for a deferred examination i.e. completed all course requirements. The target time for recommendations is up to 14 days from receipt of deferred applications.
  11. Applications for a deferred examination take into account a student’s performance in all assessed components of work, including the deferred examination in a course. The normal grading system will be used for these examinations.
  12. Students who submit an application before the examination date are responsible for contacting the Dean (or nominee), to determine the outcome prior to the examination. Applications lodged on the day or after the examination will be considered. However, students should be mindful an unsuccessful application may be considered to have constituted “normal risk”.
  13. Examinations of this nature will be held in the period approved by Academic Board as per the Calendar of Principal Dates. Examinations held outside of these timeframes are the responsibility of the particular faculty.
  14. Students who apply to sit a deferred examination will usually be granted only one opportunity to complete this examination. In extenuating circumstances, e.g. natural disaster or an extreme ongoing medical condition, on producing documentary evidence and approval from the Dean (or nominee), students may be permitted to attempt a second deferred examination (deferred deferred examination). No student will be permitted more than one attempt at a deferred deferred examination for a course. Where a deferred deferred examination has been approved by the Faculty, Student Administration will arrange for the student to sit at the next deferred examination period. Students must apply, in writing, to the Dean (or nominee), and MUST supply supporting documentation.

Special Consideration

  1. Candidates who consider their performance IN an examination has been adversely affected by illness, disability, bereavement or other exceptional circumstances, may apply for Special Consideration.
  2. Candidates must lodge Applications for Special Consideration forms with the invigilator on the day of the examination or with the Faculty no later than seven days after the examination. All applications must be supported by documentary evidence.
  3. Applications will be referred to the relevant lecturer who shall take into account the information provided when deciding the result to be recommended for the candidate in the course in question.
  4. Students should refer to the section on Deferred Examinations for procedures relating to the completion of the special consideration application form.

Special Examination Arrangements

Permanent Disabilities

  1. Consideration will be given to requests for special examination arrangements for students with permanent disabilities. All enquiries regarding special examination arrangements for students with permanent disabilities should be directed to the Disabilities Officer, Equity and Diversity Office (Ph: 07 4930 9263).

Temporary Disabilities

  1. Consideration will be given to requests for special examination arrangements for students who may be temporarily incapacitated or disabled, or hospitalised during the examination period.
  2. If it is not possible for a student to sit for an examination while in hospital, an application for a deferred examination, supported by appropriate documentary evidence, should be lodged with the Examinations Section, Student Administration, no later than 7 days after the examination.
  3. All requests for special examination arrangements resulting from a temporary incapacity or disability, or hospitalisation should be made in writing to the Manager, Examinations, Student Administration, accompanied by a medical certificate or other documentary evidence as may be appropriate.
  4. Further enquires regarding special examination arrangements should be directed to the Manager, Examinations.


Bilingual Translation Dictionaries

  1. All candidates WILL BE PERMITTED to use unannotated bilingual translation dictionaries in examinations.
  2. The Faculty, via the Faculty Education Committee, will ensure that all lecturers are aware that permission has been granted for students to utilise unannotated bilingual translation dictionaries in examinations.
  3. Approval will be indicated on the frontice of the examination paper.
  4. Information regarding approval will be clearly outlined in the Course Profile.
  5. The Faculty will be responsible for communicating information to lecturers/tutors on CQU International Campuses.
  6. Lecturers will be responsible for communicating information to students during lectures and tutorials.
  7. Only Direct Translation Foreign Language Dictionaries will be permitted.
  8. Dictionaries must be unannotated i.e. hand-written or typed notes must not be contained within the dictionary.
  9. Electronic Dictionaries i.e. a device in which information can be stored, will not be permitted in the examination room.
  10. No extra working time will be permitted.
  11. If the course is a foreign language course then a dictionary relevant to the language of that particular course WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

Standard Dictionaries

All candidates, whether English speaking or from a non-English speaking background, will not be permitted to use standard English dictionaries.

Use of Calculators during Examinations

  1. Any electronic device capable of circumventing the objectives of an examination will not be permitted in the examination room.
    1.1. Computers are not permitted and are distinct from calculators by the existence of a full electronic keyboard.
    1.2. Permissible calculators must be hand-held, internally powered and silent.
  2. No candidate will be permitted to take a calculator into an examination room, except in those examinations where permission of its use has been given and has been stated on the frontice of the examination paper.
  3. Where the use of calculators is permitted in an examination:
    • The calculator shall be of a non-programmable and non-communicable type with no alpha-numeric capabilities, unless otherwise specified on the frontice of the examination paper.
    • The calculators shall be subject to checking by the examiners and examination invigilators.
    • Candidates are not permitted to use calculators during the perusal time of an examination.
    • A candidate who contravenes or fails to comply with the above rules shall be dealt with under the student discipline provisions, as determined by the Vice-President (Administration).

Open Book & Closed Book Examinations

The Frontice of the examination paper will include the following:

Open Book (Restricted) : CERTAIN materials are permitted in the examination room and they are listed.

Open Book (Unrestricted): ANY materials are permitted in the examination room.

Closed Book: NO materials are permitted in the examination room.

Drinking During Examinations

  1. The only fluid students will be permitted is water.
  2. The container should be clear plastic.
  3. Labelling should be removed prior to entry (if possible).
  4. No other packaging will be permitted e.g. foam coolers.
  5. When not in use water bottles should be placed on the floor beside the student’s desk.


Alleged instances of candidate misconduct during examinations will be dealt with according to CQU student discipline provisions, as determined by the Vice-President (Administration).

Non-enrolment in Course

No student shall be permitted to sit for, nor be entitled to receive a grade for, examinations in courses for which they are not enrolled.

Type of Attendance

Attendance is classified by the institution as being full-time or part-time based on the student load (EFTSU) for the student aggregated across all courses of study (including work experience in industry courses) for all programs being undertaken by the student in the academic/reference year.


Student load (EFTSU) aggregated for all the programs being undertaken by the student in the academic/reference year is 0.75 or more.


Student load (EFTSU) aggregated for all the Programs being undertaken by the student in the academic/reference year is less than 0.75.

Central Queensland University Handbook
This handbook was correct as at: 07-May-2002

CQU homeCQU azCQU enquiries