Examinations - Rules

Examinations are an important part of assessment for Central Queensland University courses.

Central Queensland University has three examination periods per academic year: June, October and February.

Exam policies are available from the Academic Policies and Procedures Manual available from http://www.cqu.edu.au/policy/


  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 Examination Cover Page.
  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. '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. This 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.
    Note: 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 that arise in any of the categories as a result of unexpected situations beyond the student's control.
  8. 'Unauthorised Materials' refers to materials brought into the examination room by the candidate that are not specified on the Examination 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, graph paper, food and fluids other than water.
  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 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 (For Students - Academic Summary - Exam Schedule). 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 examination period.

Examination Timetable

All formal examinations prepared under the Registrar and Chief Compliance Officer directions will be conducted during the official examination periods as approved by Academic Board, and indicated on the Calendar of Principal Dates. Both Standard and Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be conducted during the end of term examination period. The University will endeavour to schedule the standard examinations as early as possible in the examination period. However it may be necessary to schedule examinations outside these designated periods.

Staff and students, when reviewing the Draft Timetable for each term, will have one week (5 working days) in which to provide comment to the Manager, Timetabling prior to promulgation of a Final Timetable. For further information regarding Examination Timetabling refer to the Academic Policies and Procedures Manual (http://www.cqu.edu.au/policy/ ).

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 service line on 1300 550 900 and a centre will be allocated.
  2. If an active Examination Centre is not available within 100kms of a student's Residential Address, a new centre can be established by completing a Nomination Form to Create an Examination Centre which can be accessed via the CQU website at http://www.cqu.edu.au/studinfo/admin/examinations/index.htm
  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.

For internal students:

Invigilator Responsibility

  1. Examination invigilators are empowered to give directions to candidates concerning the conduct of examinations. They are, on behalf of the Registrar and Chief Compliance Officer, 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.
  3. It is important that invigilators prevent candidates from availing themselves of unfair assistance by always being alert to any unusual situations.
  4. Invigilators cannot physically search, or otherwise bodily handle a candidate who may be suspected of having concealed unauthorised material. However a supervisor may quietly request a candidate to roll up a sleeve, stand up, or lift a jumper, empty pockets etc. and should report any non-compliance with such requests.
  5. All instances of suspicious behaviour should be documented in full on the Alleged Academic Misconduct Form.

Examination Times

The official start time for formal CQU examinations is 9.00 am and 2.00 pm.

Therefore, allowing settling in period and perusal time prior to the official start time, Candidates may enter the examination room at 8.35 am and 1.35 pm. Candidates should arrive at their exam venue prior to 8.35 am for morning sessions and 1.35 pm for afternoon sessions.

Perusal Time

Perusal time for all examinations is 15 minutes.

Perusal time is held before the designated official start time of the examination.

For further information regarding perusal time refer to the Academic Policies and Procedures Manual ( http://www.cqu.edu.au/policy/).

Settling in Period

A ten-minute 'settling-in' period is permitted, prior to perusal time, for candidates to make themselves comfortable and to read the notices around the room.

  1. 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 and perusal prior to commencement of examinations at 9.00 am and 2.00 pm (i.e. 8.35 am and 1.35 pm).

Definition of Attendance at Examinations

Students, when attending an examination, will be deemed to have sat the examination and consequently recorded as an attendance if they enter the examination room and are present during perusal time or any time after that.

Students should make a decision prior to entering the examination room as to whether they are well enough to sit the examination.

For further information regarding the Definition of Attendance at an Examination refer to the Academic Policies and Procedures Manual (http://www.cqu.edu.au/policy/).

Late Entry to Examination Room

Students, when attending formal examinations, will be allowed to enter the examination room up to 30 minutes after the official commencement time of the examination. That is, students may enter the examination room up until 9.30 am for morning sessions and 2.30 pm for afternoon sessions. Conversely any students who are already in the examination room will not be permitted to leave until one hour after the official commencement time of the examinations.

The student will not be eligible to apply for a deferred examination on the basis of missing the formal examination due to factors within their control such as, misreading the examination timetable/advice or poor planning leading to failure to get to the examination on time.

For further information regarding late entry refer to the Academic Policies and Procedures Manual ( http://www.cqu.edu.au/policy/).

Candidate Conduct

Candidates may only take basic writing materials and authorised materials into the examination room, as indicated on the Examination Cover Page. Unauthorised materials, such as bags or briefcases of any description, may not be taken into the examination area. Items of this nature will be stored, at the student's own risk, in an area established for this purpose by the invigilator.

All candidates must have a current CQU student identification card for entry into the examination room.

Candidates are not to leave the examination room without the invigilator's permission and are to remain seated until the invigilator has granted permission to exit the room.

Mobile telephones and other electronic device capable of circumventing the objectives of examinations are not to be operated in the examination room and are to be surrendered in accordance with the Invigilator's instructions.

Candidates are not permitted to eat or smoke during an examination.

Candidates may only bring drinking water into the examination room in clear, plastic, non-labelled bottles.

For further information regarding candidate conduct refer to the Academic Policies and Procedures Manual ( http://www.cqu.edu.au/policy/).

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 t he FINAL Examination Timetable, the candidate's individual Examination Advice, or their personal examination schedule on e.rolment. Failure to do so, including misreading of the timetable, WILL NOT under any circumstances constitute grounds for the granting of a deferred examination.
  2. Students must sit their examination at the scheduled dates and times. Requests o sit earlier or later will be refused other than in exceptional 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. Students must ensure they check the University's Calendar of Principal Dates and the final timetable before making any 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 examination conditions must register with the Equity and Diversity Office no later than Week 3 of the term. 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 (calendar) days prior to commencement of the examination period. Failure to notify the Examination Section of your circumstances will result in your attendance at the examination without accommodation; in this case, the Manager Examinations should be advised that 'special consideration' will be required. Supporting documentation from a doctor, therapist or another appropriate professional must be provided upon registration.
  7. Students have a responsibility to pay any outstanding CQU debts that they have incurred, including change of examination centre fees. Sanctions will be applied to all students who are debtors of the University; i.e. students will not receive any academic documentation, including examination results.

Examination Papers

  1. Instructions given to students on the cover page of the examination paper, under the title of 'Special Instructions to Candidates' are to be strictly adhered to. These instructions are binding regulations for the examinations. Any variation, by the candidate, from the instructions on the frontis of the paper, may result in the forfeiture of marks.
  2. Examination papers will not be released directly to the student at the conclusion of the examination. All examination papers will be collected and accounted for by the invigilator at the conclusion of the examination.
  3. Copies of past years' examination papers (subject to release by the course coordinator/lecturer) will be available through the CQU Student Administration website at http://www.cqu.edu.au/studinfo/admin/examinations/index.htm

Deferred Examinations

Before lodging an application for a deferred examination, students should familiarise themselves fully with the definitions of 'misadventure' and 'normal risk' as outlined in the Examinations Rules Definitions. Students should note that only those applications for deferred examinations, which satisfy and comply with the prescribed guidelines, will be considered.

The faculty with academic ownership of the course is responsible for assessing deferred examination applications in that course. In the first instance the lecturer of the course is to acknowledge completion of all other assessable coursework prior to a final decision on approval of the deferred examination being undertaken by the Dean (or nominee) of the respective Faculty.

Following faculty approval, deferred examinations are to be sat at the next examination period scheduled on the CQU Academic Calendar.

Students will only be permitted one attempt at a deferred examination for a course.

It is the student's responsibility to ensure their deferred application is referred to the relevant Faculty with supporting documentary evidence.

Students, whose applications are based on medical or allied health grounds, are to complete Form 1, Application for Deferred Examination - Medical . Students, whose applications are based on circumstances other than medical or allied health grounds are to complete Form 2, Application for Deferred Examination - Other .

For further information regarding the lodgement of Deferred Examination Applications refer to the Academic Policies and Procedures Manual (http://www.cqu.edu.au/policy/).

Special Consideration

  1. Students 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. Students must lodge Applications for Special Consideration forms with the invigilator on the day of the examination or with the Faculty no later than seven (calendar) 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 procedures for completing a medical certificate or statutory declaration in the Deferred Examinations Policy in the Academic Policies and Procedures Manual (http://www.cqu.edu.au/policy/).

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 Equity and Diversity Office.

    CQU Rockhampton 07 4930 9519

    CQU Bundaberg 07 4180 7087

    CQU Gladstone 07 4970 7328

    CQU Mackay 07 4940 7430

Temporary Incapacity

  1. Consideration will be given to requests for special examination arrangements for students who may be temporarily incapacitated, or hospitalised during the examination period, i.e. students have a condition which has occurred at the time of the examination period not an on-going medical condition or disability.
  2. All requests for special examination arrangements resulting from a temporary incapacity, 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.
  3. Further enquiries regarding special examination arrangements should be directed to the Manager, Examinations.

Use of Dictionaries during Examinations

All candidates WILL BE PERMITTED to use one unannotated concise bilingual translation dictionaries in examinations.

The dictionary should be an original print, not a photocopy.

Electronic dictionaries are not permitted in the examination room.

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

For further information regarding Bilingual Translation Dictionaries refer to the Academic Policies and Procedures Manual (http://www.cqu.edu.au/policy/).

Use of Calculators during Examinations

Candidates will not be permitted to take a calculator into an examination room, except in those examinations where permission for its use has been given and has been stated on the Examination Cover Page.

The calculator shall be non-programmable and of non-communicable type with no alphanumeric capabilities; unless otherwise specified on the frontis of the examination paper.

Candidates are not permitted to use their calculators during perusal time.

For further information regarding Calculators During Examinations refer to the Academic Policies and Procedures Manual (http://www.cqu.edu.au/policy/).

Open Book -V- Closed Book Examinations

To allow for the admission of some materials into the examination room without compromising the intent of Open Book (allowing any materials into the examination room) or Closed Book (allowing no materials into the examination room) it has been found necessary to provide a third category viz; Restricted Materials in order to allow some materials but not all materials into the exam room.

The Examination Cover Page will include the following:

Open Book - Any materials may be brought into the examination room, except English Language Dictionaries, which are not permitted under the Dictionary Policy.

Restricted Materials - Certain materials are permitted into the examination room and they are listed on the examination cover page. Materials not listed on the examination cover page are not permitted into the examination room.

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

Note: Materials refers to paper materials ONLY (either handwritten or typed). Any electronic device, which is capable of circumventing the examination process, is not permitted (as previously outlined in the Dictionary and Calculator Policy).

For further information regarding Open Book -V- Closed Book Examinations refer to the Academic Policies and Procedures Manual (http://www.cqu.edu.au/policy/).


Alleged instances of candidate misconduct during examinations will be dealt with according to CQU student discipline provisions, as determined by the Registrar and Chief Compliance Officer.

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.

Further CQU Academic Policies can be accessed on the CQU website at (http://www.cqu.edu.au/policy/).