Exam guidelines

Important information to help you plan before, during, and after you write your exams

Exam policies

UBC exam information in the Academic Calendar

The information on this page provides helpful guidelines, but it's important to understand UBC's official rules and policies on exams. Read through the Academic Assessment section of the Calendar for information on:

  • Student conduct during exams
  • Exam hardships and clashes
  • Standing deferred and Supplemental exams

Clashes and hardships

Exam clashes

An exam clash happens when multiple exams are scheduled on the same day at the same time.

Daytime exam clashes

If you have a daytime exam clash, contact your instructor immediately to see if you can find an alternate writing time.

If this can't be arranged, email student.exams@ubc.ca. Enrolment Services will arrange for you to write your exams back-to-back on the original examination date, under supervision.

Evening and weekend exam clashes

Exam clashes on the evening and weekend timetable are the responsibility of the instructor. Please contact your instructor as soon as possible.

Exam hardships

An exam hardship is defined as 3 or more end-of-term exams in a 24-hour period. See more on exam hardships in the UBC Calendar.

What to bring

What to bring

  • Pens or pencils to write with
  • Anything your instructor has authorized
  • Your UBCcard
  • A bottle of water

What not to bring

Leave these items at home:

  • Music players
  • Mobile phones (you won’t be permitted to use your phone as a watch)
  • Unauthorized calculators
  • Unauthorized electronic dictionaries
  • Backpacks
  • Unnecessary clothing
  • Laptops
  • Other personal items

Writing your exam

  • Choose a seat where you cannot be suspected of glancing at another student's paper or exposing your paper to any other student. Doing either could lead to immediate expulsion from the exam and disciplinary action.
  • Write your name, student number, and signature in ink.
  • Read all the instructions on the exam paper before asking an invigilator for clarification.
  • You may not be permitted to leave the room during the first half hour or to enter after the first half hour.
  • If there’s an alarm, follow instructions. If you are told to vacate the room, leave your exam on the desk but take your valuables (such as wallets) with you when you leave the room. Follow those in charge, gather outside the building where directed, and remain quiet at all times. Discussing an exam or consulting notes during this time can result in disciplinary action.
  • When the writing time ends, put down your pen or pencil and follow instructions.

Leaving the exam

  • You may not be permitted to leave the room in the last 10 minutes of scheduled exam time to control collection of exam papers.
  • Do not leave without handing in your exam. Taking an exam, even a blank one, could result in disciplinary action.

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