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Exam success

Exams are a form of assessment where you are required to complete a particular academic task or tasks in a limited time, often in a particular place and without assistance from other people and resources. The purpose of exams may vary according to the course, program and type of exam.

Why exams?

Exams are set so that lecturers can gauge students' knowledge and understanding of the course that may not be available through other forms of assessment. Exams can test your


Before the exam: long-term planning

Your course information booklets provide all the information you need about the assessment component of each course you are enrolled in. Check it for the exam format and any details of exam content.

Exam preparation should be part of your overall planning for each study period. At the start of each study period it is important to map the assessment tasks in every course, including exams, so that you know what is expected. 

You should begin your exam preparation for the end of study period exams from the first week of lectures. Your lecture notes will be the basis for ongoing learning and then exam revision. Each week take time to check over current topics as well as review previous work.

Useful strategies include:


Before the exam: final weeks

The last weeks before the exam can be used to fine tune your understanding of the topics and concepts. Develop an overview of your course by reducing your notes to a summarised version.

Nearer to the exam you will need to:


On the day of the exam

On the day of the exam it will help if you are well organised.  You will feel more confident if you are well prepared. Check that you have all the equipment and resources that you are allowed in the exam. Eat well and follow any personal preferences in regard to your level of contact with other students and your time of arrival at the exam room. Make sure you bring your student ID card which is also required for identifying you at the venue.

Some students like to be very early and chat with friends; others prefer their own company before exams. A certain level of anxiety is normal and this can heighten your performance.

In the exam room select a location that suits you. If you have any problems that you cannot solve (e.g. wobbly table or chair) get help from an invigilator. Make yourself comfortable whilst you are waiting for instructions.

When you are told to look at your exam paper, use the reading time to:

During writing time:


After the exam

As you can learn from your exam experiences you should


Extra time in exams (ENTEXT)

Some students (for example, Indigenous students and those of non-English speaking background) are entitled to:

This is in accordance with section 3.3 of the Assessment Policy and Procedures Manual which states that students who are Indigenous or who have identified themselves as coming from a Non English speaking background (NESB) are entitled to extra support during exams, unless otherwise specified in the course information booklet.

How can I get extra time in exams (ENTEXT)?

If you identified yourself as an Indigenous Australian student or a Student from a non-English speaking background when you enrolled, your ENTEXT (Entitlement to Extra Time in Exams) will be displayed by a red 'E' on your student ID card. You must bring this card with you to all examinations.

If you did not identify yourself as an Indigenous Australian student or student from a non-English speaking background when you enrolled, and you wish to have ENTEXT entitlements, you need to contact Campus Central to amend your records.

If you require further assistance, please make an appointment with a Counsellor at the Learning and Teaching Unit.

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