Examination information


SACE Board to introduce electronic exams in 2018. Consultation with schools is underway.
Find out more about electronic exams.

General rules for examinations

You will receive an examination attendance slip, which shows the examination rules and lists your examinations. Bring this slip with you to all your examinations.

You are not allowed to write in, mark, or highlight in any way, your script books or question booklets, or use a calculator during the allocated reading time. You may write on the coloured scribbling paper provided.

You will be given the full period of time scheduled for the examination after this reading time.

The following general rules also apply:

  • Be ready at the doors of the examination room at least 15 minutes before the examination start time.
  • You will not be allowed to enter the examination room more than 40 minutes after the starting time.
  • You will not be allowed to leave the examination room until 40 minutes after the starting time.
  • You must hand your answer books to the examination supervisor before you leave the examination room.
  • Some examinations have a separate script book or question booklet for particular sections (or questions). If you do not attempt such a section (or question), you must write 'BLANK' on the cover of the script book or question booklet before handing it in.

Conduct at examinations

During any examination the following conduct is required. You must not:

  • submit work that is not your own
  • have in your possession any book or notes or blank paper (apart from the materials permitted for that test, assignment, or examination) or any other means that would improperly help you in your work. An exception applies to mathematics subjects, Information Technology and Musical Styles.
  • have in your possession any electronic device (including mobile phones and electronic dictionaries) apart from approved calculators (where permitted)
  • directly or indirectly help any other student
  • permit any other student to copy from or otherwise use your papers
  • directly or indirectly accept help from any other student
  • use any papers of any other student
  • by any other improper means whatever, obtain or try to obtain, directly or indirectly, help in your work, or help or try to help, directly or indirectly, any other student
  • collude with another student to take his or her place in an examination
  • be guilty of any breach of good order or propriety.

Use of notes in an external examination

Notes of any kind are generally not permitted in external examinations. The following subject exemptions apply:

  • For General Mathematics and Essential Mathematics, you may bring one unfolded A4 sheet (two sides) of your own handwritten notes.
  • For Mathematical Methods and Specialist Mathematics, you may bring two unfolded A4 sheets (four sides) of your own handwritten notes.
  • For Information Technology, you may bring one unfolded A4 sheet (two sides) of your own handwritten notes.
  • For Musical Styles, you may bring and refer to unmarked scores, transcriptions, or charts.


  • Calculator manuals are not permitted in examinations; however, difficult key sequences may be included in your handwritten notes.
  • Handwritten notes, unmarked scores, transcriptions, and charts should not be placed in plastic sleeves. It is preferable that they are not laminated.

Declaration at the time of an external examination

If one or more of your external assessments is an examination, you will be required to sign the examination attendance roll. This is a formal declaration stating that you will comply with the rules printed on the examination attendance slip, including the conditions for the use of calculators.

Students who do not comply with the rules and conditions printed on the examination attendance slip will:

  • be in breach of the rules
  • have their marks for the examination cancelled or amended
  • be liable to further penalty. This may involve exclusion from future examinations or otherwise, as determined by the SACE Board.

Use of calculators and dictionaries in examinations

For written examinations, you may use a bilingual or monolingual printed dictionary. Electronic dictionaries are not permitted in examinations.

The following documents list the approved scientific calculators, graphics calculators, mathematical stencils, computers, and English-English dictionaries that are permitted for use in examinations. These documents also outline the conditions of use.