A group of students sitting an exam
A group of students sitting an exam ©

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This section gives you some tips and advice on what to do during the written and speaking exams day.

What to do during the written exams

Before the exams start

  • Take with you a pen, pencil, eraser, your passport/ID and your timetable.
  • Do not bring excess paper with you, paper will be provided.
  • Be at the exam venue at least 30 minutes before the start time.
  • Look at the exam signs and locate your designated exam room. The supervisor will inform you when it is time to enter.
  • Keep your timetable handy. Know your candidate number. You will be placed in a specific exam room and desk based on your candidate number.

During the exams

Upon entering the room:

  • Switch off your mobile phone, including any alarms/reminders.
  • Switch off any other electronic devices, including alarms on your watch.
  • Place mobile phones and other unauthorised items (books, bags, etc) in the area that your invigilator will specify.
  • You may keep a bottle of water, but place it on the floor next to your desk, so as to avoid any accidents
  • After you are seated, the invigilator will ask to see your passport/ID and your timetable, in order to confirm that you are the indeed the correct candidate.
  • The invigilator will distribute the question papers (and in some cases a separate answer sheet and/or rough paper), and in the case of computer based exams personalised entry codes ("Cambridge login details"). If the exam rules allow for it, you will also receive draft papers.
  • If the name printed on your question papers is not correct, please inform the invigilator immediately.
  • The invigilator will give specific instructions for each paper. Please pay attention and ask the invigilator if you have any questions about the procedure.

When the exam starts:

Paper based exams:

  • Read the instructions on the front of the question paper (and the separate answer sheet if relevant).
  • Do not open the question papers until the invigilator tells you to do so.
  • The invigilator will inform you about the duration of each paper. Make sure that you complete all tasks in the allocated time as you will not be allowed any extra time to transfer your answers.
  • The invigilator will inform you if you need to use a pencil or a pen in order to complete your answers in each paper.
  • Writing: please write within the grey lines in the spaces provided on the question paper. Use the blank pages to complete your rough work.
  • Listening: The test is divided into sections, and the recording on the CD is complete in itself, with all necessary pauses and instructions to candidates. Each part will be heard twice. You will be given time to transfer your answers and the CD will inform you when the test is finished.
  • You must not talk, copy, keep or use unauthorised items (such as mobile phones) because you risk being disqualified.
  • If you wish to go to the toilet, an invigilator must accompany you for security reasons.
  • Please raise your hand. No extra time will be given for a toilet break.
  • The invigilator will remind you when you reach the last 10 and 5 minutes before the end of the written papers.
  • In case you have any questions or problems during the exam, please raise your hands and the supervisor will help you according to the exam rules.

Computer based exams:

  • Do not switch off or restart the computer at any time during the exam.
  • Only star typing when the supervisor has let you know you can begin.
  • You have to type in your personalised entry code when the login panel appears and the supervisor has let you know to do so.
  • If your personal details are correct, click on the button and wait for further instructions.
  • You have to enter the system before each section of the exam with your login details.
  • The screen displays the available time during the entirty of the exam. You will receive a 10 and a 5 minute warning before the end of each section (except for the listening part). 
  • During the listening part you have to use the headphones. Headphones are tried before each exam. You can set the volume for yourself.
  • Speaking, copying and bringing in forbidden items (e.g. mobile phone) is prohibited. Breaking this rule means an immediate dismissal.
  • Should you want to go to the toilet, you must be accompanied by a supervisor for security reasons.
  • Please raise your hand in case you wish to go to the toilet. Please note, that you will not be provided with extra time as compensation. 
  • In case you have any questions or problems during the exam, please raise your hands and the supervisor will help you according to the exam rules.

Upon completion of the exam:

  • At the end of the test you will be asked to stop. In case you do not follow the instructions of the supervisor, you may be dismissed.
  • The invigilator will collect all question papers, answer sheets and rough work before you are permitted to leave the exam room. You must remain seated while this happens.

After the exams

  • Before leaving the room, make sure that you take with you all your personal belongings.
  • Make sure that you keep a copy of your timetable. You will be able to access your results with the codes available on your timetable. 

Reporting of Incidents

  • If something happens during the exam that may have affected your performance (e.g. if you were ill during the test or if a loud noise affected your Listening test) you must inform the centre Supervisor/Invigilator immediately.
  • Reports handed in after the exam day cannot be taken into account.

What to do during the speaking exams

  • Take your passport/ID and your timetable with you.
  • Be at the exam venue at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time.
  • Look at the exam signs and locate the speaking exams area.
  • The coordinator will check your photo IDs against the attendance register. Once this is checked, you must remain in the designated speaking exams area until your test.
  • While you are waiting to be examined, please keep quiet so as to avoid disrupting the exams of other candidates.
  • If there is an error in the spelling of your name, please inform the co-ordinator and he will make a note of the correction.
  • Switch of your mobile phone (and other electronic devices). Place your belongings in the area designated by your co-ordinator.
  • The speaking tests are in pair format. The invigilator will specify which of the other candidates will be paired with you, in accordance with the timetable.
  • In case of absences, the pairs will be re-arranged in order to avoid delays.
  • You will be given a personalised mark sheet; do not fold, crease or write on it. You must hand it to the examiner when you enter the room.
  • Where there is an uneven number, the last candidates taking the test will form a group of three. The exams cannot be conducted with a single candidate.

Test day photos

Test day photos are mandatory for B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency and Business exams. Photos may be taken on the day of the Writing test or Speaking test.

All candidates, or a parent/guardian, must download and sign the relevant consent form below.