Examinations constitute one of a number of different methods of assessment, which allow students to demonstrate their learning and knowledge in particular subjects. The examination procedures at Macquarie Business School (MGSM) are designed to provide an atmosphere which is conducive to students being able to do the best work they are capable of in the examination context. Such an atmosphere is dependent on the cooperation of all concerned with the examination process - staff and students.

All examination supervisors at the Macquarie Business School (MGSM) have been carefully screened by the University's Academic Program Section to ensure that they are capable of providing appropriate examination conditions. These include the expectations that they will recognise and relate to Macquarie Business School (MGSM) students as adult members of the University community.

Outlined below is a set of straightforward procedures, which aim to permit people to move easily in and out of the examination room and, as far as possible, to be undisturbed during the examination time.  They represent Macquarie Business School (MGSM) and the University's expectations of student behaviour during the examination. In order to meet these expectations, you are requested to read and become fully conversant with these procedures and to respond appropriately to reasonable requests made of you during your examination.

Prior to the examination

Examination Timetable

Examination dates are recorded on the timetable. The HKMA secretariat also advises Hong Kong students of examination dates.  Examinations are required for most modules.  All Hong Kong examinations are held on a Saturday afternoon.

Since the University reserves the right to make changes to student timetables, including examination timetables, students should re-check one week prior to the examination for any variations.

Unavoidable Disruption

Students are expected to sit their examinations on the specified date and time during the examination period.

Only in exceptional circumstances (i.e. in the event of serious illness, injury or death of a close family member) will alternative arrangements be considered.  In the event of illness, students must submit a medical certificate within 48 hours of the date of the missed exam.

For the purpose of adhering to the Master Degree Regulations, Academic Senate will also treat as unavoidable disruption cases where the student has been prevented from attending an examination for the following reasons:

  • As a member of the armed forces involved in compulsory exercises
  • As a person in full-time employment required to be overseas by his or her employer
  • As a person representing their country at an international sporting or cultural competition

Students, who for any of the reasons set out above, cannot sit in the exam period, must advise their lecturer and submit a request for an alternate exam date to Student Services by email at studentservices@mgsm.edu.au or by fax +612 9850 6094. Full supporting documentation must be attached to any request proposing to sit an exam outside of the scheduled time. Upon approval, an alternate exam date will be advised.

Examination Preparation

Students who have not sat for formal examinations for a number of years are strongly encouraged to practise their handwritten (not word processed) essay writing techniques under exam conditions and within the set time allowed.

Location of Examinations

HKMA will notify students of the full details of the dates, times and locations within the  week prior to the exam.

Entering the examination room

Photo ID Card

Students are required to present their Macquarie University Student ID card to the supervisor as they enter the examination room.  Students who do not have their Student ID card with them are required to complete a pink identification of candidate form, and display some alternative form of identification such as a driver's licence.  This form will be checked by the supervisor and handed back to the candidate to take into the examination room and display on his or her desk until it is collected with the attendance slips.

Materials permitted to be taken into the examination room

Students may take only basic materials (pens, pencils, ruler, and pencil rubber) to their seat unless the examiner has advised that the examination is "open book" and/or that a non-programmable calculator is permitted.

To avoid spillage in the examination room students may not take drinks in. Water is available in the room. Students with diabetes may bring and consume food in the examination room. Please bring a letter from your doctor.

All bags or briefcases taken into the examination room must be placed in a designated secure area provided by the examination supervisor.

  • Dictionaries are not permitted for closed book exams.
  • For open book exams, only handwritten notes and printed materials are allowed.
  • Programmable devices including but not limited to iPads, notebooks, tablets, smart phones, laptops and calculators are NOT allowed to be used in exams.
  • Mobile phones must be switched off and placed in bags at the front of the room.

After entering the examination room, a candidate must not talk or communicate in any way with any other candidate.

Commencing the examination

Reading Time

Candidates must wait until the supervisor announces the commencement of the examination.  Most examination papers are preceded by ten (10) minutes reading time during which candidates may read their papers but must not write.

Attendance Slips and Cover Pages of Exam Books

Attendance slips and cover pages of exam books must be completed during the time allocated for the examination. Allowance is made in the examination time for the time taken to complete attendance slips and exam book covers. Attendance slips should be filled in before the reading time or as soon as writing time commences as they will be collected by supervisors after half an hour of examination time has elapsed.

Candidates Arriving Late or Leaving Early

Candidates will be admitted for one hour from the time of commencement of the examination. No candidate may leave within the first hour or during the final ten minutes of an examination.

Temporary Absence of Students from the Examination Room

A candidate who seeks permission to leave the examination room during the examination period for a short time, will remain under supervision. Students will be allowed to go to the toilet one at a time. They should not take any other materials with them when they leave, including their mobile phones.

The student is to present their Student Id card to the Room Supervisor and complete the Absence from Examination Room Form. The supervisor will then accompany the student up to the door of the toilet and await their return in the foyer. Any unusual period of absence is checked. Before being allowed to re-enter the exam room the student is required to present their Student Id card to the Room Supervisor and sign in on the same Form before returning back to his/her seat.

Rough Work

Rough work may be done on the unruled page of the examination writing book. No rough working booklet is provided unless requested by the examiner. If the unruled space is insufficient for the rough work required, candidates may request a small book for this purpose. This book is to be handed in at the conclusion of the examination.

Suspected Misconduct

If a student is observed using unauthorised material, this will be confiscated and the Assistant Registrar from the Academic Programs Section of the University will be advised immediately. A complete written report setting out all the details of the incident, together with the confiscated material, will be submitted by the supervisor to the Academic Programs Section.


In cases of illness requiring medical attention, the student will be escorted by a supervisor to the medical centre. If it is expected that the student will return to the examination room, the attending supervisor will remain with the student. All cases of illness drawn to the supervisor's attention will be reported by the supervisor on an Examination Report Form and any medical certificates submitted by the candidate will be attached.

For requests for special consideration for examinations, where the circumstances occur during or immediately before the examination, the student should contact HKMA immediately. Students who miss an examination due to illness must submit a medical certificate within 48 hours of the date of the examination. Conditions for special consideration are outlined in the Student Handbook (PDF - 509KB) Section 1.4.5 Disruption to Studies.

Queries on the Paper

Any queries on the examination paper will be referred to the supervisor-in-charge. Supervisors will not answer questions concerning the interpretation of, or alleged errors in, an examination paper. If such questions arise, they will be referred to the Exam Co-ordinator and the lecturer in charge of the unit will be contacted. If a change is required to the paper, this will be announced to all candidates and details of the change written on the whiteboard.

Completing Multiple Choice Questions

Some exam papers are set with a section to be answered on "auto marked" answer sheets and must be completed using a 2B pencil. The edges and corners of the paper should not be bent, torn or stapled.

The NAME field and the STUDENT ID field need to be completed by filling in the relevant circles completely from the left of the field. Use an eraser to change your choice. Do not cross out a mistake. Make sure you do not leave stray marks on the sheet. Mark only within the NAME and STUDENT ID field and within the chosen circles.

Control of the Examination

Supervisors are in complete control of the examination room, subject to directions given from the Exam Co-ordinator in accordance with University rules and procedures. Candidates are required to observe any instruction given by a supervisor for the proper conduct of an examination. It is important that supervisors maintain strict control and order, as the rules and procedures are intended for the benefit of all candidates.

The rules governing students' conduct in examinations will be strictly applied and infringements will be reported immediately. Within the framework of these rules and of the examination system generally, it is the duty of supervisors to present conditions for the examinees as favourable as circumstances permit.

Concluding the examination

Ten (10) minutes prior to the conclusion of an examination a supervisor will announce the time remaining. No student is permitted to leave during this time. A further announcement instructing candidates to cease writing will be made at the conclusion of the examination. Candidates are to remain seated whilst supervisors collect the examination books.

A summary of these examination rules approved by Academic Senate is below. These rules will also be placed on the door of each examination room during Exam Week.

Important - Please note:

  • Students are expected to sit their examinations as timetabled during the examination period. This is part of the course requirement.
  • Make sure you bring your Student ID card as proof of identification and for admittance to all exams. Boom-gate passes will not be accepted as proof of identity.
  • Please make sure that the current Term's fees are paid before commencement of each exam week. Failure to do so will impede the accessing of your result(s). Please contact HKMA if you have not received an invoice for the current term.
  • Exams normally start at  2:30pm.
  • You are required to come at least 15 - 20 minutes early
  • If your exam is an OPEN BOOK Exam you are allowed to bring in any and all printed material/handwritten notes  that will aid you in answering questions successfully. Make sure they can fit on your desk.
  • All bags or briefcases taken into the examination room must be placed in a designated secure area provided by the examination supervisor.  ALL MOBILES must be switched off.
  • If you are unwell please complete the Disruption to Studies Notification Form (available from the exam supervisors) and submit with a Medical Certificate to either HKMA or the Exam Supervisor or Student Services at studentservices@mgsm.edu.au.
  • Please read and familiarise yourself with the Rules governing Students' Conduct in Examinations (below).

Useful information

  • If a multiple-choice question section is included in your exam paper, make sure you bring a good eraser and 2B pencil. It is important to listen to the supervisor's advice as to how to shade in your answers as ticks and crosses are not allowed.
  • Some examinations allow non-programmable calculators irrespective of whether these are open book exams or not. For details please consult the Exam Timetable under the Extra Equipment column on what extra items you should bring.
  • If you have further queries please contact Student Services on +61 2 9850 7829.

Students Examination Rules of Conduct

  • Candidates are required to obey any instruction given by an examination supervisor for the proper conduct of the examination.
  • No bag, writing paper, blotting paper, manuscript or book, other than a specified aid, is to be brought into or removed from an examination room.
  • No candidate shall be admitted to an examination after one hour from the time of commencement of the examination. No candidate shall be permitted to leave an examination room before the expiry of one hour from the time the examination commences. Where in special cases this rule is varied an appropriate announcement will be made.
  • No candidate shall be re-admitted to an examination room after he or she has left it unless, during the full period of the absence the candidate has been under approved supervision.
  • A candidate shall not by any improper means obtain or endeavour to obtain, assistance in his or her work; give or endeavour to give, assistance to any other candidate.


The following formal procedure must be followed by students before submitting an appeal against course grades.  All appeals must be lodged in writing within three (3) weeks of notification of results each term.

The appeals procedure follows strict deadlines.  Appeals not received within 3 weeks of notification of results will not be processed.

  1. Consultation

    Within one (1) week of notification of results each term, students should contact lecturers in writing to address relevant enquiries and concerns about a course grade. Lecturers should respond to students in writing that the final examination paper has been marked in its entirety, and that the various components of the course assessment have been incorporated into the grade.  Students are entitled to view, and lecturers to determine reasonable access to, examination scripts.  If it is not possible for lecturers to respond to students’ enquiries within 10 working days, an explanation for the delay should be offered.

    The appeals procedure follows strict deadlines.  Appeals not received within 3 weeks of notification of results will not be processed.
  2. Formal Appeal Against Grade

    Within three (3) weeks of notification of results each term, if students are unsatisfied with a lecturer’s response and wish to initiate a formal appeal, they must:
    • Put in writing the specific reasons for questioning the grade;
    • Submit this written request, together with correspondence to and from the lecturer, for a review of grade to the Chairman of the Macquarie Business School (MGSM) Appeals Committee (care of Student Services at studentservices@mgsm.edu.au ).
    Students can only appeal against a grade where:
    1. The lecturer did not provide a unit guide; or
    2. The assessment requirements as specified in the unit guide were varied in an unreasonable way; or
    3. Students believe that a clerical error has occurred in the computation of the grade; or
    4. Due regard has not been paid to the evidence of illness or misadventure, if submitted by the specified date; or
    5. Students believe that, because of the conduct of the final examination, they have been disadvantaged.

    When submitting an appeal, students must nominate which of the above points serve(s) as the basis of their appeal.

    After due deliberation the MGSM Appeals Committee will advise students by letter of the outcome of their appeal.

  3. Formal Appeal to the Registrar
    Students may, before the expiration of 5 working days after receipt of the result of their appeal, lodge an appeal with the Registrar and Vice-Principal which makes explicit the grounds for claiming that the conclusion reached in Step 2 is unfair or unjust. The Registrar and Vice-Principal will then refer all relevant documents to the Grading Appeals Committee, which will recommend a course of action to Academic Senate. Appeals against grades at this level are based on procedural matters only.


Final unit results are released on eStudent. Result release dates are listed under the Key Dates.

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