Exams FAQ

Timetables, supervision, making changes and results…the answers to your frequently asked questions about exams are here!

OUA exams will be online for the rest of 2020

We’re prioritising your health and safety. In response to government advice about COVID-19 restrictions, we’re moving face-to-face exams online for the rest of the year. This means that if your subject has an exam managed by OUA Exam Services, you won’t have to choose a venue, travel, or arrange for a supervisor. Some exams may also change to an alternative assessment. We’ll be in touch with more information.

If your subject’s exams are managed directly by your uni, stand by for updates via email or your LMS.

You’ll find that many subjects will call on you to take exams. But don’t worry! With a bit of planning and preparation, you can go into your exam relaxed and confident. It's best not to leave your exam prep to the last minute.

If you’re looking for a guide, your study materials are full of hints about which aspects of the subject to concentrate on. Look for the subject, topic and lesson outcomes and use them as a starting point for your study.

Exams are usually scheduled through OUA Exam Services. Once you’ve got your exam timetable, look for a fixed date and time.

Your exam will fall inside the exam period. If you’re taking study periods, it will be within the fortnight following the end of the study period. Most exams are actually in the first week after the end of the period, for example Week 14. For subjects studied in sessions, your exam will be within three weeks of the end of the session. And if you’re studying in a semester, look for your exam dates in the semester’s last two weeks.

We know you’ll want to start planning around your exams as soon as you can, so we make sure your exam timetable and venue section are online from Week 8 of a study period, or Week 9 of a session.

We’ll email you to let you know when it’s time to start getting ready for exam planning, and we’ll email you a reminder just before your timetable is published.

We leave the timetable online until around a week after the exam period.

Your exam timetable is in your Student Hub. Keep in mind, that depending on where you're up to in the study term, your timetable might look empty. Organise your exams explains how your timetable works and Exams key dates shows the dates that we release exam information like venues and deadlines for making changes.

While OUA Exam Services lists most exams, it doesn’t timetable all of them.

If you’re having trouble finding a subject’s exam on your timetable, don’t panic. There could be many reasons why it’s not there. It might be that no exam is scheduled for the subject, or that the exam is being run directly by your university. In some cases, there may be a problem with your exam timetable.

If you’re stuck, feel free to reach out to OUA Exam Services or a student advisor for help.

Don’t worry, you’ve got the option of starting your exam up to one hour after the advertised start time. But, if you’re more than an hour late, you won’t be able to enter the exam venue at all. And keep in mind that you won’t receive extra time to complete your exam if you start late.

Not when your exam is managed by OUA Exam Services! We make sure there are no hidden exam organisation, supervision and venue hire costs on top of your subject fee.

If you’re 100km or more from your nearest exam venue you could be eligible for a travel subsidy. See Study allowances for application details and more information.

We work hard to set up exam venues that are ideal for you. That’s why we base our venues on OUA student enrolment and location data.

You can see the list of exam locations anytime. And you’ll find exact exam venue addresses listed online from Study Period Week 7, Session Week 8, and Semester Week 8. Our venues are all close to public transport and parking where possible, and you’ll be able to nominate an exam venue that’s easiest for you.

If you’re taking distance education from overseas, you shouldn’t be too far from an international exam venue. You might be an Australian citizen living overseas or an international student. Either way, contact us to give you a list of available venues. Don’t forget though, the standard OUA Exam Services policies and procedures are still in place if you’re living outside Australia.

First of all, there are a few things you’ll need to bring including your OUA ID, your university student number, and some photo ID. A current driver's license or passport will be sufficient.

You’re allowed to take personal belongings in the exam venue, but you’ll have to make sure everything is in a closed bag under your desk or on the floor. This includes your mobile phone, which should be switched off with any alarms disabled.

You can use a dictionary if it’s permitted on the cover of the exam, if it’s an open book exam or if you’ve been granted permission from your uni and OUA Exam Services.

On the other hand, you’re not allowed to bring your own writing paper into the exam—note paper will be provided. You’re also not permitted to use a computer unless you’ve been approved for an alternative assessment arrangement.

Sometimes they’re called invigilated exams. It’s when your exam is overseen by a supervisor (sometimes supervisors are called invigilators). They’re responsible for ensuring that you sit your exam under university conditions.

Supervised exams are arranged by OUA Exam Services and can take place in any of our approved exam venues worldwide.

We set up OUA Exam Services to manage the selection and allocation of supervisors and exam venues. We’ll always use approved exam venues and supervisors for your exams to maintain a professional supervision standard. When you’ve got better conditions and support, you can focus on achieving your best exam performance.

OUA Exam Services doesn’t just give you a huge network of exam venues around Australia and the world for you to choose from, they also give you an easier way to check in on your personal exam timetable online.

Most of your exams are scheduled through OUA Exam Services, but there are some exceptions.

OUA Exam Services is here to manage supervised written exams on weekdays during business hours, or that are set for the end of the online study term. That means OUA Exam Services won’t cover mid-term exams. 

If your exam isn’t organised by OUA Exam Services, your university will fill you in on all exam details.

Yes! If your exam is managed via OUA Exam Services you’re required to follow their policies and procedures. But remember, when your exam is not organised by us, your university will send all the exam details to you.

Look at your subject study materials for more information about your assessments—exams will be detailed in there, if you have any.

If your exam is organised by OUA Exam Services, you’ll get an email during your study term with instructions on how to arrange your exams. The email will explain all about nominating your preferred exam location, plus it’ll tell you when your exam timetable is ready. There’ll also be a link to your personal exam timetable and that’s where you’ll find the date, time, address and duration of each exam you’re taking.

If the location is no longer a good fit for you, that’s no problem! You can choose another one from the list of available locations.

As an online learner, you’re able to choose the venue that’s best for you. When Exams key dates shows that venue selection is open, you can head to your exam timetable in your Student Hub to look at your exam venue and timetable summary. Then you can select or change your venue.

Remember to allow seven days for the timetable to update with your nominated venue’s details. One thing to be aware of—your new venue might have a different exam start time, so double-check your updated exam timetable.

We know that sometimes you might not be able to get to an exam at its scheduled time. Don’t stress because you could still be eligible for a deferred exam if your situation meets your university's criteria. Get in contact with them to check what their deferred exam policy and procedures are.

Unfortunately, the exam schedule can’t be changed to accommodate an individual student's needs.

If you’re on holidays during the date of your exam, you might sit your exam at your holiday location if there’s a venue available. But, if you’re sick on the day of your exam, please refer to your uni's policies and procedures regarding special consideration.

We work hard to manage exam timetables to avoid clashes, but very occasionally a mistake is made. In the rare instance you have exams scheduled for the same time, contact OUA Exam Services and they'll get to the bottom of the clash and reschedule one of the exams to a different time on the same day.

Unfortunately not. OUA Exam Services can only schedule exams during weekday business hours.

We realise that regional students may have some difficulty getting to exam venues. If that’s you and you live more than 150km from an OUA Exam Services venue, you can apply for a special local supervisor (sometimes they’re called a special local invigilator) to come to you. Head to your exam timetable in your Student Hub and you’ll find the application form there—it’s available once the venue selection and timetable is up. If you’re wondering when that will be, look at Exam key dates.

Don’t worry, if you live within the 150km range and you have a disability or mobility impairment that prevents you from travelling, you can also get a special local supervisor. Find out more by contacting your university, and they’ll assess you for alternative assessment arrangement eligibility. You’ll still have to apply for a special local supervisor using the form in your exam timetable.

Sometimes real life gets in the way of being able to attend an exam. If you’ve missed, or will miss, an exam because of illness of some other serious issue, a deferred exam allows you to sit it at another date.

You’ll need your university to approve your deferred exam, so contact them to learn about their eligibility criteria. They’ll send you a letter to let you know if your application has been approved. They'll also inlcude the exam period dates (the period of time that your deferred exam will be scheduled in) along with the date you’ll be able to access your new exam timetable and a link to that timetable.

How your deferred exam is scheduled by OUA Exam Services depends of a few guidelines.

If your subjects are in study periods, your deferred exams will be held during the exam period at the end of the next study period. This means that if you defer your Study Period 1 exam, your exam will be held in the exam period at the end of Study Period 2.

Sessions and semesters are different. If your deferred exam is from a Session 1 or Semester 1 subject, it will be held in August. Deferred exams for subjects from Session 2 or Semester 2 will be held in late January or early February, while those from Session 3 or Semester 3 subjects will take place in the last week of May or in early June.

If you need them, OUA Exam Services can support special exam requirements. They’re called alternative assessment arrangements (AAA) and you’ll have to contact your university’s Disability Liaison Unit to get an idea of the AAA options available. If required, your uni’s Disability Liaison Unit will work with the OUA Exam Services to get the facilities you need set up.

Don’t forget to let them know of your special needs by Week 4 of the study term.

You might be able to! You should check your university’s special consideration policies and procedures to find out.

Open Universities Australia specialises in flexible learning, so if you’re a student with special needs, OUA Exam Services can offer you an AAA exam which has special conditions.

Depending on your needs, these special conditions can change your exam’s structure, format or duration. Also, you could get access to special equipment or materials at the exam venue.

Finding out if you’re eligible is easy. Just contact your university for information or to request AAA approval. If you get it, your uni will contact OUA Exam Services to make sure that your AAA needs are met.

You’ll also get a letter from OUA Exam Services around two weeks before the exam period, going over the exam arrangements. Don’t forget to check the exam timetable online for details and to lock in your preferred exam venue.


If you’re living more than 150km from the nearest network exam venue or if you have a medical condition or disability which stops you travelling, a special local supervisor will be able to come to you. Sometimes they’re called special local invigilators.

Exams key dates will show you the right time in the study term to apply for a special local supervisor. Then, head to your Exam timetable in your Student Hub and complete the application form.

Make sure you provide the contact and address details of your nominated supervisor, along with a scanned copy of your special local supervisor’s letterhead, business card or similar. Don’t forget to explain the reasons why you’re making your request.

You must have flagged your application with your nominated supervisor. Remember, once it’s received, the OUA Exam Services team will be contacting them to find out if they’re suitable.

One final thing! If you’re applying for a special local supervisor because of disability reasons, you have to contact your university directly and apply for an alternative assessment arrangement (AAA). If you’re seeking a supervisor due to a disability, your application will only be considered if you have a university-approved AAA request.

You‘ll be required to nominate a special local supervisor when applying to take your exam locally. Have a think about the types of supervisors that might be appropriate. We recommend university or TAFE examination officers, principals or teachers, librarians and corporate training officers.

Whoever they are, your chosen supervisor must speak English and must be available to supervise your exam on the chosen date and time.

OUA Exam Services will get in contact with your nominee to see if they’re eligible.

If you’re studying outside of Australia and planning to sit your exam in your country, you must contact OUA Exam Services to arrange a special local supervisor. They’ll give you the specific details and instructions you’ll have to follow in your application.

Exam result dates change from uni to uni. Take a look at Results for more information.

You’ll be able to get your individual exam results from your university, where appropriate according to their policy.

Take a look at Results for more information.

OUA Exam Services

Contact OUA Exam Services for help with your exam timetable.

13 OPEN (13 6736)

+61 3 8628 2971 when calling outside of Australia

🖂 If you’re currently studying though OUA, you can make an online enquiry. Allow up to two working days for our response.

Please note during COVID-19 OUA exams will be online—check the Student Hub for updates.