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What can students use in the examination room?

What items can students use during the examinations?

Students may take into the examination room only those articles, instruments or materials which are expressly permitted in the instructions on the question paper, additional exam materials database or in the syllabus booklet for the subject being examined. 

Possession of unauthorised material by a student during the examination is a serious breach of regulations and may result in the cancellation of examination grades. All instances must be reported to Cambridge. Further information on this issue can be found in the Cambridge Handbook, which can be downloaded from the Examination Officers section of the Cambridge website.

What should students use to write their answers?

Candidates must provide their own pens, pencils, ink, drawing instruments and erasers. Candidates must write their answers legibly in black or dark blue ink (for UK examinations black ink should be used). Candidates should be warned that pale blue ink is often illegible. Red or green ink must not be used. Soft pencil (type B or HB) must be used for multiple choice tests. Pencils or pens in other colours may be used for diagrams and maps only if indicated on the question paper.

Are students permitted to use a highlighter pen?

Highlighter pens may be used by candidates to mark up the question paper if that is the way they have been taught. Highlighters must not be used on the candidates answer scripts.

Are students permitted to use correcting fluid?

Students must not use any form of correcting medium, including fluid, correcting pens and correcting tape. They must neatly cross through rough work but not obliterate it.

Are students permitted to use a calculator?

Candidates may use electronic calculators unless their use is specifically prohibited by the syllabus. Cambridge may, in consultation with the relevant Cambridge Associate, issue specific local regulations governing the use of electronic calculators. Where this happens, the local regulations will override the above regulation.

Unless the calculator is algebraic it does not contravene the Cambridge regulations and therefore may be used. However, candidates may be required to show their working, in which case an answer only would score no marks, or they may type in values incorrectly and so get an incorrect answer which, without working, would score zero. It is not possible to provide a list of allowed or disallowed calculators as there are too many calculators available and new models are produced too often to allow such a list to be up-to-date. Any calculator that is not banned by the Cambridge regulations is allowed.

For further information regarding the use of calculators please refer to the Cambridge Handbook, which can be downloaded from the Examination Officers section of the Cambridge website.

Are students permitted to use a dictionary?

Students for whom English is not their first language are not awarded any Access Arrangements or allowances for examinations or any other form of compensation. Cambridge examinations are international examinations and the fact that for many students English will not be their first language is taken into account during the production of question papers. 

Dictionaries are not allowed in Cambridge Pre-U, Cambridge International A Level, Cambridge International AS Level and Cambridge O Level examinations except where specifically permitted by the syllabus.

Simple translation dictionaries are however allowed in Cambridge IGCSE examinations except in the case of language examinations or where specifically prohibited in the syllabus. By simple translation dictionary, we mean a dictionary that translates only the word and does not give the meaning or definition of the word. The use of electronic dictionaries is not permitted in examinations.

For further information on the use of dictionaries in Cambridge examinations please refer to the Cambridge Handbook, which can be downloaded from the Examination Officers section of the Cambridge website.

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