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Authorised materials and equipment

Supervisors have the right to check items brought into the examination room by students and can remove anything that is non-compliant.

Suitably qualified school teaching staff are responsible for checking the appropriateness of reference materials, dictionaries, calculators and bound references as students enter the examination room for examinations where these items are permitted.

Basic stationery

Students sitting the GAT and any VCE written examinations may bring the following basic stationery items into the examination:

  • pens
  • pencils
  • highlighters
  • erasers
  • sharpeners
  • rulers.

Pencil cases can only be brought into the examination room if they are transparent, i.e. the contents are visible to the supervisor.

Basic stationery items do not include:

  • aids for curve sketching
  • Mathomat
  • MathAids
  • geometrical drawing instruments such as compasses, set squares and protractors.
  • correction fluid/tape
  • loose sheets of paper.

Specific examination materials

Students may bring specific materials, in addition to basic stationery, into the examination room for the following examinations:

Examinations with a multiple-choice component

  • pencil (HB or 2B) and eraser


  • pencil (HB or 2B) should be used where calculations are required
  • one scientific calculator

Algorithmics (HESS)

  • one scientific calculator

Applied Computing: Software Development

  • one scientific calculator


  • one scientific calculator

English/English as an Additional Language (EAL)

  • an English and/or bilingual printed dictionary

Environmental Science

  • one scientific calculator

Further Mathematics Examination 1

Further Mathematics Examination 2

General Achievement Test (GAT)

  • Section A: Literacy (Reading and Writing) and Numeracy
    • An English and/or bilingual printed dictionary
    • One scientific calculator
  • Section B: General knowledge and skills
    • An English and/or bilingual printed dictionary
    • One scientific calculator


  • coloured pencils, water-based pens and markers

Languages examinations

  • any printed monolingual and/or bilingual dictionary in one or two separate volumes

Mathematical Methods Examination 2

Music Performance

  • pencil (HB or 2B) should be used for musical notation


  • one scientific calculator
  • one folded A3 sheet or two A4 sheets that are bound together by tape, and single- or double-sided. Notes may be typed or handwritten, and from any source (including commercially available notes)

Product Design and Technology

  • coloured pencils, water-based pens and markers
  • no shape templates of any kind are permitted

Specialist Mathematics Examination 2

Systems Engineering

  • one scientific calculator

Theatre Studies

  • coloured pencils, water-based pens and markers
  • protractors, compass, set squares and aids for curve sketching

VET Engineering Studies

  • protractor, set square and aids for curve sketching
  • one scientific calculator

VET Equine Studies

  • one scientific calculator

VET Furnishing

  • one scientific calculator

VET Hospitality

  • one scientific calculator

VET Hospitality: Kitchen Operations

  • one scientific calculator

VET Information, Digital Media and Technology

  • one scientific calculator

VET Integrated Technologies

  • one scientific calculator

VET Laboratory Skills

  • one scientific calculator

Visual Communication Design

  • coloured pencils
  • fineliners (not exceeding 0.6 mm line width)
  • set squares, protractors, compasses
  • circle and ellipse templates.

Scientific calculators

Scientific calculators may be used in the following VCE written examinations:

  • Accounting
  • Algorithmics (HESS)
  • Applied Computing: Software Development
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Further Mathematics (Examinations 1 and 2)
  • Mathematical Methods (Examination 2)
  • Physics
  • Specialist Mathematics (Examination 2)
  • Systems Engineering
  • VET Engineering Studies
  • VET Equine Studies
  • VET Furnishing
  • VET Hospitality
  • VET Hospitality: Kitchen Operations
  • VET Information, Digital Media and Technology
  • VET Integrated Technologies
  • VET Laboratory Skills.

A scientific calculator does not have graphic, symbolic or programming capability. It does not have extended memory capable of storing text and/or symbols.

CAS calculators

VCAA approved CAS calculators can be used in:

  • Further Mathematics (Examinations 1 and 2)
  • Mathematical Methods (Examination 2)
  • Specialist Mathematics (Examination 2).

The use of CAS software may only occur if prior approval has been granted in writing by the VCAA to the Principal of the school.


Students can use dictionaries as described below for the following examinations:

GAT, English and English as an Additional Language (EAL)

  • English and/or bilingual printed dictionary

Language Written Examinations

  • any printed monolingual and/or bilingual dictionary in one or two separate volumes.


  • may be consulted during reading time and throughout the above examinations
  • must not contain any highlighting, annotation or tabs not part of the original publication
  • are NOT permitted in any other examination including Language oral examinations
  • containing a thesaurus are NOT permitted
  • may not be shared between students
  • that are electronic are NOT permitted.

Bound references in Mathematics exams

Students are permitted to take a bound reference into designated Mathematics examinations. A suitably qualified member of the school teaching staff is responsible for checking that reference materials comply with specifications as students enter the examination room.

The following table summarises the examinations into which the bound reference may be taken.

StudyExamination 1Examination 2

Further Mathematics

Bound reference as described

Bound reference as described

Mathematical Methods


Bound reference as described

Specialist Mathematics


Bound reference as described

The bound reference:

  • must be in book format of A4 size or smaller when closed
  • may have any number of pages
  • must have permanently bound pages that are securely attached to the spine
  • must be a single horizontal or vertical spine
  • may be:
    • a textbook
    • a securely bound lecture pad
    • a permanently bound student-constructed set of notes without fold-outs
    • an exercise book.
  • must have binding that is secure and pages must not be readily detachable or designed to be removed. Binding can include cloth, glue, staple, spiral or comb binding.

Students are allowed to:

  • annotate the material
  • design their own written index
  • fold pages
  • cut page corners
  • colour code pages
  • insert dividers into their own sets of notes
  • firmly attach (for example, by glue, adhesive tape or staples) additional material to pages in the bound reference.

Bound references may be consulted during reading time and throughout the examination.

Bound references must NOT include:

  • pages or parts of pages that can be detached from the bound reference during the examination
  • fold-outs, maps or brochure-style components
  • removable tabs, post-it notes or other pages or material designed to be detached
  • forms of collation/binding that are designed to be non-permanent and the content modified by insertion including:
    • ring-binder folders
    • plastic A4 sleeves (permanent or removable) from which pages may be removed
    • manila and similar folders with clip, clamp, slide and metal prong binding of loose-leaf material.

If any page or part of a page is detached from the rest of the bound reference, the page will be removed by the supervisor for the duration of the examination and the incident will be reported as a potential breach of rules.

Bound references must not be shared between students during an exam.

To find out more about materials authorised for use in examinations, contact the VCAA.

Food and drink in the exam room

No food or drinks, other than still water, are permitted except under special circumstances as approved and directed by the VCAA.

Schools will notify supervisors of those students who have approved Special Examination Arrangements and are permitted to bring food and/or other drinks into the room.

Students may bring bottled water into an examination room with the following conditions:

  • The still water is in a clear plastic bottle (all labels removed)
  • The water bottle has a secure lid
  • The capacity of the bottle is no more than 1500 mL
  • Water bottles must not be
    • placed on the table at any time
    • refilled during the examination
    • shared between students.


Medication should only be taken during an examination as part of approved Special Examination Arrangements.

Asthma inhalers

Students may bring an asthma inhaler into the examination room without this being approved as a Special Examination Arrangement. The student must place the inhaler at the top of their table where the supervisor can easily see it. Supervisors are entitled to check asthma inhalers.

Anaphylaxis action plans

A copy of the action plan for any student who may be at risk of anaphylaxis should be provided to the chief supervisor. Staff trained to administer an EpiPen should be easily accessible in case of an emergency.

Materials not permitted in the exam room

Students are not permitted to bring into the examination room:

  • mobile phones
  • any electronic devices including smart watches and fitness trackers *
  • correction fluid or correction tape
  • text books (unless these are listed as approved materials for a specific examination)
  • notes (unless these are listed as approved materials for a specific examination)
  • blank paper or loose sheets of paper.

Students must place all watches at the top of their table where they can be seen clearly and easily by a supervisor. Stopwatches and watches with special functions, such as an alarm or stopwatch, are not permitted in the examination room.

*Electronic devices

Electronic devices include, but are not limited to:

  • any electronic device capable of storing, retrieving or displaying digital information (including smart watches and fitness trackers)
  • calculator models that can 'communicate' with other calculators
  • cameras
  • computerised pens
  • computers
  • electronic storage media, such as USB flash drives, SD, XD, CF or other proprietary memory cards
  • electronic translators and dictionaries
  • mobile phones
  • tablets
  • laptops
  • mini-computers
  • MP3 players
  • music and video players
  • notebooks
  • palmtops
  • personal digital assistants and organisers
  • pocket organisers
  • radio transmitters and/or receivers.