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VCE Exams Navigator 2021 – VCE External Assessments

Please note that all VCE external assessments (written, oral and performance) will be conducted in line with the advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer applicable to schools and other venues at the time.

VCAA student number

All response materials must be identified by your VCAA student number. This number, which is assigned by the VCAA, appears on your individual Student Examination/Assessment Timetables, which are supplied by your school.

Student identification

When you present for a VCE external assessment your identity must be verified as you enter the examination room, either by a staff member from your school or by producing photographic identification (see also Advice for performance and Languages oral examinations and the Extended Investigation oral presentation).

Timetable clashes and three examinations on one day

You may have a timetable clash (two examinations scheduled at the same time) or three examinations scheduled on one day.

Your school should already be aware of any timetable clashes or if students are required to sit three examinations on one day.

All examinations must take place on the date published in the VCE examination timetable. If you have an examination at an alternative time, you will be supervised between examinations. The VCAA will contact schools to advise them of the scheduling arrangements for individual students.

Conduct of written examinations and the GAT

Supervisors have the right to check materials brought by you into the examination room and to remove any non-compliant material for the duration.

A suitably qualified member of the school teaching staff will check the appropriateness of your reference materials, calculators and dictionaries (where these items are permitted) as you enter the examination room.

During reading time, you may study the instructions, the question book and a dictionary or bound reference (where these items are permitted).

You must not begin to write or mark your paper or response materials in any way, or use a calculator (where one is permitted), until the announcement that writing time has commenced.

Your responses to questions must be entered on the response materials, as instructed. Notes and other markings made elsewhere on the response materials will not be assessed. For multiple-choice questions you must ensure that you use the Multiple-Choice Answer Sheet provided for your responses and follow the instructions printed on the sheet.

You must immediately notify the supervisor if the incorrect paper has been provided or if your paper has missing pages.

You cannot leave before 30 minutes has elapsed from the start of writing time. An announcement will be made before the last five minutes of scheduled writing time. After this announcement you cannot leave the examination room until instructed to do so by a supervisor.

You must cease writing when instructed to do so by a supervisor.

You must remain silent and must not leave your place until all response materials have been collected. When all response materials have been collected, the supervisor will direct you to leave the room. Any disruptive student behaviour will be reported to the VCAA., which will investigate the matter and take appropriate action (see also VCAA rules).

Bottled water

You may bring one bottle of still water into an examination room subject to the following conditions:

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

Mobile phones and other electronic devices

Mobile phones and other unauthorised electronic communication devices, organisers, portable media players, electronic dictionaries and computerised pens, stopwatches and watches that are capable of storing, receiving or transmitting information or electronic signals, such as smart watches and fitness trackers, are not permitted in an examination room for written examinations under normal conditions.

Confiscated mobile phones and other devices may be held for up to three months.


You will not be permitted to wear watches of any type during written examinations. All watches must be removed and placed at the top of your table, where they can be seen clearly and easily by supervisors.

Stopwatches or watches with special functions, such as an alarm or a stopwatch, are not permitted in the examination room.

If there is any doubt about the functions of your watch, supervisors are authorised to direct you to remove the watch from the table for the duration.

The commencement of reading and writing times will be based on the clock time displayed in the examination room.


A suitably qualified member of the school teaching staff will check the appropriateness of dictionaries as you enter the examination room.

  • Dictionaries are allowed only in the English, English as an Additional Language (EAL) and Languages written examinations.
  • Dictionaries may be consulted during reading and writing time.
  • In the English and EAL written examinations, you may use a printed English and/or bilingual dictionary.
  • In the written component of Languages examinations, you may use any printed monolingual and/or bilingual dictionary in one or two separate volumes.
  • Dictionaries must not contain any highlighting, annotation or tabs that are not part of the original publication.
  • A thesaurus, or a dictionary that contains a thesaurus in the same volume, is not permitted.
  • Dictionaries must not be shared between students during an examination.
  • Electronic dictionaries are not permitted.


In examinations where calculators are permitted, a suitably qualified member of the school teaching staff will check the appropriateness of calculators as you enter the examination room.

Do not use calculators during reading time.

CAS calculators that have graphic, symbolic or programmable capabilities may be used in specified Mathematics examinations, provided the model has been approved.

You may use a scientific calculator in specified examinations. A scientific calculator does not have graphic, symbolic or programming capabilities. It does not have extended memory capable of storing text and/or symbols.

Conditions of use

Calculators may be used under the following conditions:

  • The calculator must be silent and of the handheld type containing its own power source. You are not permitted to take portable chargers into the examination room.
  • You will be entirely responsible for ensuring adequate power supply to your calculator. You must supply your own spare batteries. Any technical fault or battery failure that limits the usefulness of a calculator during an examination will not be taken into consideration by the assessors.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that the calculator is in excellent working order.
  • You may not borrow a calculator from another student after entering the examination room.

Other technology

Computers, mini-computers, portable media players, pocket-organisers, laptops, palmtop computers, calculator models that can ‘communicate’ with other calculators and notebooks are excluded from use in any written examination, except under specified circumstances for which prior approval has been given by the VCAA.

Scientific calculators

Scientific calculators may be used for examinations in the following studies:

  • Accounting
  • Algorithmics (HESS)
  • Applied Computing: Software Development
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Physics
  • Systems Engineering
  • VET Business
  • 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.

Calculators that have graphic, symbolic or programmable capabilities are not permitted in these examinations.

A scientific calculator may also be used in specified Mathematics examinations.

CAS calculators

The following CAS calculators are approved for use in Further Mathematics Examination 1 and Examination 2, Mathematical Methods Examination 2 and Specialist Mathematics Examination 2. The full functions of approved CAS calculators may be used (that is, memories do not have to be cleared before entering the examination).

Brand Model
CasioAlgebra or ClassPad series
Hewlett-PackardHP 40/48/49/50 or HP Prime series
Texas InstrumentsTI 89/92/Voyager or TI Nspire CAS series

Summary of examinations with approved calculators

Examination Calculator

Algorithmics (HESS)
Applied Computing: Software Development
Environmental Science
Systems Engineering
VET Business
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

Scientific calculator only

Further Mathematics
Examinations 1 and 2

Mathematical Methods
Examination 2

Specialist Mathematics
Examination 2

Approved CAS calculator or CAS software for approved schools only

A scientific calculator is also permitted

Use of bound references in Mathematics examinations

You are permitted to take a bound reference into designated Mathematics examinations. This resource is intended to provide you with access to mathematics-related reference material that may be of assistance during the examination. A suitably qualified member of the school teaching staff will check the appropriateness of the bound reference as you enter the examination room for Mathematics examinations where these items are permitted.

If your school receives written approval from the VCAA to use approved CAS software, you are permitted to have your bound references as stored files on a CD-ROM, DVD or USB.

The following table lists the examinations into which you can take the bound reference.

Study Examination 1 Examination 2
Further Mathematics Bound reference as describedBound reference as described
Mathematical MethodsNoneBound reference as described
Specialist MathematicsNoneBound reference as described

Specifications for bound references

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

You are allowed to:

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

Your bound reference 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, sticky notes or other pages or material designed to be detached
  • forms of collation or 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.

Do not share your bound reference with another student during the examination.

Questions can be emailed to VCAA Assessment Operations.