What to expect on exam day

This section gives you some tips and advice on what to do during the written and speaking exams day.

What to do during the written exams

Before the exams start

  • Check the date, time and address of your exam. Your centre will send you this information. If you have any questions, contact your centre before the exam day.
  • Be at the exam venue at least 20 minutes before the start time
  • Bring your identification (a passport or a national ID card). It must be the original document with your photo on it and it must be valid on the day of your exam. 
  • Take with you a pen, pencil and eraser.
  • Keep your timetable handy. Know your candidate number. You will be placed in a specific exam room and desk based on your candidate number.
  • Do not bring food or drinks to your desk in the exam room (except form a clear plastic bottle of water).
  • You cannot have your mobile phone or any other electronic items with you in the exam room. These have to be handed over to the supervisor who will securely store them until the end of the last written component of the exam.
  • Look at the exam signs and locate your designated exam room. The supervisor will inform you when it is time to enter.

During the exams

Upon entering the room:

  • Place any other unauthorised items (books, bags, etc) in the area that your invigilator will specify.
  • After you are seated, the invigilator will ask to see your passport / ID and your timetable, in order to confirm that you are the indeed the correct candidate.
  • The invigilator will distribute the question papers (and in some cases a separate answer sheet and / or rough paper)
  • If the name printed on your question papers is not correct, please inform the invigilator immediately.
  • The invigilator will give specific instructions for each paper. Please pay attention and ask the invigilator if you have any questions about the procedure.
  • If you are doing a Listening test, check that you can hear the test properly. Notify the invigilator immediately if you cannot hear the recording. 

When the exam starts:

  • Read the instructions on the front of the question paper (and the separate answer sheet if relevant).
  • Do not to open the question papers until the invigilator tells you to do so.
  • The invigilator will inform you about the duration of each paper. Make sure that you complete all tasks in the allocated time as you will not be allowed any extra time to transfer your answers.
  • The invigilator will inform you if you need to use a pencil or a pen in order to complete your answers in each paper.
  • Writing: please write within the grey lines in the spaces provided on the question paper. Use the blank pages to complete your rough work.
  • Listening: The test is divided into sections, and the recording on the CD is complete in itself, with all necessary pauses and instructions to candidates. Each part will be heard twice. You will be given time to transfer your answers and the CD will inform you when the test is finished.
  • You must not talk, copy, keep or use unauthorised items (such as mobile phones or dictionaries) because you risk being disqualified.
  • If you wish to go to the toilet, an invigilator must accompany you for security reasons. Please raise your hand. No extra time will be given for a toilet break.
  • The invigilator will remind you when you reach the last 10 and 5 minutes before the end of the written papers.


  • Stop writing immediately when the invigilator tells you to put down your pen or pencil do so.
  • Give all papers to the invigilator, including question papers, answer sheets, paper for notes, etc.
  • Stay in your seat until the invigilator tells you to leave the room.

After the exams

  • Before leaving the room, make sure that you take with you all your personal belongings.
  • Make sure that you keep a copy of your timetable. You will be able to access your results with the codes available on your timetable

Reporting of incidents

  • If something happens during the exam that may have affected your performance (e.g. if you were ill during the test or if a loud noise affected your Listening test) you must inform the centre Supervisor / Invigilator immediately.

What to do during the speaking exams

  • Take your passport/ID and your timetable with you.
  • Be at the exam venue at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time
  • Look at the exam signs and locate the speaking exams area.
  • The invigilator will check your photo IDs against the attendance register.
  • The invigilator will take your photo for identification purposes.
  • Once your ID is checked and photo taken, you must remain in the designated speaking exams area until your test. While you are waiting to be examined, please keep quiet so as to avoid disrupting the exams of other candidates.
  • Switch of your mobile phone (and other electronic devices). Place your belongings in the area designated by your invigilator.
  • The speaking tests are in pair format. The invigilator will specify which of the other candidates will be paired with you, in accordance with the timetable. In case of absences, the pairs will be re-arranged in order to avoid delays.
  • Where there is an uneven number, the last candidates taking the test will form a group of three. The exams cannot be conducted with a single candidate.
  • You will be given a personalised mark sheet; do not fold, crease or write on it. You must hand it to the examiner when you enter the room.
  • If there is an error in the spelling of your name, please inform the co-ordinator and he will make a note of the correction.

Test day photos

Test day photos are mandatory for FCE, CAE and CPE exams. Photos will be taken on the day of the Speaking test.
All candidates, or a parent/guardian, must sign the relevant consent form:

Exams Child Safe Collection Policy

According to the British Council’s Child Safe Collection Policy children between 11 and 17 years of age will be allowed to leave the premises alone only if parental consent to this has been given in writing. Otherwise, they must be collected by the parent or by a person for whom the parent has provided written authorisation.

For all underage candidates parents or guardians have to sign and send us theChild Safe Collection Consent form.