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  • Exam Discussion Rules

TSR Wiki > Study Help > Study Help Guidelines > Exam Discussion Rules


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To ensure that The Student Room isn't used by some students to gain an unfair advantage over others by reading information about their exams posted by others who have sat the exam earlier than them, we enforce strict rules regarding discussion of public exams.

Written ExamsPractical Exams

Written Exams

Public exams set by a number of exam boards, including Edexcel International and the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) are taken around the world, in different timezones and at different times. We would also highlight that this includes the Mathematics Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP) exams. To discourage malpractice and to make the exams as fair as possible, TSR operates a strict policy to remove and/or close any threads/posts discussing these exams until 12 hours (Edexcel) or 24 hours (STEP and IB) have passed from the end of the UK exam sitting.


This means no discussion AT ALL - not even "I found it hard/easy" or "I dropped my pencil". The line between

  • "I found it hard" and
  • "I found question 2 hard" and
  • "I found question 2 about <insert subject> hard"

is very blurred. What starts as innocent discussion can turn into disclosures of exam content. We're therefore operating a zero tolerance policy on discussing exams:

  • For Edexcel: morning exams may not be discussed until 12:00 midnight (UK time) and afternoon exams until 4:30 AM (UK time).
  • For STEP/IB: allow 24 hours to pass from the end of each exam before any discussion.
  • Oral exams: Do not discuss these at all until the end of the exams season.
  • Exams from the examination boards AQA, OCR, CCEA, WJEC and CIE (other than orals) are fine to talk about straight after the exams because exams from these boards take place at the same time in all centres.

Anyone found to be breaking this rule on TSR will a yellow warning card and may be banned from the site.

PLEASE NOTE: this rule applies to Private Messages (PM) as well as posts in threads. Anyone found to be discussing Edexcel, STEP, IB or oral exams via PM before sufficient time has passed will also receive a warning.

Also note

Once the time restriction has been lifted, discussion of IB exams should take place in the IB forum and discussion of Scottish exams (for which there is no time restriction) should take place in the Scottish Qualifications forum.

All other exam discussion should take place in the specific subject forum (and in the "Exams" sub-forum where one exists). If there is no sub-forum for your subject then use the top-level discipline forum (e.g., Arts and Humanities) instead. Please search the forum to first to see if a thread already exists before creating a new one. Thread titles should be as descriptive as possible, stating the level (e.g. GCSE), subject, module, specification (where appropriate), exam board and date of the exam.

Good luck to everyone sitting exams!

Practical Exams

Practical exams in science subjects are taken by different groups of students across an extended period of time. This means that some people will have finished an exam that hasn't even been started by others. In order to make these exams as fair as possible (and to discourage cheating), we'll close any threads requesting specific details of practical exams and remove any posts disclosing specifics.


We realise that you may want to talk about the exams with others once you've completed them, and as such it's acceptable to discuss the practicals on a general level. For example, asking others about the difficulty of the exams as a whole should be fine in most cases. It's also acceptable to ask for general advice prior to sitting an exam, such as on how to draw graphs, or what words mean within questions.


However, either requesting or disclosing the specific questions (or suggested answers) to an exam is not allowed. Anyone breaking this rule is likely to have their post removed and a warning issued. This rule applies to Private Messages (PMs) as well as to posts in threads.


All discussion of practical exams should take place in the specific subject forum (and in the "Exams" sub-forum where one exists), just for as for written papers. Please search the forum to first to see if a thread already exists before creating a new one. Thread titles should be as descriptive as possible, stating the level (e.g. GCSE), subject, specification (where appropriate) and exam board.


Again, good luck to everyone sitting exams!
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