How our community record system works

Did you get a card?

The Student Room has guidelines and rules to keep the community helpful, safe and friendly. Our card system is used alongside these community guidelines to help make our community stronger and to let you know if you’ve broken a rule.

Be sure to read the TSR community guidelines and rules and post with consideration to other members, and all this won’t be something you need to think about. But if you have got a card…

  • Posting Tips 
    These are designed to help our users who may be unaware of these guidelines and rules. These will help you make the most of TSR as well as introducing you to our specific guidelines and rules that you might not have been aware of yet. These are not warnings and do not escalate. 
  • Reminder cards 
    A blue reminder is used for minor issues and will let you know that one of your posts (or other contributions) has broken a TSR rule. When you get one of these, please familiarise yourself with the community guidelines and rules. It isn't intended as a punishment, though repeated reminders and breaking of the guidelines and rules will escalate to a warning card. 
  • Yellow cards 
    You’ve done something that’s against the spirit of the TSR community. Just like a yellow card in football, it’s a caution and a reminder to play by the rules. You will receive a yellow if you break the same guideline you have recently had a blue card for or if the offence is serious enough. You will also get a yellow card if you have been given a total of four reminders.
  • Red cards 
    You’ll get one of these if you’ve accidentally or knowingly done something that has a detrimental effect on the community or one of its members, and as a result it comes with a temporary ban that prevents you from posting on the site. You might also get a red card if you've picked up three yellow cards.
  • Black cards 
    Game over, it’s a permanent ban from contributing to the site. These are reserved for things that can be very harmful to TSR members and the community; things like spamming the site, offensive content and persistent disruptive trolling. You can also end up with a black card if you accumulate two red cards. Please do not make new accounts to discuss a ban, these will be banned, please email us at with your username, date of birth and email associated with the account and we will look into your ban. 

Any cards you acquire will appear on your community record on your user profile. Don’t worry, getting a card won’t be a stain on your reputation forever! These are issued in confidence and as long as you don’t break the rules again, your cards will gradually expire and you can get back to a clean slate.  

What if I don’t understand why I got a card, or think I shouldn’t have got it?

You can post in ask the community staff if you have questions about why you got a card, and we can help you out. We are always happy to answer questions but ATCS is not a debate forum and we will not engage in lengthy debates. 

That process will hopefully help you come to an agreement, but your cards will expire over time anyway so long as you post with the community guidelines in mind.

How does it all work?

You’ll usually get a card if one of your posts, wiki edits or PMs has been reported to the community team by a community member. If we find that it breaks our guidelines, we’ll issue a card to you.

The community team works hard to keep the system consistent and fair, and we use site-wide guidelines and peer reviews to make sure that a bit of text speak won’t get you a blue card on one forum, but a red card on another.

If you’ve broken a few rules in the past and find that your next dodgy post suddenly gets you a higher card than you expected, you haven’t been typecast as a troublemaker - cards are automatically ‘escalated’ if you get too many of them. For example, let’s say a member has previously been issued a yellow card. If they then get another yellow card, they will also get a red card. Similarly, the expiration times and bans are applied automatically.

It might seem like there’s a lot to take in, but the bottom line is that all you need to do is make sure you know the site’s rules and guidelines. Keep those in mind when you post and you’ll never need to worry about escalations and expiries!

Got a question about the card system? Post it here.