University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you.

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings.

Use of dictionaries and calculators in examinations


Each exam venue has at least one standard English dictionary available to consult, provided the exam paper does not state that no dictionaries are permitted. If you wish to use it, you must put up your hand and ask the invigilator for permission.

Candidates may only take a bilingual dictionary (in book format) into a University exam if prior permission has been given by the School responsible for the paper. Electronic dictionaries are not permitted. Where a School permits all candidates to use dictionaries (e.g. for a modern language translation paper), this will be indicated on the exam question paper, together with details of the dictionaries specifically permitted or excluded.

If a student would like to bring a bilingual dictionary into an exam, they must visit their Student Support Centre who will provide a letter on headed paper to state that use of the dictionary will be permitted, listing the specific exams in which it is allowed. The student should display this letter on his/her desk throughout the exam. The invigilator will check the dictionary for notes and annotations which are not permitted.

A School may not permit the use of a dictionary for examinations for which it is not responsible.


The permitted models of calculator for use in exams are:

  • Casio FX-83GTPLUS or Casio FX-85GTPLUS
  • Casio FX-83GTx  and Casio FX-85GTx
  • Casio Fx-83GT CW or Casio Fx-85GT CW
  • Casio FX-85MS

Additionally, certain exam papers might specify the following: 

  • Only certain calculators are permitted (the model would be specified in this instance)
  • That no calculators are permitted

The recommended models above are widely available.

For further information about which calculators are allowed in which exams, please contact your Student Support Centre in the first instance.

If you're in any doubt, you should consult your Department/School for information about the use of calculators and dictionaries in exams. 

Things to do now

Contact Us