Factsheet: BYOD Exams Petition


Last week, ANUSA launched our BYOD exams by 2025 campaign. If you want to know more, we’ve outlined the reasons for our campaign and frequently asked questions below! 

What are BYOD exams? 

Bring Your Own Examinations are a form of examination where students bring their laptop (or loan a laptop) for their examinations. The university is already looking to transition to BYOD exams; however, this process is slow and unfocused. We will work with the university to accelerate this process yet maintain a student focus. 

Why BYOD exams? 

First: Accessibility

One primary argument for BYOD exams is for increasing the accessibility and inclusivity of the examination process.

The use of assistive technology is an accessibility requirement for many disabled students. While some students have it as an accommodation on their EAP, accessing the University's disability accommodation system is difficult and many disabled students fall through the cracks. The widespread adoption of BYOD exams would mean that all disabled students receive the accommodations they need to succeed.

BYOD exams would also increase the accessibility of education for many non-disabled students who would be better able demonstrate that they meet learning objectives in typed exams. BYOD exams create a sense of familiarity for students, as students use the same (similar) devices to their every day. Further, a majority of all other assessments undertaken by students are on their laptops.

BYOD exam platforms should support screen readers, and alternate texts for images, closed captions and font sizes can easily be adjusted for motor or cognitive impairments.

BYOD exams have been endorsed by the ANU Disabilities Student Association as it will increase the accessibility of education for disabled students and aligns with the DSA's goal of universal accessibility. For further information, please contact the Disability Co-Officers at sa.disabilities@anu.edu.au

Second: Better Exams

BYOD exams encourage students to engage better with the content and skills that they are being examined on - which results in better learning outcomes. A peer reviewed study published in MedEdPublished found that 80.2% who participated in a trial preferred BYOD exams. 

Third: Stress

Coming out of COVID-19, many students complained about the exacerbated stress of in-person handwritten exams. Students say handwritten exams increase anxiety during exam time. Whilst learning to navigate unfamiliarity is important, final exams are already a high stress high stakes environment and students should be supported to perform the best they can. 

Fourth: It’s about time! 

The university says it is constantly trying to make assessments at ANU more relevant and student focused. It is rare for anybody to have to handwrite thousands of words in a three-hour block outside of examinations. BYOD exams align with modern workplace skills and other assessments further across the country (e.g. the BAR exam). ANU and University of Sydney are the only Group of Eight universities that have not yet transitioned to BYOD exams. 

Are BYOD exams optional? 

We are looking to make the transition to BYOD exams as easy as possible for students. To our understanding, the University is aware that some programs are not suitable for BYOD exams,and would likely not use devices for these exams. We want to advocate for an exam system that improves the examination period for all students.

What if I don’t have a (suitable) laptop? 

The BYOD program we are advocating for would include a laptop loaning program where students that require a suitable laptop, can loan laptops (for free!) from the university. This should include an emergency access program if students have issues with their technology last minute.

Students should be able to charge their device and be supported with adequate WiFi for the exam. 

What if I have privacy concerns? 

We are pushing for a LockDown browser rather than any form of Proctorio. This means that students are not actively monitored in their exams, however, they cannot access any sites outside those needed for their exam. LockDown Browsers have been implemented in over 2000 tertiary institutions worldwide.

We understand the success of BYOD exams lies in its implementation. When students are more familiar with the system, it will be much easier to use. 

I still have other questions! 

If you have any questions or further thoughts, please email sa.education@anu.edu.au

 Sign this petition for BYOD exams on campus!




We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which ANUSA operates.
We recognise the continuing connection to lands, waters, and communities of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
We pay our respect to Elders, past and present, and commit to standing with our first nations people.

Contact ANUSA (02) 6125 2444