Copying material for exams and test questions

The Copyright Act allows copyright material to be included in exam papers for the purpose of asking or answering questions. All types of copyright material are included:

  • Literary works (e.g. book chapters, journal articles, newspaper articles, poems etc.)
  • Dramatic works (e.g. plays, scripts etc.)
  • Musical works (i.e. sheet or notated music)
  • Artistic works and images
  • Films
  • Sound recordings and recorded music.

There is no restriction on the amount of the work that can be included – either an excerpt or the work in full.

This provision applies to all types of exams – sit-down, online exams and take-home exams. It covers not only formal end of year or semester examinations but also tests given throughout the semester. However, this provision only allows for the copyright material to be included for the purposes of the actual exam. If the exam is being made available to students in print or online as either a practice exam or study aid, the provision no longer applies.

If an exam paper is made available as either a practice exam or a study aid access should be restricted to students. Any copyright material should only be included under copyright requirements for using material for teaching.