Universities are planning to ban students from wearing anything on their wrists during examinations, for fear they may use smartwatches to access the internet and cheat.

Apple Smartwatch

Schools say the clampdown is because invigilators are unable to tell traditional watches from their digital counterparts, and it would be impossible to inspect every student before a test begins.

Apple is preparing to launch its hotly-anticipated smartwatch in April, and one university has already had two incidents where students have been caught referring to other smart watches during an assessment.

The gadgets could be used to store revision notes, or for covert messaging between candidates.

When Apple announced its device last year, the University of London released a statement warning “Smartwatches may become a problem in the examination hall from 2015 and beyond”.

Its students have been reminded that such timepieces fall into the same category as smartphones and tablets.

Exam halls are now being fitted out with larger clocks on the walls, and many universities have purchased desk clocks for anxious students who want to keep track of the time during a test.