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More than 20 Year 12 students who were caught cheating or breaching rules in their final exams last year have had their marks docked.

Figures released today by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority have revealed that 22 students were punished for offences ranging from hiding notes on their person or taking a mobile phone into the exam to failing to follow instructions.

Seven students who took a mobile phone into the exam room lost between 2 and 100 per cent of their written exam marks and three who had an iPod or a blackberry were docked up to 30 per cent.

Another three students who were carrying notes lost between 50 and 100 per cent of their marks.

Two students were found to have colluded on their submission of portfolios for a practical exam and lost up to 10 per cent of marks.

Four students appealed. The appeals committee ruled they had all breached the rules but reduced the penalty for one candidate.

Authority chief executive Allan Blagaich said last year's figures were well down on the previous year, in which 33 students were found to have cheated or breached rules in the written exams and 27 breached the practical exams.

"There were fewer breaches this year because schools and students better understood the exam rules," he said. "For example, in 2012 no exam candidates were penalised for writing notes on their bodies."