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It’s exam time! Here are some tips for exam day success.

December 3, 2020 — 

Your final exams are here! You’ve made it this far, and the Fall Term is almost over. Here are some more tips to help you be successful this exam period. Keep in mind that online exams are very similar to in-class exams, so your exam preparation should be similar. An online exam is still an official university exam, and that the same academic integrity expectations apply.

Here are some things you can do while you’re taking your exams:

  • Show up for the exam. It seems obvious but online exams are easier to miss than you may think. Convenience can give way to complacency, which is a close relative of forgetfulness. 
  • Know what materials you can access. Your instructor will let you know if you are permitted to access course notes, a textbook, or other materials during the exam. Anything that is not explicitly permitted by the instructor is an unauthorized material and can lead to an allegation of exam cheating.
  • Read the instructions. Be sure to read and carefully consider the question, the format may vary depending on the exam. Communicate with your instructor to know what to expect for the exam. Keep in mind some online exams may not allow you to return to previously answered questions. 
  • Be aware of time limits. Consider the total amount of time you have to complete your exam. How many questions in total is your exam? Based on the question types, don’t get stuck on a single question. 
  • Be prepared. Knowing what type of exam you are writing (e.g. multiple choice vs. long answer, closed vs. open book) will help you know what to expect. If you are writing an open-book exam, the questions tend to be application based and you could waste valuable time trying to find answers that are not in the book. Prepare for this exam as you would a regular exam.
  • Don’t forget to submit. Most online exams aren’t done until you click “Submit” at the end. Wait until your exam submission is confirmed – then you’re done! 
  • Don’t work with others. An exam is an individual assessment, and working with others is not only unethical but risky. Your instructor knows even more about your activity during an online exam than in an in-person exam, so if you try to cheat, you will get caught. Visit the Academic Integrity website to learn more. 
  • If you have concerns about your internet connection, talk to your instructor before the exam. Do you plan to write your exam at a friend’s apartment because of your poor internet connection? Or do you happen to live with someone in the same class? Let your instructor know first, so that there aren’t any red flags when you write at the same IP address as another student.


If you experience any technical difficulties during your exam and require IMMEDIATE SUPPORT, please call 204-474-8600 or toll free (North America) 1-844-626-1756. UM Learn experts will be available to provide immediate service and a quick resolution to your inquiry. Listen for the “online exam support option” and follow the prompts to report your issue. DO NOT send e-mails to get assistance – the response time will be slow, while staff are resourcing the telephone lines. For more resources and tips on preparing for the technical side of online exams, please visit the final exam supports page.


You can find your Fall Term exam schedule in Aurora under ‘My Exams’.

UM Libraries can help with last minute term papers and exams — right to the end of term.

Be sure to follow @umstudent on Instagram for more study tips and tricks.



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