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Prep in advance & get help fast

Tips for navigating online exams

April 12, 2021 — 

Congratulations—you’ve made it to the end of Winter Term and exams are just around the corner. While online exams are very similar to in-class exams, there are some extra tips and tricks to consider as you navigate digital platforms. Preparing in advance will help ensure that when your exam starts, you can focus on showing what you know rather than troubleshooting technology. Here are some things to consider as you prep, and if you do run into technological issues, we’ve outlined some strategies to help.   

Before exams start

Know your schedule: You can find your Winter Term exam schedule in Aurora under ‘My Exams’.

Ensure your access: Make sure you can access your UM email account and your UM Learn account now. Before your exams, login, select a course for which you have an upcoming exam and make sure you can find the quiz tab. It’s also a good idea to ensure the device you’re using is compatible with UM Learn. For more information, check out more online exam resources, supports and tips.

Check your times: Times are set in the Central Time Zone. Confirm your actual exam start time, especially if you’re taking your exam from a location outside Manitoba.

Prepare as usual: Whether your exam is in person or online, the basics of studying don’t change, so stay positive. Prep like you’d prep for an in-class exam, and don’t forget to take care of yourself while you study and on exam day. Check out our studying and self-care tips for more info.

Consider your location: Let your instructor know in advance if you will be taking your exam at the same location as another student in the class. That way, there aren’t any red flags when you write at the same IP address as another student.

Practice using e-proctoring software: Is your instructor using e-proctoring software, such as Respondus? If so, don’t worry. You can practice taking a test using Respondus in UM Learn. This allows you to complete a practice exam (as many times as you wish) to become familiar with exam-writing when Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor are enabled. We recommend you also read the FAQ section in the course to access additional information, such as privacy, instructor settings, and more.

          You can self-register for a Respondus Monitor practice course by following these steps: 

           1: Login to UM Learn. 

           2: Select ‘Self-Registration’ from the top menu. 

           3: Select ‘Respondus Monitor Practice Exam’ (near the top of the list). 

           4: Complete the registration steps and then click on ‘Go to course offering’. 

On exam day

Show up for the exam. It seems obvious but online exams are easier to miss than you may think. Double check the start time, set an alarm and arrive at your computer early so when the exam starts, you’re ready to go.

Get help fast: 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 or chat messages to get assistance – the response time will be slow while staff are answering calls. Find out more by viewing this full list of resources, supports and tips.

 Show your integrity:  An online exam is still an official university exam and academic expectations still apply. Find out from your instructors in advance what materials you can access during the exam. Anything that is not explicitly permitted is an unauthorized material and can lead to an allegation of exam cheating. 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. 

Read the instructions. Be sure to read and carefully consider the questions— 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 are there in total? Based on the question types, don’t get stuck on a single question. 

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! 

For more information on preparing for online exams, visit UM’s Support for learning remotely webpage and follow @umstudent on Instagram for study tips and tricks.



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