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Tips for online mid-term exams

Guidelines, resources to set you up for success, and new exam software

October 20, 2020 — 

Mid-term exams are underway, so it’s important to be properly prepared. To that end – and to ensure your success – here are some important tips and resources. 


A resource has been developed to help you review the fundamentals of academic integrity and download, install and run Respondus LockDown Browser. You can also complete a practice exam (as many times as you wish) to become familiar with exam-writing when Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor are enabled.  

(Note: Respondus Monitor cannot be run without Respondus LockDown Browser.) Student connectivity requirements can be found at minimum system requirements

 You can self-register for this 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’. 

Practicing well in advance of your course quizzes, tests, and exams will save you time, focus your efforts, and ensure you have more time to ask questions that you may have about this tool. Please read the FAQ section in the course to access additional information, such as privacy, instructor settings, and more. 


Sometimes you just don’t know where to start. Don’t panic, stay calm and use these pointers to help organize your study time so you can be as productive as possible. 

  • Organize essential test materials such as readings, notes taken in class, assignment questions, practice questions and homework. 
  • Create a study schedule and pay close attention to areas that you don’t know or don’t understand, but keep in mind it’s important to also review material you know. 
  • Take breaks. Regular, short, breaks are best. 
  • Don’t cram. Cramming overtaxes your memory and you will end up remembering less, or even get confused about the material. 
  • Test yourself daily. Use the chapter quizzes, flash cards or create test questions for yourself. Just reading over your notes does not help you learn. Re-copying is a waste of time. Re-organize and chunk information for best results. 
  • Don’t just memorize. Understanding will ensure that you retain that material. 
  • Be proactive. If you have questions your first step should be to email your professor or teaching assistant to get the information you need. You can also get online help and other learning supports through the Academic Learning Centre.


UM has many resources to support your success and help you to take care of yourself. Here are some steps to take: 

  • Find a balanceEat healthy meals, get the rest you need, and take advantage of UM Recreations Services athome workout videos.  
  • Get support. Do you get nervous, anxious and worry before exams? You’re not alone. The Student Counselling Centre offers a full range of remote counselling services to students. 
  • Develop good habits. Consult with our Health and Wellness Educator for tips on stress management and other healthy living ideas. 


  • Leading up to your exam check out these IST resources, supports and tips to help you navigate online exam tools. 


First online exam? Don’t worry, online exams are very similar to in-class exams, be mindful of the following tips. 

  • 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. 
  • 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. Prepare for this exam as you would a regular exam, if you approach this as an open-book exam you will have less time per question. You could waste value time trying to find answers that may not be in the book. 
  • 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 try collaborative cheating. Not just for ethical reasons, we mention this because you’ll probably be caught. Online testing software makes it easy to test each student for the same information while providing every student with a uniquely sequenced exam. Visit the Academic Integrity website to learn more. 

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