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Online Learning

Writing tests and exams online

Online and take-home exams require studying and preparation. Your professor knows that you will have access to all of your notes and materials, and they may expect you to think in depth, clearly and concisely, in your exam.

  • Review all of your materials, and, if you are taking an online exam, work under the assumption that you may not have time to refer to your notes during the exam.
  • If you think that you will have time to refer to your notes during the exam, use sticky notes or other tags to find key notes quickly. Another option is to create a condensed study guide of your course material.
  • Know the format of the online test or exam and adjust your study methods for it.
  • See our webpage Exam Preparation for more information on how to prepare and study for a variety of exam formats.

Set up a good testing environment:

  • Tell your housemates and/or family that you are writing a test and put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door or by your desk. 
  • To reduce distractions, turn off your phone and all notifications on your devices.
  • Check your computer to make sure you have the necessary hardware and software and that your internet connectivity is sufficient.
  • Know the rules for the exam. Will you be able to go back to previous questions and change your answers? What should you do if you have a technological problem during the exam?

Many thanks to the University of Toronto's Academic Success Centre for many of these suggestions.

Links from other universities and organizations

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