Examination Tip Sheet

Preparing for exams can be challenging in many ways. We've put together some resources to help you succeed at your exams with the least possible stress.

PREPARING FOR YOUR EXAMS
Getting ready | What to bring | Finding your exam

How do I prepare for exams?

5 Learning Strategies for Mastering your Course Material:

  • Elaborate – Explain and describe ideas with many details
    • Do something with the material; use it; expand on the ideas, don’t just memorize.
  • Space out your studying over time
    • Several shorter study sessions spaced out across several days (or - even better! - a week or two), are more effective than one marathon cramming session. Proper sleep is crucial for maximizing your memory retention.
  • Practice bringing information to mind
    • Explain the material to someone else, from memory.
    • Test yourself – formally and informally. Close the book and your notes; see what you can recall. Also, do practice tests in the format you’ll be tested on – e.g. multiple choice questions for a multiple choice question.
  • Use specific examples to understand abstract ideas
    • Connect the concept to any concrete examples given.
    • Understand first, memorize later - Make up new examples that make sense to you and that help you understand and remember the ideas.
  • Switch between ideas while you study
    • Study in different ways – switch between reviewing and re-reading in a traditional way; then a visual mode such as mapping; then self-testing; then making up more examples; etc.
    • Change it up – study one concept, theme or subject area for a while, then switch to another subject or concept.

For more information on exam preparation including York's best study spots and more, visit Learning Skills Services.

What do I bring to my exam?

Remember to bring to your exams:

  • your student ID (YU-card and/or a photo ID, such as driver's license or passport);
  • a calculator or study notes if they are permitted in your exam;
  • a reusable water bottle, refill stations are available within the exam room at Aviva and outside the exam room doors at Tait.

Where is my exam?

If you are not sure about the location of your exam, check your exam schedule. Your exams might take place at the Aviva Centre or in one of York's buildings. Check the Building Acronyms Page if you are not sure what building your exam schedule is referring to.

ARRIVING FOR YOUR EXAM
Arrival time | Exams in Aviva and Tait McKenzie | Parking, Shuttle and GoSAFE

What time should I arrive?

If your exam is in the Aviva Centre, you will be permitted to enter the exam room a minimum of 20 minutes prior to the start of your exam. If you arrive more than 20 minutes early, there is a sheltered waiting area in the Aviva Centre which is open from 8am to 10:30pm Monday to Saturday, and from 1pm to 10:30pm on Sundays. The waiting area is indoors with access to washrooms - just follow the signs at the Aviva Centre.

At Tait McKenzie, the turnstiles will be lowered 30 minutes prior to the start of each exam. There will be a waiting/study area open during the exam periods. For more information on the services and programs at Tait McKenzie or to activate your YU-card for a membership, see the York Lions site.

Additional information about exams in the Aviva Centre is available on the Exams in the Aviva Centre (formerly Rexall Centre) page.

Where can I park?

If you do not normally drive to campus but expect to during your exams, plan your route in advance. Contact the Parking Office at parking@yorku.ca or 416-736-5335 for details. There is no special parking around the Aviva Centre and Tait McKenzie - see Parking Services for parking locations near these sites.

The following sites provide useful information regarding parking and transportation:

  • Parking Services provide you with parking locations, daily rates and permits;
  • GoSAFE helps walk you back to your parking spot during their operating hours;
  • Transportation Services offer regular shuttle services between the Commons and the Aviva Centre during exam periods.

PRIOR TO AND DURING YOUR EXAM
Before entering an exam | Arriving late | Washroom breaks | In the event of disruption | After the exam

Before entering an exam, what should I be aware of?

  • All unauthorized devices, including cellphones, are not permitted in an exam room.
  • All electronic devices including cellphones MUST be turned OFF, including vibrate, and put away. Failure to do so, may be cause for investigation in accordance with the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty*.

Right before the start of an exam, what will I be asked to do?

  • Place your identification and authorized materials on your desk.
  • Place all unauthorized materials and electronic devices, backpacks and personal belongings, under your chair (not in the aisles or at the front of the classroom).
  • You may not leave the exam room during the first 30 minutes or during the last 15 minutes of the examination.
  • Remember to write the course name, number and section on all answer booklets.
  • Do not start writing your exam until instructed to do so.

What happens if I arrive late?

  • If you arrive late, that is within the first 30 minutes of an exam, you will be permitted to enter the exam but will NOT be permitted extra time to complete the exam.
  • If you arrive later than 30 minutes after the start of the exam, you may not be admitted to the exam hall. Meet with your professor after the exam to discuss whether there are any possible rescheduling options.

What are the rules regarding washroom breaks?

  • You will be accompanied to the washroom by an invigilator.
  • You are not permitted to take personal belongings into the washrooms. All belongings must be left at your desk prior to leaving your seat.

What should I do in the event of a disruption during my exam?

  • Should you be required to exit the exam room, your exam invigilators will provide instructions.
  • Leave all of your exam papers (i.e. question sheets, answer booklets etc.) on the desk.
  • DO NOT consult study material or discuss any aspect of the exam until the exam resumes.
  • All electronic devices, head sets and cellphones MUST REMAIN OFF, no matter how long the delay.
  • Failure to follow the above instructions related to the integrity of the exam will be investigated in accordance with the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty*.

What about after the exam?

If you finish early, please gather all your belongings and leave as quietly as possible. If you need to wait for a ride or for your classmates to finish, feel free to return to the sheltered waiting area in the Aviva Centre and wait there. The sheltered area is open until 10:30pm and will have a security guard on site. You are encouraged to wait for a ride or classmates in the secured waiting area.

*Academic Honesty
Cheating is the attempt to gain an improper advantage in an academic evaluation. Academic dishonesty can appear in many forms, such as obtaining a copy of an exam/test or question before it is officially available; copying another person's answer to an exam/test question; consulting an unauthorized source during an exam/test; obtaining assistance by means of documentary, electronic or other aids which are not approved by the course instructor or changing the record of an exam/test result.