What to Do on the Day of Your Exam

Posted by York & U on December 5, 2019

Academic Success | Archive

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It’s almost that time of year, Lions! We’re almost at the end of the Fall term, which means it’s time for exams. As you prepare, make sure to check out our favourite study tips and tricks in the “Lion Pride Study and Assignment Guide.” Now it’s time to let you know some important information about what to do on the day of your exam.

For these tips and more, be sure to also check out this exam tip sheet!

Get a good night’s sleep!

OK, this technically is the day before your exam, but this is arguably the most important part of your preparation. Get some rest and go to bed early! We know that it can be stressful and tough to fall asleep the night before a big exam but pulling an all-nighter to memorize that last piece of information isn’t going to help. Getting a good sleep before an exam can relax your mind, help your memory and ease anxiety for the big day.

Double- Triple- Quadruple Check the Time, Date and Location of your exam

We know this one’s obvious, but you don’t want to be the person that shows up at the wrong building or even worse, on the wrong day for your exam! Your exams are often in a different building from where you took your classes, so if you are not sure about the location of your exam, check your exam schedule (again and again and again in case there was a change made since you last checked). Your exams might take place at the Aviva Centre or in one of York’s buildings, so make sure you check out the Building Acronyms Page if you are not sure what building your exam schedule is referring to.

Give yourself lots of time to make it to your exam, so leave a little early and if you’re unfamiliar with the building where your exam is taking place, take some time during these last few weeks of classes to go find the building and room so you know where to go when the day arrives. If you arrive later than 30 minutes after the start of the exam, you may not be admitted to the exam hall. You will have to meet with your professor after the exam to discuss whether there are any possible rescheduling options. Don’t let that happen!

If you arrive late but within the first 30 minutes of an exam, you will be permitted to enter. However, you will not be given extra time..

What to bring to your exam

Before your exam you can get one last look at your study notes, maybe have a light snack or go for a walk to clear your head. Once you’re in the exam hall you’ll need to put all that stuff away since you’re only allowed a few items:

  • your student ID (YU-card and/or a photo ID, such as driver’s license or passport);
  • pens/pencils (bring extras!);
  • a calculator or study notes if they are permitted in your exam;
  • a reusable water bottle;
  • your brain!

Important Note: All electronic devices including cellphones must be turned off, including vibrate mode, and put away. Any other unauthorized devices are not permitted. If you don’t follow these rules, it is possibly cause for investigation in accordance with the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty*.

When to arrive for your exams

You can technically show up as early as you like to your exam, but you won’t be allowed in until about 20-30 minutes prior to the start time. Some people like to go over study notes with a few friends before they go into an exam and some like to avoid the noise, just make sure you’re not late!

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. Additional information about exams in the Aviva Centre is available on the Exams in the Aviva Centre page.

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.

The Exam

You’re in. You’re sitting at your desk in the exam room. Your notes are tucked away in your bag, your phone’s off and you’ve got your writing utensils and water bottle ready to go. What now? Can you start right away? No. You’ll be asked to place your ID and materials on the desk and you cannot start writing your exam until you’ve been told to do so. Once it has begun, you may not leave the exam room during the first 30 minutes or during the last 15 minutes of the examination.

Pro Tip: Remember to write the course name, number and section on all answer booklets.

If you need to use the facilities during your exam, you will be accompanied by an invigilator. You will have to leave your personal belongings at your desk. In the case of an emergency, you may be instructed to leave the exam room. If this happens, remain quiet and listen to the instructions from the invigilator. You will have to leave all your exam materials on the desk. You are not allowed to discuss any part of the exam with your friends or classmates. All electronic devices, head sets and cellphones must remain off during the entire period of the delay.

Once you’re done your exam, get outta there (as quietly as possible)!

If you finish early, quietly gather your belongings and leave. If you need to wait for a ride or for your classmates to finish, you can go to the sheltered waiting area in the Aviva Centre and wait there. If your exam is elsewhere, we’d suggest having a designated meeting place since you’re not going to be able to call or text until you’re finished.

What if I’m sick on the day of my exam?

If you miss an exam due to illness, you must email your instructor within 24 hours of missing the exam. Then you will need to go to the York University Academic Petitions website and have your doctor complete an Attending Physician’s Statement or have your counsellor submit a Counsellor’s Statement. These forms must be submitted in person to Student and Enrolment Services within 48 hours of the exam. They will then notify you and your instructor if the appropriate documentation was received. The date of your deferred exam will be scheduled by your instructor, preferably as soon as possible.

There you have it, the #YUBlog guide on what to do on the day of your exam.

Now go study, rest up and go conquer those exams, Lions!

Do you have any last-minute tips for exams? Comment below or tweet us on Twitter at @YorkUStudents.

  • Avatar
    Marissa Davis

    I’d also say – no need to panic. The exam is always stressful for the student, but if you panic, you can forget everything you’ve learned and mix up the time or place (anything can happen if you are panicking). If you have studied hard and diligently for the exams, then at the last minute all you have to do is praise yourself and tune in that everything will go well!