Preparing for Exams

At the end of each term, you will write exams in most of your courses. You are expected to be in Toronto for the entire examination period. If you need to make travel plans, do not plan to leave before December 20 for the winter break and check the Academic Calendar before making plans for the summer break.

You will write your exams in formal exam conditions. Remember to bring your TCard and an approved calculator (if applicable). In some courses, you will be permitted to bring an aid sheet to the exam.

What if something happens during the examination period that affects my exam performance?
If you think that your final mark has been negatively affected because you were sick, were involved in an accident or had a serious family emergency, you can complete an exam petition. Petition forms are available online and must be submitted within one week of your last exam. Proper documentation is required. Only U of T Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms will be accepted for personal illness. Talk to the First Year Office for further details.

What will happen if I don’t perform well in the Fall Term?
Even some of the best and brightest students can have a poor first term — especially while you are adjusting to your new environment. If, despite your best efforts, you fail a course or two (less than 50% or have a sessional average below 60%), there is a way to catch up so you can finish your first year successfully. It’s called the T-Program.

I get really nervous around exam time. What should I do?
You are not alone! The Academic Success Centre (214 College Street) offers workshops on exam anxiety throughout the year. If you already know this is an issue for you, plan to attend a workshop early in the semester. Learning strategists can also work with you one-on-one.

Tips from the First Year Office:

  • Review lecture notes right after class. This way, if you have problems with some of the material, you can seek help immediately.
  • Practice solving lots of problems — even the ones that may not have been assigned.
  • Use a day planner to set study goals. Stick to your study goals and reward yourself when you’ve accomplished them.
  • Take breaks during study sessions. Try to avoid “all-nighters.” The more tired you get, the more difficult it is to think clearly.
  • Attend Exam Jam to help de-stress before exams.

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