Get ready for your exam

Advice and resources to help you prepare for your exams. This includes information on practice exams, time management techniques and setting up your exam space.

Practice exams

As the University has moved to an online exams format, it’s important that you prepare yourself for what to expect during the exam period. Contact your Subject Coordinator for access to practice exams to ensure that you feel comfortable with the format on the day of the assessment. Sitting a practice exam will also help you work out what your optimal exam space will be on exam day.

Prepare your exam space

Here are some suggestions to help you feel comfortable and ready to perform at your best.

  • A quiet place with no interruptions

    If you are sharing your space with other family members, housemates or pets, make sure you have a quiet space where you will not be interrupted.

    • Close the door to your room to stop people and pets from entering
    • Pop a “do not disturb – exam in progress” sign on your door
    • Put your mobile phone on silent and turn off notifications. Consider taking your landline phone off the hook before the exam starts
    • If you are sitting a Zoom supervised exam, you will not be able to leave this space during the exam other than to use the toilet if needed during the exam
    • Consider using ear plugs to keep the noise levels to a minimum. Please note that headphones cannot be used during Zoom supervised exams.
  • A clean desk
    • Tidy up your desk before the exams period so you only have what you need during your exam
    • Have a drink nearby, as well as items like tissues
    • Please note that some exam types may allow access to notes and textbooks during the exam. You should have these ready before your exam. Check your LMS subject site to find out if this applies to your exam
    • If sitting a Zoom supervised exam, practice setting up your device/s and webcam before your exam so that when you start your exam you know what to do and have all of your equipment set up and ready to go.
  • A comfy chair
    • It's important you are comfortable when sitting at your desk for long periods of time
    • Pick a chair that’s suitable for your chosen desk and set it up correctly.
  • Natural light
    • Good lighting plays a huge role in helping you feel comfortable
    • If possible, try to allow plenty of natural light into your exam space so that you can perform at your best. At the same time, try and avoid sun glare on your screen.
  • Check your equipment
    1. Where possible, it is best to use a computer rather than a portable device (such as a phone or tablet). It is recommended that you check that your operating system has installed the latest updates before the exam period, ideally the night before your exam.
    2. Make sure all of the equipment you need to complete your exam is fully charged and working well ahead of your exam start time. This might include checking laptop chargers, your webcam, mouse and keyboard and ensuring you have a stable internet connection. You should also check the batteries in your wireless devices (eg keyboard, mouse).
    3. Check if you have a strong and stable internet connection through your modem.
    4. Use a compatible internet browser. For optimal performance, please use the latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. University systems also operate on the most recent versions of Safari and Microsoft Edge.
    5. If you will need to use Zoom for your exam, you must update your Zoom to version 5.0 or above on your computers and devices. View the detailed instructions on how to update Zoom.
    6. Try opening the system in an in private or incognito browsing tab. Alternatively, you may clear the cache (cookies and temporary internet files) then reload the browser before attempting to log in again.
  • Notes, textbooks and other resources
    • Every assessment will allow different materials. Be sure to check your assessment requirements on your LMS subject site.
  • Something to write with
    • If your exam requires you to write or draw, get your pens, pencils, erasers and rulers ready. Liquid pens and correction tape can be used.
  • Drinking water and snacks
    • Keep your mind focused by feeding it with healthy snacks and drinks.

How should I study for my exam?

  • While you may have access to your notes, textbooks and other resources, you won’t have time to read and digest large amounts of information during the exam.
  • You will do best if you study for the exam as you would normally. Your preparation should aim for good understanding of the subject and the key concepts. Ensure you can apply theories or formulae to real-life scenarios.
  • Prepare yourself to be ready to spend your exam time applying your knowledge of the subject and crafting the best answer you can.
  • Try these exam preparation tips on effective revision and improving recall to optimise your study time.
  • A range of bookable and informal study spaces are now open on campus. Find a suitable study space to help you prepare for your exams and final assessments.

Managing your time

Make sure you are across the best strategies to effectively manage your time during the exam period and on the day of your exam so that you can meet your study demands and perform to the best of your ability during your assessments. It is important to track your own time during each exam.

Academic integrity in online exams

It is important for all students to understand their responsibilities for ethical scholarly practices. Academic integrity refers to students submitting scholarly work for assessment that represents their own original ideas and original work. The University of Melbourne expects the highest scholarly standards from its students in all areas of their learning and assessment.

Find out more

Updated academic integrity advice for online examinations is available at the Academic Integrity website. It includes information on the academic integrity declaration for exam and assessment tools, and advice on how to ensure you comply with academic integrity during your online exams. We recommend you review this information carefully and also complete the academic integrity learning module prior to sitting your exams.