Exam Sign-Up Deadline

For all timed assessments, students must sign up a minimum of 14 days prior to the exam date.  

UPDATE: Deadline to sign-up for all exams

Student Accessibility and Achievement is pleased to announce that the deadline to register for academic accommodations for Final Exams is now the same deadline as that to sign-up for in-semester tests and exams. Students are no longer required to register 1 month prior to the Final Exam period, and will instead be able to register up until 14-days (including weekends) prior to the exam date.

We still strongly encourage you to register for your Final Exams as soon as possible to ensure that your accommodations are in place on the day of your exam and so that any exam conflicts may be addressed early. The Final Exam schedule is available now and can be accessed via the Central Exams Office website.

Sign up for your exams now using Schedule a Test or Exam module on ClockWork.


Learner Support Postcards (text only)

This page contains the text version of our Learner Support Postcards for compatibility with screen reader software. For the postcard images and PDF downloads, see Learner Support Postcards

The Cornell Note-Taking System

Front Side: to the far right, there is a black cartoon silhouette of a man sitting at a brown desk on a red chair. He is holding a red book with a pencil on his right hand. On the opposite side, a cartoon silhouette of a woman with one hand resting on her waist and the other one holding her hand up and pointing with her right index.

The Cornell Note-Taking System

Good note-taking is essential to studying! The Cornell system is an effective framework to organize your notes during class or study sessions.

See reverse for instructions.

How To Review Your Notes:

  • Hide Section A and read Section B.
  • See if you can use the cues in Section B to describe the content in Section A.
  • By recalling details using key terms, you are practicing retrieving information from your memory - an effective way to retain information for longer periods of time!


Back Side: to the far right, a male cartoon silhouette is sitting at a brown desk, on a white chair writing. On his right side, there is a white envelope in on his desk. In the background, a sample of the structure of the Cornell system is drawn.

Taking Notes...

  • Mark the title of the lecture and date at the top.
  • Divide the page into three sections. A wide right-hand column (Section A), a narrow left-hand column (Section B), and a bottom section (Section C).
  • During the lecture, jot down what is discussed in bullet-point form in Section A. You can also use figures and diagrams to represent what is said.
  • After class, read through these points and summarize the main themes and questions in Section B. These will serve as cues when you study.
  • In Section C, see if you can summarize the main message of the lecture.

Section recap:

  • Section A: Full notes of lecture Cover Section A. This will allow you to do some retrieval practice. See how much you can recall by reading over section B and trying to explain the themes and answer the questions in your own words.
  • Section B: Key Words & Ideas.
  • Section C: Summary.


Exam Taking: Some Tips and Tricks

Front Side: On the far left, a female cartoon silhouette is lifting her left hand holding a green pen. She is sitting at a brown desk next to an image of an apple and a glass. On the right, a female cartoon silhouette is standing pointing with her right left index and her right arm is resting on her waist. There is a cartoon tree with green leave on her back standing on an open book. The tree has a cartoon light bulb on the top.

Exam Taking: Some Tips and Tricks

How To Manage Your Stress:

With positive self-talk: Encourage yourself by remembering your past successes and current strengths. Put your fears into perspective and think about how you can handle them.

With comfort items: A “lucky" pen, a snack, wear your favourite pair of shoes etc., to give yourself a sense of comfort within your surroundings.


Back Side: Three cartoon light bulbs of different sizes are located on the top right hand of the card.

Writing Your Exam

Read the exam instructions thoroughly before starting.

  • Example: "For the essay portion, do not go beyond the lines given, any writing outside the margins will not be read, and will not be graded."

Survey the exam and budget your time: prioritize the questions based on how much they are worth and your level of knowledge.

  • Example: "You have 2 hours to write this exam. The exam is split into three sections: Multiple choice (20 pts), short answer (35 pts), and an essay portion (25 pts)."

Read each exam question carefully from start to finish before answering any questions.

  • Example: 1. Which piece of writing is not written by Friedrich Nietzsche?
    • a. Walden
    • b. Beyond Good and Evil
    • c. Thus spoke Zarathustra
    • d. all of the above

Tip: Plan to finish early so you can review and return to the difficult questions!


Goal Setting: S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Front Side: There is a large cartoon silhouette of a woman holding a magnifying glass with her right hand.

Goal Setting: S.M.A.R.T. Goals

What are SMART goals? How do we make them?

  • S - Specific: How would you define your goal? Think of what, when, and how you would do it.
  • M - Measurable: How will you quantify and measure your goal?
  • A - Accountable: Who is responsible for achieving this goal? You individually? A group?
  • R - Realistic: Does this goal reflect your past performance, your present condition, and what is true for peers in a similar situation?
  • T - Time bound: By what date will you have accomplished your goal?


Back Side: Five cartoon images one attached to each letter (SMART) at the bottom of the card. Under the letter S, a black cartoon male silhouette carrying a numerous books on his back. Under the letter M, A male cartoon silhouette holding numerous books on his hands. Under letter A, three male cartoon silhouettes sitting at desks. The middle cartoon silhouette has a blue circle surrounding his head. Under the letter R, there is a male cartoon silhouette sitting at a desk holding his hands to his head. His desk has a pile of books on both sides and there two piles of books on each side of his desk. Under letter T, there is a male cartoon silhouette sitting at a desk raising his left arm. He has one stalk of books on one side and a calendar with the number 25 printed on it.

Example: Midterms

Take this scenario: You have your 2nd midterm of the semester coming up in two weeks. How would you go about studying and preparing for it?

  • S: To prepare for my midterm, I will study 2 hours a day until the day before my exam.
  • M: Within those 2 hours I want to be able to study 2 chapters and take notes.
  • A: In this scenario, only I am accountable for studying my midterm.
  • R: I usually read and summarize 1 chapter per hour, so 2 chapters in a 2 hour study session is realistic.
  • T: My midterm is in 2 weeks, so my studying needs to be complete by the day of the exam.


Learning Tip: Preparing For Your Class

Front Side: There are three male cartoon silhouettes of students siting at desks and one of them is raising his hand. One of the students has a thinking bubble with a laptop and a red X over it and another thinking bubble with a group of three silhouettes with an X over them as well. There is a silhouette of a male instructor in front of them with a green boar on the back holding a chalk.

Learning Tip: Preparing For Your Class

During Class

  • Arrive early with the intention to learn
  • Choose your environment: Do I learn best when I sit at the front of the class? The back?
  • Minimize distractors: Consider sitting apart from your friends
  • Take pictures of the board if the instructor uses a black board or a white board for hand written notes (if your instructor allows it)
  • Come prepared with everything you need (pen, paper, etc.)


Back Side: A cartoon silhouette of a male student with an orange handbag holding a red book, is in the middle of the post card. On the far left, there is a large image of an open book.

Before & After

Before Class

Review the materials for the class (uploaded lecture slides, textbook chapters, assigned readings) and ask yourself:

  • What do I think I know already?
  • What is new or unfamiliar to me?

After Class

As soon as class is over, review all content discussed and ask yourself:

  • What did I understand?
  • What is still unclear to me?

Create a plan for how you will tackle your learning


How To Manage Your Time

Front Side: There is a male cartoon silhouette sitting at a desk using a laptop siting on a yellow chair. To his right, he has a sand clock on his desk.

How To Manage Your Time!

It is important to use an agenda when scheduling your commitments. It will free up memory space, and is a more reliable way of keeping track of your time.

Using Your Agenda Effectively:

  • Choose a medium: online or paper.
  • Add items to your agenda as soon as you commit to something. Don't wait to record it, as you are more likely to forget!
  • Consult your agenda regularly (i.e. daily).
  • Plan for the unexpected (add 50%-100% additional time) We have a tendency to underestimate how long things take. Remember to factor in travel time, and leave room for flexibility.


Back Side: On the far right, there is a male cartoon silhouette wearing glasses standing in front of his desk in between to piles of books. On his desk, he has one pile of book and there is a green clock in the background.

Using Your Agenda...

Use your agenda to stay on track throughout the semester

Review the syllabi, add the following information:

  • Exams, midterms and other assessments
  • Assignment and homework deadlines
  • Class schedule

Keep your agenda updated regularly!

Make sure to include your other personal commitments such as your job schedule, social calendar, etc.


How To Manage Your To-Do List

Front Side: On the far right, a male cartoon silhouette is pointing at a document that is almost as big as the cartoon silhouette. The document has five items listed in a form of rectangles, but no text.

How To Manage Your To-Do List

  1. Choose a medium: digital or paper
  2. List all the thing you need to accomplish in the next week. This list of items should be actionable
  3. Be careful not to put too many items on your list! Limit the list to what can be done in a reasonable time frame
  4. Organize the items on your list according to priority and start with what is most important


Back Side: There are three images on the left-hand side of the post cards that are placed next to the letters A, B and C. The first image next to the A, is a male cartoon silhouette sitting at a desk holding a red book. There is a cartoon bookshelf with books in his background. Next to letter B, there is a male cartoon silhouette sitting at a desk holding a red book. Next to letter C, there is a cartoon silhouette of a woman standing holding colored bags on each hand. On the far right of the card, there is a larger cartoon silhouette of a woman holding a yellow notepad writing with a green pen.


Organize your list into three categories: A, B, C. Train yourself to work through your to-do list by accomplishing A-tasks before B-tasks, and B-tasks before C-tasks.


Items that are important, and have immediate negative consequences if they aren't completed in the next few days. This is your list of what you MUST do. Example: Studying for a test next week.


Items that are important, but are less urgent. These have negative consequences if they aren't completed within the next few weeks. This is your list of what you SHOULD do. Example: Starting a term paper due in a month.


Items that are less important, and not urgent. These do not have negative consequences if you do not complete them in the next few months. This is your list of what you COULD do. Example: Going shopping.

Review your to-do list daily

TIP: Tie it to a morning ritual, for example checking your to-do list while having breakfast.


Studying 101: Managing Distractions

Front Side: On the far left of the card, there is a large male cartoon silhouette with four different cartoon items around his head: a question mark, a cell phone, a megaphone, and three small silhouettes standing side by side.

Studying 101: Managing Distractions

What is a distractor?

Anything irrelevant that has the possibility of capturing your attention for more than a passing moment.

Distractors differ amongst individuals. What is distracting for one person may not be for another (e.g., listening to music while studying).

How to manage distractions?

Identify what distracts you, and develop a personalized strategy.

Ask yourself: “Can I prevent this distraction from occuring? If not, what can I do to minimize its effects?”.


Back Side: One the bottom right side of the card, there is one big cartoon silhouette of a man holding his headphones with both hands as he is listening to music. On the top of the card, there is a cartoon silhouette of man holding a blue magnifying glass.

Common Distractors:

Types of distractors:

  • Social
  • Technology
  • External Environment


  • Social: Friends, Family, Other people
  • Technology: Cellphone, Social media, Emails
  • External Environment: Background noise, Light, Temperature, Smells

Tips to manage:

  • Social:
    • Study with peers who share the same academic values
    • Practice assertiveness if others try to interfere with your study time
  • Technology:
    • Use apps that block social media
    • Turn your devices off or leave your phone at home
  • External Environment:
    • Be comfortable
    • Choose the environment that works best for you (i.e. quiet library or a busy café)


Studying 101: Optimizing Concentration

Front Side: On the bottom right, a female cartoon silhouette holding a yellow pad with her right hand.

Studying 101: Optimizing Concentration

Dealing With Distracting Thoughts

  • Keep a notebook handy when studying
  • If a distracting thought arises, write it down.
  • Plan to address the thought later. Once you have written it down, you can tell yourself “I'll come back to this”.
  • Gently shift your attention back to the task at hand.

After your designated study time, look at the thoughts you have written down. Most likely, many of them will be unimportant!

Example: What distracted me during my review:

  • History of bread making
  • Megalodon vs Mosasaur
  • TLC strange addiction


Back Side: On the top right of card, there is a cartoon silhouette of a head sideways with a clock drawn in the middle. On the bottom, there are four cartoon images with the same male silhouette at a desk. In two of the images he is actively writing and the other two, he is resting his head on his desk. These images are alternating.

Staying Focused...

Managing Your Attention Span

Under normal circumstances, how long can you focus on a boring task before you get distracted?

Work with your natural attention span, and practice stretching your attention window with this technique. In this example, we use 20 minutes, but it can be longer or shorter.

Attention spans can vary between individuals and be influenced by context

Using a timer, work for 20 minutes, take a 5 minute break, work for 20 minutes, take a 5 min break (Repeat the cycle for a pre-determined amount of time, but less than 2 hours on a given task).

You can practice stretching your attention window by slowly increasing the time on a task (i.e. work for 25 minutes instead of 20). The use of a regular break helps you recharge your attention span.


Studying 101: Enhance Your Learning

Front Side: to the far left, there is a male cartoon silhouette sitting at a brown desk, on a red chair, writing. He is holding a red book and a set of stacked documents are on his right side. On the far right, a female cartoon silhouette is holding a green book close to her chest. Two thinking bubbles are on each side: one has a drawing of a tree in the summer and the other one the words “A tree”.

Studying 101: Enhance Your Learning

Learning these strategies will help you maximize your study time.

Use your time efficiently and optimize your learning by applying any of these three techniques:

1. Broaden your study style

You deepen your learning and understanding of a concept when you learn it using more than one modality.

Example: when studying you can take written notes, draw a diagram, and explain it verbally to a friend.

Other modalities can include: watching a video, drawing, and role plays.


Back Side: There is a female cartoon silhouette in the bottom middle part of the post card holding a yellow notebook with her right hand and a green pencil with her left hand as if she was writing. A blank calendar appears on her right side with a sand clock.

More Study Tips

2. Avoid cramming

Our brains work better when learning is spaced out, instead of crammed in all at once. This allows our brain to incorporate knowledge and remember it better.

Example: instead of studying 6 hrs in one day, study 1 hr a day for 6 days.

3. Deepen your learning

To deepen your learning see how simply and clearly you can explain a new concept without losing essential information.

How to:

  • Pick a concept (e.g. Krebs Cycle)
  • Explain it to another person in the simplest way possible (teach a friend who is new to the subject)
  • Identify gaps in your explanation
  • Review your explanation and see if you can make it clearer and fill any gaps
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