10 Tasks You Need to Do in Preparation for Exam Season

Final exams are quickly creeping up and before you know it, the exam invigilator will be signalling you to begin as you sit anxiously in a room full of nervous students. Even if you have more important things to focus on right now (like scrambling to finish end-of-the-semester assignments), preparation is key. Here’s 10 Tasks You Need to Do in Preparation for Exam Season:

1. Check your course syllabus to find out which classes have a final exam.

At this point in the semester, you should already know whether or not your classes have a final exam; however, we totally understand that you might have been skipping class as of lately to finish last-minute assignments. In the event you haven’t been in class (so you haven’t heard your professors lecturing you to start studying), we recommend you triple-check your syllabi to make sure you know which courses require you to write an exam.

2. Confirm your exam dates from the exam schedule.

It is your responsibility to check when your exams are and to show up accordingly to write it. To do this, simply find your course name and verify your section. From there, record the exact date, time, and location somewhere you can pull up quickly (or screenshot it on your phone!). Make sure you know exactly how to get to where you need to be ahead of time, as you won’t want to be frantically searching for a classroom minutes before your exam.

3. Book time off work and other commitments.

For those who have a part-time job, be prepared to book time off to study and write your exams. In fact, we suggest also taking time off after writing an exam to mentally relax. Of course, how much time you need off depends on how much studying you have to do and how flexible you are balancing your work and studies.

4. Calculate what you need to pass each course and exam.

Some classes require you to pass the exam to pass the course, so look over your syllabus to check if this is the case for you. Regardless, you should be calculating what grade you have entering an exam and what you need to pass, especially if you’re hesitant about passing. Use this online Grade Calculator to find out what you need on your final exam to get your desired grade in a course.

5. Create a study plan.

Once you know your exam and work schedule, you should start creating a study plan. This means planning where and when you will be studying, along with the methods you will use to retain information. Alternatively, this might mean forming study groups or creating cue cards. The important takeaway is that you should have an action plan that you can commit to.

6. Stock up on groceries and nutritious snacks.

You’re going to need brain food to get you through these tedious hours of studying, so it’s important that you stock up on healthy and nutritious snacks to get you through the day. You might also consider meal prepping ahead of time to maximize studying efficiency. We’ve got some useful articles to help you eat properly during exams, including Eating Right During Exam Time and Student Budget Friendly Study Snacks.

7. Clean your study space.

Even if you’re more of a library or coffee shop studier, you might consider studying at home if your study area was a little tidier. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, a clutter-free space allows the mind to focus on whatever’s visually in front of you, whereas a messy area competes for your mind’s attention. If you plan on studying at home this exam season, take some time right now to organize and clean. Your brain will thank you later.

8. Compile your notes and study material.

Did you miss a few lectures or forget to do a reading? Now is your opportunity to reach out to classmates and ask them to share their notes with you. Once exams roll around, your peers may be less reluctant to help you. You should start printing off, compiling, and organizing your study material now so that you can dive right on in when the time comes to buckle down.

9. Make sure you have your Ryerson OneCard or a government-issued photo ID Card.

It’s compulsory that you bring your OneCard with you to write your exams; however, most professors will accept a government-issued photo ID card as a substitute (i.e. health card, drivers license, or passport). If you have lost your OneCard, you can obtain a replacement card for $35. However, you can obtain a free, temporary ID card from the OneCard Office in JOR02 if you’re running tight on cash. The temporary ID is good for one day or a weekend.

10. Plan your last exam celebration. 

You don’t need to plan a huge celebration, but making a pact between your friends to grab a meal and drink after all your exams might be the motivation you need to keep going when you’re feeling stressed. At the very least, it’s something exciting to look forward to!


If you have any further questions regarding final exams, such as what to do if you are sick or how exam procedure works, visit the Ryerson Exam webpage. We also want to know how you will be preparing for this exam season, so tweet us @RUStudentLife and share with us how you’ll be prepping for exams. Good luck!

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Jessica Huynh

Jessica Huynh is in her final year of Creative Industries, specializing in Storytelling in Media and Curatorial Practices.