It can be tricky to work, study and live all in the same space as well as maintain the boundaries between all of those things. With exam-period underway it is important that those boundaries are maintained, and re-established where necessary.

The PMC has compiled some tips, tricks and resources to help you set-up your study space, maintain boundaries, and make it through this period as successfully as possible.

Students registered with PMC can request individualized support from a Learning Strategist by contacting us by email at Alternatively, please request a referral through your PMC Coordinator.

Setting up Your Space to Write Exams

In the same way that you would find a quiet, distraction-free space on campus to get some classwork or studying done, you should try to find a space that fits those same needs in your space at home.

  • Make a schedule that includes breaks. Those breaks shouldn’t be limited to just eating. Include time for yourself and to reset your brain. Stepping outside for a breath of fresh air, doing a lap of your home, and just giving your eyes a rest from looking at a computer screen can all help you come back from that time away with more focus, instead of less.
  • Minimize distractions by keeping your space clutter-free.
  • If you share your living space with others communicate your schedule and needs with them and use headphones if necessary.
  • Visit the Centre for Student Academic Support’s (CSAS) Online Resources.  Register and watch “Study Smarter: Strategies for Academic Success” and/or “Test & Exam Preparation.” Students can contact CSAS email: to acquire online resources.

Additional Resources:

During an Exam

Treat online exams the same way you would treat in-person exams, as much as possible.
This can include:

  • Making sure that you know the rules for the specific exam your are about to write. If there are instructions from your professor at the start of the exam, read them very carefully. If you skip questions, can you go back to them? Is it open or closed book? How long is the duration of the exam?

  • Placing a “Do Not Disturb : Exam in Progress” sign on your door or desk if you live with others and need them to be aware that you are immersed for the duration of your test.
  • Turning off and putting away your phone and any other device that you are not using to complete your test.

Queen’s University has compiled a thorough and useful guide to setting yourself up for online-learning and exam success, covering a multitude of specific topics.