Resources for North Island College Students Learning in the Digital World
Learn Anywhere

Tips for Digital Exams

Exam guidelines and instructions

Understand the “need to know” things of your online exam outlined by the course instructor. Read exam guidelines well in advance and thoroughly.

For example:

  • What is the date and time of the exam?
  • How long do you have to complete the exam?
  • Do you have to submit the exam before a certain time? If yes, how much time will it take to submit? When should you stop writing to submit it?
  • What are the computer system requirements? Do you need to install any specific apps or use certain browsers?
  • What is the exam format? (short answers, multiple choice, case analysis, essay or combination of different formats?)


Reliable internet connection

Be sure to be in a suitable location where you have reliable internet access. Test out your systems ahead of time. Know what the exam policies are in case of an issue. If you experience a technical problem, let your course instructor know as soon as possible about the problem. Take a screen shot of any error messages.


Solid grasp of course contents

Many students assume that online exams are going to be easy because they may have access to textbooks, notes or other resources while taking exam. Assume that you will have NO TIME to look anything up during the exam, as this is often the case. Online exams often ask you to APPLY the information from the course, so looking up information just wastes precious time. Bottom line, you need to be familiar with the course content even if you can use study resources during the exam.


Keep Eye on the time

Review the grade value of each question and make a plan. How much time should you spend on each question? Practice good time management while taking the exam. If you get confused or need more time on one question, move to the next one and return to the question later. Your brain will keep working on it! Do not forget to click ‘save’ or ‘submit’ your answers if the system does not save your answers automatically.


Academic Integrity

Understand NIC’s academic integrity policy.  Be aware of what is permitted and not permitted during the exam. (e.g., Are you permitted to use class notes or other resources during the exam?)  Do yourself a favour—close all social media and turn off your phone. Do not be tempted. It is not worth a zero on your exam or worse. Show what you know and learn from what you do not. It is a process not a destination!

North Island College is a vibrant community involved in teaching, learning, applied research, and other educational activities. The college is committed to fostering a culture of integrity, mutual respect, and responsible behaviours to provide a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for all. See: North Island College’s Community Code of Personal and Professional Conduct 3-06


Adapted from with thanks.


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