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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Planning tools

There are many organizational tools that can help us stay organized during the exam study period. For more tips and strategies, visit the time management page. This section will cover some exam-specific organizational tools.


  • Using an exam task list

    Creating an exam task list will help you prepare and organize your studying. The goal of an exam task list is to help you figure out how much time you need to study for each course.

    It is a good idea to start studying for your final exams at least three weeks in advance of the exam period. Of course, if you begin early, you will still have other coursework to complete. Further, you will have to still attend lectures and study new material that is being presented to you. This can feel like a lot to manage – but it is possible to balance it all with strong time management skills.

    Let’s have a look at an example of an exam task list, which is a tool that allows us to figure out what we will be tested on and how much time we need to review for our exams effectively.

    Download the sample exam task list.

    As you can see in the example, this student has listed the exam date and the course along with the exam weighting. They have then broken down every unit and chapter they are required to know for the exam and have included time to create summary notes. This student also included time to review and practice questions from the midterm and has set aside time to complete a practice exam.

    To create your own exam task list:

    • Include the exam date, course, and weighting (that is, how much of your final grade it counts toward).
      • This will help you stay organized, especially if you have more than one exam.
    • List out the content that needs to be reviewed for the exam.
      • Include time to create summary notes, flashcards, and/or practice tests.
      • For problem-solving courses especially, set aside time to practice different concepts.
      • Be sure to review past quizzes, tests and midterms.
      • Schedule time for a final, overall review.
    • Estimate the time needed to review the specific task.
      • Tip: Double the time you think you will need. If you end up doing it quicker than you think, you have earned some free time back. However, we often underestimate how long it will take us to complete certain tasks, so doubling the time gives us a good window to work within.
    • Add the total amount of study time required.
      • This will give you a big picture idea of how much overall time is required to prepare and then you can break this down into your weekly study schedule.
    • As you schedule your tasks in your daily calendar, make sure to check off each task as you complete it.
      • This way, you will stay organized and feel good about your accomplishments.

    Download this exam task list template to help you create your own exam task list.

    When creating an exam task list, it is important to be realistic. If you have left revision until the very last minute, it is probably too late to learn absolutely all of the information. You are best to prioritize and revise the most important topics properly, rather than trying to do everything. See the section on figuring out what to study for some tips. With that said, start studying earlier next time so you are able to spend time reviewing all the necessary materials. 

  • Creating an exam study plan

    Once you have your exam task list together, you will have an estimation of the total hours you will need to study. From here, you will want to map this out on your schedule.

    Throughout the semester, it is helpful to create a regular study plan, which tracks your fixed commitments and schedules in your routine study time so that studying remains a priority and becomes a habit. Ideally, you should create a study plan schedule that you use throughout the regular school year. Visit the time management page for more information about setting up a study plan.

    Here is what a calendar view of a study plan used during the regular term might look like.

    calendar view of a sample study plan layout

    You can modify this study plan for the exam period. Here is an example of an study plan with blocks added for the exam period.

    calendar view of a study plan layout with times for exam prep

    Tools for creating a study plan

    • An exam study plan can be created using whatever organizational tool you are currently using.
      • You can use Google Calendar, your phone calendar or a simple monthly calendar from Microsoft Word to chart out your exam plan. As Ontario Tech students, you have access to Google Calendar, and many students find this to be a very helpful digital tool.
    • Begin by entering all of your exam dates, times and locations on the calendar.
    • Review the task list you have created and add additional study time to your study plan.
    • Look for the gaps in your current schedule and see where you can fit in some extra time to study for your upcoming exams.
      • Take advantage of the short gaps! By doing even 20 minutes of studying just once a day for 7 days, you will have accumulated over 2 hours of study time that you otherwise may not have used!
    • Remember, the sooner you begin studying, the easier it will be to pace your learning.
      • Ideally, it is a good idea to begin studying at least three weeks before your exams so you can space out your time effectively. If you haven’t done that this time, that is something to keep in mind for next time.
    • Again, be realistic. If there is not enough time to get through everything, you may have to rethink your task list and priorities.
    • Finally, remember that this schedule is temporary! It might feel overwhelming for a couple of weeks but pretty soon you will be back to your regular schedule.