Suggestions for online test taking

Prepare yourself and your space:

  • Set up a space to take your exam in, prior to the start time
    • Use a space that is tidy and uncluttered
  • Know ahead of time what materials are authorized for the exam and have them ready prior to your start time (authorized materials can be found on LEARN or from your instructor)
  • Have enough space at your desk/table for your computer and any authorized materials
  • Know ahead of time how long you have for the exam, and what time frame you have to submit your exam (i.e. do you need to start at a specific time, or submit before a deadline?)
  • At least 15 minutes prior, ensure your computer is set up and working – log onto your computer, and into LEARN
  • Have a clock or timer in the room to allow you to monitor your time

How to make your space more ergonomic:

  • Use a supportive, upright chair, one with padding if possible (add a rolled up towel for additional lumbar support if needed)
  • Raise your laptop or computer so that it is at eye level, and directly in front of you
  • Your screen or monitor should be about an arm’s length away from yourself

Creating a reduced distraction setting:

  • Turn your cell phone onto silent (not vibrate) and leave the phone in another space
  • If you have a landline, set the ringer to silent or low
  • Place a sign on your door or where you are testing – “do not disturb” / “testing in progress”
  • Inform anyone who may be in the house while you are writing, of the times you have exams and request that they do not interrupt you during those times
  • Wear ear plugs or headphones to reduce distractions

References/Helpful Links:


  • Jessica Holdren & Kathy Duffy, Arcadia University – “Maintaining Access to Opportunity During COVID-19”, pages 36-37
  • Red River College “How to make your work-from-home space ergonomic”