8 things you should know about Dal exams

While we hope you know your stuff when it comes to writing the actual exam, these are some general things to keep in mind about exams at Dal.

Photo: Ali Seglins

1. Check your exam location beforehand

While a lot of exams in Halifax are written at the Dalplex or in the Sexton Gym, and in Truro at the Langille Centre, some are written in other places around the campuses. Make sure you know where your exam is and how to get there before the day of your exam. You don’t want to risk showing up at the wrong place with only minutes to get to where you need to be. Check the schedule for times and locations in Halifax and for Truro.


2. Reschedule one if you have three on the same day

If you have more than two final exams on the same day, contact your Faculty Dean or Director and you may be able to get one moved. If you have two on the same day though, you're going to have to tough it out. Make sure you bring your notes to study in between!


3. Find extra help early

It's going to be tricky to find a tutor or study coach the week of your exam. And if the first time you’re reaching out to your prof is three days before the final exam, they may not be too eager to sit down with you and go over a ton of course material. Start looking now, meet your prof early, get a tutor or study coach, and make a study plan that's based on your schedule.


4. Be prepared for all temperatures

If you haven’t noticed already, the temperature in buildings varies quite a bit depending on where you are. The Dalplex is often chilly in the colder months, but if it snows it gets very warm because the snow on the roof has to be melted off. Bring a warm sweater to your exams so that you aren’t distracted by constant chattering teeth, but make sure to have a T-shirt or something cooler on underneath in case you get too warm. And please don't wear cologne or perfume: it sucks for students who are allergic when they have to sit behind someone who has doused themselves.


5. Know what to take and what to leave at home

If you're writing in Dalplex you won’t be able to take your bag into the exam area with you, so leave your laptop, phone, and other valuables at home if you can. If you absolutely need your phone, you'll have to turn it off and put it underneath your chair. However, make sure you have plenty of writing supplies and any other stationery items that you need.


6. But don't forget your DalCard/ID

One thing you absolutely don’t want to forget is your DalCard: you need it (or other photo ID) as identification to be allowed to write your exam! If you happen to forget your DalCard, you'll need to make arrangements to see your prof after your exam to verify your ID, which is a bit of a pain to do. Always double check your bag before leaving for the exam to make sure you have it.


7. Don’t drink too much water, but don't skimp on it either

There is nothing worse than writing an exam and being distracted by the need to pee. It’s agitating, distracting, and uncomfortable for you and those around you if you’re doing a little dance in your chair or tapping your toes. Don’t sit there and suffer, and absolutely don’t hold out on water before your exam. You can go to the washroom if you have to! Just raise your hand and a proctor will escort you. If you don’t think you’d be comfortable enough doing that, make sure to go right before your exam starts and sip—don’t chug—water while you write.


8. Don’t pull an all-nighter before your exam

It may seem like a good idea at the time, but the best thing you can do for yourself before your exam is getting a good night’s sleep. You’re not likely to remember much of what you studied at 3am anyway, so save yourself the agony—and the risk of sleeping through your alarm!


And remember: