These strategies will help you prepare for and avoid issues during your online exams.

Check your IT set up

Online supervised (invigilated) exams

Check what you need to do to prepare before the online supervised (invigilated) exam. Also read the ProctorU FAQs.

All online exams

Access to exam systems


  1. You can access Learn.UQ (Blackboard) and ProctorU (if needed), and that your usernames and passwords are correct.
  2. Your browser is compatible and updated to the latest version. Recommended browsers are Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
  3. All non-essential browser extensions are disabled, especially JavaScript blockers.

Your computer and equipment


  1. Your operating system and software are up to date. Run any updates in advance.
  2. All antivirus security and firewalls are set to default settings.
  3. Your laptop and any other devices (e.g. keyboard, mouse, camera or docks) are connected properly and have sufficient power. If possible, check if your location will have a scheduled power outage before you schedule your exam.
  4. Your internet is stable:
    1. If you have access to a wired internet connection, it is recommended you use it (wired internet connections tend to be more stable).
    2. If you have mobile data, practice hotspotting before the exam as a backup option if you lose your connection.

Exam guide

Online exams has guides on the process to complete your final, deferred or supplementary exam, based on the exam technology listed in the exam information.

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Access the Library resources you need

Prepare early

Prepare for open book exams

Be aware of possible access limitations on eBooks and other Library resources.

Number of users

Check the number of users who can access an eBook, database or other Library resource at the same time. If the number of users isn’t unlimited then you may not be able to access the resource during your exam, as others will need to access it at the same time.

Click Show License on the Library Search detailed search result to see the Concurrent User information that will show Unlimited or the user limit number.

eBook downloads

From the Library Search result, go to the eBook on the provider's website to check:

  1. How many pages you can download or print from an eBook
  2. Whether downloads will expire.

Learn more about using eBooks.

Other issues

Access to electronic Library resources is generally reliable, but technical issues can occur.

When discussing exam adjustments with your Diversity, Disability and Inclusion Adviser, check that you have considered access to eBooks.

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Reading time is not included in the exam duration

Your reading time is not included in the specified exam duration during set time and 12/48 hour online examinations. The 10-minute reading time is not timed like there is usually for on-campus, paper-based examinations.

The exam duration is provided in your personal examination timetable. Some School-based exams will not appear on your personal examination timetable. Your Course Coordinator will advise of the arrangements for these exams. Remember to check the ECP for each of your courses to ensure you understand all assessment requirements.

The examination information sheet will also show the duration of your exam. Make sure that you take a few minutes at the start of your exam to read the instructions on the information sheet and the examination questions carefully.

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Save your work progress and evidence regularly

Regularly throughout your online examination:

  1. Save your work
  2. Take timestamped photos or screenshots of your progress. Learn how to take a screenshot.

This is very important in the event that you are unable to complete your exam, or if you submit your exam late, due to unforeseen technical difficulties.

Remember, for set time exams, you have an extra 15 minutes to account for any technical difficulties.

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Time allowance for submitting and uploading your completed online exam

For set time online end-of-semester examinations (180 minutes or less in duration) there will be an additional 15 minutes at the end of the specified exam duration. These additional 15 minutes are provided for the submission and upload of your completed exam.

This time is not intended as extra working time. You must leave sufficient time to submit and upload your completed examination.

The exam duration provided in your personal examination timetable does not include the additional 15 minutes. You must plan to complete your exam within the exam duration shown on your personal examination timetable and then submit or start uploading your exam.

The 15 minute additional time allowance does not apply to:

  • 12 hour and 48 hour online exams. You must ensure you have sufficient time to complete and upload your examination within the 12 or 48 hour period
  • paper-based exams
  • MD/MBBS students using Examplify.
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Uploading handwritten exams

Follow our steps to upload your handwritten or drawn responses (e.g. maths and chemistry equations, hand-drawn pictures, or diagrams) to Learn.UQ (Blackboard) for online exams and assessment. Make sure you:

  1. Check all the requirements before your assessment date.
  2. Use the time allocated for submission to complete the upload process, as this will take time (you might want to practice this before)

Step 1 Take a photo or scan your document

Use your phone to scan

There are free applications that you can use on your phone or tablet to scan a document and create a single PDF file.

Scanning tips

  • Take the scan in a well-lit environment.
  • Enable the contrast settings to highlight the difference between the text and the paper.
  • Avoid using OCR tools in these apps, as this may lead to errors in the file.

Step 2 Transfer the photo or scan to your computer

Use a cable or cloud storage to transfer the photo or scan. There are many free cloud storage options you can use, including Google Drive and OneDrive.

Note: Email may NOT work if the maximum attachment size is 20MB. The email will not be received.

Step 3 Reduce the file size, if necessary

If you are required to submit the file as a PDF, you may need to reduce the file size of your document if it is very large.

Create a small file size explains how to compress images in Word to reduce the file size of a document and then convert it to PDF.

Turnitin Assignment submissions must be less than 100MB.

Step 4 Check the file size before submission

Check your photo or PDF file is clear and legible before submission. Files that are illegible may not be able to be marked.

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Inspera Assessment

UQ is piloting Inspera Assessment. If you are enrolled in a pilot course you will be provided with support as outlined in your Learn.UQ (Blackboard) course site. 

Try Inspera Assessment

Take the demo test

You can complete the demo test multiple times to become familiar with the system. It does not require a login and no data is collected. The demo test was developed through an eAssessment Student-Staff Partnership.

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Online exam technical support for students

Contact us for technical support for issues you may experience while sitting your exams.