OVS News Blog

July Newsletter

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Register before August 5th to be eligible to complete any course in as little as three weeks through our accelerated summer school offerings! For more information, contact our office directly or email admin@ontariovirtualschool.ca.                                                                   

Pssst! Keep scrolling to find a great discount code for our summer offerings!


We post deadline and scholarship information, study tips, discount codes, as well as fun giveaways where you can win prizes just by tagging your friends! Prizes include Amazon gift cards, tech gifts, and lots of other cool stuff! Follow us on your favourite platform today!


OVS would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to all of our June graduates!

We are proud to have played a role in your academic journey and we wish you nothing but continued success as you work towards building your future!


Hi, my name is Cassandra Bolt and I am a math teacher with OVS! When I’m not teaching, I enjoy partaking in the sport of curling. In fact, I spent my entire winter at my local curling club either playing, coaching, organizing, or just watching!

 Now that the weather is nice, I spend most of my time outside. Throughout the summer, I enjoy camping, hiking, or just being outdoors enjoying the sunshine!

Ms. Bolt is currently accepting new students for MCV4U.


June Newsletter

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Register between July 1st and August 5th to complete any course in as little as three weeks through our accelerated summer school offerings! For more information, contact our office or email admin@ontariovirtualschool.ca.

Browse Our Course Offerings






The OVS office will now be open every weeknight until 9pm to better serve your needs.

Please note that due to finals season, teachers and administration will be experiencing high volume. Consult with your instructor about email and marking response times.




Hi, my name is Taylor Milburn and I am a math teacher with OVS! I knew from an early age that teaching was the career for me, as I have always enjoyed helping others achieve success. For the past 3 years, I have been teaching Grade 9, 10 & 11 Math, although I am also qualified to teach Biology, Chemistry & Phys-Ed.

As well as being a teacher, I am also a lacrosse coach and have my own handmade jewelry business, which I started about a year ago. In my free time, I love to play lacrosse, try out different hiking trails and, most importantly, spend time with my family and friends.

Ms. Milburn is currently accepting new students for MPM1D, MFM1P, MPM2D and MCF3M.


Copyright © 2019 Ontario Virtual School. All rights reserved.

Do Students Get Better Marks Online?

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Many people – students, parents, and teaching staff alike – believe that taking a course online is a sure-fire path to an “easy mark”. This idea is highly misleading and has become damaging to the overall perception of academic integrity within the field of e-learning. To help set the record straight, OVS is here to break down some of the real reasons we believe our students often achieve higher grades in our online courses – hint: it’s not because they’re easier!

At OVS, we hold ourselves to the same standards of integrity as we do any traditional day school. These high standards mean that all of our instructors are in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers and are available to respond to student’s questions on a daily, one-on-one basis via email. What’s more, the course content and evaluations we use in our online platform are much the same as those students are expected to work through at their day schools. We also require every student completing a course through our platform to write their final exam in-person with approved supervision.

As a result of these measures taken to ensure the quality of education we provide, we are proud to be fully accredited by the Ontario Ministry of Education to grant OSSD credits. In fact, credits completed through us are viewed by post-secondary institutions equally to those completed through traditional day schools, with hundreds of students moving on to post-secondary using one or more credits earned through us.

So, if all these factors are logistically the same, why do students tend to achieve greater success in online courses, as compared to their achievement in traditional day school classes? Well, there are a number of factors, all of which we believe work together to produce the improved results we typically see.

Self-paced learning – The major difference with our courses is that we do not impose deadlines on students for when they have to complete their coursework – all the learning is done at the student’s own pace through our virtual environment. This added flexibility is particularly beneficial for students with special needs (accessibility issues, developmental delays, injury-related accommodations, etc.), as we are better able to accommodate these needs throughout the entire course, rather than just at points of assessment. With self-paced learning, there is also no pressure to go along with the pace of the group. You can zip through lessons if you find their content easy or familiar, or take your time if you find it challenging or complex. With OVS, you have the freedom to choose how little or how long you spend in any of our courses!

Flexible hours – Unlike traditional classroom settings, online learning allows students to tailor their study hours to fit their specific schedule – even if that schedule changes from week-to-week! Many of our students are highly involved in extracurriculars, with some even pursuing professional sporting or acting careers; whiles others have full-time jobs and families to tend to. In these cases, traditional day schools simply cannot provide the same level of instruction to these students as they can to their less over-extended peers who are able to attend classes for several hours a day, every day. What’s more, with our self-paced model, students who study better at different times of the day are able to optimize their learning schedules – without the need to wait for the debate surrounding school start times to be resolved!

Reduced stress – By allowing students to review lessons as many times as they need, including the ability to pause and rewind the instructor as often as they like, students are able to work through course content at their own pace. This eliminates the classroom anxiety often felt when a teacher “changes the slide too fast” and you’re the only one who didn’t finish copying all the information down, but you’re too shy to ask them to go back. Similarly, taking tests only when you feel fully prepared allows you to be in control of your own success. Many students who suffer from test anxiety also find it less stressful to write tests on their own and in a location where they feel comfortable, two features standard to every evaluation in an online course.

Removal of Social Anxiety – Let’s face it, the social environment of traditional schools can be extremely distracting, even taxing, on the young and impressionable minds of teenagers. Online schooling removes the immediate anxiety and distraction of social pressures within the classroom, allowing students to focus more intently on their schooling. It also allows them to reach out for additional help, without fear of reproach or teasing from eavesdropping peers. And, for those students with existing social anxieties that discourage or prevent them from actively participating in traditional classroom environments, there is no 5-15% penalty to their overall grade when they fail to volunteer responses in group settings.

Accelerated Completion Always an Option – For gifted students who can often find traditional classrooms to be under-stimulated, online courses encourage them to stay motivated and productive. With our courses, although the content itself is still taught at a standardized level, students are able to progress through the course at any speed they choose, unaffected by the pace of their peers or by predetermined and generously spaced deadlines. If they choose, students have the option to complete a course in as little as 4 weeks, and can choose to begin the next grade level immediately afterwards. Thus, for dedicated and capable students, early graduation becomes entirely doable through online schooling.

So, if you are trying to determine whether you’re going to be able to earn the grades you want by taking a course online, the truthful answer is: it’s up to you! At the end of the day (or at the start), online courses are not “easier”, they’re simply different. To excel online, you will need to rethink your study strategy – or perhaps develop one altogether! But, if you are disciplined, driven, and willing to ask for help when you need it, self-paced learning may very well be the answer to all your GPA woes!

5 Reasons You Should Consider Online Learning

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Online schooling is very different from traditional schooling, so we understand if you’re a little hesitant in making the switch! However, if you do decide to test-drive online learning with us, you can rest easy knowing that our students love the online learning environment we provide! With certified teachers ready to provide feedback and assistance along the way, Ontario Virtual School is a ministry-accredited institution offering the same curriculum and quality of education as you would receive in a traditional brick-and-mortar school, without the need for bricks and mortar! Still not convinced? No problem! Keep reading to discover the top 5 reasons you should give online learning a try!

#1 – You’ll become the boss of your own learning!

If you ask any of our students, we guarantee they’ll agree that the greatest benefit of taking a course through us is the ability to work at your own pace and determine your own schedule. At OVS, we allow our students to complete any course in as little as *three weeks through our summer school registration – open from now until August 5 – but we also give students the option to take up to one full year to complete their course. This ability to work at your own pace encourages concept mastery and reduces test-stress by allowing students to decide when they feel ready to complete assessments. It’s also perfect for students with multiple commitments and things on the go: with 24-hour access from anywhere in the world, our courses allow you to study when it suits you best, without fear of falling behind!

#2 – It’s suuuper flexible

Okay, I know you’re thinking this seems kind of the same as #1, but trust us, we’re flexible in more ways than one! At Ontario Virtual School, our students determine where they study, when they study, and how long they study for, with very few limitations! This means that if you choose to take a course with us, you have the option to write a test from a beachside resort in Bali at 3 am EST – but really, we’re not sure why you would ever choose to do that, and with up to one full year to complete any of our courses, you should never have to! And as an added plus, if you wait ‘til you get home to write your test, you can have your pup beside you for moral support (and cuddles) while you write – we think that’s a pretty sweet perk all on its own!

#3 – Individualized learning means no peer judgement and greater chance of success!

Traditional classrooms typically cater to the “average” student, leaving those at the top of the class feeling bored and under-stimulated, while those who require more attention are left to fall through the cracks and become discouraged. With online schooling, each student works and studies at their own pace, with instructors available to provide one-on-one support as often as you need it, with no fear of judgement from your peers. And do you know what happens when you take away the social stigma of asking too many questions or receiving extra help after hours? Students who would otherwise struggle in silence reach out and receive the guidance they need to achieve the results they deserve!

#4 – Tackling a tough subject online is a great way to improve your chance of success!

Although our online courses teach the same material as traditional day schools, our method of delivery and flexible pacing allow students to achieve greater success in even the most difficult of subjects! At OVS, we encourage students to master concepts before moving forward in the course, and with unlimited playback on all our lessons, students have the ability to go over new concepts as many times as they need! Plus, with continuous enrollment available 365 days a year and accelerated summer school options, students can choose to work through difficult courses whenever they have the most time available to dedicate to their studies. Often, students will opt to save their toughest course until summer to allow them to really focus, without the added distraction of extra-curriculars or the stress of a full course-load.

#5 – If you’re more introverted, online learning may be perfect for you!

Does your lack of in-class participation drag your marks down? If you’re an introvert, this is often the case in traditional classrooms, where students are expected to consistently and spontaneously respond to questions for participation marks. In an online environment, this is simply not a factor. Even for courses that do include discussion board activities, students are giving ample time to prepare their answers, which many introverts highly beneficial, as they are able to better organize their thoughts and carefully construct their responses prior to posting. Another benefit of online education for introverted learners is the freedom to “attend” class in a quiet, private location, which allows them to really focus on the material.


All things considered, online schooling offers benefits that simply cannot be found in traditional day schools – I mean, just consider all the transferable skills you’ll learn along the way, with no extra effort required! It’s no wonder experts are suggesting that e-Learning may very well be the way of the future. Still not sure our courses are right for you? Head on over to our website to see for yourself why so many students are choosing to take courses online through OVS!


*Accelerated 3-week summer school option available to all students who register between July 1st – August 5th.

Standard minimum completion time is 4 weeks.

How to Avoid the Procrastination Plague This Summer

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Procrastination plagues even the best of us at one point or another, but for students taking summer school courses, the desire to leave important things until tomorrow can be overwhelming. To keep you on track, OVS is here with some tips to help you focus as you work through your courses this summer.

First things first, don’t confuse procrastination with laziness – they’re not the same thing, no matter what your mom says! Procrastination is an active process – you’re choosing to do something else instead of the task that you know you really should be doing. Laziness, on the other hand, is an unwillingness to act at all. Unfortunately, the negative effects of the two are the same: giving into procrastination too often can lead to reduced productivity, which in turn causes feelings of guilt and regret when we miss out on achieving our goals.

To avoid this negative cycle, it’s important to understand why you procrastinate. For students, it typically comes down to one of two main reasons: either you don’t know how to start a task or you just don’t want to do it. Sound about right? Well chin up, because we’ve got solutions for either case.

If you find yourself procrastinating because you feel overwhelmed and you’re not sure what to do first, build that confusion into the task itself. Make “figure out the steps” the first step: you may be surprised by how much you actually do know once you acknowledge that it’s totally normal to feel like you know nothing. And don’t be afraid to reach out: some people need to talk it through with a friend or peer to overcome that initial roadblock.

Even more likely in the glorious summer season is the second group of procrastinators: the ones who just can’t drum up the motivation to get going because there are 10,000 things they’d rather be doing. Is there really a solution to this problem? Not exactly, but perhaps there is a way to be successful anyways. Simply expect it! It’s summer, so it makes sense if your work ethic lacks a little; instead of beating yourself up when you inevitably put things off, plan for your procrastination! Start your assignments earlier and give yourself more time to complete the task. If you factor in wasted time, is it really even wasted time?


Now that you have a clear idea of what kind of procrastinator you really are, here are some general tips to help keep you on the path to success!


Use a planner to track all your tasks

Even if you aren’t the pen and paper type, or you don’t see the point in writing stuff down when it’s already listed on the syllabus that’s somewhere in the bottom of your bag: do it anyways! Writing everything out by hand will give you a realistic idea of how many assignments and tests you are going to have going on and when. This way, you’ll be able to schedule your time and prioritize your tasks better.

Start your assignments ahead of time

Before you laugh, I just said start them, not finish them! Trust me, even the most dedicated procrastinator can take these first few baby steps. The start of any assignment is simple: open a Word document, title it, spend a few minutes jotting down your initial ideas on the topic, as well as any notes your teacher might have given you, then save the doc in the appropriate class folder. The beauty of this baby step is that it only requires a few minutes and it will help eliminate the mental-block of starting from scratch. After all, ideas flow most freely in the hours after you first encounter an assignment, and they slow to a virtual halt weeks later when the deadline is all you can see. Sketching out your rough ideas for an assignment will also help you mentally evaluate how much time and effort you’re going to have to put in to complete it in earnest.

Write yourself a new to-do list each morning

Decide what tasks you’re going to work on at the beginning of each day. Be specific and reasonable in your goals. Writing “FINAL ESSAY!!!” in size 20 font at the top of your list is, in fact, not helpful. Instead, try to break down larger tasks into achievable chunks. Perhaps today’s goal could be to finish researching the information you’re going to include in your essay and to begin sketching out a rough outline. Tomorrow, you might want to tackle the introduction and begin to flesh out your supporting arguments, and so on until you can successfully cross the task off your to-do list altogether.

Use rainy days to get ahead

The hardest part about taking classes in the summer is the draw of the great outdoors; so, when the outdoors doesn’t look so great, make sure to double down and get ahead so you can reward yourself with a day off when the sun does come out!

Keep track of how much work you’re actually getting done each day

Consider using a time-tracking app, like Toggl, to keep track of what you’re actually accomplishing each day (or, if you’re old-fashioned like me, dedicate a page in your work journal to daily task-tracking). This way, you’ll be able to evaluate whether or not you need to make changes and see when you deserve a productivity reward.

Find a study buddy & study outside

Summertime is social time, so it makes perfect sense that being forced to study alone in your room every day would make you hate summer school. Instead, find yourself a study buddy, or even just a friend who likes to read for fun, and head to the local café or park to get some studying in. Plus, you’ll also have someone to bounce ideas off of! Most importantly, a study buddy holds you accountable, and in this case, peer pressure can actually be a good thing! If you don’t have anyone to be checking up on you, try using an online tool like Procraster to help you self-monitor.

Take breaks

It’s easy to get burnt out, particularly in the dog days of summer. Be sure to give yourself a mental break. Taking an hour or two to let your brain restart will help you stay focused when you do get back to studying.

Save the best for last (or do the worst first)

Leave the tasks you’re looking forward to (or at minimum, don’t mind doing) until the end. That way, desirable tasks become a motivating reward and you get the less desirable tasks out of the way and off your mind that much sooner.

Eliminate distractions

Nowadays, it seems like we are eternally distracted by our devices. So, it stands to reason that when we want to be distracted (as when working on a less-than-exciting task), distraction will find us easily. To avoid the pull of your devices, turn off push notifications, put your ringer on silent and keep your web browser closed or use a social media site-blocker. Reverse these changes only once you’ve accomplished a predetermined number of tasks.

And finally, always remind yourself WHY you are doing this

Keeping your goal in mind encourages you to stay dedicated until the end.

OVS: Where Enrolling in Summer School Doesn’t Mean Ruining Your Summer

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Summer break is finally here for students across the country! Two months of unstructured time to spend relaxing, hanging out with friends, and, if you’re lucky, hopping trains and planes, or even just piling into the family car for a road-trip. Summer is the perfect time to unwind and take advantage of the outdoors – except for one little problem: you need to take summer school.

Well, don’t wave goodbye to your vacation just yet. After all, summer school doesn’t have to ruin your summer plans! Check out our extensive course listings and register to take your course(s) at Ontario Virtual School. Our accelerated, self-paced summer school offerings allow you to complete your coursework in as little as three weeks*, from anywhere in the world. With our courses, there’s no need to miss out on all the fun of summer: simply bring your phone, tablet or laptop to the beach, toss on the sunglasses and watch lessons while you soak up the sunshine!

Heading abroad this summer? Not to worry, you can access our courses 24/7 from anywhere with an internet connection (or download content for on-the-go viewing). Even your final exam can be done from anywhere: all you have to do is find a suitable proctor to supervise you for 2-3 hours while you write it!

Sound too good to be true? Sound like the answer to your summertime prayers? Well, get ready to pinch yourself because it’s 100% true! We are fully accredited by the Ontario Ministry of Education to grant successful OVS students with credits towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. When you complete a course through us, we mail a hard copy of your final report card to your day school and they add it to your official transcript. Upon request, we can also communicate directly with OUAC, OCAS, or your post-secondary institution to provide proof of enrollment and completion of a course with us!

There are many reasons why a student might need (or want) to take courses during the summer, and whatever your reason, OVS has got you covered!

  • You received a conditional offer, but your marks dropped a bit too much last semester and you need to improve your grades to keep it.
  • Your marks dropped a little too much last semester and you &/ your parents aren’t happy.
  • You failed a course you need the credit for and don’t want to fall behind.
  • You somehow managed to get by this year, but it was super overwhelming and you’re looking to lighten your load for next year.
  • You’re in grade 8 and you want to reach ahead to make the transition to high school easier.

If any of these sound like you, head on over to our website and take a closer look at what we have to offer or call our office between 9am and 9pm Monday-Friday to find out more!

*Three-week accelerated option only open to students who register between July 1st and August 5th. All other students are subject to the standard minimum completion time of 4 weeks.

Virtual Schooling – The Future of Education

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Is virtual schooling the future trend of schooling and will it change the face of education for future generations? Online schooling has become increasingly popular over the last decade and is quickly becoming one of the key options available to students.

Students can sign up for courses online and then start them immediately. Students can also choose their own schedules and do their studies between part-time jobs and other responsibilities that they may have. It is by far the best option for people that are on the go. People today are busier than they ever have been and high school courses online work perfectly into anyone’s schedule.

For most students, there is no difficult transition involved when starting a course online. We have become a technological society and most of us  feel confident working with desktops, laptops, iPads and cell phones. Introducing online courses just seems like a natural occurrence to most students.

Virtual schooling has now become mainstream and it is estimated that enrolment for online courses has been growing by approximately 30% a year. This type of learning is suited for any type of student including rural students that only have a limited amount of course selection available, anyone with transportation problems, busy students in need of a flexible schedule, students that prefer learning at their own pace at home, or  anyone that needs a few extra credits.

Virtual schooling is the wave of the future and it’s expected that within a few short years approximately 50% of all of the courses offered in secondary schools will be taken online. Find out more about your virtual schooling options by visiting our website today at www.ontariovirtualschool.ca. You can also call 1 (416) 907-4899 any time if you have any questions.

5 Real-World Skills e-Learning Teaches You

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As we’ve noted before, skills are the bread and butter of resume building – the more you have, the better your odds of success become. And, while field-specific skills are important, employers also place great value on ‘real-world’ soft skills, which are far more difficult to teach. Want to know a great way to learn many of these desirable and widely applicable skills? Take an online course with Ontario Virtual School! You’ll not only be earning high school credits, you’ll be learning these 5 essential skills along the way, with virtually (pun intended) no extra effort.

#1 – Time Management

Unlike in traditional day schools, courses at Ontario Virtual School are entirely self-paced. Upon registration, students receive immediate access to their entire course and it’s up to them to plan their study schedules accordingly. While this flexibility allows students to study at the times that work best for them, it also means that students have to develop strong time management skills to ensure that they are making time to complete their coursework within their self-decided time-frame.

Online learning also allows students to take advantage of spare time, with mobile-friendly learning management systems allowing them to watch lesson videos, read through assignments or contribute to discussion boards from their smartphones or tablets while on-the-go. This kind of early exposure to self-paced time management teaches adolescents how to make and meet personal deadlines and goals. This is a vital skill to have in the working world, as without adequate time management skills, even the most capable workers can fall behind or make critical mistakes.

#2 – Manners

Online learning, with its reliance on email as a primary method of communication, can actually help improve a student’s use of proper manners. Whereas shorthand and slang typically rule the virtual domain, taking courses online reinforces the need for a particular level of email etiquette when communicating with instructors, administrators, and other students via discussion boards. This need to develop proper writing etiquette is a skill that will undoubtedly benefit students as they venture out into the world.

#3 – Initiative & Self-Discipline

Online courses rely on self-discipline and independent learning. Unlike traditional day schools, where teachers provide live encouragement and are there to monitor what students are doing in the classroom, online students are forced to develop their own self-discipline in order to get things done. This means that students must learn how to succeed without outside motivation and do the work without anyone watching them. This unique characteristic of online learning easily translates into successful real-life practices, as businesses often reward those who take the initiative in performing their duties.

#4 – Online Networking & Communication Skills

No matter what line of work you end up in, being able to communicate effectively is a crucial skill that all employers look for. The online learning environment, with its virtual classrooms and reliance on online communication, allows students to prepare for the modern reality of remote office arrangements where all communication and networking is done via email and video conferences. What’s more, taking courses online allows students to adjust to the non-instant realities of distant communication and teaches them to communicate their thoughts appropriately and efficiently, without the aid of visual cues.

#5 – Prioritization

Students who take online courses often do so because they have other important things on the go, whether that be work, childcare, professional sports or arts, or simply taking a regular course load at a day school. While the flexibility online courses offer is undoubtedly one of their greatest benefits, it also essentializes the need for strategic prioritization on a daily basis. What’s more, online students are the ones who must juggle their various deadlines and schedules, as there is no staff room where all of their various activity leaders gather to coordinate their assignments and requirements. Instead, the online student must take into account all aspects of their schedule and plan accordingly, allowing them to develop their ability to prioritize effectively.

Taking courses with Ontario Virtual School does more than just allow you to complete your high school diploma at your own pace, it teaches you many valuable skills that work to develop the kind of work ethic and skills that employers value. Simply put, online courses prepare students to work in an increasingly online world.

Ready to start your online learning journey? Sign up for a course today!

12 Ways to Manage Your Exam Stress

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There’s no denying exam season is a stressful time. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to remember that while they are important, exams are not everything! What’s more, they do not determine your worth as a person – if you just had an internal ‘yeah, but…’ moment, repeat that last part until it goes silent.

Of course, some anxiety surrounding exams is normal and, to a certain degree, it can actually help sharpen your concentration. But when anxiety starts to impede your ability to perform as you otherwise would, it may be time to seek help from your instructor or guidance counsellor. In the mean time, here are some useful tips to help you manage your stress levels.

Author’s Note: For clarity, we’ve divided the tips up into a few distinctly stressful periods: 1) the time leading up to exams, 2) the day of the exam & the exam itself, and 3) that excruciating post-exam period as you wait for your final mark.



#1 – Anxiety symptoms can only be worsened by drastically switching up your eating and sleeping routines right before an exam. Instead, make the effort to be good to your body and your mind will be good to you! Physical activity is also a great way to relieve stress: go for a walk or a quick run and feel your shoulders loosen and your focus sharpen when you get back to it!


#2 – Don’t be afraid of working through difficult concepts! Sure, it may be anxiety-inducing to read through something you feel you know nothing about with the exam fast approaching, but think how much worse it would be to read that question on the exam and have no knowledge to answer it with because you skipped over studying it! Even a general understanding of a difficult concept can be enough to earn you some key points on an exam, and you won’t feel the added exam-day stress of the blank space!


#3 – Reach out! Students tend to lock themselves in their rooms around exam time. While it may help you keep focused, isolation can actually increase your stress because, as with stress of other forms, bottling it up is never a good idea. Instead, try talking through your anxieties with your friends, family, or school officials if you are having serious misgivings. Emotional support can make all the difference in navigating stressful situations, so make sure you’re leaving your door open to receiving it.



#1 – Give yourself a break from studying in the hours leading up to the exam itself. Make sure you eat a solid meal beforehand (a growling stomach in the silent exam room is sure to throw off your focus) and pack some (non-crinkly) snacks to keep your brain fueled if it’s a lengthy exam. It’s also a good idea to check the batteries in your calculator and the ink in your pens, whatever you may need to do to be 100% logistically prepared.


#2 – Arrive early but steer clear of the frantic one(s). These students are balls of anxiety who will only cause your own anxiety to snowball. Surround yourself with students who are outwardly calm in the time leading up to your exam, and if it feels like everyone is panicking in the hall, remember it is 100% socially acceptable to leave the pack and skim through your notes in solitude before heading into the exam.


#3 – Think positive! And if you don’t feel optimistic enough to tell yourself you’re gonna do great, at least be positive enough to stop thinking negatively. Instead of “I’m going to fail, I don’t know anything!”, remind yourself “I’ve studied as much as I could with the time I had. I know what I know and it will be enough.”  Negative thinking will only serve to limit your self-perception and can actually limit your ability to perform to standard on an exam.



#1 – Scan through the whole exam as soon as you get it so you know what you’re dealing with. This can also work to your advantage, as it will give your brain time to process answers to more complex questions as you tackle the easy ones, boosting your confidence as you go.


#2 – Work smart! Take a glimpse at the marking scheme and plan your time accordingly. The goal should always be to answer every question to the best of your abilities within the time allotted. If you find yourself spending too long on any single question, circle it to come back to later and move on. After all, it’s better to give an almost-there answer to every question than to give perfect answers on only 50% of the exam.


#3 – Stay focused on the process of answering the question rather than on the end result. If your mind starts to drift or you find yourself catastrophizing, take a thirty second break. Close your eyes, take a couple deep breaths, stretch and re-focus yourself on the task at hand.



#1 – Don’t overthink! Reflection is good, and if there is some exam strategy to be learned from this exam experience, by all means flesh it out and put it into action for the next one, but know that beating yourself up for mistakes made or things left unwritten will only make your outlook worse.


#2 – Spend your time studying for your next exam, rather than re-studying for the exam you already took. There truly is no point to going through lesson notes to figure out when Question 19 was taught or what the answer to Question 6 was. You’re not going to be writing this exam again, but chances are you will be writing a different exam, so use your time wisely!


#3 – Be confident, but realistic. What’s done is done. There is nothing you can do or change, so be kind to yourself and be confident in the answers you gave. You may not have aced it, but you probably didn’t fail either. Remember that your teachers are not out to see you fail, and if they can see that your train of thought was on the right track, chances are they’ll give you at least partial credit. 

Studying for Success: OVS Tips for Exam Prep

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Summer is just around the corner, but first, the dreaded exam season must be tackled! Here are some quick tips to help you study for success.


Make sure you know what you’re in for

Ask your teacher what format the exam is going to take, and how the sections are going to be weighted. After all, studying for multiple choice looks very different from studying for long answer response! Also, knowing what to expect come exam day can go a long way towards alleviating test anxiety.

Get organized

Make sure you have all the notes and study materials you need for each exam you’re taking. If you missed a lesson, hit up a friend for their notes or ask your teacher to go over the material with you after hours. Organize your notes by subject and by unit, taking care to exclude anything that your teacher may have guaranteed won’t be tested (don’t waste your precious time studying something if you know you won’t need it for the exam!)

Prioritize your exams

Sure, you might be making studying, in general, a priority this time of year, but it’s also important to prioritize your various exams. Some will be more difficult than others, some you might already feel prepared for, and some may be worth far more than others. While you’ll want to schedule time to study for all of your exams, the amount of study time each exam requires does not necessarily have to be the same. Be sure to evaluate all of your exams according to the following factors prior to creating your study schedule: a) your existing comfort level with the course content, b) the weight of the exam, c) your current standing in the course, and d) when the exam is taking place.

Break it up (or at least take regular breaks)

Exam season is essentially synonymous with all-nighters and intense cram sessions for many (ok, most) students. Regardless of how well you feel this kind of studying works for you, the facts state that breaking your studying up over time (read: nights slept) helps give your brain time to process the material you’re studying. If that ship has already sailed, or you simply know no alternative to the cram sesh, be sure to at least take frequent study breaks to help keep your mind focused. Stand up and stretch, grab a glass of water and a nutritious snack, play with your pet, reassure your family you’re still alive, then head back to hit the books some more. A few active minutes every hour can go a long way!

Teach someone

Whether or not a study group is going to work for you is largely dependent on you and your learning style. But one thing is for sure: the act of teaching intrinsically reinforces the act of learning. Basically, you can learn by teaching someone, so pick a partner and teach them the toughest concept on your study guide! And really, for the purposes of solidifying your own learning, that someone doesn’t even have to even be there! The simple act of explaining a concept out loud, just as you would to another person, can help you identify holes in your knowledge and, in doing so, can help you achieve a more thorough understanding of an idea (just make sure no one else is around to hear you talking to yourself!)

Quiz yourself

Brainstorm potential questions you think might show up on the exam and practice answering them. Better yet, create a group chat with some of your peers so you can get questions you might not have even thought about preparing to answer! Doing this will help you familiarize yourself with the kind of content you’ll be expected to produce on the exam and can also be a great tool to help you hone in on what to study in the final days (or hours) leading up to the exam itself.

Take it one step further and host a mock test!

If you are susceptible to ‘blanking out’ in a test environment, mock tests can be super helpful. See if your classmates would also be interested in taking an old practice test with you, and enlist a parent or older sibling to act as an ‘invigilator’ to keep everyone quiet and within the time limits. Putting yourself through a mock-run can help put anxiety in its place and allow you to work on your timing strategy before the real deal!

Make time to socialize or just ~ do you ~ at least a few times a week

If your plan is to spend every waking minute in June (and even those when you should be sleeping) studying, you’re not planning for success – you’re planning for stress! Don’t overload your PVR with shows you’re not watching, and don’t feel you need to leave all your group chats. Plan your time to create balance between studying and socializing. The emphasis may go to the first, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate the second. And, believe it or not, it will actually work in your favour when you go back to hit the books refreshed and energized from some time away (having fun!).

And finally, … FOCUS!

We’ve saved the best for last. The biggest tip for succeeding this finals season may seem simple, but in actuality, it’s the most difficult thing to do this time of year! The promise of summer and moving up in the world looms large right now, and that’s enough to cloud anyone’s focus. So, even if your friends are finishing their exams earlier than you, fight to keep your focus until your race is over too!

Add another course and you will be eligible for $100 off your total fee.

You are now eligible for $100 off you total fee. Use coupon code OVS-100 upon checkout