Ensuring a safe and healthy transition into exams

To our U of T Engineering community,

As the end of the Fall Term nears and we prepare for exams, I wanted to check in and share important information to ensure a smooth and safe next few weeks.

Staying healthy

We are in cold and flu season at a time when our health-care systems are overwhelmed. We all have a part to play in protecting ourselves and others against a range of respiratory illnesses. Here are three simple ways you can reduce spread:

  1. Mask up: The University recommends the use of medical masks. Wearing a high-quality, tight-fitting mask indoors is an effective way to slow the spread of the flu, RSV and COVID-19. While supplies allow, community members with an active UTORid can pick up a free mask across campus. Please remember that we each have different health needs and levels of comfort: respect the masking choices of those around you.
  2. Get vaccinated: Staying current on your seasonal vaccines is a key part of maintaining good health — and it has never been easier to get your shots. I’m excited to share that we’re hosting a flu shot clinic on Thursday, December 1 in the Bahen Centre (40 St. George Street), courtesy of a partnership with the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. If you’re unable to attend or are seeking a different vaccine (e.g., bivalent COVID-19 booster), consider booking an appointment at U of T’s Discovery Pharmacy, conveniently located at 144 College Street.
  3. Stay home if you feel sick: If you are exhibiting flu-like symptoms — even if they seem mild and you are fully vaccinated — do not come to campus to minimize risk of infecting others. If you are a student experiencing symptoms or circumstances that you feel will severely impact your performance during the examination period, do not write your exam. Instead, follow the instructions below to file a petition.

Preparing for exams

As we enter the last few weeks of lectures, tutorials and laboratories for the term, below are several resources to support you through the end of your exams.

  • Consult the exam schedule to learn where and when your exams are taking place. Any changes or updates will be reflected on the schedule — please check back regularly.
  • Take part in exam prep opportunities offered by your instructors and through engineering-specific initiatives like the upcoming exam prep workshop (Nov 25), Exam Jam (Dec 8) for first-year students and ongoing Guided Engineering Academic Review Sessions for first-year Core 8 and EngSci students. Additionally, Student Life is hosting Exam Ready coaching sessions, workshops and other ways to prep and de-stress through the end of this week.
  • Know how to file a petition. If you are feeling ill on the day of your exam, do not attend and file a petition. U of T Engineering undergraduates who are absent from class — including final examinations — for any reason (including illness and injury) and require consideration for missed academic work should: 1) Declare their absence on ACORN on the same day the exam was missed; and 2) Submit an exam petition through the Engineering Portal within seven days of the exam.
    • Students who petition their exam may be granted a deferred exam to be written during the 2023 Winter Term Reading Week (February 20 to 24, 2023), or an assessed mark if deemed most appropriate and on the basis of sufficient, meaningful term work.

Taking care of yourself

Between the ongoing pandemic and several challenging global events in recent months, it is critically important to take time for yourself and reflect on how you’re feeling. Sleeping, drinking water, eating healthy foods, regular exercise and taking mental health breaks can help you stay energized.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by exams or other aspects of your life, you are not alone. Support for students, staff and faculty is a click or call away. I’ve included a list of some of these resources below as a reference.

Stay well and all the best with your exams,


Christopher Yip
Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
University of Toronto