With the exception of project courses, MDS courses will have two quizzes throughout the block, typically one in the middle of the course and another after the course ends during the free days between blocks. The quizzes for a course will appear on the MDS calendar (ideally before the course starts) so that students are aware of the timing. We anticipate most quizzes being 45 minutes long.


The purpose of quizzes are to be a “sanity check” that students are keeping up with the essential material. While labs may go more in-depth into a topic, the quizzes cover essential material that we expect students to have mastered and to retain.


In light of the purpose above, quizzes are intended to be less difficult than the labs. They are not meant to trick you nor to contain unexpected material. In short, if you did the labs without an unreasonable amount of collaboration with your classmates, you should succeed on the quizzes.


You must complete the instruction below before writing quizzes. This is an essential step to check in the quiz room.

  • Open https://ca.prairietest.com/pt
  • Click Login and select University of British Columbia (ubc.ca)
  • Log in with your CWL
  • Accept the invitation to join MDS 5XX
    • You only need to do this once, and please DM the course coordinator if you have issues viewing the invitation.
  • You will see a list of future quizzes, including quiz times and locations, under Exam reservations.


Quizzes will typically be through Canvas. Unlike labs, quizzes will be performed within a defined time period and will be supervised by MDS instructional staff.

Upon arriving at the quiz room

  1. You must attend the assigned quiz session in your designed quiz room (check PrairieTest if you are unsure).
  2. You must be present at least 10 minutes before the quiz starts.
  3. Upon entering the exam room, you should not communicate with anyone other than the invigilators.
  4. An invigilator will check you in. Please wait until the reader displays red light before tapping your student card.
  5. You must put all of your personal belongings and electronics on the racks at the front of the room—phones, bags, hats, jackets, smartwatches, etc. Phones must be turned off or on airplane mode.
    • Exceptions: You are allowed to bring a double sided A4 cheatsheet and we will provide scrap papers.
    • Exceptions: You can bring a scientific calculator if you wish, but there is an embedded calculator as well.
  6. Find a seat and log onto the provided computer using the username and password on the whiteboard or on the wall.
  7. Use Mircrosoft Edge to open canvas.ubc.ca
  8. Log in with your CWL. If you need Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), raise your hand and inform the invigilator.
  9. Navigate to the quiz page, and wait for further instructions.
    • Make sure you open the right quiz for your lab section.

During the Quiz

  1. Once the invigilator announces the quiz password, you may begin.
  2. You have 45 minutes to answer all questions. There is an embedded countdown timer, and the quiz auto-submits after the timer runs out.
  3. If you finish and submit early, please wait quietly. The TA or lab instructor will specify when the quiz period is finished.
  4. After the exam ends, close the browser and hand in your cheatsheet and scrap papers on your way out.
    • If there is a quiz after your sesion, please keep quiet until you leave the building to avoid interruptions.

Quiz Logistics

  • You have to stay for the full duration and only leave the room after the invigilator lets you go.
  • All MDS quizzes are closed book and closed internet. Communication with anyone or any robot is strictly prohibited. For details please visit Quiz policies and Plagiarism.
  • You must go to your assigned quiz time slot and location. Otherwise, you will fail to check in to the quiz room.
  • You can find your assigned quiz time and location on PrairieTest. Alternatively, you can check the MDS Calendar and the lab-sections repo (now updated with your assigned quiz location).
  • When you are instructed to leave the room after the quiz, please leave the room quietly. Please refrain from discussing the quiz with anyone else.


Unless otherwise specified, quizzes will be closed-book except for a double-sided A4 cheatsheet. This means that during the quiz students are expected to:

  • not use the internet to solve questions on the quiz
  • not bring any materials into the quiz that would be of assistance in completing the quiz (aside from a cheatsheet)
  • not open other files or webpages other than the Canvas quiz
  • not leave the quiz room early, and not come back into the quiz room after leaving (other than for purposes such as using the washroom)

No collaboration

You may not communicate with other students or anyone else or any robots, through any medium, at any time during the quiz. You may not communicate with any of your classmates until everyone is finished the quiz. For each quiz, there will be two sessions. Please don’t post about MDS quizzes on Slack until at least 30 minutes after the end of the second quiz, in case some students were given extra time.

Things to bring/remember

  • Student card: You will need it to check in, and access the ICCS building during after-hours (after 5 pm)
  • Cheatsheet: You are allowed one double-sided A4 cheatsheet.
  • CWL password: Please memorize your password as you need it to log on to Canvas.

Special Circumstances

  1. I finished the quiz early
    • Wait quietly on your seat until the end of the quiz period.
  2. I need to use the washroom
    • Raise your hand and notify the invigilator. Leave only if you are permitted to. However, we recommend that you use the washroom before the quiz.