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Tips for Distraction Reduced Testing While Learning Remotely

Here are some strategies and resources for you to ensure that you have a distraction reduced environment to test:

  • Use ear plugs. Using a physical ear plug, otherwise known as “active noise cancellation,” is still the most effective way to block out noise distractions. Foam earplugs are inexpensive and available at the drug store.
  • Create a testing space in your house. Use a trifold posterboard (or a repurposed cardboard box in a pinch) to create a temporary study carrel on any desk to block out visual distractions.
  • Communicate your need for uninterrupted time. Parents, siblings, kids -- working and studying from home can mean contending with an environment beyond our control. If possible, let others in your household know that you will need to schedule some time during which you cannot be disturbed in order to concentrate on your test. If necessary, write a reminder note and put it up by your workspace so others can see that you are unavailable.
  • If home can’t be distraction reduced, find a space that can be.
    • UIC Daley Library and Health Sciences Library: the main library on UIC’s east campus and the smaller library on west campus are both open by reservation, and are very quiet right now (at Daley there are about 500 seats available and usually fewer than 20 are in use) – perfect for studying and taking tests! You can reserve a desk with a computer and a study carrel for as long as you need to take your test by completing the Library Space Reservation Form.
      • Please note: If you choose “Priority Access for Patrons with Disabilities,” on the registration form you will only see a few computers with access software installed. If you choose “show all” and scroll through the options you will find “Computer with Carrel,” which is most similar to our desks in the DRC Testing area. If you’re not sure which seat to choose, keep in mind that you can ask for help at the Library front desk when you arrive.
    • Public Library: if you can’t make it to campus, check whether your local library has meeting rooms available for free use.


As always, if you have any questions about testing or need support, feel free to contact our Testing Coordinators at