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How To Prepare For An Online Exam

Preparing for an exam can be a daunting task. But things get even more nerve-wracking when it comes to online exams. Thoughts are running through your mind: “What if my internet stops working?”, “What if I accidentally click on the wrong answer?”, “Why can’t a UFO just beam me up and take me to Jupiter?” Don’t fret! We’ve come up with the following tips to get you well-prepared for your upcoming online exams. 

Check your hardware and software

One of the easiest ways to blow it on your online exam is failing to sufficiently prepare your computer. Online exams are often timed, meaning you can’t afford any interruptions to your computer, such as battery power, internet connection, or basic program/browser functionality. Make sure you’ve tested the link or software you’ll need for the exam, that all the proper updates and plug-ins have been downloaded, and that you’re close to a power source. Perhaps even do a run-through a couple of days before the online exam to make sure that everything is working. 

In the case that you run into a technical issue during the online exam, make sure you know how to contact your professor. Notify them of the situation and take a screenshot for proof if possible.

Open-book is easy? Think again.

Online exams are frequently open-book/open-note. In this case, you’ll have access to your study materials. If you think this means you don’t have to study, think again. In an open-book setting, test questions will often require short, written responses that reflect a meaningful comprehension of the subject matter. And your professor will usually have more strict marking rubric. Also, because online exams are often timed, you simply can’t learn that subject matter on the spot. If you go into your online exam and did not study ahead of time, the lack of preparation will show in your rushed response. So, only use your book/notes as a reference, and study hard for the exam as if it’s just a regular exam. 

Organize your notes to avoid panic

If your online exam is open-book, then make sure to have all of your notes organized, highlighted, and even tagged with sticky notes so you can quickly find the material you need.

Save your answers and review

Throughout the online exam, make sure to save your answers often, and of course when you change/edit your answers. Also, be aware of time limits (if there is one). Estimate how many minutes (maximum) you should spend on each question and spare a few minutes at the end to review everything before you submit your completed exam. 


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