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How to tackle an online exam

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For a lot of us, this exam period will look a lot different to any we’ve ever had before. Completing an online exam can feel like a daunting task, so it’s best to be as prepared as possible. Below are some tips on how to prepare for an online exam and how to tackle the exam when it’s time.

Before the exam

  1. Check the exam guidelines

Be sure you have carefully noted the date of your exam, where you’ll need to go to access it, and how long you will have to complete the exam.

  1. Do a practice test

Some tutors may provide a practice test for you to complete, do it! If a practice test has not been provided, make your own questions from the textbook, lectures or previous tutorials.  Be sure to complete your practice test on your computer and under timed conditions. This will give you a feel for how the real exam might take place and help you feel confident using your computer to answer questions.

  1. Check your computer

Before the day of the exam, make sure your computer is ready to go. Be sure it is either fully charged or connecting to a charging port, all available updates have been done and any hardware you need is downloaded. This is a great way to avoid any technical difficulties that may arise during the exam.

  1. Plan a space to take the test

Whether it’s your desk, your dining room table or the backyard, be sure you have planned where you will be taking the online exam. Find a quiet space with a strong internet connection that makes you feel calm. If you live with other people, be sure to let them before the day of your exam that you will be taking an online exam. This way they will know your study space is off limits during your exam time and are less likely to distract you with interruptions. Also, be sure to turn off your phone or set it to silent to further minimise distraction.

  1. Study!

Make sure you’re aware of the unit content and have studied it. Studying will help you feel more confident in your abilities and help you do the best you can during your online exam.

During the exam

  1. Be aware of the time

Set timers for when you have an hour, 30 minutes and 10 minutes left of your exam or adjust this depending on the length of your exam. This will help you be aware of how much time you have left and ensure you are working efficiently.

  1. Check your work

Before you submit your exam, leave yourself some time to check over your answers. Make sure you have not missed any questions; your answers have been saved or recorded correctly and that your spelling is correct. Once you submit your online exam, you will be unable to make any changes. Checking over your work ensures no easy to rectify mistakes have been overlooked.

  1. If you encounter a problem, stay calm

Easier said than done! If you do experience technical difficulties during your exam, make sure to contact your unit coordinator or tutor immediately. Be sure to tell them exactly what problem occurred for you. If you receive an error message or your screen changes, take a screenshot and also send this to your unit coordinator or tutor. This way they can see what has occurred and may be able to help you solve the issue.

Exam time can be tough. Moving to an online exam format for the first time can be intimidating and add extra stress to the exam period. Due to this, it is important to understand the online exam process and be as prepared as possible to ensure you are able to complete your exam to the best of your abilities. Be sure to use the tips that are outlined above when preparing for and taking your own online exam. Good luck!

Written by public relations student Taysha Sullivan