Top tips for students and my online exam experience

Everybody’s life has been drastically affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes students. The last year has been difficult for us to return to University in order to sit our exams. We were forced to do online assessments. This semester, it appears, will also be conducted mostly online.


Online exams were a daunting task at first, as they were unknown to so many. However, my friends agree that they have really helped alleviate exam stress so students can study for subject knowledge and not just pass exams.


After taking many online exams, I felt this was the right time to share my experience and offer some tips for the next assessment period. .


How to study for an Online Exam

Online exams have proved to be very beneficial to me. I find that I am less concerned about the practicalities and more focused on revising. I appreciate taking the time to research and learn about topics, instead of memorizing superficial information in order to pass a test.


If your exam is open-book, I would recommend you take advantage of this opportunity to get a better understanding of your subject and broaden your knowledge. It’s also helpful to distill the content into clear and understandable notes. This will make it easy to find information during the exam and help you build a library of materials for the future.


It is important that you remember to revise, even for online exams. An insufficient amount of preparation will only lead to excessive stress during the exam. Take comfort knowing that you have the power to conquer the exam, possibly more than you ever thought.


Where can you sit for your online exam

Perhaps the most strange thing about the online format is sitting at my desk instead of in an examination hall. I found the online format to be very beneficial and felt less anxious. It was a perfect exam environment, without intimidating invigilators, no exam hall, and with hundreds of students tap their pens.


Even though you may be in your own home and comfortable, I encourage you to dress appropriately, eat well, and have a study area that is suitable for your needs. Double-check your internet connection before you begin. Make sure everyone knows how to lower the volume. You can remain calm and keep your eyes open for any technical problems. They will accept that complications can arise with technology and will not penalise your for anything beyond their control.


Online exams are not meant to replicate traditional exam formats. However, the beauty about this assessment style is that it allows you to control your surroundings. It is important to feel comfortable, even if this means you have a cup of tea or a hot water bottle nearby.


When can you do your online exam?

Sometimes I feel so rushy in traditional exams that it is difficult for me to think clearly and compose a coherent answer. An online exam is much easier because I don’t have to answer as many questions in a short time. My answers are also more thought out and better structured.


Expect to take several days to finish all of your exams. Rome wasn’t built in a single day. It is important to spend the time to review them. You need to give yourself frequent breaks to allow your brain to reset. You can take the extra time to reflect on the questions and to find the best answers.


Final thoughts

There is some debate about whether online exams are just as effective as regular format. Personally, I love the online assessment system. I find it less stressful and less complex. It also assesses skills beyond memorization. These exams were not enjoyable, but I found them to be as good as they could get.


Be calm, be prepared and do your best. You can do it all online and in person.


Related article from CollegeBasics:

Related Resources:
What it’s like to take an Exam during Lockdown
What it’s like taking an exam during lockdown
How it feels to take an exam during lockdown
Here are my top tips and experiences with online exams

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