Preparing for an Online Exam

Like a traditional exam, it is important to study before taking an online exam. Sometimes, just because they are not “visible” to an examiner, students think they will be able to refer to notes and books while an online test is in progress. While you cannot be seen, the process of checking notes and books during an exam significantly reduces the amount of actual time left for answering questions. There is little point in getting the right answers to two or three more questions if you do not have time to look at the final ten. Therefore, it is essential to study beforehand so that you are familiar with the material.     

Additionally, unless you are taking an open book exam, the act of using notes and/or books is cheating and is, therefore, best avoided. 

In the case of an open book exam, you will still have to study quite a bit in advance in order to familiarize with the material. This will enable you to use the exam time more efficiently and get the best grades.  

When you are ready to take your exam, find yourself somewhere quiet where there is no disruption. Virtually every exam has time limits. If you are taking your exam at home, let your family know the exam date and set out some conditions for quietness. If this option is not viable, look for somewhere else. Often, college and local libraries can provide quiet study rooms. By contrast, the coffee bar is not the best idea.    

Check what the technical requirements are. Have you set your computer up in the required manner? Have you a stable Internet connection to the exam site? Have you got the passwords you need? Make sure you can access the exam site and understand the login procedure before the exam begins.   

Another aspect of online exams that is becoming more common is monitoring by webcam to eliminate cheating. If the course you are taking uses webcam-monitoring make sure, the equipment is correctly set up, and know what is and is not permissible. It is possible to set most webcams up so that they can see an individual’s head, hands, computer monitor, and a 180-room view.

Check all conditions for the test. There are a number of things you should know about how the exam is being conducted. Take a look at your course syllabus because it may provide some answers.  

  • What is the duration of the exam?
  • Will you be able to log out and then log back in later?
  • Will it be possible to return to a previous question or does an answer have to be submitted before you can proceed?

Once you know the rules of the test, you will be in a better position to utilize the exam time efficiently and effectively.

When the Exam is in Progress

During the exam, keep only the exam application open on your computer. Having access to other open windows could indicate cheating. Additionally, a lot of open windows can cause the exam application to run slowly and cause you to lose valuable time.

Track the passage of time. At the outset, decide what time you are going to allow to each question or section. This will help you get through all the questions.

Try not to resort to cheating. Exams are designed to accurately measure a student’s knowledge. You probably would not be happy if you found your doctor had cheated at his or her medical examinations or if your electrician did not know a great deal about electrics. The test system works better when those participating are honest.

At the majority of universities and colleges, cheating is a breach of a code of honor. If you are caught cheating, it could cause you to fail your exams or your entire course, or even get you expelled.