Everyone's lives have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Students are no exception. We have been unable, for the past year, to return to University to sit our exams as usual. This has meant that we had to take online assessments. It appears that this semester's exams will be largely conducted online.
Online exams were daunting because they were new to many. My friends seem to agree that online exams have helped reduce exam stress and allowed students to learn subject knowledge, rather than just passing an exam.
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 prepare for an online exam
Online exams have been a great help to me. I tend to forget about the practicalities of exams and instead focus my attention on revision. I value the fact that I can take the time to study and research topics in detail, as opposed to memorising information to pass a test.
This is why I recommend that you use this opportunity to deepen your understanding of the subject and expand your knowledge beyond the curriculum. Condensing content into concise notes that are easy to understand is a great idea. This will allow you to quickly access information during examinations and give you a resource bank for the future.
Revision is essential for all examinations, online or not. Insufficient preparation will lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety during the exam. You can take comfort knowing you have more control than ever over the exam.
Online examination location
The most bizarre thing about the online format was the fact that I sat down at my computer rather than in an exam hall. The new environment was a great help and I felt less anxious. I found the exam hall to be very relaxing, with no intimidating invigilators and hundreds of students tapping their pen - perfect conditions for examinations, if you ask my friends!
You can relax in your home but I recommend that you make sure you're properly dressed and fueled. Before you start, make sure to double-check your Wi-Fi connection. Also, ensure that everyone in your household is aware of the need to reduce the volume. Keep calm and take a note of any technical problems you encounter before calling your exam lead. They will be able to understand that technology can cause complications and won't penalize you for it.
Online exams don't have to be like traditional exams. The beauty of this assessment method is that you can control your environment. It is important that you feel as comfortable as possible, even if it means having a cup or hot water bottle at your side.
When should you take your online exams?
Sometimes I feel so rushed during a traditional exam that I find it difficult to organize my thoughts and create a coherent answer. Online exams are less time-pressured, so my answers are more thoughtful and well-structured.
You cannot expect to pass all of your exams in a single day. Rome wasn't built in one day. You should take the time to read them, and allow yourself to take breaks to help you reorient your thoughts. Take the time to think through the questions and figure out how to answer them.
Online exams have been criticized for not being as effective as traditional formats. Online assessment is something I personally love. It is less stressful and more straightforward for me. I also feel it evaluates abilities beyond mere memorisation. Although I would not say I enjoyed these exams, they were as good as any exam I could find.
Keep calm, be prepared, and try your best. This is all that anyone can ask you online or in person.
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