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How To Ace Your Online Exams

Navigating online exams is a lot different than studying for and taking tests in person. There’s a few benefits to taking exams online, such as having easy-access to your notes and the course’s reading materials. However, having your notes on-hand doesn’t mean the online test is any easier than it would be if it were taken in a classroom surrounded by your peers. Sometimes online exams have a time limit, which can add some unwanted pressure to your test-taking procedures. Sometimes professors track whether you have the notes and readings pulled up in another tab, which can lead to some major points off your final grade. Have no fear! Use the following tips to help you ace your online exams.

My first bit of advice to you is an obvious one. Study before you take the test. A lot of students often dismiss studying or reviewing their notes before an online exam because they think they will be able to look back at the course materials or even Google the answers. When you only have an hour to take a test, you don’t want to waste time flipping through the pages of notes you didn’t read over prior to the exam. Looking for the answers is time consuming, so you should try to study the main ideas and important details. Study key words, key readings and maybe rewrite your notes, so that they are focused on what you need to know for the test. If you’re familiar with the material, you won’t feel the need to search for the answers.

Next, you should make sure you have enough time to take the exam. Even if there isn’t a time limit, you should give yourself time to complete it without feeling like you’re rushing to get to the finish line. Don’t take the test right before you are going to bed because you’ll probably be more focused on going to sleep rather than the questions. If your professor gives you a week to complete the exam, don’t wait for the last minute. Take it as soon as you feel confident enough to. You’ll not only feel a weight lifted off your chest when it’s finished, but you’ll also have plenty of time to reach out to your professor with any follow-up questions or concerns about the quiz.

You should also put your phone away, or at least put it on do not disturb. Answering texts and checking Instagram can wait until after you’re done taking the test. If your phone is sitting next to you as you answer questions, you might be more focused on the incoming notifications rather than the exam itself.

Finally, double-check your answers. I cannot express the level of frustration I feel when I accidentally click the wrong answer choice and submit it as my final answer. If you followed the previous steps, you’ll most likely have extra time left over. Reread the questions from the beginning along with the answer choices to make sure you’re confident with your choice or with what you’ve written.

Not everyone is necessarily good at taking exams. It can be hard to focus, and it can get discouraging when you don’t know some of the answers. Just remember, no matter how hard the exam is, there’s always a way to get to the finish line.

Angelica Pizza

Coastal Carolina '21

Angelica is a student at Coastal Carolina University studying communication, journalism and women's and gender studies. She has a passion for writing and hopes to pursue a career as a writer or editor for a magazine.
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