Tips for Acing Online Finals

Finals are just around the corner and for most of us these tests will be entirely online. It has been extremely hard to transition to online schooling over the past year and many students are still struggling to make it work. So, here are a few easy tips to make the virtual test season a little bit more manageable.

  1. 1. Know the Rules

    One downside of taking tests online is that every professor has a different set of rules. The first and most important tip is to make sure that you know what is required and permitted and what is not allowed. Is the test open-note or is it proctored live by professors and TA's? This is what you need to know before the exam date rolls around.

  2. 2. Find a Quiet Space

    Try to find a quiet and isolated place to take your exam. This can be difficult if you live with roommates or family, but you can let them know when/where you want to take the test in advance. This way, they'll know to be as quiet as possible and to not disturb you while you're in the middle of the test. Try to limit the amount of distractions around you so that you can have a peaceful and focused environment.

  3. 3. Prepare in Advance

    Woman in bed surrounded by laptop and books

    Studying is the most important part of taking any final, but this is almost more important now that tests are online. Make sure to have downloaded every PowerPoint, study guide, etc., so that you have all of the necessary tools to succeed. You can print them out if you have the resources and take notes by hand, as this may help you remember the material better. Try to begin studying at least a few days before the exam to prevent cramming everything in the night before.

  4. 4. Know the Course Material

    Watch all of the lectures! With asychronous classes, it can be easy to let those videos slip through the cracks. However, it will be very beneficial to keep up with the posted content. Trust me, you don't want to be watching everything for the first time right before the exam. Sometimes there's important content embedded in videos that you might be tempted to skip. Make sure you have watched everything posted by the professor and have submitted all assignments prior to exam day as well.

  5. 5. Take Advantage of Being Home

    Mug of black coffee next to woman reading a book

    Again, be sure to know all of the rules of the exam before taking liberties. However, being at home can allow for freedoms that you might not have in a live class. Feel free to wear pajamas and have blankets surrounding you as you take the test. Or if the rules permit, listen to classical music and have a drink and snack nearby. And if it's an open-book/note test, have all of the course materials on your desk and create a studious atmosphere. 

With these simple but useful strategies in place, finals may not seem so daunting. Any test can be terrifying, but remember that we're all in the same boat and we all have the ability to ace our final exams. Good luck!