Finishing first-year and online exams
This first year definitely hasn’t been what I imagined or hoped for due to the pandemic, but I am proud of myself for getting through it and finishing first year.
Over the past few weeks, I sat four Film Studies exams through Warwick’s Alternative Exams Portal (AEP.) I do not have my results yet, but I think they went well under the unusual circumstances
I had never sat online exams before, never mind exams in my university bedroom, where I spent most days working at my desk. I was only used to the traditional exam experience and navigating Warwick’s portal was an adjustment. Thankfully I logged in to the portal before my exams so I could get used to it, check my extra time had been accounted for and understand more about the submission process. I was fortunate that there wasn’t much noise when I was sitting my exams as I returned to my campus accommodation about ten days before my first exam. Thankfully I live in quite a peaceful area of campus. My neighbour at home has been doing DIY almost every day so I felt I wouldn’t be able to concentrate there. However, because of the 24 windows, we could start the exams in all students could choose the optimum time of day for them to focus, which gave us personal flexibility. The exam portal started a timer that counted down as soon as you clicked start, mine were open book so we could look over notes. I tried to choose a time of day in which I felt focused and energised, generally early in the morning or just after lunch. Although I sometimes used my notes to add specific details I made sure not to be overly reliant on them, as that will not be an option in more traditional exams in the future.
I was nervous about this strange new experience, how my disability services extra time would work in the portal, my document not saving properly and the strength of my WiFi signal. Luckily I did not encounter technical issues, but there was a 45-minute window of time to submit the exam essay after the exam finished to allow grace for wifi failing or noise disruption. However, I did submit one exam a few minutes into this additional time ensuring I was uploading the correct, complete essay to the portal as my laptop had saved different versions at separate points of the exam.
I hope you found this end of the academic year blog post insightful and informative. Any questions let me know.