Online Exam Tips
Having only so far completed two exams on the AEP, I wouldn’t yet consider myself an online-exam expert… However, this is a novel process for us all and I thought I’d share a few tips I’m using to help make this somewhat unusual exam season a little bit easier!
*As I study Maths, most of these tips are focused on the online open-book alternative assessments!*
1) Decide when you are going to do your exam.
To eliminate decision fatigue on the day, make sure you are clear on when you will be taking your exam at least the night before! These are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding when you’re doing your exam:
– When is your house quietest?
– Are you an early bird or a night owl?
– When is the exam released? Make absolutely sure you will have enough time to submit your work, taking into account any technical difficulties that could possibly be thrown your way! If you get nervous before exams, perhaps it’s more beneficial to get the exam out of the way as soon as it’s released.
Tip: Many exams have small errors or typos in them; usually this would be announced at the front of the exam hall, now corrections are announced on the AEP. It’s easy to forget to look back and check for these corrections, however, by starting the exam an hour or so after it’s released, it’s likely that any corrections will already have been announced and you can start your exam aware of these changes!
2) Have your resources ready and organised!
Think carefully about what notes you’re going to need (maybe some of last year’s modules’ notes could be useful?) but try to cut them down to only what’s going to be helpful so you don’t waste your time searching in the wrong places. Have all the notes you might need out and ready before the exam starts and know exactly where to find everything!! Personally, separating lecture notes/assignments/general-maths-notes all into separate windows helps me stay organised. I also keep them downloaded in clear files, so that if anything gets accidentally closed I know exactly where to go to get it back!
Tip: Use a pdf merger to put different assignments/notes into one document, this way if you’re looking for a key word you can search the whole document at once. This link does the trick: https://smallpdf.com/merge-pdf.
Tip: To avoid any wi-fi drama, make sure all your notes (and even the question paper!) are downloaded on your computer.
3) Have an online timer or a clock at hand.
From my experience so far, the countdown timers are not entirely obvious on the AEP or Moodle pages – they don’t sound, and if you’ve downloaded the paper and you are reading from that, they aren’t visible. Moreover, once you’ve left the page for a while it requires refreshing to show the true time you have left. To easily remedy this – have your own timer/clock to hand. Personally, I set mine to 2:55 for my three hour exams to mimic a final five minute warning.
Tip: Set your timer to give you warnings that work for you – this might be a half way point or a final 15 minute warning.
4) Try to ignore the rumours!
“I heard xxx, xxx and xxx all live together, so they’re going to be working together.” “I bet xxx’s dad is doing his for him.” “Do you think xxx will give xxx the paper early?” Etcetera, etcetera…! This exam season is going to be a strange one and it’s hard to just ‘have faith in the system’ when everything is new. However, it’s really important to read, understand and follow the integrity guidelines and trust that cheating will be dealt with appropriately and is very unlikely distort grade boundaries. Try your very best not to let the rumours bother you, whether on Warwick Love or by word of mouth – know that if you work hard it will pay off and walk away from these conversations!
I hope these tips help demystify the online exam experience a little bit! Stay safe, stay home and good luck with all your exams!