Tips on Taking Online Exams
During such a confusing and unpredictable time, it may be really difficult to concentrate on revision and preparing for upcoming exams. So I wanted to write a post on my three tips that I found helped me during my April exams for my final year!
Prepare as if you are sitting your exams in person
When lock down was introduced, I was revising for my exams and knew that I probably wasn’t going to be able to sit them in person. However, as I wasn’t sure of the alternative at the time, I continued to revise for them as normal. I would really suggest this as it maintains that mindset that you still have important exams to sit and that you need to prepare for them as thoroughly as you can. If, like me, you have open book examinations, then of course you will have your notes but you don’t want to be 100% reliant on them as this is time consuming and can be stressful trying to find the resources for every single question.
Create revision resources that are easily accessible for an open book situation
Once I knew that my exams were going to be open book, I really thought about how I was going to set out my notes during the exams, what resources I would need the most and how I would find everything I needed in the time frame that I had. Depending on the type of exam you have, these things may change. For example, I had an organic synthesis exam so I knew I needed to access a whole range of mechanisms from my notes. For this exam, I laid out my lecture notes separately by lecture and created a contents page for myself with the type of reaction and a hint of what the reaction entailed. This way, during the exam, I could look at my contents page to find the mechanism that I thought related to the question. For other exams, I would write a help sheet for myself that would contain equations and some main facts we were expected to know. How you prepare for the open book aspect of the exam really depends on what you are studying for but make sure you prepare!
Consider the additional time for technical difficulties you may face
Once again, depending on how you are expected to take the exam will depend on how much time you need to factor in to upload your answer file. For me, I had to take my exams on paper, scan them with my phone and then upload them. For you, you may do them on word and upload them this way. But either way, you need to consider that you must give yourself enough time to upload your answers and not to do this at the very last minute in case you have any technical issues that will take time to rectify.
These are some things that helped me during my online exams. For my first exam, it was quite a stressful experience coming to terms with this new exam format and setting but in time I got used to it and tried not to let this affect my exam performance.
For those of you who are taking online exams, I know the change of doing them online may seem stressful and not something we are used to but it isn’t too bad! Finally, I want to wish you all a good luck!!!