How to prepare for online exams

Zoe Bush·11 December 2020·5 min read
How to prepare for online exams

How to prepare for online exams

Exams are a daunting part of the university experience for any student. This year the introduction of online learning and assessments has left many students apprehensive for the upcoming examination period. The new bimodal form of teaching has meant many changes to the conventional exams students might have expected. These changes have created various hurdles such as a total restructuring of modules and take home exams replacing traditional exam halls. Knowing how to prepare for these obstacles is the first step in acing your online exams.

Planning your time

All too often the issue that students face with studying is how to plan time wisely. Getting yourself organised in good time is so important to ensure that you feel happy with the content; it also massively takes the pressure off of you which is a great way to ease any stress you may be feeling. Fortunately, time management has been a huge learning curve for students this year, who have had to assume the responsibility of making time for online lectures rather than following a conventional timetable. This is a great transferrable skill which you can apply to exam preparation. Planning a timetable is essential when it comes to revision, in particular scheduling in time away from the computer at regular intervals will keep you feeling fresh and focused. Whether you work best in the daytime or in the evening persist with what works for you, but studying for 12 hours in one go will only end in exhaustion.

Looking after yourself

It’s so important to look after your mind and body in times which can be stressful. It might be tempting to stay sat in your room all day but exercise, even just a short walk, is vital to keep the brain alert and the mind clear. In addition to exercise, maintaining a healthy diet and drinking lots of water is a great way to keep feeling fresh and alert.

Students are notorious for their terrible sleeping habits. Whether you’re an early riser or you prefer to burn the midnight oil, make sure that you are getting a decent amount of sleep. Plan your day, and your sleeping pattern, according to what works best for you.

Taking regular breaks from your phone and social media can also be incredibly helpful to clear your mind as well as getting rid of distractions. With students spending an increased amount of time studying online it is even more important to digital detox in your downtime. These tactics are both a great way to keep your brain engaged and to help diminish stress.

Tips for online learning and assessments

This year has given us many changes and new challenges to face, including online learning and assessments. At the end of a semester of zoom classes, students are now facing the uncertainty of online exams. Take home exams don’t have to be intimidating. These restructured assessments have both advantages and disadvantages, just like a normal exam.

Preparation is essential to performing well in an online assessment. Ensure you feel secure in the main content that could potentially come up and get in lots of practice. Looking at past papers is a great way to prepare for these exams, even though the exam may have changed, the content and question structures are likely to have similarities to previous years. Plan your time and make sure any other commitments you have surrounding the date of your assessments, such as assignment deadlines, are managed accordingly. Make sure you have the resources you need in advance, such as a secure Wi-Fi connection and any required software. In addition to assured preparation, it is important to think about maintaining exam conditions whilst the actual exam is taking place. For instance, keep your phone and any distractions out of the room and do not refer to your notes unless it is specifically an open book exam.

University examination periods can be stressful at any point in time. Managing your time thoughtfully with meaningful preparation will have you feeling confident when you are presented with your assessment. Looking after yourself is just as important as staying focused on studying and these together will help you to achieve your ambitions this exam season. Good luck to students with upcoming exams!