Education during these unprecedented times has changed dramatically. Students are still trying to adjust to their new online classes. And now, to complicate matters, many students will have to take their final exams online as well.
Managing your time will be critical to exam success. Without the structure of a traditional classroom setting, it can be difficult to set aside time to study. If you have a stacked schedule or struggle with managing your time efficiently while learning from home, an excellently planned timetable can help.
Here are some essential tips to help you prepare for your online exams while studying remotely.
Take Good Notes During Online Lectures
Note-taking during online lectures is vital throughout the semester because lecturers drop hints on areas of concentration. As finals draw closer, you should pay extra close attention to your professors as they will usually review (or at least emphasize) what you will be tested on.
Take time before and after lectures to review your notes. This technique will help you assimilate the information better.
Lecture transcription is a great way to ensure your notes are complete (and legible).
Join an Online Study Group
Organizing virtual study groups is one of the best ways to prepare for online exams.
Reach out to fellow classmates about joining your study group. Then, use emails, Zoom, and online collaboration tools like Google Docs to stay in touch with your peers. Setting up a study plan beforehand will help you measure your success rate.
Stay in Touch with Your Professors
Although working with your peers is effective when preparing for online finals, tutelage from instructors offers even more value.
Students who struggled to meet their teachers before now have access to direct lines of communication with them. This means you no longer have to worry about fitting your schedule around your professors’ office hours.
If you have issues in any of your disciplines, an email thread with your professor will quickly clear things up. They may even be able to jump on a quick Zoom call to clarify anything that requires more than a written explanation.
So, don’t hesitate to reach out to your lecturer if you are struggling with a topic.
Arrange Your Workspace
Spatial awareness might not be one of the skills learned in college, but it will help you in remote learning, especially when studying for online exams.
Unlike campus libraries and dorm rooms which are optimized for studying, your home environment is organized living. However, there are things you can do to maximize your home space for studying.
Start by evaluating your workspace to identify possible distractions. If you live in a noisy environment, consider getting noise-cancellation headphones. If you live with a roommate, inform them about your study plans to prevent unnecessary distractions.
If you find you’re still struggling to focus at home, try finding a more conducive studying environment like the local library or a low-key coffee shop.
Focus on the Task at Hand
Once your workspace is arranged for study, you still need to get in the right frame of mind. Turn off all notifications and disengage from social media. You may want to turn your phone off completely or put it in a different room to avoid temptation.
It’s also important to set a study timetable and stick to it. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend every free minute studying for your online exams. Take regular breaks between tasks to eliminate the monotony of studying. You can drink water, grab a snack, or watch an episode of a 30 minute show during these breaks.
Finally, make sure you dedicate ample time to all courses, especially any classes you’re struggling in and those related to your major. Focus on your weak points first before moving on to subjects where you feel more confident.
Don’t Cheat On Your Online Exams
The idea of cheating while taking an online exam may be tempting since no one is around you in the room. Moreover, you have access to multiple devices at once. So, you might want to pull a dishonest stunt.
But universities around the world are coming up with tactics to battle cheating associated with virtual tests and exams. Many institutions are employing advanced anti-cheating programs.
Here’s a look at some of the anti-cheating techniques used by top colleges.
- Proctored exams. A proctored exam is a timed exam during which the platform monitors your webcam and microphone activity. These records are archived for future reference.
- Compulsory webcam exams. Some institutions mandate that students leave their cameras on throughout duration of the exam. By doing so, the examiner can monitor the student to detect irregularities in behavior.
- Two-step verification. This technique is used to prevent the transfer of login data to others without getting detected.
- IP-tracking. Tracking the login IP helps detect third-party access to exam platforms.
- Screen-time monitoring tools. Apps like TimeDoctor can monitor the amount of time you spend on the platform. This technique is useful to detect if a student is surfing through pages on Google answers.
So, before you consider cheating on your finals, ask yourself if it is really worth the risk.
In essence, preparing for online exams is uncharted territory for all students, especially when taking your finals. However, you can still find success during online exam preparation by putting the above tips to good use.
Do you have any additional study tips for online exams? Let us know in the comments below!
About Amanda Dudley
Amanda is a writer and lecturer with a Ph.D. in History from Stanford. She is a native English speaker with excellent German language skills. Today, Amanda works as a part-time academic writer at an essay writing service, assisting students with complex assignments.