Just as students prepare for other exams taken in school, online exams should be prepared for if the student does not want to fail it. The major pitfall for many students is not about understanding the guidelines of online exams, sometimes students are unprepared and confused as to how to proceed.

The following are strategies you can use to improve your online exams taking skills and be successful:

BE COMPUTER SAVVY

You can’t pass online exams when you don’t even know how to use the computer. You need to learn how to use computer well. Spend more time trying to master how to use computer before the exams. Do not end up on the day of your exams trying to look for the cursor or manage the mouse. It will consume your time and contribute to your failure.

FIND OUT WHAT THE EXAM ENTAILS

Exams are different depending on its type, class and lecturer. Find out if the exams will be made up of multiple choice questions, if it will require short or lengthy answers, or if the exams will be “open book” where students are allowed to reference notes or textbooks. Find out instructions relating to the exams early enough. Having this information will help you know how to prepare and what to expect. If anything is unclear prior to the exam, call or email your instructor and find out what you want to know. Before the exams, do not fail to check and recheck the exams time and date.

STUDY EARLY

Early preparation leads to success. Study in advance to have a good understanding of the materials you will be tested on. Always check your emails so as not to miss out on anything. Study to the extent that you are familiar with the materials recommended for the exam. This helps you know which answer is suitable for which question. Always jot down key points while studying. Access past or mock questions, and then practice completing them under exam conditions, within the expected time frame. You can ask for additional recommendations for preparing for the exams.    

MAKE SURE YOUR COMPUTER OR LAPTOP IS NOT FAULTY IN ANYWHERE

Always check your computer ahead of the exams. To minimize computer problems, use a computer with which you are familiar. Use a supported browser like Google chrome or internet explorer. Make sure your computer is fully charged, and Wi-Fi connection stable, the Java installation up-to-date. Always use the most reliable connection available when you are taking an online test or exams. Don’t make the mistake of using phone to take online exams because you might have submission problem. Avoid having multiple devices connected to the internet during exams.                     

CHOOSE A PLACE DEVOID OF DISTRACTIONS

As you are about to take your exams, make sure where you have chosen is a place devoid of all forms of distractions. You can use earplugs to block noise. Be sure everything you need to be successful is with you – books, pen, calculator, etc.

UNDERSTAND EVERY INSTRUCTION GIVEN

Read instructions thoroughly. Wait for full download of the page before answering questions. Do not rush to answer the questions when the page has not been fully downloaded or you might miss some questions and you might end up writing an incomplete paper. Click ‘save’ after every attempt. Do not forget to save your answers after marking the options. If you change any answer, remember to click the save button once done.                                   

DO NOT WASTE TIME ON ONE QUESTION

Time management is one of the most important aspects of online exams. After reading all instructions carefully, work out how you are going to divide your time between the tasks or questions. If your mind goes blank, you lose focus or get confused, do not panic, take a minute or two to practice your breathing and mind focusing technique. Manage your time well by moving to the next question where you can’t answer a particular one. It is always advisable to start with the easy questions first, and then return later to the hard ones.

DON’T LOSE TRACK OF TIME

 Know the duration of the exams, set a watch to alert you 10 minutes before your deadline so you will know how much time you have left to complete the exams.

GO THROUGH YOUR WORK AGAIN BEFORE SUBMITTING

Check and recheck your work before you submit it. Make sure all questions are answered. Any question not answered is marked zero so try your best to answer all questions. Do not close your browser or refresh the page until you know your submission has been accepted.                                                    

JOT DOWN YOUR EXPERIENCE

After your online exams, try to jot down your experience. What you did wrong which caused you some minutes, what you would do better next time, which methods helped you and worked out well.

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