Writing and successfully completing an exam online has similar strategies to writing an on-campus exam. The following tips will help you to reduce your exam anxiety. A full version of this information is located at the links provided at the bottom of the page.
Know your exam guidelines and expectations
- Understanding from your instructor's course outline what you “need to know” for your course exam.
- Read and reread exam guidelines thoroughly and well in advance of your exam date.
- Know the date and time of your exam and make a calendar entry.
- Know how long you have to complete your exam.
- If you have to submit the exam before a specific time (and online), plan enough time to submit through myClass.
- Know the exam format (short answers, multiple-choice, case analysis, essay or combination of different formats).
Know and understand the material
- Prepare to learn the material well and study without thinking about the exam format.
- Start studying by first reviewing the syllabus, with a special focus on course objectives.
- Focus on understanding, connecting and applying course concepts, not memorizing.
- Know and understand course materials well before exam time and don't expect to have time to go through other resources.
- Know if your exam is an open book and follow the given instructions.
- Prepare any course materials to allow quick and easy access to the exact locations you’ll need.
- Know your course material thoroughly.
- Find a quiet, secluded space near a power outlet to do the exam where you won’t be distracted or interrupted.
- Check that the area has a strong, reliable Wi-Fi signal or utilize a wired internet connection.
- Prepare everything that you’ll need at exam time (i.e. computer or laptop with power cable; paper, pencils, and eraser; a full water bottle; prepared course materials, etc.
- Install any specific applications or particular web browser.
- Understand all the technical requirements for the exam and check your computer is up to the task.
- Test the link to the exam with lots of time to spare, and if there’s a chance to do a practice run-through, do so.
- Check ahead of time the internet signal and connectivity is stable and reliable in your exam location.
- Check with your instructor what to do in case of technical problem.
- Get familiar with these steps and ensure you have your instructor’s contact information.
- Learn how to take a screenshot on your computer so you can capture and save any error messages in case of technical glitches.
What to do at exam time
- Be in your designated and prepared space at least 15-30 minutes before exam start time.
- Turn off your cell phone and put it where you can’t see or reach it.
- Keep something nearby that shows the time, other than your computer (turn cell phone notification settings to mute or off).
- Keep your exam browser open at all times and a Word blank document (save the text file frequently).
- Review the format and value of the sections and questions, and complete time-planning about how long to spend on each.
- Save time at the end for review, if possible.
- Understand the importance of academic honesty in all situations, including online formats.
- Review and understand UFV’s academic integrity policies before your exam.
- Be aware of what is permitted and not permitted during the exam. (i.e. use class notes or other resources during the exam)
- Read each question carefully and make sure you understand what you are being asked to do.
- Make sure, with essay questions, that you answer/address all components of the question.
- If you get confused or need more time on one question, move to the next one and return to the question later.
- Click ‘save’ or ‘submit’ your answers if the system does not save your answers automatically.
- Take a screenshot of the confirmation notice showing that have completed the exam.
What to do after the exam
- When the exam is complete, give yourself a high five and take time to celebrate completing this exam.
- Reflect on how the exam went for you. What went well? Which study/preparation strategies worked best for you? Is there anything you’d like to do differently next time?
Material adapted from: