The semester is almost over which means exam season is coming. Universities have been online for almost a year now. Many of you might have taken exams online already so you may be familiar with it. However, for those who are in their first year or are still not very familiar with it, you may be worried about how the upcoming exams will be like. While you've probably taken midterms already, exams may be different as they are the final tests of the semester and therefore may be more formal. But don't worry, we've got you! In this post, we've gathered a few important things you should know about taking online exams so you can be prepared for them.
One of the most important things you should know is your exam schedule. The schedule should be available on your school's website and/or your professor will announce it. Once the exam schedule is released, check the dates and time of exams for your courses and mark the calendar. One thing to keep in mind is that there is often more than one section for each course and the exams may be at a different time or even on different dates. Make sure you look for the right section number on the schedule. You should do this as early as possible so you can start creating your study plan once you know your schedule.
Your professor will probably tell you about the exam format but sometimes they may forget. If they do, make sure you ask them as you should study according to the exam format. The format means the type of questions (i.e. multiple choices, short answers, fill in the blanks, etc.), the number of questions (for each type of question if applicable), and the duration of the exam. One thing that I think is very important is whether you can go back to the previous questions after you moved on to the next page. Sometimes you're not allowed to go back once you've moved on. This would affect how much time you're going to spend on each question. If you're allowed to go back, you can skip the questions that you're unsure of and save them last so you can gain the highest marks possible. If not, don't skip the questions even if you don't know the answer as you can still possibly get marks if you guess the answer. You shouldn't spend too much time on each question because you may run out of time. You can divide the time given by the number of questions to find out the average time you can work on each question. Another thing you should keep in mind is that some professors may use Zoom to protocol the exam and require their students to turn on the camera.
Virtual Study Group
If you think you're more productive when you study with someone else, feel free to study with your friends. Although you can't meet up at the moment, you can host a virtual study session and study through video conferencing apps like Google meet and Zoom. You can share your screen during the call so you can all look at the same page. I personally like to study with my friends as I am more productive this way. When I'm studying alone, I get distracted very easily but studying together help me focus.
Some schools offer free tutoring sessions for students. If you want help with a certain course, you can check your school's website and see if they offer this kind of service. While it's unlikely that they'll offer tutoring for all courses, they may offer it for some courses so definitely check. Alternatively, if you have specific questions about the course materials, you can ask your professor during office hour. Sometimes you'll have to make an appointment for that so read your course outline to find out.
Last but not least, don't cheat! Don't think you can cheat because exams are online and no one will know. Don't even think about it! You never know if the questions are different for each student, not to mention cheating is a wrongful act. This is unfair to the students who study very hard for the exams. If you get caught, not only you will get a 0 on your exam, but also everyone else may have to retake the exam. This actually happened in my Law class once. The questions were somehow leaked before the exam and were exposed to some students. We received an email after the exam that 10 questions got canceled from the exam because someone cheated, which means our final grade would be calculated without those questions. This was extremely unfair for those who did well on those questions. Therefore, think about the consequences to your friends and yourself before you decide to cheat.
Hopefully you learned more about online exams after reading the post. It's definitely more complicated than taking exams in person but as long as you keep these tips in mind, you'll be fine. Don't stress out too much and take breaks when you need them. I know how hard it can be. Just try your best and I'm sure you'll do great! If you need a quiet place to study after the lockdown, come stay with us at Avalon! All our premium suites at Avalon are fully furnished with a fully equipped kitchen and all the amenities you need. We even have a washer/dryer in all our suites. With all these features, staying in any of our suites will definitely make you feel at home. Don't have time to clean? We offer one complimentary cleaning service per week when you stay more than a week! We have free fast wifi so it's perfect for you to take classes online. You can rent our suites on a month-to-month basis so you can go back home anytime and book again when you come back. Just let us know 15 days prior to the date you want to stop renting. No contract needed. We even offer a 5% discount for extended stay plus a 13% discount on the HST for booking over 28 days! To learn more, visit our website or call us at 416.731.1372.