Tips to ace your finals

For some students, taking an online exam is a new and somewhat bewildering experience. They don’t know what to expect, and aren’t certain of the skills and strategies that will enable them to perform at their best. On a good note, many of the steps they’d take to complete an online exam are quite similar to those that they’d engage in as they prepare for an in-class test; however, the online environment does present some differences that warrant a bit of extra awareness and preparation. 

Remember that your professors want to see you succeed so reach out and ask questions beforehand. Resources like the UGA Libraries, faculty and staff are here to help as well! We encourage students to ask for tips about finding resources, citations or other needs either in person or via online chat.

Here are 10 ways to help you prepare for your test:

  • Read and understand the test guidelines. Be sure you can answer these questions: Will the test take place at a specific date and time, or can you take the exam at any point during a particular window of time? How much time will you have to complete the test? Are there any other important, “need to know” factors outlined by the instructor?

  • Know the test format. What kinds of questions will the instructor use on the exam—multiple-choice, fill-in, short answer, essay? Perhaps a combination of various types?

  • Test yourself. If your instructor makes a practice exam available to you, take it! You may also find practice tests in your class textbook.

  • Check your computer. Avoid last-minute problems! Verify that your computer has all the correct hardware and software well in advance of the exam. Also, make sure you’ll be in a location with an adequate Internet location.

  • Study the class materials! Even if the test is “open book,” it’s still important to study and review.

  • Plan your time. As you test yourself, limit your time to that which will be allotted for the actual test, and decide how long you will spend on each question. 

  • Carve out a quiet test-taking spot with minimal distractions. Turn off all notifications from IM, your phone, your email, and elsewhere (or, set them to silent). Shut off the TV and radio. Let your roommates or family know that you’ll be taking a test, so that they’re less likely to interrupt you during that time.

  • Determine when you will take the test.You may have to take the exam at a specific time; however, if the test will be available for several hours (or even a few days), choose a time that presents the least potential for distraction, interruption, and stress.

  • Gather all that you’ll need to take the test. If you can have materials such as notes, books, or writing implements with you, be sure that they’re set to go.

  • Take a deep breath! Once you’re logged in, take a moment to relax and get focused.

What you do during the test is just as important to what you do before, here are some tips for while you are taking your exam:

  • ​​Keep an eye on the clock. You may want to set an alarm to notify you when you have limited time (e.g., 10 minutes) remaining in your testing period.

  • Don’t leave the test page! If you are permitted to search the web or check other websites for information, do not use the same tab or copy of the browser as you do for your exam—you may lose all your work. Instead, open a second copy of your browser (or, choose a completely different browser), then conduct your search.

  • Technical problems? Don’t panic. But do contact your instructor immediately, detailing the exact problem that occurred and any error messages you might have received. If you can take a screenshot, that is helpful as well.

  • Check your work before you submit it. Ensure that every answer is complete and appears as you intended. Review the accuracy of your answers, as well as your spelling and grammar.

Finals can be a very stressful time, but it’s important to remember that you have all of the resources you need to make a good grade. It’s all about how you decide to use them. Online UGA wishes everyone the best this finals season and to please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Read the original article here.