Now that we’re nearing the end of the semester, final exams are on everyone’s minds. And this year, your finals might look a little bit different. As many classes are online this semester, your test will likely take a virtual format too. The virtual format doesn’t necessarily mean that your tests will be easier or more difficult than usual, but they just might be different than what you’re used to. If you’re not sure what to expect from this online format, or if you just want to feel as prepared as possible for the exam, we have some ways to go into your test confidently and courageously.
Schedule your exams and study sessions
This might seem obvious, but one of the most important steps in taking any test is writing down the date and time of the exam. Use your planner or agenda to jot down the necessary information for all of your exams. Then, schedule time a few weeks in advance of the exam to study by reviewing your notes, testing yourself, and taking practice exams. Which leads us to our next point…
Don’t neglect studying
With the online format of exams, many classes are allowing for open-note tests. While this is a huge perk of online exams, it doesn’t mean that you can skip the whole studying part. In fact, open-note exams require an extensive amount of preparation and organization to be able to find the necessary information within your notes. But you know what’s better than shuffling through all your papers from the semester? Already knowing the information within your head. Your notes shouldn’t be your first resort. So don’t skip the studying, but also remember that you can refer to your notes if need be.
Organize your notes and other materials
When you do need to check your notes, you’ll want them organized and accessible. Depending on your favorite method, you might opt for post-it notes, folders, or cards to divide your notes by topic. Try simplifying your notes into one or two page documents with highlighted sections for each topic to avoid a huge stack of papers next to your computer during the exam.
Do a technology check
On the day of your exam, do a thorough computer check-up before you begin. Make sure the software to launch the exam is working properly, your wifi is connected, and that you can connect with the professor or proctor if you’re having any issues. If anything goes wrong during the exam, take a screenshot and send it to the professor to get help immediately. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you’re having difficulties – it’s way better to communicate honestly than struggle to finish the exam and get a poor grade!
By scheduling your exams and study sessions, studying effectively, organizing your materials, and checking your technology, you’ll go into your final exams with confidence and ease. And remember, this online semester is new and challenging for many students. There are a lot of distractions during this time, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t do as well as you had hoped. There’s always next semester!