Tips for Online Exam Success

18 May 2021 Sarah Rolton

Winter is coming… and so is exam season.

Universities across the country are shifting towards online supervision; thank you Covid. Regional students are saying goodbye to sitting in freezing halls and old churches and now can sit the exam in the comfort of their home. The shift to online presents a new set of challenges and concerns for students, including uneasiness with new software and platforms, worries surrounding connectivity and added anxiety of family members obliviously entering the room. CUC Far West have some tips up their sleeve to share with our regional students to minimise stress and maximise results.

The Lead-Up
  • Make sure you have recorded and understand the details and logistics of the exam. Is there a specific time for the test? Is there a testing window? Will you need to take time off work or organize a babysitter?
  • Did you know that many exam supervision platforms require a room scan and external camera? CUC Far West has a dedicated workstation and space in our lecture room and can accommodate multiple exams simultaneously.
  • Exams are often scary because of the unknown elements. Familiarise yourself with expectations and the structure of the exam to reduce the number of unknowns.
  • Revision, revision, revision (…but strategically). Book an Exam Prep session with one of our CUC Learning Skills Advisor to support your study planning. We can help with effective study tips, time management and general exam support.
  • Can you take notes? Is it open book? Can you have other tabs open during the exam? Are you allowed to take pen and paper to support your brainstorming? All worthy questions that you should ask your lecturer.
  • Do not cram! There is plenty of research to support this claim. Planning a revision timetable is way more efficient and less stressful. Book a one on one with Learning Skills Advisors Lisa or Giti for Exam Prep.
  • Strategize and plan your time accordingly. If you have a three-part, two-hour exam with 20 multiplication questions, 10 short answer questions and 1 essay. The essay is worth 50%, multiple-choice is 20%, and the short answer is work 30%……how many coffees will you need prior to the exam?
  • Complete a practice test. Better yet, complete the practice test in the same place you will complete the real one on game day. Familiarise yourself with software and be comfortable in your surroundings.
Game Day
  • Watch the clock, ensure you stick to your time allocation for each question and section. Remember, you can come back to questions if you have time at the end.
  • Tech is great until it’s not. We all have technical issues from time to time, and the exam space is not exempt. Make yourself aware of the procedure when technical glitches occur. Contact the help desk or your instructor, do not panic and leave the room unless instructed.
  • Check-in with CUC staff for support. Our door is always open!
  • Be in it to win it – use your reading time to highlight the questions you feel most confidently answering. It is an effective approach to exams as you will be less likely to miss “easy” marks.
  • Try not to panic. Most of us have walked into an exam at some point, convinced that we have been subjected to Hermione Granger’s Obliviate spell. Take some deep breaths and remind yourself that you are indeed prepared.
  • Before you press submit, proofread and go over answers and backtrack to the questions you were unsure of. Checking grammar and punctuation in longer answers is always a good practice.

When it’s done!
  • Hallelujah! Enjoy the post-exam feeling. Congratulate yourself on completing the exam. Treat yo’ self.
  • Review your strategy. Book a session with one of our experienced Learning Skills Advisors to talk it out. Figure out what worked for you in terms of preparation and execution. We can support you in editing and refining your exam process for next time.
  • Wait……………for what feels like forever for your results.

Exam periods are often a high-stress period in the semester. The CUC Staff are here to provide students with face-to-face support during a time they need it most. Being prepared is half the battle, and through our Learning Skills Advisor program, we can assist students in creating a study plan and offer plenty of clever tips and tricks to learning and memorizing content. Start prepping for your exams and book a session with a Learning Skills Advisor.

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