While sitting an online test is very similar to taking a classroom test, there are some differences. 

In truth, many of the same success strategies apply to both types of exams, but there are a few other rules that apply to online tests. The tips provided below are designed to help you get the best possible scores in online tests, in part by making you aware of what mistakes to avoid – mistakes that have no bearing on your knowledge of your course material.   


What to do Prior to an Exam

It is important to study beforehand. Sometimes, students think that because they are not ‘visible’ in an online test, they will have chance to check notes or books while a test is in progress. However, even if you cannot be seen, the time spent checking notes and/or books limits the amount of time left for the actual exam. It does not help much in the long-run if you get a couple more correct answers but do not have time to address all the questions. Therefore, studying in advance is important in order to familiarize yourself with the material.

Additionally, unless your exam is of the open book variety, checking notes and books while an exam is in progress is viewed as cheating. So, try not to do this. 

Even if you are taking an open book exam, it is still necessary to do some advance study in order to understand the materials. This helps to make you more efficient and it maximizes exam time, thereby allowing you to earn the best possible grade(s).   

Identify a quiet space with no chance of interruption for your exam. Time is limited in exam situations. If you are taking your exam at home, let your family know the exam time and ask for quietness. Look for other options if you think this will not work. A lot of college and local libraries have quiet study rooms. By contrast, the local coffee bar is not a good option. 

Make sure you know what the technical requirements are. Do you know if your laptop or desktop computer is set up in the required way? Does your link to the test website work properly? Double-check that you are able to access the exam site and that you understand the login procedure well in advance. 

Another tool that is being increasingly used in online tests is webcam monitoring. If it is the case your particular course uses this technology to detect cheating, make sure your system is set up properly and understand what is and is not permissible. A webcam monitor is often set up to see the test-taker’s head, hands, computer/laptop screen, and a 180-degree view of the exam space.

Understand the parameters of your test. There are a number of things it is essential to know about how a test is to be conducted. You may find some answers in your course syllabus. For instance:

Understanding the exam rules will allow you to use the allocated time more effectively and efficiently. 

What Happens While an Exam is in Progress

During an exam, only the exam application should be kept open. Other open windows and/or applications could indicate cheating. Additionally, too many open windows can affect speed of response, which means time may be lost. So, do bear this in mind.  

Keep an eye on time. When you begin, calculate the amount of time you want to allocate to each question or section. This helps ensure you get through everything.

Resist cheating. The aim of a test is to accurately measure the participant’s knowledge. It is unlikely you would employ a dentist or plumber who had cheated during their exams and did not properly understand their profession or trade. The exam system is only effective when participants act with honesty and integrity.  

In most universities and colleges, cheating is considered a violation of a code of honor. It can lead you to fail a test or entire course, or get you expelled. 

If you follow this advice, you should succeed in online tests. Feel free to add any of your own tips to our list!

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