7 Top Tips for Surviving Online Exams
- May 20, 2021
- Posted by: Jade Scammells
- Category: Career Advice
One of the advantages of online learning is that the exam you take to verify your knowledge is often carried out online too.
You save time and money by not travelling to a venue, and you usually get the results straight away!
However, there are some things you need to know about taking online exams.
In this guide, we will see how online exams are invigilated and how you can prepare for any upcoming tests you have.
How are online exams monitored?
Think back to the exams you sat when you were younger.
The chances are that you had to use a clear pencil case, work in silence and sit away from your classmates. There would also be invigilators moving around the room to make sure people weren’t cheating.
Similar processes have to be put in place for online exams; otherwise the temptation to cheat would be too high. After all, if you’re doing your test online, the correct answer is only a quick Google away!
Online exams are usually proctored. This means that you use specialist software and are supervised by someone who monitors you during the test.
This may sound a little scary, especially if you have not done an online exam before.
The majority of the courses we provide at IT Online Learning have online examinations, including PRINCE2, AgilePM and Lean Six Sigma. We’ve had several delegates talk to us the day before their exams to say they were worried, and then…
… After they’ve passed the exam they’ve come back to us saying, “That wasn’t as bad as I thought!”
Here are our seven top tips for preparing for your online exam.
1. Choose a date and time that works for you
The brilliant thing about online tests is that you can sit them at a time and date that is most convenient for you. Some companies will even let you take them in the middle of the night!
When you book your exam, pick a date and time where you know you won’t be inconvenienced. Make sure there are not going to be any home deliveries or anything that you will have to rush the exam for, like the school run.
2. Read the rules
Rules can vary from exam to exam. Different proctoring companies will have different policies in place.
When you book your exam, you will receive an email detailing what you need to do. Read it thoroughly and make notes. If you have any questions, the company will be more than happy to clarify things for you.
3. Run a systems check before you take the test
With most online exams, you will need to install specialist software onto your computer. This software monitors your activity during the exam, allows the proctor to communicate with you and stops you from searching while you answer questions.
Install the software a few days before the exam. You don’t want to get ready to take the test only to realise you’ve forgotten to download it!
4. Prep your room
Get the room you’re taking the exam in ready the night before. This means that you won’t need to rush on the day.
- Have your passport or driving licence to hand – you’ll need to show this to the proctor to confirm that you are the named person taking the test
- If you have more than one monitor, unplug it
- Put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door. You need to be the only person in the room through the whole exam. Don’t take your test in the kitchen or living room where other people may be congregating
- Clear your desk or table of any papers, books or equipment. The only exception is if you are taking an open book exam where you are allowed the official manual
- Ensure that there is enough light in the room and there is no direct light shining on your web camera. If your computer is near the window, you might need to close the curtains
- You will need to show the proctor a 360-degree view of the room before you start the exam. This is so they can check that there is nothing out of sight that you can use to get the answers. You can do this by rotating your laptop or web camera. If you can’t move your web camera or computer, you can use a mirror to do this. They may ask to see the room again after the exam is over
5. Turn off your phone
Like all testing environments, the use of mobile phones is prohibited in online exams. Make sure that yours is on mute or turned off.
Some proctoring companies may ask you to have your phone close by so they can contact you during the exam if the internet connection goes down. If this is the case, have your phone close by but on silent. We’d recommend reading the rules to see what they advise.
6. Get in the zone beforehand
Before you take your exam, make sure you have had a cup of tea or coffee and have been to the toilet. You won’t be able to get up while you’re being tested!
Do something to relax you before you take your test. Read a few pages of your favourite book, meditate or just chill out for ten minutes. If you’re stressed, you’ll panic during your exam, and it will show in your results.
7. Don’t fear the proctor
The person supervising your exam is not an evil ogre out to get you. They’re just a person who is there to make sure you pass your exam on your own merits and follow the rules.
When you take your test, the proctor will introduce themselves and ask for your ID. If anything is out of place before the exam, they will work with you to ensure conditions are right before you start.
Taking your online exam soon? We wish you the best of luck!
Looking to take an online course but don’t know where to start? We have a wide range of qualifications here at IT Online Learning, from health & safety to project management.
We’ll be with you every step of the way, from helping you choose the right course through to your final exams.
Get in touch with us today to see how easy and rewarding online learning can be.