Do you feel nervous and jittery every time the thought of appearing for a test crosses your mind? Well, the good news is that you’re not alone. The bad news, however, is that exams are an indispensable part of every student’s life. Like it or not, you’ll have to sit for numerous exams as long as you’re studying in school or college.
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Nevertheless, exams are a necessary evil. To begin with, they help teachers assess your learning ability and overall performance. Also, studies have shown that tests go a long way to improve your retention capacity. They’re also a great way to help you better understand complex concepts.
The Challenges of Online Tests
With educational institutions temporarily shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most students have had to adjust to the new normal of studying from home and giving online exams. While you might think that taking an online test must be a cakewalk, the reality is far from it.
In the absence of a teacher to constantly supervise your learning, it can be very easy to lose sight of things. Plus, when you’re studying from home, you’ll likely have access to plenty of distractions in the form of social media, streaming platforms, television, etc. This, in turn, can adversely affect your performance.
Also, many teachers tend to use the open-book format for online tests. As a student, you might think that an open-book test is pretty simple and straightforward. However, unless you develop a firm grasp over various chapters, you wouldn’t know where to look for the answers during the test.
That’s why it is recommended that you never take an online test lightly. Instead, you should use the following tips to efficiently prepare for your upcoming exams:
1. Study Throughout the Year
The temptation to procrastinate often overpowers you when you’re studying from home. However, the last thing you want to do is put things on the backburner and race against time to finish your syllabus a night before the test.
Irrespective of whether you’re taking an online or offline test, you need to study every day before the exam. Check out the syllabus and outline a tentative schedule for covering various topics without rushing through them.
2. Utilize Learning Methods
Studying a concept in class is one thing. However, revising it to develop an in-depth understanding is a completely different ballgame. When you’re studying on your own, it’s recommended that you use learning methods, such as:
- Practice testing
- Interleaved practice
- Game-based learning
- Peer reviewing
These learning methods are extremely effective in improving your concentration and retention. Also, they ensure that you participate in your lessons as an active learner and thoroughly understand a subject.
3. Study Smart
Most teachers will give you a ton of assignments, practice tests, homework, etc. before the actual exam. Analyze these materials to identify the topics and questions that are important according to your teacher. Revising these topics a night before the exam can be highly beneficial.
This is also a good time to find out more about the format of the test. Are you going to have to write short and crisp answers or long and descriptive ones? Or will most of the questions be in a multiple-choice format? Knowing these details beforehand will help you efficiently prepare for the test.
4. Use Study Aids
From flashcards and quizzes to flowcharts and mnemonics – you can use a wide array of study aids. Apart from helping you remember key details and topics, these tools make the learning process more enjoyable and engaging.
5. Get Rid of Distractions
How many times have you thought of checking your phone for just a couple of minutes while you’re studying? If you’re like most people, chances are you won’t even realize when a few minutes turn into hours and you end up repeatedly scrolling through your Instagram feed.
These distractions become even more potent in the absence of a teacher or rock-solid study group. However, if you want to ace your exams, you can’t let the distractions overpower you. That’s why you need to define a clear routine and eliminate any source of distraction during study time.
Another trick is to turn the distractions into rewards. For instance, you could reward yourself with a small break replete with YouTube cat videos after finishing a practice test. Or you could allow yourself some Insta time after completing a few chapters every day.
6. Check Your Computer
Let’s say you prepare well for your test and are all set to take it. But during the exam, your computer malfunctions and you end up leaving a couple of questions due to lack of time. Worse still, what if your computer refuses to turn on before the test? Of course, you don’t want to land in such a situation.
That’s why it is recommended that you carefully check your laptop/desktop (or any other device you’re planning to use) a day before the test. Also, check your internet connection and make sure it’s working properly.
7. Confirm the Date
This one here is a no-brainer. But it’s worth mentioning because, with online tests, you don’t have the urgency to get ready and reach your classroom on time. There’s always a slight chance of you missing the test because you thought it was scheduled on a different day.
A good practice is to physically make the exam date on your calendar. You can even set a reminder on your phone. Also, make sure you double-check the date and time with your friends/teacher a day before the exam.
Have you used any other hacks to ace your online tests? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.