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Tips for taking an online exam

Sonia Melilli
 Sonia Melilli
30/09/2020 : Exam anxiety is common among students of all ages and also affects online exams. Let's find out how best to deal with them
Tips for taking an online exam

Exam anxiety is common among students of all ages and all course types, but sometimes it is so strong that it interferes with both the study process and the final performance. This applies to both in-presence exams and, perhaps to a greater extent, distance exams.
In fact, during an online exam, new challenges are added to the common fears: technical requirements (to access and use the online platform), unexpected and malfunctions, and a sense of detachment caused by physical distance from the examiner. That's why, in order to brilliantly take an online exam, extra precautions are necessary. Let's discover them together.

Gather information about the exam

Time, date, duration, program ... but not only! What kind of exam will you have to take? Is it a multiple-choice test, an open-ended quiz or an oral exam? Is there a time frame? If it is an answer test, can you skip the questions and come back to them later? What are the criteria by which the final score will be determined? These are all preliminary information that are essential to deal with the next steps and choose the most suitable preparation strategy.

Prepare for the exam

Just because it will take place online, does not mean it will be less demanding. As with any other exam, the key to passing it is preparation. Take the time to study, and be informed about the subject on which you will be tested. If it is an oral test, practice the exam situation in advance and get used to talking to the camera to gain confidence.

Prepare the environment

It is probably obvious, but this is perhaps the most important suggestion of all. Choose carefully where you will be sitting during the exam: find a position that keeps you away from any possible distractions and warn any family members or roommates in the house so that they do not disturb you during the exam. Turn off mobile notifications, wear a headset (preferably a noise-canceling model) and make sure you have everything you need, including a bottle of water, in case you need to moisturize your voice.

Check the technical aspects

Is your computer configured the way you need it? Is the battery charged? Is the connection stable? Access the exam platform in advance and make sure everything works: internet connection, microphone, camera, speakers. Do not open any programs or windows other than the one you will need to use to take the exam in order to avoid slowdowns or distractions.

Make a good first impression

Remember: your exam starts the moment you turn the camera on. Dress appropriately, enter the platform with a smile and pay attention to your examiner. Make sure you look and act professional.

Don't forget to listen

Often you are very focused on what you have to say, but in order to best deal with the examination you need to pay attention to your interlocutor and stay focused throughout the entire examination. Listen carefully to the questions and follow the instructions provided. If a question is not clear, ask for clarification.

Pay attention to your body language

Your body language is also a form of communication. In fact, it is so powerful that it can reinforce or contradict your message. Avoid swaying and swinging or playing with pens or other objects during your presentation: this will make you seem nervous or anxious.

Now everything is ready. Just take a deep breath, smile and speak with confidence. Good luck!

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