Seven Tips for Preparing for Online Exams

In this era of viral pandemic, social distancing, and online learning, students have to make a variety of adjustments.  One of these is switching from in-class to online exams.  Do not go into your semester with several impending online exams simply assuming their demands will not be drastically different from their in-class counterparts.  At Unemployed Professors we want to help students prepare for online exams, which present unique challenges which must be taken into consideration.  After extensive review of relevant guides and instructional sites, we have compiled the following set of seven handy tips to help you excel in online exam-taking.

  • Check Your Computer: Technical issues on the day of the exam can cause your stress to skyrocket and can sabotage your efforts before you even begin. Make sure your computer is compatible with the test format.  If you require Lockdown Browser, launch it to make sure it is performing properly.  Ensure that your computer doesn’t have any updates to run.  Make sure that your camera and microphone are working and accessible: many tests require you to be seen and heard, and to provide a 360-degree view of your surroundings.  Last, verify that you have the required software and your Internet connection is stable and strong.

  • Study: Many online exams will be ‘open-book’ due to the difficulty for invigilators to determine whether or not test-takers are cheating. Do not be tempted to not study by an ‘open-book’ format.  Knowing the material – or, at least, knowing where to find the material – will be critical to excelling.  If the format is open-book, organize the material into condensed notes to expedite answering questions.

  • Take Practice Exams: Ask for practice exams, and take them. If none are available, quiz yourself.


  • Position Yourself for Minimal Distraction: Locate yourself within your home in a place of minimal distraction – away from television, phone, social media, and other people and pets.  Ensure others know you are taking an exam and are not to be disturbed.  Gather all relevant materials – books, notebooks, calculator, pens, pencils, etc.

  • Understand Test Guidelines: Dutifully record the test date and time. Carefully read through the test instructions well ahead of time, noting how long you have to finish the exam, and whether it must be completed in one sitting.

  • Practice Good Time Management: Budget your time before you begin; be aware of the passage of time as you proceed; if you become stumped by a question, move on to the next; if you have time at the end, return to the more difficult questions.

  • Verify: Part of your time budget should include a few minutes at the end to check your work. Ensure that you have done all the questions.

Follow this set of seven simple steps, and you will transition smoothly from in-class to online exams without any drop in performance.

Feel free to ask the team of academic writers at any questions you may have regarding their online college writing services and they will be more than happy to guide you along the arduous path!

Tiara Johnson