Test Taking Tips For Online Students

Is it possible to overcome text anxiety? Absolutely YES! Are there tricks to performing better on an online exam? Again, the answer is a resounding YES! Following a set routine before, during, and after an exam is one of the most established strategies for avoiding unnecessary anxiety and performing better on an online test. Proven over and over again, by establishing a consistent routine, you can reduce your anxiety and increase your performance on the day of the exam.

Before The Exam

Before anything else, check for the system requirements of your exam. Most likely, this will be posted on the school’s website and within the online test’s instructions. However, on your own end, you can easily make sure your Wi-Fi is working and your laptop battery is charged or you know where the cord is.  Those simple pre-test steps can avoid any adrenaline fueled anxiety on the day of the test. 

Next, read the details and instructions for the actual test. Familiarize yourself with the type of questions you’re going to be asked. Will they be multiple choice? Open-ended? Are you going to have to write an essay? What sections are being covered? Is this a test over a single lesson, a single module, or a semester? When you answer these important questions, you eliminate some of the major surprises that can give you a jump-scare on the day of the test.

Next, claim a quiet space. Do whatever you need to do to let everyone you live with know that on this day at this time, you’re going to be using this specific space for a quiet testing area. Although roping the space off with caution tape might be going too far, we recommend at least sending a message or simply telling your friends or family members that you’ll need the quiet space for a bit so that you can give the test your full attention.

Finally, it’s time to schedule a specific time to study. Although you’ve hopefully been reviewing your notes throughout your course, this is also a good time to organize and spruce up your notes. Give them a good once-over and make sure they’re organized in a way that makes sense to you. During this study time, you can also gather any tools you might need: paper, pencil, calculator, headphones, laptop charger. Whatever you are going to need the day of the test, collect it now to avoid worries later.

During The Exam

The first rule of online test taking is to never ever ever leave the test page! Most test-taking software includes tracking to make sure you’re taking the test using your own knowledge, not Google’s. The test software can kick you out and indicate that you left the page, so be sure to stay on the page for the entire test.

When you first login and see how many questions you have, be sure to do a quick calculation to determine an approximate amount of time you have to answer each question. Even if you spend less time on some and more on others, knowing how you will have to pace yourself will give you some security and prevent panic on those more difficult questions that take a bit more time. 

So what do you do when you have technical problems. Your first reaction might be to panic and assume that you’re now going to fail the test, fail the course, and fail at life. Slow down! Technical problems happen all day every day, and online schools are completely aware that they happen. Your first step is to take a deep breath to avoid major panic and then taking a screenshot to show tech support what you’re seeing on your end. Next, contact tech support right away regardless of the time: this could be via a phone call, an email, or an online support ticket depending on your school’s options.

However, most of the time, you won’t have any technical problems. In that case, as you work through your test, be sure to read the instructions multiple times and read the questions all the way through even if you think you already know what they’re asking. After you’ve worked through every question, check your answers compared to any notes you’re allowed to us before submitting your test.

Finally, don’t forget to submit. Plenty of students wonder why their test grade isn’t updated only to find out that they missed the super important pressing of the “submit” link for their exam.

After The Exam

Once you get your test results back, regardless of your score, it’s important to take time to reflect on your performance. The only way you can get better at anything is through reflection about what you did well and what you need to improve. How can you improve your notes? How can you more effectively study?

Finally, if your school provides you with multiple opportunities to succeed at an assessment, then you might want to study again if necessary and repeat the process, this time with your improvements in mind.

 Remember, practice makes perfect and repetition of a process is the key to growing more and more comfortable with it and avoiding intrusive anxiety along the way.

About Excel High School

Excel High School is an accredited online school that offers high school aged students and adults who want to earn their high school diploma a fully online, flexible, and self-paced program that fits around their schedules, with a support team to help them along the way. If you’re not already a student with Excel High School but would like to learn more, feel free to check out our programs on our website. Still have questions? Feel free to reach out to us by text at 952-465-3700 or call us at 800-620-3844. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you have and guide you to the best program for your individual needs.

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