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How to be Successful Taking a Test Online

Last updated February 27, 2021

For most of the United States, classes have moved online for the rest of the year. This means online instruction, online homework, and online exams. Taking a test online doesn’t need to be that different than in-person, there are just a few extra things to think about. The following tips will help you be successful on your online test and hopefully avoid a few common mistakes.

Before the exam

1.  Check your computer in advance. Make sure you have downloaded any required browsers or documents and have a reliable internet connection. Worried about your wifi? Check out our list on how to get free internet access.

2.   Establish your learning space where you will take the exam. This may be the same area where you’ve been doing your current distance learning, but make sure those around you know you have an exam! You’ll want your space quiet and distraction free.

3. Read any and all test instructions sent by your teacher. Make sure you understand the exam structure (multiple choice, open book, free response) and any time limits. Finally, make sure you have contact information handy for your teacher so you know where to reach out if you have an issue during the exam.

During the exam

4.  Keep track of your time during the exam. Some platforms may have an exam timer but it's always helpful to use a stopwatch (most phones have one in the clock app!) for your own time management.

5.  Write your answers to short answer or essay questions in a separate word-processing document, then copy and paste your response into the exam. This will allow you to catch any typos and perform quick and easy editing. Not all exams will allow this so make sure you’ve reviewed our third tip above - read all test instructions before you start!

6.  Throughout the exam and of course at the end, never forget to save and SUBMIT! One of the easiest mistakes to make is to finish great work on an exam and forget to submit your answers as final.

After the exam

7.  Take some time to compare how you think you performed with how well you prepared. How do you think you did? If you struggled during the exam, check out this article for tips on how to best prepare for future tests.

8.  Finally - take a deep breath! Now that the exam is over find some time to  practice self care and congratulate your mind for a job well done! 

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