The thought of an online test is sure to induce sweaty palms, nerves, and panic. Tests can be hard enough on their own, but moving them online can be even worse.
With more and more of us studying and working remotely, we’re seeing an increase in tests being administered online. However, while they seem stressful, online tests can often be better than classroom tests, as you get to take them from the comfort of your own home.
Do you have an online test coming up soon? You’re sure to score high, but keep reading to find seven key tips to help you prepare.
1. Make Sure You Understand the Material
Whether you’re taking an online test or one in person, the key to success is preparation. You’ll want to have a solid understanding of the content that the test is going to cover.
If you’re taking a test as part of an online college course, the professor will be able to outline the material that the test will cover. It could encompass everything you’ve covered over the semester or it could just cover a certain part of the course syllabus.
Attending each course, taking notes, doing the course reading, and studying will give you the best preparation for the test.
Or, if the test is more broad, like a GED, your best bet is to educate yourself on exactly what the test could include and purchase some GED preparation books.
Online testing can be done two ways, either closed or open book. Even if you’re allowed to use your notes and books during the test, you still need to have a solid understanding of the course content.
2. Devote Plenty of Time to Studying
Online test preparation should include plenty of study time—it’s never a good idea to try to cram everything the night before! Not only is it stressful, but it’s likely to leave you fatigued and grumpy, which isn’t going to help you with focus or concentration on the big day.
Instead, study regularly in the lead-up to the test. Advance planning is helpful when studying, so use a weekly diary to block out a bit of time each day to study.
Make a schedule and stick to it, ensuring you always have time set aside to study. Otherwise, it’s easy to get busy with school or social commitments and not leave enough time to focus on test prep.
Everyone learns in their own way, so you might want to study on your own, create a study group with friends, or make up notes and flashcards.
3. Take Practice Tests
It’s said that practice makes perfect, and this certainly applies to online test preparation. Taking a test can be nerve-wracking on its own, but for some students, adding the online component makes it even scarier.
To get used to the online formatting and the testing protocols, it helps to take practice tests. You can find online scholarship practice tests, and lots of other practice tests, depending on your needs.
Practice tests aren’t officially graded or recorded, so you can take them over and over. This is both a good way to practice and it can help you feel more comfortable working online, if it’s new to you.
4. Prepare Yourself the Day Before
Once you get closer to the day of the test, you’ll want to do a bit more preparation.
First, double-check your technology. Online tests are usually dependent on a reliable internet connection, so make sure your internet and computer are working as they should.
Some tests might include video, so you’ll also want to ensure your audio and sound-system are working correctly, along with your headphones if you’ll be testing in a public place. It’s also a good idea to have a technology backup, just in case—a friend’s computer or the local library can be good options.
In addition to checking your tech, you’ll also want to look after yourself. Tests can be stressful, especially if you’re depending on the results for future career or educational opportunities.
It’s normal to feel anxious or worried in the days leading up to the test, so try your best to manage your stress. It can help to do some exercise, giving an outlet for your nervous energy, along with eating a healthy diet.
Calming, deep breaths, along with mindfulness exercises, can help you feel more relaxed if you’re on edge.
Try also to get a good night’s sleep the night before, ensuring you feel fresh and rested for the day of the test. It goes without saying, but always avoid alcohol as well—it will impact your sleep and will feel you feeling rough.
5. Find a Quiet Place to Take the Test
Selecting the right environment for your test can make a big difference. Most online tests are taken on your own time, or at a set time, but from your own computer.
Think about where you’ll want to take your test. If you have a home office or study area, this might be your best space.
If you don’t already have a home office, you can set one up in a guest room or basement. You’ll need a comfortable, supportive chair, an ergonomically-correct desk, and bright lighting.
Even without office space, you might want to set up your laptop on a kitchen table or a library.
Wherever you decide to take your test, make sure the space is quiet and free from distractions. Ask family members or roommates not to interrupt you and be sure that pets or neighbors won’t be making noise at the time of the test.
Turn off all phones and electronics and put them out of sight, as you want your testing area to be free from distractions. Earplugs can help if you’re worried about noise.
If you think you’ll need to take any notes, leave a notepad and pen near your computer. Or, if it’s open-book, have all of your textbooks and notes ready to go.
6. Plan Out Your Strategy
Do you have a plan of attack for the test? Working out a strategy will help you manage your time, since many tests only have an allotted amount of time for the users to complete.
Since you’ve already done some practice tests, you should know what sort of format the test will take, such as essays, multiple-choice questions, or open-ended questions.
If you know one part of the test is going to be challenging for you, you want to plan your time so that you have plenty of time to work on the tough parts.
Often, if you feel stumped by a question, you can leave it and come back to it later. This can help a lot, as sometimes you just need a break from a certain question.
If the test is timed, be sure to finish in advance—otherwise, you might get caught out and need to leave some questions blank.
Think also about what you’ll do if you have any technical difficulties. Although this is unlikely, make sure you have details of a professor or staff member that you can contact if your computer freezes or you lose internet connectivity.
7. Learn From Your Test Results
After you’ve finished your test, take some deep breaths and relax—you’ve done it! Of course, there’s still plenty to be nervous about, since you’re no doubt going to be eager to find out your test results.
Once you get your test results back, read over everything carefully. Take note of what you did well and where you might have room for improvement.
If you have any questions, it’s always helpful to talk with your professors. They can help you to analyze your results and make suggestions for next time.
Depending on the type of test, you might be able to take it again to improve your results. In that case, take a few more months to study and prepare, then approach it again.
Sometimes, taking the test again can be less stressful, since you already know what to expect. This can help you get better results the second time around.
No matter what your results are, be proud of yourself for putting in the effort and doing your best.
Use These Tips to Ace Your Next Online Test
As more and more schools move into the online space, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to take an online test at some point in your studies.
If online testing is new to you, use the tips above to study, prepare, and give yourself the best chance of acing your test. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by online study, but remember that your fellow students and college staff are there to help you!
Get started today and before you know it, you’ll be beaming with pride over your fantastic test results.
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