10 things you need to know before you sit for an online exam
An increasing number of entrances and examinations are abandoning the pen-and-paper route and embracing the online mode. With India gradually transcending through the digital world, it is not surprising that some of the biggest entrances and examinations are being conducted online— including the Indian Railway recruitments and engineering entrance exams.
Conducting these tests online not only reduces the time and effort put into conducting the exam, but also provides security of data, logistical ease, and is definitely environment friendly with limited use of paper. However, many candidates who participate in such exams feel that this is a significant diversion from the traditional path of the written exam and are faced with anxiety because would be computer-based.
Here are a few tips which will help you overcome these fears and prepare for an online exam in a confident manner:
- Exam updates and requirements-
The internet has benefited today’s world immensely by making information accessible with just a few words on Google. This works even when it comes to examinations. Nowadays, every major exam, university, hiring body and institution has a website in which all important data is stored, sorted to make it easier to search online.
Candidates should regularly visit the official websites of the exams they would be attempting and keep up with the latest updates. The day before the exam, candidates should look through the website for instructions on the things they need to carry, the exam pattern and any other information that is required. Check the admit card and note the reporting time, exam start time, documents to be carried, verification process and exam dos and don’ts.
- Get familiar-
If you have never given an online paper before, you should remember that there is nothing to fear. Read brochures and data that would be provided on the website about how the exam is conducted and understand the instructions on how to mark and same answers.
The best way to be comfortable giving an exam online is by actually attempting it through mock tests and practice papers which would be available online. Just as it is for the pen-and-paper tests, the more you practice, the more confident you will be about the online exam.
- Answering questions-
As you prepare for the exam, it is important to develop a strategy to answer the questions. You need to plan on which sections to attempt first or whether to go for the simpler questions before trying out the tougher ones.
If getting the strategy right requires you to take prep tests before the actual exams, one should definitely do so. It is better to get your plan right through the preparation and practice tests than making unforced mistakes in the real online test.
- Instructions are vital-
If you skip reading through the instructions, you may miss this detail and end up wasting time answering unnecessary questions.
When you finally sit for the paper, you will have some time especially allotted to fill in details (like your name and roll number) and read through certain instructions. Don’t be in a haste to get started with the exam. The instructions provided will guide you through the exam and tell you what you can and cannot do.
Sometimes, you will be asked to attempt only a few questions in a certain sections. If you skip reading through the instructions, you may miss this detail and end up wasting time answering unnecessary questions. Do not be afraid to ask the invigilator if you have any doubts about the instructions.
- Reading online-
Reading is a different experience online as compared to reading offline. Although the text would be the same and questions can be answered similar to the offline exams, you would have your eyes glued to a screen for hours on end during an online exam.
This is not a problem to many who are used to it, but for candidates who are not accustomed to reading online, it is adviced that they inculcate the habit by reading online blogs, news and other mediums online every day. This will train your eyes to not get stressed by bright screens.
- Reaching the Center-
To make sure that you do not get lost on the day of the exam, use your GPS devise on your phone or computer to figure out the best path to the exam centre.
With smart phones and Google maps, navigating through strange locations has become that much more simple. To make sure that you do not get lost on the day of the exam, use your GPS devise on your phone or computer to figure out the best path to the exam centre. If you have the time, travel to the centre on the days before the exam to look around for necessities like parking spots.
Now that you have the route ready, leave early and reach the centre on time on the day of the exam. This will reduce any unnecessary panic of getting lost or reaching late and help you focus on the test.
- Utilise time wisely-
Time is one of the most vital elements of any examination whether offline or online. You should manage your time wisely and not spend too much or too little of it on any one question. A timer will be present on the console which will help you keep track of time during the course of the exam.
There is, of course, a negative side to having a clock ticking on your face while giving an exam. Do not get distracted or nervous due to the timer, maintain a steady pace for each question and and concentrate on answering the questions in front of you. Remember, the timer only serves as a reminder.
- Technical problems-
One negative side of online exams is that technology is sometimes bound to malfunction. In an event of a technical failure, do not panic. Call the invigilators and let them know about the issue immediately. Any amount of time lost in such situations is generally compensated. Be patient and wait for things to restart. The timer will stop and restart again where you left off.
- Save every answer-
Keeping technical issues in mind, it is vital for candidates to save every answer after attempting them. Of course, most online exams save the answers automatically. However, in case your answers are not saved, there is a risk that they may not be recorded and the time you spend answering each question will be fruitless. Keep clicking on “Save” after every answer to prevent such issues.
- Be prepared-
All the tips above will not be helpful unless you are well-prepared as per the examination syllabus. An online examination, though a convenient form of taking examinations, is a test of your knowledge about the subject. The only way to do your best is to prepare well in advance and gain confidence on the subjects that you are attempting.