Unfortunately, there isn’t any getting around taking final exams when attending college, even through an online college. And even though it may seem like taking exams is easier when you have an opportunity to find the answers, it is still a challenging process that requires planning, strategy, and of course, a lot of studying.

Here are some tips for when it comes time to actually sit down and take the exam.

Set an Alarm

Depending on the online college, you may have a set exam time and if you’re not sitting down taking the test, you might not have another opportunity to take it. When you do have a chance to choose when you’ll take the test, there may be a time limit, so if you’re 30 minutes late to the exam, it’s cutting into the length of time you have to finish it. In either scenario, it’s incredibly important that you set an alarm, or multiple, to ensure you don’t miss your exam time.

Get Ready

When you do set an alarm, make sure it’s set for 10 to 15 minutes before the exam starts. This will give you plenty of time to turn on your computer, get all of your materials ready, eat a snack, put the dog somewhere so he’s not distracting, and other pre-exam activities that you need to complete so that you have an uninterrupted test. When taking an exam at an online college, there is technology involved, and there’s some rule of the universe that says when something is going to go wrong, it will happen at the worst possible time. Give yourself time to set everything up and make sure everything is working well before the exam starts.

Be Mindful of the Open Book Opportunity

Online colleges typically won’t send an exam proctor to every student’s home to watch them as they take their exam, it’s just not cost-effective. And so students have an opportunity to gather reading materials and notes so it’s easier to find an answer when they need it. However, instructors and staff at the college anticipate this, and often create exams with short-answer questions. Even if you can take the time to find an answer to a question, you will still need to understand the material well enough to form a response that demonstrates a familiarity with the material. If you expected to be able to get the answers at the time of the exam, it could be a lot harder than you thought. Even though the opportunity is there, there’s no shortcut to actually learning what you need to know for the test.

Think Ahead About Potential Technical Issues

Like we mentioned above, when something goes wrong, it will inevitably happen at the worst time. Your internet is lagging or goes out completely, you lose power, the exam software isn’t working — while there isn’t much to do to avoid these problems, you can have a backup plan. If there are technical issues, try as much as you can to document what happened so you can explain to the instructor why you weren’t able to complete the test in time, if it comes to that. And if an issue occurs, contact the instructor as soon as possible.

Hit Submit

When you have completed the exam and you have doubled checked all of your answers, don’t forget to click submit. After a long and challenging test, you may want to shut everything down as soon as you’ve answered the last question. However, don’t get in a rush until you can confirm that all of your work was indeed submitted. The absolute last thing you want is to find that an error occurred when submitting your work. Wait until there is a confirmation, and then go out and celebrate.

There are dozens of benefits to attending an online college, but not having to take exams isn’t one of them. At Pathways College, we offer business administration and liberal studies courses that are challenging and provide students with the knowledge and critical thinking tools they need for a successful career. Just like any college, there are exams that allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the material. We are dedicated to teaching students in an effective manner so that everyone can achieve success.

Learn more about our programs and contact Pathways College today to register for classes.