ith the extension of national lockdown owing to COVID -19, educational institutions are attempting to make a shift to online mode of teaching. Online classroom sessions have indeed become the need of the hour, so that academic schedule can be followed to some extent at least. This major change in teaching methodology has also opened up the possibility of examinations being conducted online.
Even before this situation, a lot of entrance examinations were conducted online . However, students often fear giving exams online.
Be in India or anywhere else in the world, the word ‘exam’ still evoke an unpleasant mix of nervousness, jitters, and in some extreme cases, upset stomachs. And when it comes to online entrance exams, that jittery feeling rises a notch. Here, we try to address most of the common factors that students worry about when it comes to online exams.
Fear Factor 1: Not enough time to view and answer all questions
Most students are used to a physical question paper format where they can view all the questions at the onset of the exam and then begin to answer. When challenged by a blinking computer, students often find that they are unable to manage their time efficiently. Online exams often require students to use paper for rough work, juggle with an online calculator and then switch to the screen and mark the correct answer. This might not be something that most students are comfortable with as most of the learning and problem-solving at tuition centres and classrooms still happen in paper – pencil mode . There is also the fear that one may not get sufficient time for answering all questions due to unfamiliarity with the system.
Tips to manage this situation- Practice taking as many mock tests online as possible. This will help you in time management and familiarising yourself with the navigation pattern. While attending mock tests, it is advisable to practice the same in an actual test scenario without any interruption for the entire duration of the test.
Websites like COMED-K and Uni-GAUGE offer mock tests to help students familiarize with the nuances of online entrance exams.
Fear Factor 2: Mistakes can’t be corrected!
We all know the havoc that stress can create. You could click on the wrong answer in a hurry. You could be running out of time and click on the ‘submit’ button instead of the ‘save’ button. These situations often put students in panic mode.
Tips to manage this situation-Stay calm before & during the exam. Read all the instructions on your hall ticket & your computer screen thoroughly before you begin your exam. Most online exams allow you to review the answers, mark questions for review and allow you to shuffle between sections during the entire duration of the exam.
Fear Factor 3: Technical glitches can mar my exam
Technical delays due to bad servers or bad/slow connections can occasionally cause trouble. Questions might sometimes be slow to load, or student names might not show up on the computer assigned. Umesh J, candidate who appeared for COMED-K exam last year, confesses about his worst nightmare where, “My computer was slow for some reason. However, I informed the invigilator immediately. Thankfully, they resolved the issue by assigning a new system without much delay. It also helped that I was used to taking online tests at home and this helped me stay calm and focussed.”
Tips to manage this situation– Firstly, trust that the examiner has the resources and backup system for any online glitches. In case, any technical problem occurs during the exam, follow the below steps;
a) Do not panic
b) Be assured that the exams are programmed to auto-save a student’s last marked choice
c) Inform your invigilator immediately about the issue that you are facing
d) Do not worry as the timer will automatically adjust the lost time.
e) Remain calm and let the technical officer resolve the issue.
In a nutshell, students should, in the first place realise that online exams are designed to make lives easy. The examiners and exam centres will take all necessary steps that is required to deal with any snag. Having enough preparation and practising the art of staying calm through the examination is the key.