The COVID-19 pandemic has caused both instructors and students to have difficulty adapting to new ways of learning and teaching this fall. The exam season at VIU is not the same as other things. The majority of exams this fall will be taken at home and technically some kind of take-home test. VIU has placed all timed exam in the exam schedule. However you may not be given the usual amount of time to take it. Your instructors can provide more details.
The exam schedule will show the timed exams. However, many non-timed take-home exams will be given during the last week. These exams will be due back the following week. Your instructors will give you all the information, including the deadlines for returning the exams. This means that there could be more than one exam due the same day. It is crucial to have good time management skills.
Learn more about the types of tests that you will face this year. How you can prepare. There are also general tips and tricks to help you prepare for your exams.
Online tests of different types
Here are some examples of different tests that instructors may choose to use in this semester's evaluation of your learning.
It is possible that your instructor will decide to give online tests the same way they would in class. They are aware of the benefits of collaboration (peers sharing their best answers with peer review) and that it may not be as effective. They know that this type collaborative learning strategy is very beneficial and that some students will benefit from other people's preparation.
Strategies for student preparation
Make friends with others in the class and study together. Then, plan to take the test together. The instructor will expect you to have your books open so that the test can be completed in a reasonable time. This means you will not be able to find all the answers in the time allowed. Be prepared by memorizing relevant facts and vocabulary. Know your resources well so that you can quickly search information for what you have studied. Microsoft OneNote can be used to quickly create tags to identify key terms. The Learning Matters webpage has some helpful tips on exam preparation.
Multiple-choice test with different versions
Instructors may choose to give online tests just as they would. However, VIULearn creates a "bank" of questions that requires additional work. This allows students to each answer a different set of questions. Collaboration is therefore minimized. However, it is still possible for students and teachers to discuss and answer every question in the same place or virtually. However, that would mean they have answered all questions for both tests and not just the one assigned.
Strategies for student preparation
You should choose at least one study partner and agree to work together in preparation for your exams. By studying together and sharing what you are learning with another person, you will learn more and increase your understanding. If you form at least one friendship with your classmates, loneliness can be reduced in virtual learning. Trent University shares some other tips about studying for open-book, online exams.
Instructors can create short-answer questions that test critical thinking and problem-solving skills to help them set exams. Short-answer question are useful for students who want to practice critical thinking.
Strategies for student preparation
You will be able apply these concepts to cases and brief answers if you have a better understanding of terminology, facts and concepts. Short-answer testing may also be used by instructors. This means that the instructor likely taught the course using case studies. You should practice applying concepts so you can review the examples and cases they have given you. You should also actively take part in the examples and cases that are presented in class. This is because they are intended to help students succeed on the exam. Consider joining a study club or studying with a friend if you don’t know how to put the knowledge into practice. Here are some tips from Education Corner to help prepare for short answer exams.
General tips to help you prepare for the exam
These strategies will help no matter what type of test you're writing, and they will get you ready to conquer your take home tests.
So that all your exams are submitted on the same date, you can set up a schedule. Set your own due dates for each exam to ensure that you can block out time in your schedule. Make sure to follow these deadlines. You can relieve stress by controlling your schedule within the parameters of what your instructors expect. Create positive pressure by setting a deadline with a friend, and holding each other responsible for keeping on task. You can be distraction-free when studying or working through an hour block of an exam. Turn off notifications from your computer and phone, or completely delete them. More tips can be found on the Learning Matters page Manage Time & Concentration.
When the time is tight, it's possible to decide that we don't need as many activities that help us feel alert, healthy, and energized. Consider yourself as more than just a human worker with lots of tasks. If you feel happy, well-fed, connected, and healthy, you might be more motivated to practice self-care every day.
Strategies to study
The learning outcomes for your course are listed in the syllabus. After defining learning objectives, instructors then design quizzes or tests to evaluate those outcomes. You can read more about this at the Learning Matters Study Skills and Techniques Page.
Many students don't realize that their instructor is an important learning resource. If you have any questions, your instructor will help you. For more information on connecting with instructors, please visit this link: Learning matters
A great way to stay on track is to join study groups or get a study buddy. You can also quiz and teach each other. Peer Supported Learning (PSL), if available, is a great way to learn. PSL provides peer support during study sessions.
Management of anxiety
Finally, you can learn how to manage your anxiousness and practice calm. Practice mindfulness and quieten your mind every day. This will help you shift into a calm state. It is possible to be present in the moment, and maintain calm focus by learning how to silence your mind. In the episode notes, the Successful U podcast's 3rd episode on handling stress has resources and links.
Effective preparation strategies are key to successful test-taking. It includes speaking with your instructors about what you expect regarding the content and how they will be able to collaborate on tasks and assignments. You can make it a positive experience to prepare for and succeed in an exam by managing your time, stress and applying various study strategies. Do not hesitate to ask for help. There are plenty of resources and support available.
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