Guide to Completing Online Tests Successfully

In many respects, an online test is similar to taking a traditional exam, but there are some crucial differences. 

The same level of preparation and the same strategic approach really does apply to online examinations. The tips provided below are designed to help you get the highest possible scores in online tests. They should help you avoid common mistakes that have no bearing on your knowledge levels.

Prior to Your Exam

Revise and study beforehand. Some students think that they can check notes and books during an online test just because no one can see them. Even if you cannot be seen, the practice of checking materials while an exam is underway reduces the amount of time available for completing the exam. There is little point in getting a few extra correct answers if there is not sufficient time for the final ten test questions.

Additionally, unless your exam is of the open book variety, the practice of consulting notes and other materials during a test is cheating. So you should resist the temptation to do this.   

In the case of open book exams, it will still be necessary to study and familiarise yourself with the materials beforehand in order to make optimum use of the exam time available to you. This will also help you get the best possible grades. 

Identify a quiet and noise-free spot to sit your online test. There are time limits to most exams. Therefore, you should try to find a place that is noise-free and disruption-free for the duration of your exam. If that place is in your home, let your family know the exam time and establish some “quiet” rules. If this is unlikely to work, find somewhere else. Public and college libraries usually have quiet places for reading and study. One thing for certain is that a coffee shop is not the ideal spot!

Check all technical requirements beforehand. Does your computer work the way it should? Have you a stable link to the test website? Do you know the site’s login details and passwords? Make sure you can access the exam site in advance and that you have the login details.

Another thing to remember is that webcams are becoming more common these days. If the course you are taking makes use of webcam technology to monitor cheating, make sure everything is correctly set up and understand what is permissible and not permissible. Generally speaking, webcams can see the student’s head, hands, computer monitor, and a 180-degree view of the test room.   

Know the exam parameters. There are a number of things you should understand about how a test works. Double-check your course syllabus because it may have some of the answers.

  • How long will your test last?
  • Will you be able to leave and return to the exam e.g. log in and out?
  • Will you be able to return to an earlier question or do answers have to be submitted before you can move to the next?

Understanding the rules or parameters of your test will enable you to manage your time more effectively.  

While the Exam is In Progress

You should only keep the test application open on your computer. Other open windows can indicate cheating. Furthermore, several open applications can slow your computer down and cause you to lose valuable exam time. So, please bear this in mind. 

Monitor your time during the exam. Work out the amount of time you will need for each question or section at the outset to ensure you get everything finished on time.     

Try not to cheat. The aim of every test is to accurately measure the test-taker’s knowledge. It is unlikely you would register with a doctor or dentist who had cheated in their exams or employ an electrician who was not qualified to fix appliances. The exam system is only effective when participants act with integrity.

Colleges and universities usually view cheating as a violation of a code of honour. Moreover, this practice can cause you to fail a test or entire course and/or get you expelled.

These tips should ensure you succeed in your online tests.