How to Prepare for your Online Exams

Things have been a little chaotic lately. Trump’s gorging himself on bleach and malaria tablets, Kleenex puppies are missing in action, and Charles Sturt’s exams have moved online.

We don’t know what to tell you about the first two, but let’s cover some ground on that last one.

Yes, it’s been a wild ride getting here, but we’ve finally made it to the end of Session 1 2020. With the COVID-19 social distancing measures still in place, our exams have moved from traditional face-to-face proctored exams, to a range of online exam formats.

The format of your exam depends on your subjects. Your exam arrangements are listed in your exam timetable and on your Interact2 subject sites, and you can find out more about each format on our dedicated exams page.

It sounds a touch overwhelming, but there are plenty of supportive measures in place to help you do your best despite the changes. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to do to prepare for this session’s online exams.

  1. Check out your personal exam timetable and Interact2 subject sites. This will include information about the weighting of your exam, when the exam will take place and what systems you may need.

  2. Access online study support. The Online Study Team usually supports our online student cohort. As your study has moved online due to COVID-19, that includes you at the moment too! You can either join a workshop for advice on how to prepare for your online exams or book a one-on-one appointment for individual support. They also run a number of helpful workshops in relation to studying online.

  3. Get a feel for it with the practise exam content. The more that you prepare yourself, the more confident you will feel when the time comes to take your online exam. Most students will be able to take a practise exam through your Interact2 subject sites to familiarise yourself with the online exam environment.

  4. All systems go. In the week of your exam, test any systems you may require before your exam, to avoid any technical issues on the day.

  5. Set up your exam space. Find a private area that is quiet and free from clutter and unauthorised materials. You should treat this as a regular face-to-face exam, where the only things you are permitted to bring in are that clear plastic-sleeved pencil case and a bottle of water.
    No phones, no watches, no food, briefcases, backpacks, books – nothing! Extra clutter can be a distraction, or in a proctored exam, could even be viewed as academic misconduct. You are allowed to bring in a small, clear bottle of water, a single blank A4 page to plan your answers and work through questions and any prescribed materials specified by your Subject Coordinator, such as calculators, textbooks or reference materials.
    You do not need to find a room that is completely empty. You should, however, try and remove all books and papers from the room you are taking your exam in, or at the very least, remove them from your immediate vicinity so that you won’t be found guilty of sneaking a look at good old BOB (back of book)!
  6. Know where to access technology support. If you experience a technical failure during your exam, there’s no need to worry. This is the first time that many Charles Sturt students will be taking online exams, so there will be a dedicated technical support team on call during your exams if you have any issues. Make sure your contact details are up-to-date in your Student Portal so that the team can contact you if necessary. There will also be technology time allowances given to most time-limited exams to account for any technical issues.

Transitioning to online study hasn’t been easy, but given the current global climate, online delivery is the best way for Charles Sturt to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community and minimise disruption to your future studies. This will all be over in the near future, so for the meantime, enjoy wearing your PJ’s and ugg boots to your exams. For the record, it’s socially acceptable!