Online Exams (Part 2)

Business School

Online Exams Series (Part Two) – How do I get ready for exams?

By Dr Victoria Clout (School of Accounting, UNSW Sydney)


Welcome to the world of online exams! This article will outline how to get ready for an online exam. 

How do I get ready for exams? 

For both types of online exams, it is important to get mentally prepared just as you would for a normal exam on campus. Set up a timetable for yourself of study periods. Get yourself mentally focussed. Be sure you take regular breaks when studying as and when you need them. Getting fresh air and regular exercise is just as important for your mind as for your body. If you are feeling anxiety you can use strategies to help reduce this as well as fresh air, regular exercise, regular breaks, you can also reach out to friends or family by phone have a chat with them, even a quick chat about how you are going can help reduce feelings of anxiety. Try making lists of things that you are concerned about or a list of areas to study. Give yourself a set daily routine for studying. Make sure you have plenty of sleep the night before your exams. For open book, exams pretend that this is a closed book exam do you study to an equal extent. This is because looking things up can be time-consuming during the exam. 

Have a good breadth across the course knowledge will help you start addressing the question and then know where to look up extra information. It is also a good idea to set yourself up a notes organisation system such as binder folders with labelled tabs. The labelled tabs will speed up the need for looking up items of information. 

For online exams make sure you read carefully all the instructions provided by the Lecturer-in-Charge on the Moodle site. If your final examination is invigilated as communicated by your LIC make sure you have completed the online module on Moodle. Some online exam may have security features such as password-protected quiz entry; and no-go-back where you can only answer questions in sequence and move forward. It’s better to be aware of these features prior to the exam than during the exam. Avoid sending emails to your Lecturer-in-Charge during the exam because this could eat up valuable time during the exam. 

In an open internet, the open-book exam focuses your time on the exam, leave sending emails until later unless it is very urgent. Be even more focussed than usual about reading all the announcements on Moodle about the conditions of the exam to find out about passwords or no-go-back type options or other security features. 

For an online exam, you may need to also take care of your computer equipment and check that it is healthy and operating at its best for the exam day. Here are some tips for improving the health of your computer/laptop by:

  • Upgrade your computer/laptop operating system to the latest version.
  • Increase the memory to at least 8 GB
  • Tidy up to have at least 20 MB Free space on the computer. Delete those old files and applications that are unneeded.
  • Upgrade to Office 365. Did you know this is available free for all students? Yes, you can download from myIT UNSW website.
  • Use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox web-browsers. Or if you prefer another browser then check it is the latest version of that browser. 
  • Close any applications or browser windows that are non-essential. This will increase the available RAM and internet speed on your computer.

Let’s talk about the internet for a moment. Do a test of your internet speed and see what the score is. Here are some tips for improving your internet speed, it could be your modem slowing down your speed: Get in touch with your internet provided and ask them to offer you their best deal. VPNs do not necessarily increase your internet speed. Test your speed with and without a VPN. Also check your calculator is alive and healthy prior to the exam. If you have had your calculator for a long time, consider checking the type of batteries it uses and get some replacement batteries for standby in case they go flat.

Welcome to the world of online exams! This article will take you through two common online exam varieties you may encounter in your UNSW Business School course and an introduction in how to get ready for an online exam. Online exams come in lots of different varieties. Here are two of the most common types of online exams, deployed via Moodle, that you may face in your course:

Find below a list of some business school courses that are utilising examity:

  • ACCT1501
  • ACCT1511
  • ACCT2522
  • ACCT3563
  • ACCT3583
  • ACCT3708
  • ACCT5908
  • ACCT5930
  • ACCT5996
  • ACCT5931
  • ACTL2111 Financial Mathematics for Actuaries
  • ACTL2131 Probability and Mathematical Statistics
  • ACTL3141 Actuarial Models and Statistics
  • ACTL3151 Life Contingencies
  • ACTL4001 Actuarial Theory and Practice A
  • ACTL5100 Actuarial Theory and Practice A
  • ACTL5101 Probability and Statistics for Actuaries
  • ACTL5102 Financial Mathematics
  • ACTL5104 Actuarial Statistics
  • ACTL5105 Life Insurance and Superannuation
  • TABL5901 Principles of Australian Taxation Law
  • TABL1710 Business and the Law
  • TABL2741 Business Entities
  • TABL5541 Corporations and Business Associations Law
  • TABL5551 Taxation Law
  • TABL5512 Legal Foundations for Accountants
  • LAWS3741 Business Taxation

The final instalment in the exam preparation series next week will take you through preparation on the day of the exam. 

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