A Guide to Online Exams
Ever since the end of April, we have been hearing numerous quarantine stories. It started off with the Lazy Couch Potato days, where everyone was experimenting with banana bread and other comfort foods. Then came the terror of online classes/meetings and we tried to cope with this new change by flooding the internet with memes. Soon after Ramadan, the younger population was freed from zoom sessions with their professors and a good 50% of them used this quarantine to do positive things. We saw people starting their own small scale bakeries, YouTube channels were popping out left and right and people were having sudden bursts of creativity. The next era is something I’d like to call the impending Doom: Exam season.
Due to this elongated almost-summer vacation, many of us have gotten used to dozing off behind screens during the online classes and did not feel the need to spend all that time buying highlighters or cute stationary to make our notes for exam, look picture-perfect. And now that universities have introduced their policy for exams, most of us are stressing out more than usual. This time around there will be no group study sessions, where we all just end up snacking and talking. Let’s face it, group study sessions are never successful but they do a great job at calming our nerves.
Due to being stuck at home, we’re facing a lack of motivation but fear not, because I present to you the ultimate guide for this exam season.
This tip is for those of you, who had spent the past months Netflix and chilling. Do not try to cram in 5 to 6 hours of study per day. Try to ease yourself into the process by starting with the subject you like most or whatever you feel is the easiest. Try to study that for about an hour or two every day to start off. Once you have gotten used to studying regularly, you will be able to incorporate larger chunks.
Make sure you come up with a technique to follow for every course, because every subject is different and requires different learning methods. For instance, a subject like math requires constant practice until your brain starts recognizing the patterns of workings. On the other hand, a subject like science requires understanding of concepts and a very large portion of a science course can be covered in the same day.
Because most institutions are having online exams, make sure you understand how they will really conduct these exams. Every institution will try their utmost best to create and method, where no unethical means are used. To prevent any sort of malpractice, they may give you analytical open book exams. Or have short MCQs incorporated in a very short frame of time. Try to get inside your instructors’ heads so you can find out what kind of method they are most likely to use. If they’re using time constraint, be one step ahead by making very concise notes that you can quickly refer to without wasting your precious seconds.
Stay hydrated and make sure you don’t spend all your time studying just because you’re stuck at home. Make sure you take small breaks after every 45 minutes and larger breaks after 2-3 hours. Go out on your balcony for a little walk or watch an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S but don’t just spend your breaks on binge eating. This is a point I cannot stress enough: a healthy mind and a healthy body are interlinked. If you are keeping your body active and full of nutrients, you’ll consequently be making your mind more alert. This is the perfect time to start having that badaam doodh your mom makes.
Take it Easy
Lastly, just take it easy. Forgive yourself, if you were unable to follow your schedule for one day. If you treat yourself too harshly over small setbacks, you’ll lose all motivation to study. Looking at the bigger picture, these exams only have us stressed out because we’re used to a physical setting. On the bright side, you get to give your finals exams from the comfort of your home. And without the nerve-wrecking atmosphere of the exam hall.
Written by: Shermeen Tanveer