The #1 Curriculum and Assessment Partner for Educators

[Adult + HigherEd] 8 Test Preparation Tips for Before, During, and After Online Exams

[Adult + HigherEd] 8 Test Preparation Tips for Before, During, and After Online Exams

For many adult learners, technology has changed immensely since they last attended school, and online exams are no exception. Some learners may have never taken an online exam before they stepped in your classroom, so there are a lot of hurdles to conquer to prepare them accordingly. Here are eight tips and best practices to help prepare your learners before, during, and after their next online exam.

Before the Exam

  1. Read and understand test requirements. Where will the exam take place? How much time will learners have to complete the exam? What type of technology is required for the exam? Will outside resources be allowed? Walk your learner through these essential questions in advance to get ahead of any potential issues. For some learners, you could even create a checklist of questions to make sure that their concerns are resolved before the big testing day. Giving your learners time to fully understand what is expected of them can help alleviate some test anxiety.
  2. Check over technology. Avoid last-minute technology problems by helping your learners interact with the computers their exams will be taken on. Make sure that learners know how to log in to the exam, advance through the questions, and submit their answers once they complete it. Running through a sample test before the big day could be helpful in identifying any additional questions that might arise.
  3. Gather necessary materials to complete the exam. If the exam involves the use of outside resources, help your learners gather these materials into one place ahead of time. Make sure that there are opportunities for your learners to print out their resources or show them how to format resources into an electronic document for easy access.

During the Exam

  1. Keep an eye on the time. Make sure that your learners are aware of how much time is slotted for them to complete the exam. Encourage them to set a timer if they’re taking the exam in their own home, or project a timer on your screen if they’re taking the exam in a room that you will be in.
  2. Stay calm during technical problems. While you can try to prevent any potential technical problems ahead of time, there are issues that seem to only arise on test day. Be sure to remind learners not to panic if a technical issue should arise while they’re taking their exam, and encourage them to take screenshots of any error message they may receive. Having learners document these problems as soon as they happen can help you quickly resolve issues. Documentation also helps if it becomes necessary to set up another time for learners to retake the exam.
  3. Have learners look over answers before final submission. Remind learners of the importance of reviewing their answers before submitting their exam. Encourage them to look over every question, make sure that they are comfortable with their answer, and make their best educated guess on any questions that they skipped or never attempted.

After the Exam

  1. Celebrate! Your learners just accomplished another step in earning a certification, finishing a course, or completing a program—take the time to help them celebrate their accomplishments! Encourage learners to celebrate their own accomplishments, and consider taking a few minutes at the beginning of the next class to celebrate your learners and tell them how great of a job they did.
  2. Reflect on exam performance. Have your learners sit down and reflect with you on their exam performance. What areas do they think they did well in? Where could they improve? Did that new study technique they tried work well for them? When your learners write down their observations, they will be more likely to keep them in mind for next time. Having your students reflect on where they struggled and excelled can help you better engage them in your next lesson.

Looking for more resources to share with your adult learners to prepare them for success outside of the classroom? Check out these top five skills for career success and readiness!