A Guide To Studying For Online Exams

Jan 20, 2014 | 8:00 am
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examonlineStudying for online tests can be a challenging endeavor particularly for students who don’t consider themselves good at taking tests. It can often be difficult to stay focused on the study material and even to know what material needs to be studied. When you are preparing for an online exam it is important to keep some things in mind beyond just reading over course material and trying to memorize facts and figures. Few people actually enjoy taking any kind of written exam and even fewer enjoy studying for them. But since they are one of those necessary evils it is a good idea to get the most out of your study time and maybe adopt some habits that you may not have known about.

Study When You Are Tired

It may seem like it would be counterproductive or a serious exercise in futility to attempt to study when your eyelids don’t want to stay open but it actually has been found to be one of the best times to do so. Scientific studies have shown that the brain absorbs information best just before, during, and just after sleep. Therefore retaining the material you need to know for that big online exam is likely going to be most efficiently accomplished just before bedtime or immediately upon waking up in the morning.

Don’t Save All Your Studying For The Day Before Your Online Exam

Spaced repetition is a technique that some of the top students at some of the best universities have used over the years to better retain information. Cramming – studying huge amounts of material and information only hours before having to regurgitate it on an exam – is one of the worst study methods ever devised. Retention is much more thorough when information is broken up into manageable sections and repeatedly reviewed over an extended period of time like days, weeks, or even months. Taking these kinds of “baby steps” in studying for your online exam will likely prove much more effective than trying to cram everything into one or two study session just before exam time.

Vary Your Study Locations

It may seem like an insignificant detail but try studying in different locations every once in a while. Studies have shown that new associations with the same information are formed in the brain when an individual changes locations which increases the likelihood of retaining that information. And since most people study using a laptop, a tablet, or another mobile device this one should be easy to incorporate into your study habits.

Test Yourself

Practice tests are the quintessential method of exam preparation and are among the best ways to retain information. It is important that you create any practice tests yourself as opposed to having a classmate or someone else create them for you. Going through your material and typing out questions regarding what you believe will be covered in your online exam, particularly the areas you know are trouble spots for you, will make things go much smoother once you are sitting in front of your monitor looking at the real online exam questions.