Tips for acing your online exams this finals season


Sam Gauntt

Wearing over-the-ear headphones during online exams prevents distractions from loud noises. Shown, first-year computer science student Chris Sutphin wears over-the-ear headphones while studying.

Sam Gauntt, Associate Editor

As final exam season approaches, Dean for Learning Advancement and the Virtual Campus Colleen Eisenbeiser and Director of Information Security John Williams shared their tips for students taking online exams. 

From making sure their environment is suitable for testing to limiting distractions during the exam, students have many things they can do to improve their online-test-taking success. For example:

  • Wear over-the-ear headphones during the test. Headphones limit distractions from noises in the exam space.
  • Take practice tests. Even if no practices are available, many professors will supply one if asked in advance.
  • Get used to the proctoring service. Download the service prior to the exam, being familiar with the proctoring service the course uses is key.
  •  Start studying at least a week before the exam. Cramming the night before the exam will not prepare students fully.
  • Choose a room with no distractions from people or noises to take the test.
  • Be honest. Academic integrity is key to students’ education. Violating AACC’s academic honesty policies, such as looking at non-authorized study materials during the exam can lead to a zero on the test or a trip to the assistant dean’s office.
  • Take advantage of the professor’s office hours. Getting help is only possible if professors know the student needs assistance.
  • Ask what the rules and procedures for the test are. Many classes have different rules for what they allow.
  • If you don’t have the technology required to take the exam at home, make arrangements to take the exam on campus. Students who are not able to take a test virtually can make arrangements to take the exam at a testing center.
  • Borrow a laptop from the college if you do not have one to take the exam with. Contact to borrow a laptop.
  • Don’t worry. Having a calm and confident attitude is key going into any exam. There’s nothing else to do at that moment but go and do the best job possible.