This is, without a doubt, the strangest end of course in history. Between the confinement, the suspension of face-to-face classes, the burden that we have on top of COVID-19, the problems that have appeared with online classes and others, university students are living a unique situation of uncertainty. With this strange end of the course, we can only adapt as best as possible and do our part to make sure everything goes well.
How will the online exams be?
It is still not entirely clear what the online exams will look like. Each university and each professor will apply the system that seems best to them, but we must get used to the idea that they can be of any type, that is, multiple choice, oral, short questions, development, with the book in front. Everything. For this reason, in these moments of uncertainty, the most useful thing is to write an email help with ghostwriting services to each teacher (who has not already said how they will evaluate us) and ask any questions we have so that we can prepare properly.
The temptation to cheat
The problem that universities face is how they can guarantee surveillance in these types of exams when each one takes them from home and can try to cheat by consulting the answers on Google or having the notes at hand. Many universities have technology to guarantee a certain degree of security in these tests because they usually conduct online exams abroad, and they can use programs that detect if there are recordings, facial recognition, etc. Also, if a teacher is in charge of monitoring a small group of students by webcam, you can see if we are reading or looking for things on the computer. Even so, ensuring that these exams are not cheated is a challenge, therefore, the most common thing will be to do oral exams one at a time or ask for personal reflections on a text that they facilitate, so that we cannot prepare «chops ” beforehand.
If we are moderately ethical, his thing is that we prepare the subject as if we were going to take the face-to-face exam. Thus, despite the difficulties, the evaluation will be fairer for everyone and no one will feel that they have been given without deserving it.
Social inequalities are not always as palpable as now between students. And the outrageous thing is that these inequalities continue to exist in the XXI century. We know that there are people who spend their quarantine in luxury mansions with tennis courts and swimming pools and others do so in neighborhoods without running water or electricity. We are all clear that there are rich people and people who live in poor conditions. But if access to education is a fundamental right, what we as a society cannot afford is that this right is simply an entry in a little book. Access to education under equal conditions must be guaranteed and, although the problems in studying faced by a young person from a neighborhood are far different in number and severity from those faced by a young person from an exclusive neighborhood, the minimum that needs to be done is to ensure that both have sufficient equipment and internet connection. If you think that your team or your connection could harm you in the exams, you should write immediately to your professors or the dean of the faculty so that they provide you with fair alternatives that alleviate the inequality that you suffer.
How to prepare for exams online
We already know how to prepare for university exams (more or less), so, basically, nothing changes: reading comprehensively, adapting the best study technique to each subject, underlining, mind maps, diagrams, cards.
But now it will also benefit us to include a series of different techniques:
- Study everything out loud. This we have already recommended several times because it helps to memorize better, but in this case it is essential because we will probably have to speak to the camera (even if the online exams are written). If we get used to saying everything out loud, nothing will catch us by surprise and in this situation teachers may alternate techniques to examine us and thus check that we do not cheat.
- Record videos. Once we have the syllabus studied, one of the best study techniques is to do our own simulated tests, but now, what will help us the most is to simulate the online exams by recording ourselves while we answer. So we can see what we have said, how we improve the answers or if we have a vice or catch phrase that needs to be changed.
- Practice with a partner. In this time of quarantine, we have become experts in video calls, so we are going to take advantage of these tools to simulate online exams with our classmates. Thus, each one can prepare an exam for his partner and help him correct the mistakes.
Things to watch out for when the test comes
First of all, we must take care of our appearance. We are going to take a university exam no matter how online it is and we also owe our teachers respect, therefore, it is strictly forbidden to take the exam in pajamas, smoking or from bed.
Second, you have to prepare the environment and what will be seen from the camera. We must have the laptop on a clear table (the teacher can ask us to show him what we have around to check that we do not have the notes at hand) and in a room where we are alone and with a background as neutral as possible. If you have a Miss or Mister America poster on the wall and it is visible from the camera, remove it.
The teacher will give the precise instructions about the material that we can have, but think that the most logical thing is that you can have a couple of blank pages in case you want to write something down for later, a pen and a glass of water or tissues. Nothing else within your reach and, as if we were in a face-to-face exam, we cannot go to the bathroom or eat a sandwich.
Fear is not necessary
Every change is scary and now we have had to live a time of many changes and many scares, but the teachers are aware of this and they will not be excessively cruel or demand more than we can give. The world has stopped a bit, but our training continues and it should be. We do not have to fear online exams more than face-to-face exams, because we will be able to demonstrate our knowledge the same and get it out as well as always, we just have to be a little resilient (which is a very fashionable word) and continue to make an effort as we have done before.
In addition, any problems that arise can be complained about, exam reviews can be requested and complaints raised as usual. The important thing is that we are calm and everything will be fine.
Much encouragement to everyone!