With the current change to remote studying, some of you are faced with your first oral online exam. In this article, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)of the University of Vienna has compiled helpful tips on how to best prepare for this unusual situation.
Picture yourself in the exam situation
- Decide where and in front of which background you will be sitting during your exam. The teacher might ask you to show the rest of the room before the exam starts.
- As is the case with other oral exams, you are allowed to have a person of trust present. Think about whether you would like to have someone present, either in person or virtually (via the conferencing tool). If that is the case, let the person know in due time. If the person of trust is joining you in person, ensure that they are sitting behind you in view of the camera.
- Practice the exam situation ahead of time and especially get used to speaking to the camera.
- Remind yourself of tried and tested coping strategies when you feel upset or anxious. For example, calmly breathe in and out, consciously feel the floor or the seat of your chair and ask your teacher to repeat the question if you are having a mental block. (Tips on how to deal with examination anxiety can be found on the website of the Psychological Counseling Centers)
Thorough preparation is key
- Ensure that you can take your exam in an environment free from interruptions. This applies to noise as well as any other distractions. If you have room mates, let them know about your exam ahead of time and ask them not to disturb you.
- Make sure you have a glass of water nearby.
- Keep your student ID card within reach.
- Log in to the conferencing tool before the exam is scheduled to start. This may take a while.
And finally: Your teachers know that this might be your first oral online exam. They will be lenient with you when unexpected mishaps occur. It is also a completely new exam situation for your teachers, so please be patient if your teacher may experience some technical difficulties at the start. Good luck 🤞