For the time being, everyday university life has been changed to remote studying. Written exams, too, do not take place in the lecture hall as usual, but in your private homes. This situation is unfamiliar, which can be unsettling in addition to the “usual excitement”. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) of the University of Vienna has compiled tips to support you in preparing for your exams.
Familiarise yourself with the requirements
- Obtain information about how your written exam will be held in due time since this will influence the further steps when preparing for the exam. In which format is the exam held? Which technical skills are necessary (e.g. Moodle skills, PDF creation, uploading files to platforms)? Which time frame is scheduled for the exam?
- Check whether you are allowed to use aids and learning materials during the exam. Note that prior to the exam you will probably have to declare that you are taking the exam independently and without the use of unauthorised aids. For reasons of verification, teachers can ask you questions about the exam topics orally within the assessment period of four weeks.
Get ready for the exam situation
- Find the best place in your home to take the exam.
- Keep ready the information about what to do if you experience technical problems during the exam, and who to contact in this case.
- Remind yourself of tried and tested coping strategies when you feel upset or anxious. For example, calmly breathe in and (especially) out, take a sip of water, consciously feel the floor or the seat of your chair, and move to the next question if you are having a mental block.
Get everything ready
- 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.
- Arrange any permitted materials in your workspace.
- Set the clock in order to keep an eye on the remaining time and to allow for enough time for final tasks such as (possibly necessary) conversion to PDF or upload to Moodle.
- Take care of your basic needs during the exam: Keep a glass of water, possibly snacks within reach. Ensure good indoor air quality.
- If the exam is held online: Log in to the conferencing tool before the exam is scheduled to start. This may take a while.
Tips on dealing with examination anxiety can be found on the website of the Psychological Counseling Centers here.
Last but not least: Good luck with your exam 🤞
If you prepare well, you will do fine on the exam even in this unfamiliar setting.