How to tackle an online test

December 22, 2020 · 2 min read · By ASU Online

Tests are a reality in every course. While there is no way to avoid them, there are strategies that can help you be successful. Besides making sure you have a strong internet connection and always clicking “save”, here are some online test-taking tips gathered from ASU Online students...


These tips, along with knowing the material well, will help you earn the grade that you want on all the quizzes and exams in your program. If you feel like you need a little extra help, check out ASU Tutoring Services.

Know your test format.

Read your syllabus so you know exactly how to prepare, and if you have questions about the format ask your professor before you begin your exam. Important questions include; How will the test be displayed? Is this a proctored exam? Will you need a webcam, headphones, microphone? Are you allowed to go back and change answers later in the test? Knowing what to expect prevents you from losing easy points.

Be conscious of the time limit.

Online tests won’t have a teacher warning students that they have five minutes left. It’s easy to lose track of time when you're sitting in front of a computer taking a test by yourself. Although a timer may be displayed within the test, it’s a good idea to set a timer on your phone to notify you of the halfway point and 5-minute mark.

Don’t underestimate the difficulty of an online test.

Some tests allow you to use your course materials, others will not (you can check the syllabus or with your professor). Either way, you should plan to prepare as if you were taking the test in a classroom without the materials.

Pick the right environment to take your test.

One of the perks of online education is completing coursework anywhere, but that doesn't mean that tests should be taken anywhere. Avoid public places where distractions are plentiful and the noise-level is high. Find an environment that is comparable to a classroom, like a local library. Also, try to take your tests as early as possible within the test window, that way, if you run into tech problems you will have ample time to contact the professor and work any issues out.


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