Everybody knows how midterms and final exams work in the world of campus-based studying, but very few individuals looking to take an online educational or training course may be slightly perplexed as to how the system actually works. Very few course descriptions will specify exactly how the assessment process actually works in detail. In fact, many just state exam or coursework as the method of assessment. To clear up any confusion and to help you to prepare for an online course exam, this article will act as a guide.
Firstly, it is important to establish the method of assessment. There should always be some method of final assessment if a degree or course is to have any credibility whatsoever, and this also applies to online courses and classes. Some may actually use a final term paper as assessment, which will be set to complete by a specified deadline via email or an online workroom, if the individual university that you are enrolled in actually has an online workroom. However, if there are midterms or final exams, then you will need to find out the method in which the tests will be carried out.
There are two main ways that online degree or course finals are conducted. The first is take-home assessment and the second is a specific time limit exam within the workroom itself. A take-home assessment is usually designed to be used in conjunction with texts related to the course but an exam in a workroom may not be. This is largely dependent on the nature of the course and the examiner. However both will have a time limit attached to them, with the take-home typically being 24 hours and the workroom exam being anywhere between one and three hours long.
Regardless of the nature of the exam or test that you sit, it is essential to prepare. The first thing that any individual facing an online examination should do is ensure that he or she has the correct equipment available to use. This will include the necessary PC or laptop and Internet access that can be relied upon not to go down. This may mean testing your home computer and Internet connection as well as making alternative arrangements at a local library or friend's house as a back up. When you have that in place, you can move on to the revision aspect of the exam.
You should know the assessment date when you enrol on any course. If you are not told then you will need to ask within days of beginning the class. Once in possession of the date, you should plan to begin your study timetable at least two weeks before. As you will be working at home, there are more distractions so you will need at least this amount of time to prepare properly. You should have all of the necessary resources you need at your fingertips by the time you commence study.
The most important thing to do in terms of studying is formulating a timetable. A timetable can really help you to do the required amount of revision before the test. You should set aside at least an hour a day for the first week and then up to two hours a day for the second week. This is flexible, but any more and your brain will refuse to absorb all of the information. You could use the Internet to confirm facts and join discussion groups to help you absorb information and vary the nature of the revision. However, it is important that you actually stick to the amount of revision even if you cannot stick to the originally planned times. With no lecturer to recall or ask for help, you cannot afford to do less than an hour a day if you want to pass the test.
Studying for an online exam can really take concentration so you may choose to go to a library or somewhere else quiet so that you can fully concentrate on the task in hand. There is no way of getting away from the fact that an online course is just as important as a campus degree and the same due care and attention should be paid to the course material. The whole point of an education is to better yourself, so there is no point if you do not show this dedication to your development.