online-college-testsIf you’re thinking about taking distance courses as an undergraduate, you’re probably wondering about how online college tests work. According to the Institute of Education Sciences, about 20 percent of all students take at least one distance class during their college career, and almost four percent take all of their courses online. These students still have to take exams, but the tests are sometimes a little bit different than the ones at brick and mortar schools.

Types of Questions on Online College Tests

Teachers realize that they can’t supervise their online students as closely as they can supervise their traditional students. Because of this, online tests usually have different types of questions. Nobody would be able to tell if you look through your notes or textbook during an online test, so teachers often make all of their exams open-book and open-note right from the get-go. To make sure that you’re still understanding and retaining the course material, they might forego multiple choice and true or false questions and use short answer or essay questions instead. You’ll be asked things that will require you to think instead of looking up a date or a fact in your notes or textbook.

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Timed Tests

If you do end up taking online college tests with multiple choice, matching and true or false answers, don’t be surprised if you find out that there’s a time limit on your exam. When you’re taking this kind of test online, you might be able to look through your notes or textbook, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll have enough time to. If you take too long looking up information, you won’t be able to finish your test in time, so make sure that you memorize any important facts before you sit down for your exam. Because students could cheat on their exams by asking for test information from students who have already taken their own exams, teachers will often ask that all students sit down to take their tests within a certain time frame. For instance, a test may only be available for a few hours instead of a few days.

Proctored Exams

While you’ll probably get to take most of your tests online when taking distance courses, there may be a few instances when taking a proctored exam is necessary. For instance, you’ll probably be able to take quizzes and normal tests from your computer, but you might have to go to a testing center for midterms and finals. During a proctored exam, you won’t be able to use any outside information sources. Instead, you’ll have to rely on what you already know. The test will probably be timed, and it will feel more like a traditional exam. Recently, some colleges have allowed the use of online proctoring websites. Using an online proctor will give you more flexibility when it comes to the timing of your test, but you’ll need to have a webcam on the computer that you choose to take your exam on.

Taking distance courses is a great way to further your education if you have a busy schedule. Online college tests aren’t that different from regular exams, and as long as you study and use all of the resources that are at your disposal, you should do fine on all of your online college exams.

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