Exams and tests are the scariest things for many students in schools and universities. These “exam conditions” have been the same for a long time, with a room full of students, teachers, or proctors looking for cheaters and, of course, total silence. The fear of failure, comparison to others, and strict conditions — almost everyone has faced this at some point in their lives.
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But now, with the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more educational institutions practice online tests with online proctoring. At first sight, the benefits are apparent — every teacher and student is in their comfort zone, with no stress at all. But is it the answer to traditional test difficulties? Here is the list of problems with online exams you didn’t even think about.
Sure, our rooms are safe and calm places, but this has nothing to do with work and concentration. It is tough to be productive in a relaxing environment that was designed for you to rest. The same thing is true of working from home. Once you distract yourself with a favorite video game or rock album, there is no way back. Not to mention family members, who will suddenly pop up at the worst possible moment.
Even if your working schedule can be adjusted to these specifics, essential tests and exams just can’t. Every detail of your interior, odd sounds, and the whole atmosphere could ruin the necessary mood. And who wants that?
Okay, you are fully concentrated on your test and ready to shine. No cheat sheets and smartphones — you’ve passed the exam with only your skills and knowledge alone. But your online proctor does not agree. You may have been distracted by him several times, requiring you to show your surroundings — what if you’re a cheater?
Usually, these “requests” distract you, waste time, and are unfounded. You did nothing wrong, but the proctor suspected something. The best way to avoid this problem is by using high-quality AI proctoring programs, like ProctorEdu. They lack the irrational human factor, which results in a fairer checking process.
With important moments something always goes wrong. The worst of these problems are tech ones. A bad internet connection can ruin your whole exam. Not only can the connection let you down, but so can your other devices — headphones, camera, etc. You cannot be heard, you cannot be seen, and you will probably waste a lot of time trying to fix things. That is why exam prefaces always ask you to check all the tech you need.
And even if all seems okay before the test, something can suddenly break in the worst way possible. People usually panic in such situations, trying to make everything work, making things worse. And once again — the proctor will not like you running around your room connecting to your Wi-Fi router. Such problems are not tolerated by educational authorities. You are lucky if they grant you a second chance to take an exam!
Exam organizations may also suffer from technical issues. Even your correct answers can be rated as wrong — for example, the system may read your lowercase letter like uppercase. Such problems will usually be compensated for, but it is really annoying when you can’t click on the “finish” button just because of a server overload. Troubles like these are always upsetting.
Schedule and Geographical Problems
Classic exams put everyone in the same fair position — one start time, one location, and similar conditions. But with online tests, every student must deal with different problems. What if the exam starts at 15:00 New York time, but you are in Istanbul? Then expect to attend this exam at 22:00. And no one wants to take tests that late!
Picking a comfortable, quiet place for examination is also a crucial thing. Sometimes a quiet and peaceful classroom is the best option! You cannot concentrate on a loud and crowded terrace or in the fresh air in the park.
Some dishonest students will always find a way to cheat. Various tricks like having different devices nearby, other people’s help, and even hack programs can help such people achieve the highest grades on the test. And they will make online technologies serve their purpose, especially when exams are just around the corner! Not fair, is it?
The additional problem is the newness of online exams and cheating tricks. Proctors cannot pay attention to every little detail on the screen. But traditional cheaters are very easy to uncover. The elementary things to notice are cheats sheets, special headphones, and consulting with other students. In these situations, you can always be sure — everyone will get the mark they deserve!
The key to excellent exam results is always the same — preparation, concentration, and knowledge. With all three, nothing is impossible! Keep your mind calm, and no problem will ever impact your work.