We understand this is a difficult time for everyone and taking exams at the best of times can be stressful. For most of you, online open book exams will be completely new, so we wanted to share our top tips with you to help you feel as prepared as possible:
1. Revise as you would for any other exam. You need to have a good understanding of your topics as the exam will not test what you can memorise, but how you can apply your knowledge to different questions. It can be helpful to organise your revision materials and notes in themes which map on to the learning outcomes and themes of the module
2. If you have any texts at home, you could mark up useful sections using removable post-its or sticky tabs that do not damage the books. From your reading material, make brief notes which will help you quickly retrieve specific information such as a quote, date, equation, reference, legal case name or name of an author, to support any solution, idea or argument you are making. Go to our web pages for advice on how to find online information resources for your exams.
3. Keep quotes to a minimum. Don’t be tempted to use long quotes just because you have the text in front of you. The examiner wants to see how you are interpreting the question and your ability to present an argument
4. If you can choose which questions to answer, select those that you feel confident about and have prepared well. This means that you’ll spend less time referring excessively to your texts. They can be useful, but use your time wisely, writing answers, not flicking through the books.
5. To help you produce a well-structured answer, make a short plan. You don’t need to spend too long on it, but a brief plan will help you formulate your thoughts before you start writing.
6. You will be given a time scale (usually 48 hours) to complete your exam online. Don’t spend the whole time working on your exam! The time frame is to give some flexibility as not everyone will be able to sit down and take the exam at the same time. You can ask your school for guidance as to how long you should be working on the exam for.
7. Follow the usual academic integrity guidelines: make sure you correctly attribute all your sources to avoid issues with plagiarism. Check with your school about their expectations for the reference list.
You can find more detailed advice about online open exams on our web pages. Good luck!