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5 Questions to Ask About Online Finals

As an online student you may wonder how to best prepare for those papers and tests that account for a significant portion of your grade. If this is your first time sitting for an online final, this may be especially true. One key way to prepare for online finals is to ask your professor these five questions:

1. “How will this final differ from a traditional final?”

The very first question on your mind, and a great one to ask your professor, is how online finals differ from the traditional finals that you may be more used to. The format may be different, the questions may be timed, or there may be other challenges that you did not anticipate. To best prepare for your final, learn what it looks like in advance.

2. “Do you have any tips for me?”

Once you determine the format of the final, ask your professor if he or she has any tips on how to prepare for that specific type of assessment. For instance, will you need to modify your study methods? Ask your professor about what has worked for other students, as well as what he or she thinks is the best way to earn a strong mark. 

3. “Can you provide or recommend any prep materials?”

You can also ask your professor if he or she has any prep materials available. Perhaps he or she intends to share a study guide with the class, or perhaps he or she has suggestions on what to include in order to make your own study guide. Be sure to ask if your professor has a practice test that you can take.

4. “Do you know of any study groups?”

Study materials are absolutely essential, but many people also benefit from studying with other students in their class. Your professor may take it upon his- or herself to organize a study group—whether in person, or in the form of an online forum or video chat—that may serve you well as you prepare for your final. Ask if there is such a group for your course, or if your professor can connect you with other interested students.

5. “What test-taking strategies do you suggest?”

Now that you know how to prepare for your final, you should be thinking about the strategies that you will use when completing the assessment. Ask your professor if he or she has any suggestions about the best location to take the final. Perhaps it is at your home in a quiet place, or maybe it is in the library. Your professor will tell you about any requirements and suggestions for actual test-taking.

While your first online final may seem frightening, at its core, it is not too different from a traditional final in that it will go over the material that you have learned throughout the semester. Try not to unduly stress. Asking your professor these five questions, as well as any others that you may be worried about before your exam, will help to put you at ease as you prepare. 

Catherine Martin is a contributing writer for UniversityTutor.com, the world’s largest global marketplace for finding independent tutors.


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