Preparing to Take Final Exams Online

Posted: April 14, 2020 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 4 minutes

Preparing for Finals OnlineAs Southern Utah University has recently shifted its courses to an online format because of COVID-19, final exams will look a little different this semester.

“Under the best of circumstances finals week is stressful, and this semester has not been the best of circumstances,” said President Scott L. Wyatt in his good luck message to students. “You might be feeling a bit more stressed than usual. But, during difficult times, it’s always good to realize that you are not alone, even if you feel socially isolated. Every college and university student in America, and most students throughout the world, is in the exact same situation that you are in right now… Think about it. Millions of students like you around the world are experiencing what you are experiencing. There is a strength that comes from knowing this; knowing that everyone is in this together.”

As you look forward to the end of the semester, here’s some advice on how to prepare to take finals online:

Prepping your Tech

Give in and just update your computer! Instead of selecting “remind me tomorrow,” select “update now.” Updating your computer will likely prevent some technical problems, and help your system run a little smoother.

Make sure your computer is charged before you take the test. For extra measure, just keep your computer plugged in during the test. Saying, “my computer died” sounds like, “the dog ate my homework.”

Don’t overwhelm your computer or your attention by having too many windows open. Close all other windows when you’re taking your test to avoid distractions and technical difficulties.

Check ahead of time to see the software requirements needed for tests. Download any proctoring programs ahead of time.

Technical problems are a fact of life. If they happen while you’re taking a test, immediately communicate with your professor. Take screenshots if possible and email them to your professor. Also, IT services are still available remotely. Visit their website for more information.


Still make study sessions happen with your classmates remotely. Utilize platforms like Google Hangouts or Zoom to study in real-time. View this blog post for studying advice.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Get a good night of sleep, wash your face, try to eat before your test (even though we’re used to snacking during online classes).

This is a crazy time for everyone. Try your best to be flexible with any changes, and stay in the know. Read all emails, Canvas announcements, etc.

Don’t stress, it’s just a test. Take a few deep breaths, practice power poses to give yourself an extra boost of confidence, and show off what you’ve learned this semester! You have plenty of time.

Taking Finals

The biggest thing to remember during finals week online is that it’s finals week! Remember that finals schedules are often different from regular class schedules. Check your mySUU Portal and syllabi to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Give yourself plenty of time to get ready physically and mentally for the test. The day of your final, get up and get dressed. Pretend you’re actually going to the Testing Center to take your test.

Try to find a nice, quiet area with a good internet connection to take your test. Minimize distractions such as music, TV, food, social media, etc. If you’re concerned about kids or pets that need supervision, let your professor know before taking the test.

Don’t forget to check your work before submitting it, just like any test. Make sure you answered all the questions, wrote in complete sentences, added units, read all the directions, etc.

Finally, and most importantly, make sure you actually submit your test. Stay in the browser until the confirmation comes up.


And a final piece of advice from Dr. Eric Kirby, assistant vice president for student affairs:

“In times of trials, I recall two of my favorite quotes, both from anonymous authors: ‘Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life’ and ‘Trust that those winds of adversity are blowing away what’s not needed while making you stronger.’ Remember that you are a T-Bird and are destined to SOAR. You can do hard things. Keep your head up and finish strong! Good luck on finals.”

Visit the Testing Center’s website for more information or contact the center with any questions by email: or phone: 435-865-8071.

Tags: Student Life

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