What started as a month-long lockdown has taken up the entire year. Thanks to our educator’s farsightedness, we entered the online classroom weeks ago, and hence are at a place of no major loss. Virtual learning has been challenging for both students and parents alike. Parents have replaced the role of teachers. Teachers only guide students to learn through materials that have been prepared through media. Parents are the ones who play an active role to teach their children at home. They have faced many challenges in this process of online learning such as limited time, the inadequacy of technical knowledge, balancing their WFH, and Home, etc. But it has been harder on the students, especially because while all the learning happens online, the exams are conducted offline. In the month of December, most of our kids are writing their pre-boards, for which, none of them have had any contact teaching. These exams are as stressful as they can get for a student of good bearing. Without classroom experience, pen and paper practice, and peer interaction, these exams can get extremely stressful The scanning, uploading, dysfunctional portals just add to the student’s hassle, elevating stress and alleviating scores. For the junior classes, the parent’s IT literacy becomes a big issue. Practically oriented subjects like Maths, Chemistry, physics, etc become more strenuous. In this unusual scenario, here is what you can do to get your child prepared to perform their best. 1. Before an online Exam: Prepare Know the test format What kind of questions will the instructor ask in the exam—multiple-choice, fill-ups, short answer, essays etc. Check your computer Verify all the correct hardware and software in advance. Make sure of an adequate Internet connection. Plan your time While writing, limit your time to that which will be allotted for the actual exam and decide how long you will spend on each question. Carve out a quiet test-taking spot with minimal distractions Turn off all notifications from IM, your phone, your email, and elsewhere. 2. During the Online Exam: Focus Clock your answers Set an alarm to notify you when you have limited time (e.g., 10 minutes) remaining in your testing period. Print and save copies of the test questions, and answers These will prove extremely helpful if you have technical problems during the test or if you encounter issues while submitting your answers. Don’t leave the test page Don’t use the same tab or the browser as you do for your exam —you may lose all your work. Open a second copy of the browser to search. Contact your Instructor In the case of technical problems, contact your instructor immediately, detailing the error messages. Take a screenshot of the error message as well. For most students, taking an online exam is a new and bewildering experience. They don’t know what to expect and aren’t certain of what skills and strategies will enable them to score their best. The online environment presents some challenges that warrant a bit of extra awareness and preparation. It is always better to be safe than sorry.