Online Exams Were An Unpleasant Experience

Gabriela Enamorado/Staff Writer

Since FIU shut down on March 11th, my bedroom has served as my school as well. COVID-19 has changed the way universities are handling education, as college students around the world take their finals online instead of in classrooms. 

Most of us initially thought online exams would be a piece of cake, but many obstacles ended up getting in the way. Though I had already been taking some courses on Canvas,  having all of them online suddenly proved to be an overwhelming experience.  

Having four different assessments all due on Sunday by 11:59 p.m. was not fun. I had two papers (2,000 and 600 words respectively), and two timed exams all due on the same day. It felt overwhelming, even with time management and organization in check. Distanced learning didn’t help me stay motivated at all, so it was hard to even get started on my final assignments, and this procrastination brought on more stress and less time. 

Remote learning has had the challenge of keeping unmotivated students involved, and I’m not surprised that this translated to finals week for many of us. Since the lockdown eliminated in-class lectures, the lessons I was getting were rushed and less informative than usual. Because of this, I realized that none of the information I absorbed during quarantine stuck with me as I got evaluated. 

Another issue I had—which I imagine lots of fellow students dealt with—was concentrating on taking my exams while living in a noisy and active household. This was a general problem for me, as my younger brother would frequently interrupt my zoom calls, and it continued during finals week. Between him screaming at his video games and mom walking in and out of my room, it was hard for me to stay focused.

The most frustrating part of online testing was not having the best internet connection. It was stressful enough to even wait for Canvas to load, but imagine the anxiety of waiting for a question to buffer during a timed exam. There are also four other people in my house who use their own respective devices, which slows down my bandwidth. 

Online testing turned out to be a demanding experience because classes did not properly adjust to the online platform. One of the only things that reassured me was the Pass/Fail option FIU implemented this semester. 

As the summer semester begins, professors should be more lenient, keeping in mind the challenges that many of us face with online testing. Another idea is extending finals week so that students can work at an easier pace. This way, many assignments won’t fall on the same day.

Hopefully, we won’t have to use our homes as secondary classrooms and risk our academic performances by the time the fall semester arrives.

Featured image by 1Day Review on Flickr.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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