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With technology permeating every aspect of our lives in the United States, it is little wonder that our educational system(s) are more and more relying on the internet to facilitate test-taking for classes and certificates. From online MBAs, to online GEDs, taking tests online to obtain diplomas and/or certificates has become the norm in the early 21st Century. For example, if you are considering a computer programming degree online you can complete a computer programming knowledge test to determine your programming skills, based on a variety of general knowledge questions.

However, with this new format of testing comes new tips and strategies for how to pass these examinations, which we will be going over in this article.

When taking a test, you are demonstrating your grasp and comprehension of the knowledge you have assimilated in whichever course or subject the test is on. There are two main types of tests you will encounter online:

  • Objective tests, which include multiple choice, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank questions.
  • Subjective tests, which include essay, short answer, and sometimes oral questions.

Moreover, these online tests have several variations that can fundamentally change the nature of the examination. One common theme of all of these variations: they all involve technology.

  • Open or closed book.
  • Timed or not timed.
  • Scheduled or not scheduled.
  • Must be finished in one sitting, or can be saved for a return completion.
  • In a classroom, library, or at home.
  • Graded or not graded.

Before taking an online test, preparation is just as important as it would be for an in-classroom test.

  • Review similar tests you have taken in the past. These can be tests of comparable subject matter(s) or of similar format(s).
  • Give yourself adequate studying time before taking the test. This will vary by subject, but a good rule of thumb is to give yourself ample time to completely review the material at least three times.

When taking an online exam, properly utilizing the technology and avoiding any “hiccups” should be of primary concern:

  • Ensure the computer you are using is up-to-spec and can handle the test file, and the internet speed required for taking the test.
  • Ensure that you have properly logged in to the test to access it. After all, there is no point in even taking the test if you’ll not receive credit for it!
  • Once logged in and on the test’s index page, carefully read all instructions and answer the following questions: 1) Is the test timed? 2) Can I go back and change my answers later? 3) Can I save the test and return to it later? 4) Must I answer the questions in a specific sequence?
  • If there is time, and the test’s format allows for it, quickly look through the test for an overview of what you will be encountering. Note key words, phrases, vocabulary, and potential pitfalls to be aware of.
  • Answer questions in a strategic order, if the test’s format allows for it.
  • Answer easier questions first to build confidence and mentally orient yourself to the test’s subject matter. This may also help you with the tests harder questions, as there are often clues to harder answers within the easier questions.
  • Answer difficult questions second. These are not just questions you don’t readily know the answer(s) to, but also questions of high point value and essay questions. By this point in the test you should know exactly how much time you have left (if applicable) and can budget that time accordingly among the harder questions.
  • After you have finished answering the questions, check over your test carefully (if you have the ability to) for unanswered questions or wrong answers.

If you follow these suggestions for taking tests online, you will have success in whichever endeavor you choose to pursue!

This article was written by Mike Patterson of, which is a site dedicated to helping people find a information about earning a degree online.



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