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Online oral exam

To prepare yourself for your online oral exam, refer to the advice provided below during your preparation

Because of these new circumstances, the regular oral exam reorganised so that it can be conducted online. This new situation regarding online exams is a novel experience for most, and may lead to additional anxiety. However, keep in mind that both the examiner and the co-examiner will have prepared for the situation, and the systems have been chosen because they can facilitate this type of exam. But it is also important that you prepare yourself and take the new reality of your online exam as well as the platform used into consideration. Remember to thoroughly examine your teacher’s description of how the exam will proceed, and question your teacher on the things that you are unsure of, before the exam.

Different Types of Online Oral Exams:

The online oral exams may proceed in several different ways, but it will most often be very similar to your regular oral exam, though now via the video conferencing system Zoom. Here you, the examiner and the co-examiner will meet in a room - in this case a online meeting room. It is important that you speak with your teacher about which format the online exam will take.

If you have an online oral exam, you can refer to the advice provided below during your preparation, but remember to orient yourself in official guidelines from your own faculty. Also, remember to address questions to your teacher well in advance.

1. Get accustomed to the platform

Feeling confident in the technical features

Make sure you familiarize yourself with the platform Zoom, where your exam will take place. It will provide you with the best starting point for your online exam to progress as smoothly as possible. In addition, experience with the platform will be a good tool against concerns about the platform that will add to your anxiety about the exam. It is therefore vital that you become acquainted with the platform and its features before the exam. Consider what tools you need to use during the exam - e.g sharing your screen, illustrating something on a whiteboard . In essence, it is a good idea to make sure you can do or have the following:

  • Share your screen

  • Share slides and other documents

  • Use the whiteboard tool to draw or illustrate something live

  • A stable internet connection

  • High quality audio in- and output - Use a headset if possible

  • Change your name in Zoom. You may have to provide either your AU ID or your full name.

Try it out with your study group

The online oral exams will take place in Zoom. Here you, as a student, will have the opportunity to create your own meeting room, where you can try out the various tools and features to become familiar with the program before the exam. It is a good idea to make an appointment with your study group, exam group or a couple of fellow students to test Zoom together. In Zoom, you can try out features such as sharing slides, using a whiteboard, sharing a file in the chat, and testing the audio and video quality. Provide feedback to each other on, for example, the audio and video. It also gives you the opportunity to practice your academic presentations and get feedback on its content. Be aware of the roles in Zoom, e.g. whether you are a host, co-host or participant. For the exam you will, as a rule, be a participant. In order for everyone in the group to try out all roles, the person setting up the meeting can change the roles in the tab “participants”, where the creator can give the role of host each person in turn.

2. Get acquainted with the rules and requirements

Consider any requirements for your surroundings

Some courses may may require you, as the examinee, to sit in a room with one entrance and, if necessary, provide a 360 degree view of the room at the beginning of the exam to ensure that no persons or unauthorised aids are present, for example tablets/smartphones or similar that may be used to communicate with others. Check up on any guidelines well in advance or ask your teacher if you have any doubts.

It can be a requirement in some courses that you show your university-ID or some other kind of ID. So it can be a good idea to have these near you, when you attend the exam.

3. Get accustomed to the exam format

Online circumstances

It is important that you make a test run on Zoom and practiced exam format. In an online oral exam in Zoom, minor things will be different from an oral exam where both you and the examiners are physically present. For example, you will not be able to greet examiners with a handshake, and it may feel strange to interrupt with a comment and to talk for a long time if the examiner or co-examiner has turned off their microphones while you are making the presentation. You can read more about online meeting culture at online course work.

You will most likely be led into an online waiting room before you get into the actual online exam room. Check any guidelines well in advance or ask your teacher if you have any uncertainties.

Try it out with your study group

It is a good idea to discuss with your study group the new exam format, and in so doing you can test the exam form with a couple of fellow students, where you alternately take the role of co-examiner, examiner and examinee. In other words, you can create a kind of role-playing game to get, among other things, a sense of how long 20 minutes of online examination feel like, the flow of the dialogue, when questions are asked and answers are given, and how it feels to be on webcam.

4. Create a Comfortable Environment

Home exam room

Consider how best to prepare for the physical space you need to sit in for an exam. An online exam will often take place in familiar surroundings, such as at home in your own living room or bedroom. This is where we usually relax and not a place where we usually have to "be in the spotlight" as we are in an exam situation. Try to create a home exam room where you sit comfortably and quietly without distractions.

Do not sit with your back to a strong light source (like a window), since this could make it hard for the examinators to see you, and thereby making it harder to decode your body language and facial expression.

Find the right tools and remedies

Make sure that authorized tools are available at hand without having to remove yourself from the screen. Getting up or moving out of the picture can be disruptive to the exam’s flow. Consider whether you need a pen and paper, a watch, so that you may keep track of time, and remember to use a headset to get the best possible audio. You can read more about online meeting culture at online course work.

Also, make sure you have some remedies that provide some comfort. Usually, you can find water in an exam room, which is good to alleviate your anxiety or dry in the mouth along the way.

5. Speak to someone before and after the exam

Get in the right mood and mindset

When you go to a physical exam, you will probably greet a fellow student or smile to a passerby. This can set your mind at ease in the situation, and a short conversation can help you to warm up your voice. In an online exam, you will not have this opportunity. Therefore it is important that you consider calling a family member, a friend or fellow student before your exam – perhaps just to say that you are going to an exam and to chat about it.

Share your experience

After your online exam, you will likewise not meet anyone outside the exam room. Again, consider making an appointment to call a friend or family member to share your experience. Good and bad experiences alike may be good to share with others, as exams often are the result of an intensive work process which may by satisfying to have completed.

NB:

The content of this page is exclusively advice and guides concerning online oral exam. This means that this isn't official rules and requirements.

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