Tag Archives: testing

This week at ELI

Summer Tuition Payment: If you registered for summer 2017 courses and haven’t submitted your tuition payment or have financial aid in place, you must do so to avoid being dropped from your courses! Check out this blog post for more details about summer tuition payment.

Proctored Exams: All ELI courses require proctored exams! Plan ahead so you are prepared as your exams quickly approach. Review the testing information website to make arrangements. This previous blog post will also help as you prepare whether you are taking exams at NOVA, through ProctorU, or with a testing location in your area. Questions? Reach out to ELICourseSpecialists@nvcc.edu or 703.323.3347. Join our Virtual Student Union: ELI’s VSU has a new look! Are you taking online classes and looking to connect with other students outside of a classroom setting? Check out our Virtual Student Union or VSU. This is an engagement hub where ELI students have access to create a profile, join discussion forums and connect with other students. In celebration of our new site launch, students will be eligible for raffle prizes once they create an account and interact on the site. Drawings will be done weekly and monthly through the fall semester. Join now!

Engage in your Community! Did you miss our Community Involvement Fair? Check out our community volunteer booklet to learn more about the variety of non-profits participating and volunteer opportunities available: Community Volunteer Booklet. Email us at elistulife@nvcc.edu and tell us where and when you are volunteering and we will send you a FREE NOVA Student Life T-shirt to wear!

Want to write for the ELI Student Blog? Share your story? Connect with your peers? Send us a writing sample to get started. Email ELIStuLife@nvcc.edu for more information.

Plan early to take your exams

All ELI courses require proctored exams or assignments. Plan ahead for how you will take your exams depending on your location and/or location.

For more about NOVA’s testing policies, view the Testing Information Website.

exam daYA PLUS

ELI offers three methods to fulfill this requirement:

Campus Testing Centers

Students that live in the Northern Virginia area can use any Campus Testing Center. All 6 campuses have a testing center, and it doesn’t matter which one you go to throughout the term. When using a Campus Testing Center:

  • Know the Hours of the Campus Testing Center: Be aware of testing center hours, location, and parking available for the campus you are going to. Double check campus testing center hours before going to campus, just in case!
  • Plan Well: Do not wait until the last minute to take your exam – it is possible that you could be turned away from the testing center if lines are long and you have not provided enough time to wait and then take the test. As you plan, consider the possibility of traffic, weather, parking, lines, etc.
  • Review Your Course Syllabus: Before going to take your test, be sure you are aware of your exam requirements. Any special information about your test should be referenced in your syllabus. Are you allowed to have a note card, scratch paper, etc.? Check your syllabus and be aware of your test conditions.
  • Exam Pass/Photo ID: When you arrive at the testing center, you will need to turn in your Exam Pass and show a photo ID.  You will need to print your exam pass from the Taking Exams and Using Exam Passes section your course Syllabus.
  • Checking In: When you check-in, you will be asked to stow away your personal belongings in a secure locker. You may want to bring minimal items with you.
  • Multiple Exams: If you are taking more than one exam, you will be required to have an exam pass for each exam and wait in the line for each exam. Please plan accordingly.
  • Be Prepared: Be sure to get plenty of rest and eat a healthy meal or snack before testing. You may also want to consider a short walk to clear your mind before going into the testing center.

Out of Area: Proctor Request

If you are out of the area, or planning to be out of the area at any point throughout your course, you will need to identify a Testing Location to supervise your ELI exams. If you have not already, you should begin the process immediately.

Virginia residents (outside of Northern Virginia): You may take your exams at any Virginia Community College (VCCS) testing center, via our online proctoring service, ProctorU, if it is available in your course (check the availability of this service in your course under Exams), or at the testing center of another Virginia college/university at which you are a student (submit a proctor request form for approval). Use the College Locator feature on the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) website to find a college near you.

Students in other states/outside the US: You may take your exams at a college/university testing center near you (submit a proctor request form for approval), or via our online proctoring service, ProctorU, if it is available in your course. Check the availability of this service in your course under Exams.

  • It is the student’s responsibility to secure a proctor and to pay any related fees.
  • To request a proctor, complete the ELI Proctor Request Form and submit it with your Proctor’s statement on letterhead to ELI Course Specialists at elicoursespecialists@nvcc.edu.
  • Requests for proctored exams and proctors must be approved by ELI. ELI reserves the right to reject requests for proctors for any reason.

ProctorU Testing Service

ProctorU might be an option for one or more of your classes, and allow you to take your exams from your home computer. Using a webcam with a microphone, speakers, and a reliable high-speed internet connection, you can take your exams anywhere. Courses offering this option will have the ProctorU Information in the course Blackboard under the links, Taking Exams and Using Exam Passes in your course Syllabus. If you choose to use this online proctoring service:

  • You will need to schedule to take your exam(s) through ProctorU at least 72 hours prior to testing to avoid a late fee.
  • An associate from the ProctorU will scan your room to ensure no one else is in the room and that the area is clear of books, papers, etc.
  • You must be 18 or older and be prepared to show a current photo ID prior to the exam.
  • You must have speakers & microphone and a webcam connected to your computer and in working order.
  • You cannot take bathroom breaks during the exam and no one is allowed in the room with you.
  • Please note there is a 15 to 30 minute period before you begin your exam itself to verify your identity, to ensure your testing environment is secure, and to ensure your system is working properly. Do not schedule your exam at the last minute.

Regardless of your method of testing, the ELI Success Coaches are here to help you succeed in your ELI courses. ELI Success Coaches can be reached at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.323.3347.

We wish you much success on your exams and remind you that when testing, you may only use materials your proctor specifically tells you may be used, based on instructions from the instructor. Also, as an ELI student, you are required to follow the code of conduct as outlined in the NOVA Student Handbook.

For more about NOVA’s testing policies, view the Testing Information Website.

Written by Adrienne, ELI Student Success Coach

Preparing for Exams

As you are preparing for final exams in your online courses, the ELI Student Success Coaches have complied a list of resources to help you as you prepare. If you have questions or would benefit from additional strategies, reach out to an ELI Success Coach today by calling 703.323.3347 or elisuccess@nvcc.edu. From test taking strategies to time management, they are here to answer your questions and help you access resources that will empower you to navigate the semester and pave your way to a successful academic journey.

Does your heart start pounding when a test is placed in front of you? Do you know the material but your mind goes blank? These are just a few of the common challenges students face when taking a test. To address these common fears, ELI offers a wide variety of resources that will empower you and promote your testing success.

Take a moment now and explore the following resources to promote your way to an ‘A’.Computer screen

If you learn best hearing or speaking (auditory learner), you will welcome the workshops offered through Student Lingo. These free workshops are presented online by a facilitator in an engaging format. Each workshop is about 30 minutes use the link above to access the following workshops:

If you prefer to read (visual learner) the short ELife Blog posts, referenced below are just for you! These ELife Blog posts referenced below, offer timely tips to help you organize and prepare for your next test:

If you prefer to be actively involved and busy as you learn (kinesthetic learner) you may enjoy the following study methods:

  • Quizlet or Study Stack Apps: Take your practice tests and review your flash cards on the go using these apps which will enable you to create flash cards along with practice tests and quizzes.
  • If you prefer, consider the tried and true flash cards made from index cards. This allows kinesthetic learners to flip around the cards, write notes and review at any location, walking, standing or sitting (as with an app). Just flip the cards while you are studying and walk around as you review. Write cues on the cards to help you remember. You can even be creative and develop a game using your flashcards.

If memory/recall is a challenge when studying for your tests, consider exploring the ELife Blogs highlighted below which are focused on strategies to trigger memory:

Stress and anxiety is another common challenge many students experience when testing. To combat your stress, click here to view a short video on stress, facilitated by ELI’s PED instructor, Dr. Gamal Aboshadi. It will provide a better understanding of stress and empower you with valuable techniques to promote relaxation as you study and prepare to go to the testing center.

No matter what your learning style, as you plan for success on your next test, be sure to take time to put these resources into action!

Written by Adrienne, ELI Student Success Coach

Test Taking Strategies

To enhance your test taking skills and get that ‘A’, take a moment to review the common test taking errors and tips referenced below.    testing pic
Read the Instructions/Questions Carefully: You have probably heard this tip a thousand times but failure to read the instructions and each question carefully can result in careless errors. Do not skim—read thoroughly and carefully. Sometimes, wrong answers can be the result of skipping over important directions.

Label Your Test: Make sure your name and student ID are on the test along with any other information required by the instructor or testing center. You would be surprised at how many students, anxious to get started, forget to put their name on the test or the Scantron! Failure to include your name will most likely result in a zero!!

Sequence Errors: Concept errors such as misunderstanding a principle involved in solving the problem or steps involved in the process can create problems in answering the question correctly. When studying, take time to review your lecture notes and textbook carefully to ensure you follow the proper sequence is answering the question. (Use flash cards and/or mnemonics when studying, to help remember and recall the order.)

Missing Problems in the Test: If you are anxious and/or have a tendency to rush, you may miss problems or skip a step. If you are confused on a question, circle it and come back to it later. If you have a tendency to skip the last step or part of a question, be sure to look at this part of the problem first. Always remember to review your test before turning it in!

Spending too Much Time on One Question: If you are spending too much time on one question, circle it, and refer back to it after you have completed the other questions (as you move forward through the test – other questions may prompt you to remember the answer to the question that stumped you). If you are taking a timed test, you may want to consider wearing a watch (testing centers do not allow cell phones at your testing station).

Recording the Incorrect Answer: Accidentally, copying the wrong answer from your scratch paper to the actual test can result in a disaster. To avoid this, strategically plan to compare your answer on the scratch paper with the one on the test.

Review your Answers: Careless mistakes such as forgetting to add two numbers in a long math problem, skipping steps or accidentally missing a question, can result in zero credit or a loss of points. To protect yourself against this common error, after completing each question/problem, review your answers thoroughly.

Preparing for Future Quizzes/Tests: Once you have received your quiz/test back, be sure to review it and look up every question that you missed.  Determine the reason why you missed the question and learn from it so you will understand the concept(s) and be able to apply the correct information on your next exam.

If you have questions or would benefit from additional strategies, reach out to an ELI Success Coach today by calling 703.323.3347 or elisuccess@nvcc.edu. From test taking strategies to time management, we are here to answer your questions and help you access resources that will empower you to navigate the semester and pave your way to a successful academic journey.

Working through Test Anxiety

Tests have a way of working people up into a serious frenzy. The stakes are much higher around exam time and the pressure becomes almost palpable without the right preparation. There are a number of strategies to help you prepare yourself mentally and physically for an upcoming exam and lower the anxiety around test-taking. Here are some quick tips that may be useful for you in the future:

Change how you view the test. Often our performance is impacted by our perception of the task at hand; if you look at the test as an impending doom, you will respond to it that way. You can conquer anything and you will not be defeated by a little test J. First things first, think of it as an “assignment” (because that’s essentially what it is, it just covers more course material) to take away some of its fear factor.

Create a simulated testing experience for studying. Try to create a studying environment that is as close to the actual testing environment as possible to get used to what taking the exam will really be like on exam day. How can you do this? Try these simple strategies:

If taking the exam in a testing center

Visit the center ahead of time to observe the atmosphere. Is there a lot of people, will you be sitting next to someone, is it cold in the room, etc.? Making note of these things will help you recreate the setting at home when studying.

Try doing practice tests with a timer in front of you to make it easier to perform with a timer when you take the exam. Exams in the testing center are often timed and the timer appears as a countdown on the computer screen during the exam.

If using ProctorU

Do all studying in the spot where you will be taking the test on exam day. This can help your memory because the environment will serve as a cue to help you recall information.

Create practice tests. Look at the textbook publisher’s website to create practice tests. You can also check out Flashcards+ and Quizlet to make flashcards to help you study.

Practice relaxation techniques before and during the exam. The more relaxed you are, the more likely you are to recall the information you’ve studied. On the day of the exam, check out the Omvana app for quick meditation exercises, listen to your favorite song and dance to it to release any physical discomfort (really get into it!), or anything else that calms you. Here is a strategy you can try when taking the “assignment”:

Take relaxation breaks when you hit benchmarks on the exam. For instance, once you have completed three questions/problems/ scenarios, pause, sit up straight with a soft smile on your face, and close your eyes. Breathe deeply and slowly rotate your head in complete circles in both directions. Rotate your shoulders to the front in slow circles and again in the opposite direction. Do as many rotations as necessary. Return to the “assignment” when you feel calmer. You can do this exercise after any number of questions you choose and as often as you need.

Do not worry about those around you; do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself. If at any time during the test you feel tense, return to the relaxation exercise. Pace yourself and take problems one at a time; do not jump or look ahead. And remember, you always know more than you think you do! You will do great! Namaste.

Written by ELI Success Coach, Jennifer. If you have questions or would benefit from additional strategies, reach out to an ELI Success Coach today by calling 703.323.3347 or elisuccess@nvcc.edu. From test taking strategies to time management, we are here to answer your questions and help you access resources that will empower you to navigate the semester and pave your way to a successful academic journey.

Student Lingo Workshop: Testing Anxiety

Does your heart start pounding when a test is placed in front of you? Do you know the material but your mind goes blank? These are just a few of the common challenges students face when taking a test.

As your final exams are quickly approaching, we strongly encourage checking out the Student Lingo recorded workshop entitled, Taking Tests Online: Strategies For Successtest anxiety

How often do you feel like you know the material like the back of your hand, but when you get into the testing situation, you freeze? This workshop discusses various strategies for test preparation and coping skills for situations that provoke test anxiety. The presenter does a great job describing scenarios in a testing situation that can easily lead to test anxiety in addition to our internal messages and how best to control them. She also discusses external circumstances that contribute to test anxiety and how to keep them at bay before you enter the testing situation.

The presentation also contains strategies for taking different types of tests ranging from multiple choice to true/false to essay formats. The presenter’s emphatic style and her understanding of issues related to test anxiety keeps you engaged and hopefully, when you take your exam, you will feel more confident and at peace after viewing this presentation!

We also encourage you to look back at a previous ELI Student Blog post called Plan for success on your next test: A compilation of ELI Testing Resources.

As you prepare for your exams, make sure you know your testing location and policies. Whether you are going to a campus testing center, a VCCS college testing center, or using ProctorU, make sure you have all the updated information including testing center hours.

If you need assistance locating helpful study resources, contact the ELI Student Success Coach at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.764.5076.

Planning for Your ELI Exams

Whether you are new or a seasoned online learner, it is important to plan well and be aware of ELI’s testing requirements. All ELI courses require proctored exams or assignments. For more about NOVA’s testing policies, view the Testing Information Website.

exam daYA PLUS

ELI offers three methods to fulfill this requirement:

Campus Testing Centers

Students that live in the local area can use any Campus Testing Center. All 6 campuses have a testing center, and it doesn’t matter which one you go to throughout the term. When using a Campus Testing Center:

  • Know the Hours of the Campus Testing Center: Be aware of testing center hours, location, and parking available for the campus you are going to. Double check campus testing center hours before going to campus, just in case!
  • Plan Well: Do not wait until the last minute to take your exam – it is possible that you could be turned away from the testing center if lines are long and you have not provided enough time to wait and then take the test. As you plan, consider the possibility of traffic, weather, parking, lines, etc.
  • Review Your Course Syllabus: Before going to take your test, be sure you are aware of your exam requirements. Any special information about your test should be referenced in your syllabus. Are you allowed to have a note card, scratch paper, etc.? Check your syllabus and be aware of your test conditions.
  • Exam Pass/Photo ID: When you arrive at the testing center, you will need to turn in your Exam Pass and show a photo ID.  You will need to print your exam pass from the Taking Exams and Using Exam Passes section your course Syllabus.
  • Checking In: When you check-in, you will be asked to stow away your personal belongings in a secure locker. You may want to bring minimal items with you.
  • Multiple Exams: If you are taking more than one exam, you will be required to have an exam pass for each exam and wait in the line for each exam. Please plan accordingly.
  • Be Prepared: Be sure to get plenty of rest and eat a healthy meal or snack before testing. You may also want to consider a short walk to clear your mind before going into the testing center.

Out of Area: Proctor Request

If you are out of the area, or planning to be out of the area at any point throughout your course, you will need to identify a Proctor to supervise your ELI exams. If you have not already, you should begin the process immediately.

Virginia residents (outside of Northern Virginia): You may take your exams at any Virginia Community College testing center, via our online proctoring service, ProctorU, if it is available in your course (check the availability of this service in your course under Exams), or at the testing center of another Virginia college/university at which you are a student (submit a proctor request form for approval). Use the College Locator feature on the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) website to find a college near you.

Students in other states/outside the US: You may take your exams at a college/university testing center near you (submit a proctor request form for approval), or via our online proctoring service, ProctorU, if it is available in your course. Check the availability of this service in your course under Exams.

  • It is the student’s responsibility to secure a proctor and to pay any related fees.
  • To request a proctor, complete the ELI Proctor Request Form and submit it with your Proctor’s statement on letterhead to ELI Course Specialists at elicoursespecialists@nvcc.edu.
  • Requests for proctored exams and proctors must be approved by ELI. ELI reserves the right to reject requests for proctors for any reason.

ProctorU Testing Service

ProctorU might be an option for one or more of your classes, and allow you to take your exams from your home computer. Using a webcam with a microphone, speakers, and a reliable high-speed internet connection, you can take your exams anywhere. Courses offering this option will have the ProctorU Information in the course Blackboard under the links, Taking Exams and Using Exam Passes in your course Syllabus. If you choose to use this online proctoring service:

  • You will need to schedule to take your exam(s) through ProctorU at least 72 hours prior to testing to avoid a late fee.
  • An associate from the ProctorU will scan your room to ensure no one else is in the room and that the area is clear of books, papers, etc.
  • You must be 18 or older and be prepared to show a current photo ID prior to the exam.
  • You must have speakers & microphone and a webcam connected to your computer and in working order.
  • You cannot take bathroom breaks during the exam and no one is allowed in the room with you.
  • Please note there is a 15 to 30 minute period before you begin your exam itself to verify your identity, to ensure your testing environment is secure, and to ensure your system is working properly. Do not schedule your exam at the last minute.

Regardless of your method of testing, the ELI Success Coaches are here to help you succeed in your ELI courses. We offer online workshops, referrals, ELife Blogs with testing tips and more. ELI Success Coaches can be reached at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076.

We wish you much success on your exams and remind you that when testing, you may only use materials your proctor specifically tells you may be used, based on instructions from the instructor. Also, as an ELI student, you are required to follow the code of conduct as outlined in the NOVA Student Handbook.

For more about NOVA’s testing policies, view the Testing Information Website.

Written by Adrienne, ELI Student Success Coach

Updated 2/2016