We know everything is confusing, uncertain, and downright frustrating right now- and the university’s apathy towards the students giving examinations has further exacerbated the stress of the current times. But amidst this emotional rollercoaster, here’s an OBE rewind piece about some things you could do to ensure that the upcoming OBE exams are as stress-free as possible during these turbulent times.
In the run-up to the examinations, make sure to take care of your mental health. Download your admit card and recheck all the details. Prepare only as much as you can, and as much as you need to. Take frequent breaks, stay hydrated and make sure to unwind after a long day of going through study material or preparing summaries. If there is anything that the previous OBEs have taught us, it is that they require a very specific kind of preparation, which does not always include memorizing the text or practicing writing answers, as we do in conventional examinations. Open book examinations lean more towards the technical knowledge and understanding of the text, including all the big ideas in the study material and going over past papers and guides to predict the patterns of question papers.
A student from Lady Shri Ram College for Women says, “We created small study groups and helped one another with summaries to understand and comprehend different parts of the course, and prepared these to easily refer during the exams. We worked together during these uncertain times and our trust and cooperation got us through our previous OBEs stress-free.”
Working together with friends or classmates is a good idea during these times, as OBEs do not require students to memorise the details, rather compile these together from different readings of a particular topic after internalising the basic concepts.
The night before the examinations, remember these examinations aren’t indicative of your academic prowess or merit and we are all going through difficult times. Prepare a top sheet with your name, roll number, college, paper code and course name to scan on top of the answer script and upload. This will prevent any added stress of having to write that on the day of the exam. Prepare either ruled or blank A4 sheets to write the examination and try logging into the portal to ensure that the login details are all in place. Ensure that you have the contact details of the examination nodal officer for your college in case of any discrepancy.
During the examinations, it can get stressful. Paired with time management issues and the time-consuming process of scanning and uploading, many face extreme difficulties in uploading on time before the portal crashes, and sometimes even upload the wrong pdfs. An easy fix for this is to scan every answer after writing it, verify that all the pages are in order and label it according to the answer number so that it is easy to upload at the end, rather than leave all of them to be done in one go as it adds to your stress and anxiety. The best app to scan answer scripts with is Adobe Scan, but other alternatives include Google Drive Scan and Office Lens, although they might be slower.
Another student from Hansraj College says, “I faced difficulties in compressing the files before time ran out and the portal crashed, after which I had to email my answers separately.” A good preemptive measure to make sure that compressing and uploading are easy during the examinations is to bookmark SmallPDF or PDFCompressor Applications to your laptop’s bookmarks bar for easy access to prevent confusion in the last few minutes of the OBE.
If the portal crashes, do not worry. A teacher from Daulat Ram College expresses, “I get panic-stricken messages when the portal crashes in the last hour of the OBE, with students asking for help and worrying that they will be given a zero because they were unable to upload. The portal gets overburdened by the sheer number of people trying to upload at the same time, but I tell them all not to worry, and that they must follow the required procedure for their answer scripts to be considered.” This procedure is twofold: continue uploading answers until the end of the 5th hour, which is the extra hour in case the portal crashes in the designated time, and if you are still unable to upload, take clear screenshots including the time stamp of the portal failure or network issues. As a last resort, email the examination officer of your college with all the answer pdfs attached, clearly mentioning name, roll number, paper code, the reason for not being able to upload and screenshot evidence for the technical failure. Your paper will be considered granted you have legitimate reasons for not being able to upload.
Finally, we are all in this together. These are unprecedented times and everyone is fighting their own battles. No one expects you to ace your Open book examinations or top the class during a global pandemic. Be kind to yourself. Good luck with your exams!
Featured Image Credits: India TV