Students weigh in on online vs. in-person testing

Many of Frederick Community College’s students traditionally learned in classrooms. But when the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, students were forced to quickly adapt to online learning.

Although FCC students returned to on-campus learning for the fall 2021 semester, many courses still conduct exams online. That meant for the first exam week during Sept. 16, some students had to take their exams online.

Sophomore Reilly Marquez, 19, said he prefers online exams because they are less stressful.

“I’m a really bad tester,” said the physics major.

He said under the pressure of in-person exams, “everything disappears.”

But many professors allow online exams to be open note, which means “there’s less pressure to memorize everything,” Marquez said.

He said one advantage of having online exams is that he is able to access his notes when professors allow it.

Senior Ree Ann Young, 19, took several online exams last year. She also prefers online exams because there are no distractions when she’s alone in her room.

However, she had used FCC’s Testing Center once for an English class and thought that the environment wasn’t bad. Additionally, she feels less nervous during online exams.

During in-person exams, “you have to watch the clock,” the architecture major said. But online exams are not timed, making them more flexible.

Sophomore Estella Yinog, 19, took in-person classes and online exams at FCC last year. Like Marquez and Young, she prefers online exams because she can focus better while taking them at home.

She said the environment of in-person exams, with teachers watching over students, makes it difficult to concentrate because “you just want to keep looking at them.”

However, she added that in-person exams have an advantage that online exams lack: during in-person exams, the teacher may help with understanding the definitions of terms on the exam.

About Amanda Tsai 5 Articles
Amanda Tsai is a dual enrollment student at FCC. She enjoys drawing, reading and writing. Tsai hopes that by writing for The Commuter, she can expand her writing experience and be more involved with the community at the same time.
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