Some students still love to put pen to paper during competitive exams; some others just to want to click and be done with it

Exams are always stressful for students, be it a class test or an entrance examination and specially so if it is highly competitive. With the prominence of online method for competitive exams gaining, candidates now have an option to choose how they will take their exam — offline (written exam) or online.

Some students are of the opinion that the online mode of examination is very demanding and that it does not provide sufficient time for answering specific questions. Some others say the online exam trains the mind to give a quick and definite answer. A wide range of opinions came up when The Hindu EducationPlus asked students how they preferred their competitive exam, the most common thought being that online tests promote quick thinking. Here is what some students had to say:

Candice Gallyot, Plus Two, Science stream, Mount Carmel College, Bangalore

I wish to write competitive exams offline. Unlike the usual exams where students get to take chances, competitive exams are far more serious in nature as our career depends on them. Online methods can be stressful for students and do not give enough time for a candidate to sit and think and then attempt a question. By mistake if you click on any answer in a hurry, you will lose marks unnecessarily or if you run out of time allotted for each question, again you may be in trouble. In the offline method, you can take enough time, rework on a question that you’re doubtful about or after attempting all the questions, you can check your answers. Exams such as IIT-JEE give a big platform for students who aspire and dream to be an engineer, so it is well and good if candidates do not take chances to experiment with something they are not comfortable with.

Gaurav N., Plus Two, Commerce stream, St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore

I prefer the online mode for conducting competitive exams because of three reasons. The first and the foremost reason is that candidates will have very limited chance for indulging in malpractices. Cheating, copying or even leakage of question paper will decrease to a great extent. The second reason is that the evaluation will be fast and more reliable. You don’t have to wait for months to know whether you cleared the exam or not and whether the marks will be precise or not.

You will get the exact marks for what you have written and not less or more. The final reason is that in an online exam, one has to be quick to find out the answer and there is no time to waste for a specific question alone. Online exams train a person to be quick, which can be useful in the future.

Balaji S., graduate in B.Sc. Genetics, Civil Services aspirant

Both online and offline have their advantages and disadvantages. If one is very flexible, the other is a bit complicated. What I feel is that an exam mode must be student-friendly. Any mode is acceptable if it takes into account what the students favour. Some would be sharp and quick, so they might feel an online test is more applicable for them. Others might feel that they need more time to think and attempt questions, so they would prefer offline exams. It would be nice if the students get both the options and decide in which mode they are comfortable to write. Competitive exams are important, so students must be given the freedom to choose the manner of examination.

Sreedevi T., graduate in B.A. Journalism, preparing for CAT

I prefer online examination over offline. The main reason is that we practice mock tests regularly as a part of preparation for the exam. And suddenly if I am asked to attempt in a different manner I would find it extremely difficult. I feel that the examination mode must be based on the comfort zone of the students. The advantage of writing online examinations is that candidates would know how to manage time properly. Time management is the basic necessity for every competitive examination and the online approach would cultivate the quick response trait in students.

Nagarjun G.A., B.Tech final year student, Dayanand Sagar College, Bangalore

I have written two offline exams and one online exam for different MBA programmes. I feel that online exams are much better as the questions will not be disclosed. In the offline exams there are chances of questions leaking and the students have to rewrite the exams. For multiple question patterns, online is much better. It is difficult to rewrite in an OMR sheet during the written test but it’s easy to select a different option in an online method.

Amritansh Vats, fourth year, B.A.-LL.B., M.S. Ramaiah College of Law, Bangalore

Online exams would be great when it comes to the multiple question pattern but in a descriptive pattern, it is always helpful to have the offline method of examination. Students can enjoy the freedom to think and then attempt a question, which is a challenging task in an online exam. I am sure that plenty of students would find it more comfortable to write than to sit in front of a computer. Online exams are good but cannot be made part of a competitive exam. I feel that offline exams are reassuring, as there are no worries of a computer hanging!