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Frequently Asked Questions on Proctored Exams

  1. What is a proctored exam?
    A proctored exam is one that is overseen by an impartial individual (a proctor) who monitors a student during an exam. The proctor ensures the security and integrity of the exam process.
  2. What does a proctor do?
    A proctor is a liaison between Florida State University and its students to ensure that testing is done under secure conditions.
  3. Why would an instructor choose to give proctored exams?
    It is possible to provide an exam for students online without using a proctor. However, there is better assurance of security if a proctor monitors the process.
  4. What are proctor responsibilities?
    • Receive exam instructions, which are sent to the proctor several days before the window opens
    • Ensure the identity of test-takers by requiring a government-issued photo ID with signature such as a valid FSU Student ID Card, State-issued driver's license, or State-issued ID (students who do not provide a satisfactory ID must be turned away)
    • Maintain proximity with and monitor the student during the entire test-taking period to ensure the student does not use any unauthorized aides at any time during the exam
    • Ensure all necessary technologies are available and working
    • For paper-based exams (paper/pencil), the proctor should download the exam from the secure server (using their own username/password) and print the exam before the student arrives.
    • Securely store all exam materials prior to and after the exam (the student may have access to the exam only during the time period allowed by the instructor)
    • The proctor must follow the instructor's requirements for administering the exam. These may include a time limit and inclusion or exclusion of books, calculators, notes, etc.
    • For paper-based exams, the proctor should return testing materials directly to the instructor via fax or email (instructions on how to do so should be included in the exam instructions.) Should an exam need to be returned by mail, the student provides shipping.
  5. Who are our proctors?
    Proctors are carefully screened to ensure that they administer exams in compliance with strict security guidelines. Beginning spring, 2010, students must choose a proctor using an online designation form. If the nearest proctor is 100 miles away, the student should contact Assessment & Testing as soon as possible (it is in their best interest to do so before Drop/Add is over). In all cases, an acceptable proctor is someone with no conflict of interest in upholding FSU's Academic Honor Policy.
  6. Who may be added to the list of approved proctors?
    A student may request for a testing facility to be added to the list. Only public testing facilities that are able to proctor exams according to our policies and FSU's Academic Honor Policy may be added. The Proctored Testing staff carefully screen each requested testing facility using the Proctor Approval Guidelines.
  7. To what technology must the proctor have access at the testing site?
    Each proctor must be comfortable with technology and have the ability to use the following:
    • A valid and working email address
    • Internet access for downloading PDFs (Adobe Acrobat files) from a secure website (exams are distributed to proctors via the Internet.)
    • A printer
    • Internet access for students taking internet-based exams
  8. How does the proctor receive exams and return them to FSU?
    • For online exams within campus.fsu.edu (Blackboard), Assessment & Testing will inform the proctors of the password and any additional exam information just prior to the exam window.
    • For paper-based exams, the exam will be available in PDF format on a secure website. Assessment & Testing will send new proctors instructions on creating a Blackboard password. Just prior to the exam window, Assessment & Testing will send an Exam-Ready email to the proctors. The proctor will log on to FSU's Blackboard site, print the exam, and administer it to the student according to the instructions provided by the instructor. The exam may be returned directly to the instructor via fax or email (instructions on how to do so should be included in the exam instructions). If an exam needs to be returned by mail, the student will need to provide shipping, as Assessment & Testing no longer provides shipping.
  9. What are the student's responsibilities?
    • Select a proctor within the first two weeks of the semester (or earlier, if the syllabus requires).
    • Ensure that the proctor is able to administer the exam within the exam window outlined in the course syllabus.
    • Ensure that the selected proctor has the ability to use the required technology.
    • Provide the exam schedule to the approved proctor and confirm that the proctor will administer exams. This is especially important for the final exam as some testing facilities are closed to outside students during their exam week.
    • Pay any fees that may be charged to them by their proctor.
    • If required, schedule a day and time to take the exam with their proctor within the testing window outlined in the course syllabus.
    • Students are alerted that failure to assume these responsibilities will be a matter to resolve with the instructor and could result in a failing grade on the exam in question.
    Note: Fees for proctoring services are the responsibility of the student.
  10. What happens after I submit the Proctor Request?
    Students receive email confirmation on proctor approvals. If confirmation is not received by the third week of the term, Assessment & Testing must be notified to verify that the proctor request was received. It is important that the email is carefully examined as it contains further instructions on making arrangements for taking exams. Proctor verification is encouraged via the online proctor designation form.
  11. How do students access exam(s)?
    • Several days prior to the exam window, Proctored Testing Staff informs proctors of passwords and any additional exam information.
    • Students log onto their Blackboard account, go to the course site, and select the link for the exam.
    • When prompted, proctors enter the password (at no time do students receive passwords).


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