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FAQ-ON-EXAM-PROCTORING

Examination and Proctoring | 10 Min Read

Exam Proctoring: Answers to all your test proctoring questions

Introduction To Exam Proctoring

The ongoing pandemic has forced the education sector to plan continuity in learning and examinations by embracing the online mode of examination. However, many continue to remain indecisive and hesitant. The transition to the online ecosystem is no longer a challenge as several vendors provide sophisticated exam proctoring software. Unfortunately, the knowledge gap restricts the natural progression. 

The inability to ask or find answers to many simple questions on proctoring, such as what is exam proctoring, what is an online test proctor, how to find a proctor for an exam, can students take a proctored exam at home, is hindering their transition. Schools and colleges are open to offering online learning, but online exams via proctoring are yet resisted. 

It’s about time we change that.  

It’s unrealistic to expect examiners or students or even proctors to feel comfortable about a process about which they know little. No one is an expert at everything, all of the time. It is unfair to expect from them to know everything about exam proctoring

Therefore, in this blog, we’ve enlisted the answers to all the possible questions that examiners, proctors and students have regarding remotely proctored exams, proctored tests, or the efficiency of online proctoring services, to name a few. This exhaustive list assuages concerns, acts as a tool of preparedness to drive greater acceptance of exam proctoring.

Frequently Asked Question on Exam Proctoring Before the Exam

Questions asked by Examiners:

  • What is exam proctoring? What does proctoring an exam mean?

Exam proctoring meaning and proctor exam meaning is the same- invigilation of exam-takers remotely, using audio and video and other anti-cheating methods to ensure integrity, credibility and authenticity to online exams.

  • Can anyone proctor an exam?

No, anyone cannot proctor an exam in a remote proctored tool setting. Trained and experienced proctors, good with technology and well versed with the entire exam proctoring system, are employed to proctor exams online. Faculty members can also be accepted as proctors if they are trained on the exam proctoring software.

  • What are the advantages of an online proctored exam?

Online proctored exams have innumerable advantages. They include: 

*Making international remote education remotely accessible

*Allowing time-related flexibility

*Favor all students irrespective of their location

*Works for all types of exams

  • How to find a proctor for an exam? Where can I find a test proctor?

Often, vendors providing exam proctoring services extend services of providing trained and experienced professional proctors. However, if institutes and universities are keen on having their faculty proctor a test online, leading players, such as Mercer | Mettl, train faculty members on various aspects of exam proctoring.

  • How do online proctors work?

An online proctor remotely monitors students and course participants taking exams at a place of their choosing. A prerequisite of the remotely proctored exam is that students have to enable proctoring on their devices. They have to accept sharing their screen, video and audio. With one-to-one and one-to-many proctoring viewing features, an online proctor chooses their classroom view to proctor a test online, from start to finish. Most vendors, such as Mercer | Mettl, provide a live chat option, enabling the invigilator to chat with students to assuage concerns. 

  • How much does it cost to proctor an exam?

Online proctoring service providers tailor their offerings based on clients’ budgetary allocation. Exam proctoring services are readily accessible and affordable for all high and low-stakes exams. However, customer satisfaction always takes precedence. Therefore, the best practice is to opt for a free trial of the product to determine its effectiveness and usability. 

  • Is a proctored exam easy to set up and use?

Yes, a proctored exam is extremely easy to set up and use. With basic guidance, even the senior-most faculty, without any technical expertise, can set up a proctored exam.  

  • How do proctored exams work?

A proctored exam is not a self-proctored exam. A prerequisite for any remotely proctored exam is for the test-taker to switch on their video and audio and verify their identity. This webcam proctored test online varies across proctoring service providers. Some remote proctoring solutions have a 3-point identity verification, while others have sophisticated biometrics. In either case, the test-taker cannot start the exam unless their verification has been validated. After approval, an AI or a human proctor monitors the exam from start to finish. They swiftly spot discrepancies in the process of the proctored test. Adding human proctors is typically not needed in AI-based proctoring. 

  • When are online test proctors available?

The availability of proctors depends on the exam proctoring service provider. While some offer specific slots, others ensure round the clock availability.  

  • What are the different types of exam proctoring?

The different types of exam proctoring include:

  • Live Proctoring- A human invigilator supervises the exam remotely via webcam.
  • Auto Proctoring- AI-based proctoring monitors the candidate’s live webcam feed, auto-flags up to 18 digressions with 95% accuracy.
  • Recorded Proctoring- There’s no proctor involved in monitoring the entire session in real-time. Instead, the candidates' audio-visual and screen-sharing feeds are recorded throughout the test and reviewed later at the proctor's convenience.
  • Center-based exams have slots for their exams. Can the same be achieved in a proctored test online without any glitch?

Yes, a proctored test online can be slotted as per the institutes’ or the universities’ exam calendar without any load issues. Test proctoring companies, such as Mercer | Mettl, have a well-tested slotting prowess – it has successfully hosted 1000 students simultaneously, every minute of the hour. They can share the factual data, such as technical graphs, load testing data, and figures if desired.  

  • How to install remote proctoring software into the system?

Each vendor has its way of installing the online test proctoring software onto the system. It can be done via downloads, plug-ins or integration.

Mercer | Mettl’s Proctoring technology (Mettl Proctoring as a Service) is easy to install onto a system in either of the two ways:

  • LTI-based integration with 250+ LTI compliant platforms such as Canvas, Moodle, D2L, edX, Blackboard and others. This integration is possible in minutes via the plug-in or start-stop method.
  • API-based deep integration with Non-LTI compliant systems within a week, with the option of adding custom workflows.
  • How do we best prepare students for online proctored exams?

It is best to enable demo tests to gain familiarity and build confidence before taking the actual test to ensure no change in the exam-takers’ experience during remotely proctored online exams.

Test proctoring companies such as Mercer | Mettl offered first-time online test-takers, for MAT, the provision of trying out a proctoring enabled paid demo test.

There is no limit to the number of times one can take these 10-minute tests to get accustomed to the online exam process. Students and even faculty members can practice and hone their test-taking strategies.

  • How effective is the proctoring technology in cheating detection?

Today, the market is replete with test proctoring companies providing the most sought after, state-of-the-art, cloud-based proctoring features that enable academicians to host and proctor online exams from home with integrity. They enable minimal browsing tolerance, eliminate any impersonation possibility by validating the exam-taker and provide the most relevant results to administrators. The right proctoring technology will negate the use of unfavorable means such as passing chits, whispering, eyeballing for help, and leveraging technological advancements for cheating online. It will make online proctored exam cheating next-to-impossible for candidates.

Mercer | Mettl’s AI proctoring is incredibly futuristic with cheating predictions and accuracy. After mining and analyzing hoards of data on patterns and trends in test-takers’ behavior, its technology is hands-on at auto-flagging a variety of suspicious cases with 95%+ accuracy. Mercer | Mettl’s AI proctoring does not require human assistance.

  • What is a non-proctored exam?

A non-proctored exam meaning unsupervised exams that don’t need an online test proctor. They are mostly self-proctored exams

  • What if there is a technical glitch in the course of the exam?

Test proctoring can encounter technical problems owing to power cuts, computer malfunction, internet instability or other technical challenges. But Mercer | Mettl’s customer support team resolves issues promptly and reduces the impact of the glitch, preserving the integrity of the online proctored exam. They ensure the exam starts from where there was a glitch, and the student has the same time left to attempt the remainder of the test.

  • Which is the best online proctor exam near me?

If you’re seeking the best online proctor exam nearby, your choice of proctoring provider should depend upon its ability to provide end-to-end online proctoring solutions for conducting online exams from home, seamlessly and affordably, with high exam integrity. Mercer | Mettl is a leading technology company that provides a sophisticated slew of result analytics and proctoring services to a global clientele. It is the only Indian company to feature in Gartner’s Global Market Guide for Top Proctoring Vendors in the World. Replete with location-agnostic, robust anti-cheating features, AI-proctored supervision, human proctoring flexibility and stand-alone services that solve continuity-related concerns, Mercer | Mettl’s online proctoring services are the best-in-class.

It has conducted 20 million proctored exams to date and has also undertaken one lakh proctored assessment in a day.

Questions asked by Students:

  • What does it mean when a test is proctored online?

Online test proctoring meaning remote invigilation of test-takers, using audio and video and other anti-cheating methods to ensure integrity, credibility and authenticity of online test proctoring.

  • Can you cheat in a remote proctored exam?

Depending on the test proctoring software provider, one has to attest to the various anti-cheating mechanisms. The best test proctoring software will have state-of-the-art tools to prevent students from indulging in unethical activities. 

  • Can you take a proctored exam at home?

Yes, you have the freedom to take a proctored exam from home or any other place, provided it is a complacent environment free from fraud.

  • How is an online exam proctored?

In a remote proctored test mode, the test-taker has to switch on their video and audio and verify their identity. However, this webcam proctored test varies across proctoring service providers. Some have a 3-point identity verification, while others have the provision of sophisticated biometrics. 

In either case, the test-taker cannot start the exam before validating their verification. After the approval, the remote proctored test begins, and an AI or a human proctor monitors the exam from start to finish. They are quick to spot discrepancies in the proctored exam process and don’t require manual assistance. 

  • Can a proctor see your screen?

Proctors can only access a candidate’s screen when granted explicit permission by the candidates. After gaining permission, proctors can view the screens and utilize the keyboard and mouse as if they were sitting beside the candidate. To proctor an examination well, they monitor everything on the screen after the test commences. A chat box is visible on the candidates’ computer screen during the test, and they can at any time view the permissions accorded to a proctor. The entire session log is saved with the complete record of the proctor’s actions during the exam. However, proctors cannot access the candidates’ computer files without their knowledge. Every action they take shows up on the screen and eliminates the possibility of performing any activity without the candidates’ consent or knowledge.

  • How do students access proctored exams remotely?

Students simply have to click on the test link sent by their university or institute to commence their examination. Here is a simple guide for test-takers with all the information they need before giving a test on Mercer | Mettl’s platform.

  • What is the required internet speed for the exam?

The minimum ideal internet speed for an online remote proctored examination is 512kbps.

  • Where can I take an online proctored exam? 

You can take an online proctored exam from any remote location of your choice. There are no specific proctored exam locations.

  • What do I need to take an online proctored exam from home?

There are four simple requirements for taking online proctored exams from home:

  • A compatible device (desktop, laptop)
  • Uninterrupted connectivity (of at least 512kbps)
  • Functional input devices - webcam and a microphone
  • Latest compatible browsers
  • What is a valid ID to take the proctored exam online?

While Indian candidates can be validated with an aadhar card or a passport, ascertaining an ideal identification document for international applicants depends on the university’s or the institute’s specifications.  

  • Can I take the exam on my mobile phone or tablet? 

It is preferred that remote proctored online exams be taken on desktop computers, laptops, rather than tablets, iPads, or mobile devices.

  • Is a proctored exam difficult? Can I practice it?

A proctored exam is not at all difficult. It is the same as a traditional exam, just that it’s given online. And yes, you can check with your test proctoring company or your institute to allow you to take demo tests to familiarize yourself with the process. Check this link for some simple steps to take your test

  • Is there any change in the examination experience for me?

Ideally, once you get the hang of the remotely proctored test, you will not feel any change in experience or hassle in taking exams online. 

  • What if the system hangs or electricity or the internet goes off?

Such technical problems are often encountered during test proctoring. But to preserve the integrity of the online proctored exam, Mercer | Mettl’s customer support team resolves issues promptly and minimizes the impact of the glitch on the exam.

Questions Asked by the Proctors:

  • What does a proctor mean?

Proctor meaning a supervisor or invigilator who monitors students or candidates during an examination or proctored assessment

  • Who is a test proctor?

A test proctor is hired specially to invigilate test-takers during a remotely proctored test or exam

  • What does online proctoring mean?

Online proctoring refers to a digital form of invigilation using state-of-the-art monitoring software. An online remote proctored exam allows the proctors to invigilate remotely, using audio, video, and various anti-cheating features to maintain the exam’s integrity, ensuring its credibility and authenticity.

  • What are the duties of a test proctor?

The duties of a test proctor include being vigilant throughout the test and creating a cheating-free environment. They must be familiar with the rules and regulations of the required exam to ensure students follow the guidelines diligently. Maintaining the academic integrity of the test is of the utmost priority to the test proctor. The duties of a proctor in universities often vary based on their requirements. 

  • What qualities should an exam proctor have?

The exam proctor, when proctoring an exam, should be fair and have good judgment skills to proctor the exam objectively. They should act responsibly and communicate with the students with ease when supervising high-stakes exams. Additionally, they must have a fundamental knowledge of technology and also be well-informed about the entire exam proctoring system to provide the same accountability as in a physical examination. 

  • How to proctor a test online?

Online proctors can operate from any preferable remote location and monitor students and course participants taking exams at a place of their choosing. A prerequisite of the remotely proctored exam is that students have to enable proctoring on their devices. They have to accept sharing their screen, video and audio. The proctor then gets a one-to-one and one-to-many proctoring feature to remotely view the students from start to finish. For example, Mercer | Mettl provides a live chat option, enabling the invigilator to chat with the students in case of suspicion while proctoring online exams

  • Can we proctor an exam with Zoom?

It is possible to proctor exams online with zoom and other third-party tools, but it won’t be cheating-free. This makes the whole examination process futile. Additionally, proctoring service providers have their exam proctoring software integrated onto the clients and the proctor’s system to initiate a seamless, uninterrupted cheating-free remote proctored test mode.

Frequently Asked Questions on Test Proctoring During the Exam

Questions asked by Examiners:

  • How do we know the right student is taking the remotely proctored exam?

To ensure there is no impersonation and only the right student takes the remotely proctored online exam, proctors and examiners can employ various means to identify the exam-taker. They can leverage the 3-point candidate authentication system that ensures the candidate’s authenticity. Live authentication begins after the candidate clicks on the exam link. The webcam proctored test will first ask students to click their photo and show their ID proof and verify via an OTP. Or they can use sophisticated biometrics to attest to the candidate’s legitimacy.

  • How do we ensure the integrity of the proctoring process?

Mercer | Mettl’s empowering new feature, Super Proctor, provides end-client visibility in a live proctored drive. One or multiple super proctors can supervise the exam proctoring drive and ensure efficient proctoring. This assures the examiners that the examination process was not compromised.

  • How to prevent cheating in an online proctored exam?

During a proctored exam online, the proctor can view students’ every activity and gauge their intentions. Everything occurring in the student’s room is under the proctor’s supervision. Before beginning the proctored exam online, students must perform a 360-degree webcam tour of the area to ensure compliance with exam policies and regulations. This activity also helps proctors ensure there is no unfair play to gain an undue advantage during the exam. The ongoing online surveillance prevents unauthorized persons from entering the student’s room and keeps the respondent from using unfair means to game the system. That’s where a webcam proctored test is beneficial and eliminates any scope for cheating. Subsequently, a Secure Browser eliminates any form of on-screen cheating. The browser disables all external ports, right-click menu options, function keys, keyboard shortcuts and screen sharing software and websites.

  • What prevents a candidate from searching the internet or taking screenshots of the exam questions?

A safe exam browser can be enabled to prevent candidates from searching the internet or taking screenshots of the exam questions. All right-click menu options, function keys and keyboard shortcuts are disabled. Therefore, students can’t take screenshots of the test and copy/paste when taking the test on a standard browser.

  • How can students write math, chemistry questions and make freehand graphs online?

Test proctoring companies such as Mercer | Mettl offer top-notch online examination features, such as the Equation Editor. It allows students to key in response to format equations for math and chemistry. They can undertake simple and complex formulae writing, math equations, calculus, integration, differentiation, trigonometry and matrices, etc. – all chemical notation and equations online.

Mercer | Mettl's equation editor for writing simple to complex formulaes

Mercer | Mettl's equation editor for writing complicated equations

Mercer | Mettl's equation editor for writing

  • How do we restrict browser movement during the examination?

By enabling browsing tolerance, proctors can restrict candidates from navigating to any other website. A safe exam browser defines a limit for browsing tolerance. The candidate’s test will be finished automatically upon reaching the pre-designated limit.

One can also use the Mettl Secure Browser (MSB) to provide the candidate with a lockdown environment, which does not allow screen minimization and navigation.

The access to search engines and social media accounts is barred inside the MSB. The MSB also terminates all shortcut functions and other operating websites upon its launch. Check this link to understand the simple steps to download and install MSB.

  • If it’s an ‘open book’ exam, will the system flag the students?

If it’s an open book exam with a test proctor, the examiner needs to inform the proctors about the scenario to have a complete awareness of situational concerns.

Questions for Students:

  • How to create an exam-taking environment when taking the exam from home?

The environment must be quiet and complacent. Please ensure that the desktop is clutter-free, and no one else other than the test-taker is present in the room. Unapproved items and devices must be placed out of sight and reach. Always be in the viewing frame of the proctor to assuage suspicion. 

  • Can I have rough sheets on me during my proctored exam?

You can have a rough sheet or any other physical writing material, provided the examiner or the test proctor approves of it. 

  • How do I write my test online?

There are various ways to write a test online, depending on the question paper format. Students can use various editors that allow mathematical formulae, graphs, etc. They can also write on a page and upload it onto the system.

  • Can I have other windows open during the exam?

No one can have any additional window open during the test-taking process unless previously approved or whitelisted by the institute or university.

  • Are breaks allowed during the online proctored exam?

No, you are not allowed to take breaks during an online proctored exam unless approved by the proctor or examiner.

  • How can I ask questions during the exam?

A live chat option enables the students to ask the proctor questions during the exam. 

  • How early can I start my exam?

An online proctored examination will only begin at the scheduled time. 

  • What should I do if I get disconnected from my exam or face any other technical trouble during the exam?

Technical problems are often encountered during test proctoring owing to power cuts, computer malfunction, internet instability, or any other unforeseen technical glitches. Though, it is also always best to inform the proctor about any technical trouble during the exam.

The exam starts from the same point where there was a glitch, and students have the same time left when they restart the exam. Mercer | Mettl’s customer support team resolves issues promptly and minimizes the impact on the exam to preserve the integrity of the online proctored exam. It has helped IIMB Proctor 1.2M+ learners across 180 countries without a glitch

  • What if I accidentally close the exam window during the exam?

If you’ve accidentally closed the exam window during a low-stakes exam, the exam tends to start from where you have left, with the remaining time and the same question page. However, a proctoring service provider such as Mercer | Mettl ensures no possibility of such an incident. A student will have to complete the entire exam to move out of the test window.

Questions asked by Proctors:

  • How does a proctor allay concerns while proctoring an exam?

While proctoring online exams, some proctoring service providers offer a live chat option, enabling the invigilator to interact with students to allay suspicions or queries

  • How does the proctor view the students/candidates?

To proctor the exam thoroughly, the proctor is given access to a one-to-one and one-to-many viewing feature, just like a classroom view for monitoring remotely from start to finish.

  • What if a test proctor catches a student cheating during the exam? Does the online test proctor have the authority to discontinue an exam for a student during a proctored exam?

Most proctoring service providers offer proctors an added feature of pausing/stopping/resuming a test in real-time if they find a student cheating during a remotely proctored exam. They divert the attention to the management to terminate the exam for the concerned student. The exam can only resume after special permission is obtained from concerned authorities.

Frequently Asked Questions on Exam Proctoring After the Exam

Question asked by Examiners:

  • How safe is online proctoring?

Online proctoring is a safe process. A leading service provider will always have stringent policies and extensive protocols to ensure information privacy and data security at every stage of the proctoring process. 

  • How safe is the data submitted during a remotely proctored exam? What about privacy?

A viable service provider will have a sharper focus on regulations such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and ISO certification to strengthen data privacy. Databases, where the personal information, exam records and other sensitive details of candidates and clients are gathered, are stored in an uncompromisable maximum security storage environment. 

A prominent service provider such as Mercer | Mettl follows a stringent security protocol to safeguard both candidates’ and clients’ data. It is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), a highly secure cloud platform for storage and computation. It uses HTTPS (256 bit SSL encryption) for secure data transmission. It also ensures webcam proctored tests can run on a client’s systems without the need for proctoring software download, and the management ensures the safety and encryption of all data available with it.

Additionally, Mercer | Mettl will:

  • Never barter/sell any information to outside partners
  • Not use the stored data for personal marketing interests
  • For endpoint access, they offer various authentication combinations to address any vulnerability
  • How is a score report generated for the students?

If you leverage an excellent proctoring service provider, they’ll share a detailed auto-generated report after the exam’s completion and submission. The report will provide granular insights into the candidates’ performance. From the time spent on each question, to question-wise, section-wise analytics, an ideal auto-graded, system-generated comprehensive report provides a well-rounded summary of the student’s attempt. 

  • How do we know which candidate had resorted to cheating? How do we know the results of the remotely proctored exam are valid and reliable?

Each vendor has its way of validating the credibility of the candidate and their exam-taking experience. Mercer | Mettl has a proprietary algorithm Credibility Index that provides an exam taker’s integrity score. With valuations such as high, medium and low, the faculty quickly identifies and filters out candidates who may have resorted to cheating.    

  • Who can access the remotely proctored exam report? 

An ideal exam proctoring service provider will ensure that only certified people have access to the data. They set clear guidelines on who can view and access the various resources.

Questions asked by Students:

  • What happens after I’ve submitted the remotely proctored test?

After the test completion and submission, an auto-generated report highlights the examinee’s result. A leading proctored exam software provider such as

Mercer | Mettl’s proprietary algorithm ‘Credibility Index’ provides an integrity score of every exam-taker. With valuations such as high, medium, and low, the faculty quickly identifies and filters out candidates who might have resorted to cheating. The calculations are based on Mercer | Mettl’s proctoring flags, recorded details, and test finish status, ensuring a reliable result generation.

  • How quickly do we get the result?

Results of an online proctored test are almost instantaneous.

What should I do if I have additional queries related to exam proctoring?  

Please feel free to drop us an email at contact@mettl.com for any further clarification or details.

You may also connect with our product experts for more information:

Australia: +61 3 90699664

Indonesia: +62 8 5574678938

India: +91 9555114444

Singapore: +65 3 1386714

Africa: +27 8 75517192

The USA: +1 858 260 3322

UAE: +97 1 8000320460

The UK: +44 1 422400843

Originally published September 23 2020, Updated September 24 2020

Shirisha Jain

Written by

Shirisha has been helping countless brands gain traction with her content. Her deep understanding of the education sector and sound knowledge of technical skills have helped her structure the most creative solutions for key stakeholders. Shirisha has also ghosted pieces for several industry honcho’s successfully published both online and offline. When she's not keeping up with the world, you're sure to find her catching up on bollywood stories or gramming for fun.

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