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How online exams work

You should refer to the Canvas site for each of your units for more details on what format the exams or assignments will be in.

For any online exam, think of it as if you’re taking a regular exam in a hall. Clear your desk, take your study notes down and grab a glass of water.

Check the battery on your mouse and keyboard and make sure no other programs are running to avoid notifications showing on your screen.

Log in to your special exam Canvas site (available in your Canvas dashboard) to begin your exam.

Types of proctored exams

There are two types of supervision that we’ll be using for our exams. Your unit of study will tell you ahead of time which format your exam will be in:


This involves a human supervisor launching and monitoring the assessment and supervising you throughout. You won’t be able to see the supervisor but you can contact them at any time using the chat option. You’ll be asked to do a room check which involves you moving your webcam around the room to show the supervisor your space. Find out more about Live+ and watch a demo video of how it will work.

If you have a Live+ exam you will also need to schedule your exam ahead of time. Find out how to schedule your exam.


This uses an AI software to launch and monitor the exam. There is no live monitoring during the exam but a supervisor will review the recording after and any flags raised by the AI software. The AI will check your environment in the room for you so you won’t need to do a webcam room check like you do with the Live+ exams. Find out more about Review+ and watch a demo video of how it will work.

What rules apply when doing an exam from home?

Acceptable room surroundings

You should aim to make your space as similar as possible to an exam room.

Try to be in a quiet room by yourself with no interruptions. If you live with other people, let them know ahead of time that you have an exam, and ask them not to disturb or interact with you until you’ve completed it.

If you can, position yourself in a place where your back is against a wall.

You should have a clear desk with no books or notes and make the area as tidy as possible. If the room is dark, you may need a lamp.

What to bring and permitted materials

Your unit coordinator will let you know if you are allowed specific extra materials in the exam, such as a textbook or a calculator. The usual rules apply here, you can only use approved calculators and dictionaries. Approved materials will be checked by your proctor before the exam begins.

You can have water in the exam as long as it’s in a clear glass/bottle.

Otherwise you are only allowed materials that have been specified by your unit of study coordinator.

Communication devices and headphones

You are not allowed to communicate with anyone else during an online exam. This means communication devices such as mobile and smartphones are not permitted in your exam environment (on your desk, or on your person).

Because headphones are often enabled for communication purposes,  you are not allowed to wear headphones during your exam. You should use earplugs if you need to block out sounds around you during your exam.

If you are observed wearing headphones or any kind of earpiece that can be used for communication purposes, regardless of whether you are using it for this purpose, this will most likely be seen as an example of exam cheating and a breach of academic honesty.

During the exam

During the exam you’ll need to stay seated and visible through your webcam but you can of course stretch and take your time to think.

If you need to go to the bathroom during the exam you can, but the action of leaving the room will be recorded and reviewed, so try to go beforehand. If you’re doing a Live+ exam you may want to communicate this to your proctor using the chat option.

If your proctor thinks that an integrity breach has occurred during a Live+ exam, they will give a verbal warning. The exam will not be stopped, but the incident will be reported to Educational Integrity.

We know that under the current lockdown situation, finding a quiet place without any disruptions might be tricky. We’ve asked ProctorU to relax their guidelines for reporting disruptions to your environment. If someone walks into your room to ask you what time dinner is for example, or your children run through the background, this is fine, as long as they are not interacting with you to an extent that would affect the academic integrity of your exam.

We’re all learning with this new technology, but let’s try to minimise anything that would be unfair to your fellow students.

What if I have issues during the proctored exam?

If your internet connection drops out or your computer shuts down during a proctored online exam, you just need to log back in to ProctorU and select the Chat Now button at the bottom right hand side of your screen to reconnect. If you have a live supervisor they will also try to ring you on the number you provided.

If something unexpected happens during the exam, such as getting interrupted by a housemate, don’t worry, you won’t be kicked out of the exam. Footage from your exam will be reviewed later to make sure that nothing happened that could have compromised academic integrity.

If you have any issues or questions during the exam, use the chat option to be connected to someone straight away. In Live+ exams you can do this through the chat window that you used to communicate with your proctor at the start of the exam. In Review+ exams, select the Chat now button on the bottom right hand side of your screen to connect to a proctor.

If something happens and you are not able to complete your exam, you will be able to apply for Special Consideration. You can upload a student declaration as your supporting document with a statement describing the issue, along with any supporting evidence such as screenshots or emails and you need to apply within 72 hours of the problem occurring. You should also email your unit coordinator to let them know.

We’re all learning with this new technology, so we understand that it may be daunting and you may have questions. Make sure you’ve read all the information online as thoroughly possible so that you do know what to do if anything goes wrong.

How does ProctorU handle my privacy?

It is important that you have confidence that your privacy is safeguarded. Thorough legal, cyber-security, privacy and capability analysis was carried out by relevant University units before the University entered into an arrangement with ProctorU.

ProctorU will only require your basic student information (name, email address and phone number) and in most cases will not require access to your computer during an exam. An online proctor will not be able to access your computer without your express permission.

More details about ProctorU’s privacy and security can be found on our Privacy and security FAQs.

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Last updated: 28 July 2020

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