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Supervised (ProctorU) online exams

If you have a supervised exam conducted through ProctorU, make sure you’ve read through the ‘Taking online exams’ Canvas site ahead of time to ensure you’re prepared and set up to take your online exam. We strongly encourage you do a practice test – so you can test out your computer and internet, and so you know what to expect when your real exam starts. There are certain rules and regulations governing exams to make sure every student is assessed on a fair and equal basis. It is important for you to become familiar with these instructions before you sit your exam.

Setting up your room for supervision

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 share an internet connection with anyone, ask them to avoid using it at the scheduled time of the exam.

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

Details of any extra materials you're allowed in the exam, such as a textbook, a calculator or a language dictionary will be listed in your Canvas exam or test site. Approved materials will be checked by your proctor before the exam begins.

Calculators need to be a hand-held device that is not a mobile phone or tablet. They cannot have any internet/WiFi capability.

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.

Photo identification

Before your exam starts, you will need to show one form of valid photo identification which includes your full name. We will accept:

  • a University of Sydney student card
  • a passport (Australian or international)
  • an Australian driver’s license
  • an Australian photo card
  • Government Issued ID (only applicable for remote students).

You may use a digital Government-issued ID stored on your phone if you do not have any of the physical IDs mentioned above. To do this:

  • let your Proctor know that you will be using a Digital ID (Live+ exams only)
  • show the digital ID as you would with an ID card, ensuring that the name and photo are clearly visible in the ProctorU screen
  • get off your seat and place the phone away from your desk while in the camera view
  • return back to your seat to continue with your exam.

We are not able to accept identification that has expired. A picture or PDF version of a digital ID, or photocopies or photos of your identification will not be accepted.

When proceeding through identity checks, students who wear full-face veils are welcome to request a live proctor of a specific gender. Please use the 'chat now' button to do so.


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.

Communication devices and headphones

You are not allowed to communicate with anyone else during an online test or exam. This means during a proctored test or exam, 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 also not allowed to wear headphones unless your exam's Canvas site specifies otherwise.

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 Supervised (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.

Troubleshooting during your exam

Each exam site homepage in Canvas has clear instructions about what to do if things go wrong during the exam and who to contact after the exam. Make sure you’ve read all the information online as thoroughly possible so that you do know what to do if anything goes wrong.

  • Technical issues
    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.
  • Something unexpected
    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.
  • How to get help
    If you have any issues or questions during the exam, use the chat option to be connected to someone straight away. You can do this through the chat window that you used to communicate with your proctor at the start of the exam.

When things go wrong – special consideration

If something happens and you are not able to complete your exam, you will be able to apply for special consideration.

Situations where you can apply for special consideration:

  • Technical issue that you couldn’t rectify in the exam
    • issues with internet connection
    • problems with your VPN.
  • Computer issues including webcam, microphone problems, software issues.
  • An error message when you submit your take-home exam.
  • You were interrupted during the exam (e.g. loud noise outside).

You can upload a student declaration (docx, 51KB) 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.

Exam tips

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Last updated: 13 March 2024

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