If you are taking an online college course, chances are you will have to take a proctored exam at some point. A proctored exam means that the online student must arrange to take the exam under the supervision of a designated “proctor”. Online programs often use proctored exams as a way to ensure the academic integrity of the student’s performance in the class.
In eCore classes, for example, students are required to take at least one proctored exam per course. This is dependent upon the instructor, and can include the course midterm and/or the final exam. The proctored exam is a crucial part of the student’s success, and therefore there are a few things students should consider before making an appointment.
- Register Early
Although the designated testing window for your class may be later in the semester, registration for the exam typically opens in the second week of class. We highly recommend that students make a testing appointment sooner rather than later. Why, you ask? Similar to buying tickets to a concert or sporting event, you want to reserve your spot before all the “good seats are gone.” Testing centers have limited space which can fill up closer to test time, and virtual proctors typically charge extra fees for last minute appointments. Plus, registering early will give you peace of mind and one less thing to worry about when you are in the midst of midterms.
- Face-to-Face vs. Virtual Proctoring
Although face-to-face and virtual proctoring options are available for most USG eCampus courses, we highly recommend selecting a face-to-face option whenever possible. This alleviates the possibility of issues that commonly occur when attempting to test from home— incompatible computer systems, poor internet connections, or lack of bandwidth. At a physical testing center, there is an actual person there to help troubleshoot any issues that may arise. They can pick up the phone and contact the eTesting office for assistance on your behalf if needed. We are proud of the relationships we have built with our institutional testing centers, and they are invested in the success of our students as much as we are!
- Proctoring Costs
While some institutions offer free testing for their students, most testing centers do charge a fee for their services. The fee for a proctored exam can range from $15 - $50. Depending on where and how you test, fees may be collected at registration or at the testing center on exam day. Be mindful of the different costs listed for each proctoring option when scheduling an appointment.
- Location of Testing Centers
At this point, you may be thinking, “I really want to take my exam in person, but I live two hours away from my school, and I work full-time.” The flexibility of online learning has removed the geographical limitations of enrolling in college, which means students may or may not be physically located near their school. The good news is, eCore students are not limited to testing only at their home institution, but can choose from over 35 University System of Georgia testing centers and many Technical College System locations across the state! Many of our partner testing centers even offer evening and weekend hours, which is useful for students who are working while attending school.
Summer classes are in full swing now, and the exam registration forms are open in all classes. Follow our advice, and get that one thing checked off the list early in the semester. You can find more information about proctored exams, including a directory of affiliate institution testing centers, on the testing page of the eCore Website. If you need assistance making your proctored exam appointment, please contact the USG eCampus eTesting office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 678-839-4900.
Have you made your appointment yet? Got any proctored exam tips for first time online students? Share your wisdom in the comments below.