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How Do Proctored Exams Work?

Written by Des Sinkevich on Thursday, 17 February 2022. Posted in Why Ashworth

Woman taking notes and using laptop.

One part of taking college classes is sitting for and passing your final exams. Final exams measure how much you retained from your classes and if you’re ready to move on to higher-level courses. In your online college degree with Ashworth, you’ll have end of semester exams called “proctored exams” or “semester exams.” They’re an important part of your education, so you want to make sure you understand how they work and what you need to do to pass them. Here’s everything you need to know about proctored exams!

What is a proctored exam?

A proctored exam is an online test overseen by someone other than yourself to make sure all rules are followed and to prevent cheating. Proctored exams are taken at the end of each semester in your college degree program and are also called semester exams.

How do semester exams work

Proctored exams are taken at the end of each semester in your college degree program. That means if you’re enrolled in an associate degree, you’ll take proctored exams four times. If you’re enrolled in a bachelor’s degree, you’ll take proctored exams eight times. These exams evaluate what you learned and retained from all your classes taken in a particular semester. Semester exams are:

  • Proctored. Proctored means that the test is overseen by someone other than yourself to make sure all rules are followed and to prevent cheating.
  • Timed. Test takers have a set time limit to finish the exam. Once time is up, even if you have not finished your exam, you’re required to hand in the exam to your proctor.
  • Open book. Students can use their textbooks, course materials, and notes during the exam if they need them! However, you can’t use the internet or saved files to help with the exam.

Proctored exams are completed online, and questions are multiple choice. They’re also graded on a pass/fail basis, with a minimum score of 70 considered passing. You’re required to take and pass the exam before being able to move on to your next semester.

How to choose a proctor for semester exams

You’re responsible for choosing a proctor for your semester exams. Once you’re getting close to the end of the semester, you’ll need to submit the Proctor Nomination Form to have your chosen proctors approved before you can take your semester exams. You need to pick two potential proctors. Acceptable proctors must meet a few requirements to be approved by the college.

  1. Your proctor can’t be a family member, fellow student, roommate, an immediate supervisor, or anyone else who may have a conflict of interest. This includes a boyfriend or girlfriend, partner, or fiancé.
  2. A good proctor can be a friend, a coworker, a teacher, or even your local librarian.
  3. Your nominated proctors must have access to the internet and a valid email address.
  4. Proctors must be available to be in the room with you while you take your exam.

Once you’ve filled out the Proctor Nomination Form with two potential candidates, you can submit it quickly and easily through your Student Portal by creating a ticket. There’s no fee to do this and it’s the best way to make sure your form is accepted and reviewed as soon as possible. Make sure you include two candidates to be your proctor! It’s important because, should your first choice not be approved, we use your second proctor to send exam information to. If you don’t have a backup proctor candidate, it may take longer to get approval and take your semester exams.

How to take proctored exams

Just like your course exams and quizzes, semester exams are taken online. However, the difference is that you need to have an approved proctor with you while taking the semester exam. In fact, you can’t start the exam without your proctor! Your approved proctor will receive a unique code before the exam that you need to access the test.

Once you’ve started your exam, you’ll be able to reference written notes, textbooks, and other printed materials. You are also allowed to use eBooks if your course has them, but the proctor must directly monitor all online use to make sure you’re only accessing your online Ashworth classes. Accessing other, non-approved internet resources can be considered cheating and cause you to fail the exam.

Can you cheat in a proctored exam?

Proctored exams are open book. You can reference written notes, textbooks, and other printed materials and you may also use eBooks if your online course includes them. However, accessing non-approved internet resources during your test can be considered cheating.

What happens if you fail a proctored exam

To pass your exams, you need to earn at least a 70%. If you fail your exam on the first try, though, you’ll have an opportunity to retake the test. When you retake the exam, you’ll be expected to follow the same rules and regulations you did when you took it the first time.

If you fail your second attempt, you’ll be placed on academic review. This means that you may need to pass remedial classes or retake some classes in order to prove you’ve learned the information you need to move to the next semester.

How to study for proctored exams

Your end of semester exams cover information from all of your classes. That’s a lot of information, so you want to make sure to take your time to study before scheduling and taking your semester exam. When you’re preparing for the test, you want to:

  • Review your notes from the semester. Taking good notes can help you remember what you learn! Review your notes from each class, paying special attention to sections you may not be as comfortable with.
  • Take note of what you struggled with in other exams. In your course exams, there may have been some questions or subjects you struggled with. When you take your regular exams, make note of what you had a harder time with so you can remember to spend extra time studying those sections when preparing for your semester exam.
  • Review assigned textbook chapters. While you don’t necessarily need to reread every chapter in your textbooks or online study guides, it can be very helpful to review them as much as you can.
  • Make sure your notes are easy to read. Since you can reference your notes during the exam, make sure they’re easy to read and understand so you can access the information quickly while taking the test. If you need to, rewrite your notes! Besides making sure they’re easy to read, rewriting your notes can also help you remember the information.
  • Mark important chapters in your textbooks. You can also use your textbooks to help you when you take your semester exam. To make sure you don’t waste time searching for the right chapters, use sticky notes to mark off the sections you’ll want to reference during the test.

Study at your own pace

Finals can seem scary, especially when you know you have to take the test on a specific date. With Ashworth College, you can take your semester exam when you’re ready. That means you’ll have plenty of time to study, review your notes, and reread important material from your semester! It’s important to us that you actually learn the knowledge you’re studying versus meeting test deadlines and due dates. Before taking your semester exams, make sure you take the time you need to study – whether that’s a few days or a couple of weeks!

If you’re considering enrolling in Ashworth College and want to know more about semester exams, our degrees, and our school, contact our dedicated and helpful Admissions Department at .

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