What is a proctored exam/test?
The meaning is actually not that complicated. A “proctor” is a supervisor, or a person who monitors students during an examination. It can also refer to an officer who has disciplinary functions in certain universities. So, a proctored exam is an exam given when someone is watching you.
Proctored vs non-proctored exams
Non-proctored exams are basically unsupervised exams, or exams that can be taken without someone watching you.
In the past, because most exams were hard copied and had to be handed out manually by a teacher or a “proctor” 😅 proctored exams were the norm. You had to be in a certain place at a certain time to take your exam. And it was hard to cheat because someone was watching you.
Nowadays, with the advent of the Internet, it’s possible to take non-proctored online exams that can be shared by email, for example. The exams can be taken using your own device, and there’s no need to be at the same place as the other learners/test takers.
Non-proctored exams and cheating
Online exams are a great solution, no doubt. It saves you a of time and money. It makes it possible for people from different places to take exams at the same time. The problem is, how can you, as a teacher/recruiter/trainer make sure your users won’t cheat while taking your non-proctored exams?
Taking online tests increases the chance of cheating in comparison with paper testing. What can you do to prevent students from online cheating? Totally preventing students from cheating seems to be impossible with all the advanced technology going on today. Here are some tips and tricks that will help prevent cheating:
- Randomize questions: with online exams, it’s possible to create a question bank and have the system pull a certain number of questions from it. So, every time someone takes your exam, they’ll get a different set of questions.
- Set a timer: cheating (just like lying 😅) can take some time. A solution for this is to setup a timer. You can set a timer for the whole exam or per question. An automated timer won’t require you to be physically present in order to watch your students.
- Use problem-solving questions: the answers for these questions require some thinking and cannot easily be found in a textbook or on the Internet. You can do this in your exam by using free text questions, for example. You can check other tricks to avoid cheating in online exams here.
Now you know what a proctored exam is, you can use your LMS or online exam builder to give both proctored and non-proctored exams. How?
You can give proctored online exams by setting up your exams in a computer lab for example, where you can supervise the applicants. They can also take your exam in your company or office, using your devices.
Non-proctored exams can be shared with a link and taken in any device (personal or not) connected to the Internet. It allows more flexibility and self-paced learning. You can choose the option that suits you best.