Exam procedures

This webpage provides an overview to help answer your questions about undergraduate exam procedures at Athabasca University (AU). The processes outlined below describe the steps for exams delivered at the undergraduate level. If you are taking graduate courses, please refer to your course syllabus regarding graduate exam procedures.

How do exams work at Athabasca University, which has no classrooms, lecture theatres, or study halls?

Exams are different from the quizzes or tests that might be part of your coursework. Exams must be written under the supervision of an AU-approved invigilator capable of invigilating online exams. All AU exams are delivered online. Students choose how and where they’d like to write their online exam. Options include in-person at an invigilation centre or online through ProctorU.

An exam invigilator is someone from our approved invigilator network who supervises you while you complete your exam.

As there are no pre-set exam dates, it is your responsibility to schedule your exams.

Exam options at Athabasca University

There are 2 ways you can choose to complete the invigilated exam requirements for most AU undergraduate courses:

  1. In-person invigilation with any invigilators in the Canada-wide Athabasca University exam invigilation network. Approved invigilators include schools, libraries, post-secondary institutions, and other organizations that can accommodate online exams.
  2. Online invigilation through AU’s partner, ProctorU. Students can register with ProctorU to write their exams remotely, provided they can meet some basic requirements, including a reliable internet connection and a quiet space to write the exam.

You will be responsible for paying any fees associated with exam invigilation for your AU exams. Fees will vary depending on the invigilator you choose.

Booking exams

Learn how to request and book your examination through our Office of the Registrar and find information about available exam accommodation services.

Learn about exam scheduling

Preparing for exams

Get advice and guidance from our training manual that will leave you feeling ready and confident before your upcoming exam.

Dive into exam preparation

In-person invigilation

Learn more about writing your online exam with an AU-approved in-person invigilator.

In-person invigilation

Finding exam locations

Find the exam invigilation locations near you without hassle. Simply browse our established network of exam invigilation centres in Canada.

Find invigilation locations near you

Arranging exam invigilators

Find out what invigilators are, how to request a new invigilator, and guidelines for the exam-invigilation process.

Learn more about exam invigilators

ProctorU online invigilation

AU partners with ProctorU to offer you the opportunity to write your online exams from the comfort of your home when invigilation isn’t accessible.

Learn more about ProctorU

Determine the best option for writing your exam

Whether you prefer an in-person exam with a pre-approved invigilator that can accommodate online exams or taking the exam online at your own location with ProctorU, we'll help you make an informed decision that suits your needs. Choose the route that best describes your situation:

Step 1. Do you have a disability that may need exam accommodation? We assist all students who experience the impact of a permanent disability and those who may have temporary medical circumstances that require academic accommodations.

A. Yes, I may need accommodation.

B. No, I do not need accommodation. (If this is your selection, go to Step 2)

Step 2. Would you like to write your exam:

A. In-person and on site at an invigilator that accommodates online exams (If this is your selection, go to Step 3)

B. Virtually (If this is your selection, go to Step 6)

Step 3. You’ve chosen to write your exam in person. Do you want to:

A. Use a pre-approved invigilator. If so, click here to access the invigilation network to confirm there is a pre-approved invigilator in your area. (If this is your selection, go to Step 4)

B. Find your own invigilator and have them be approved to invigilate your exam. Please note that this is only allowed if there is no pre-approved invigilator near you. (If this is your selection, go to Step 5)

Step 4. You’ve chosen a pre-approved invigilator. You’ve confirmed that an invigilator is available at a location you can travel to.

You must book your appointment with the invigilator and confirm the time and location before you request your exam from AU. Both steps must be done at least 10 days before you would like to write. Fees are dependent on the invigilator's practices and policies.

Click here for instructions for writing an exam in person with a pre-approved invigilator

Step 5. You’ve decided to find your own invigilator after confirming there is no invigilator within 40 km of your location on the pre-approved invigilation network.

If you can’t find an approved exam invigilator within 40 km of your residence, contact the Exam Unit. You may ask to have an invigilator established. You must do this at least 60 days before the date you plan to write your exam.

Click here for instructions for writing an exam in person with your invigilator that can accommodate online exams

Step 6. You’ve opted to write your exam virtually (also known as remote) You’ve determined you meet the technical requirements to write an exam online

If you want to write your exam at a private location of your choosing, whether at home, work, a library, or another private location, you will write with ProctorU.

Click here for instructions for writing an exam at a private location with ProctorU supervisionStill not sure what to do? Please contact the AU Exam Unit for support.

Updated November 01, 2023 by Digital & Web Operations (web_services@athabascau.ca)