The Hub 6 things to consider when writing your Athabasca University exam with ProctorU

6 things to consider when writing your Athabasca University exam with ProctorU

By: Doug Neuman

Online learning is a new experience for a lot of people, and that includes taking online exams at Athabasca University. Review these tips before booking your online exam so you know what to expect!  

Taking an Athabasca University exam online with ProctorU may be different than what you’re used to, but there’s no need to worry! 

Degan Richards, invigilation services coordinator with AU, said the rules and expectations for ProctorU remotely invigilated exams aren’t too different than the rules and expectations for writing with an in-person invigilator. Just like writing your exam in person, there are rules in place for remote invigilated exams to maintain academic integrity.

“They do expect students to write their exams in a quiet, private space,” he said. “We have to maintain academic integrity, whether an exam is written with ProctorU or in person.”

For students who may feel nervous about the process, he offers six tips that will help reduce your anxiety around the exam process so you can focus on what’s really important—studying! 

1. Consider if you’re ready to take your exam

AU allows you to book your invigilated exams—mid-terms and final exams, for example—at any point within your course contract date. But that doesn’t mean you should book all your exams in the first month. Likewise, it may not be the best idea to leave it to the last minute, either. 

Check your course materials to make sure you’ve completed all the work that is needed to prepare you for your exam. Reach out to your tutor if you have any questions. 

2. Confirm that you meet the technical requirements

Invigilation Services team recommends using the Chrome or Firefox browser, with the ProctorU browser extension for writing your exams with ProctorU. This will ensure the best possible experience for test takers. 

You can download the ProctorU browser extension for Firefox on the ProctorU website, or download the ProctorU browser extension for Chrome via the Chrome web store.

You should also perform an equipment test before the day of your exam, which you can access after you have logged in to ProctorU. You should confirm technical requirements before booking your exam to avoid any unexpected complications with your technical setup. 

3. Exam booking is a two-step process

Booking an exam with ProctorU, and any other invigilator approved as part of AU’s Canada-wide invigilation network, is a two-step process. 

Before starting these processes, all exams must be requested at least 10 days before your declared write date and your write date can be no later than the last day of your course contract.

First, you must request your exam invigilation appointment with ProctorU (or your invigilator of choice).

Second, you must request your exam through your MyAU account, indicating which invigilator you will be using and your declared write date. The invigilator code for ProctorU is 3278826.

“They do expect students to write their exams in a quiet, private space. We have to maintain academic integrity, whether an exam is online or in person.”

– Degan Richards. invigilation services coordinator

4. Understand the physical needs of your space

Just like when you’re writing an exam in person, there are requirements for the physical space you write your exam in. This includes, among other things, having a private location and not speaking to others while writing your exam. 

You will be asked to show your proctor the entire room you’re writing in. There should not be anything under your desk or hanging on a wall in front of you. You will only be permitted to use a single monitor during your exam. Anyone else in the room will be asked to leave, and any noises will need to be silenced. 

“Some outside noise may just prompt the invigilator to ask to scan the room again,” Richards said. “But you’re not permitted to talk to others during the exam, just like when you’re writing an exam in person. If others enter the room, or if you communicate to people outside of the exam, that may prompt a report.” 

Richards added that despite these requirements, a variety of room types are allowed. It does not need to be an office with a closing door. For example, an open basement is a common option as long as it’s private. And noise coming from other rooms is pretty common for students who take their exams from home. 

If you can’t meet these requirements at your home or office, you may want to consider booking a private room at a library or similar organization where you can write your exam in a space that’s private and your exam can’t be viewed by others. 

5. Consider other options if you need to

Aside from some specific courses, most exams can be written with any of AU’s approved invigilators, which includes ProctorU and many in-person invigilation centres. 

If you are concerned about writing your exam with ProctorU, consider reaching out to Exam Services to discuss what other invigilation options are available to you. 

You may also be eligible for additional accommodations if you register with Accessibility Services. If you’re eligible for accommodations, you can work with that team to develop a plan to address any accessibility challenges you may encounter. 

6. If something goes wrong during your exam, don’t panic!

If something goes wrong during your exam and your proctor indicates a report is being sent, the most important thing is not to panic. 

“These reports are all reviewed by AU and fully investigated before you’re at risk of any sort of allegation of academic misconduct, let alone any risk of being found guilty,” Richards said. 

Even if a student is found to have committed an offence, AU’s policy and procedure related to academic misconduct allow that student to appeal the decision. 

Richards said of the reports ProctorU makes to AU, most don’t result in a formal investigation. Even fewer result in a finding of an academic misconduct offence. 

Learn more about taking your Athabasca University exam with ProctorU on the Support Services website. 

Filed Under:
  • January 5, 2024
Guest Blog from:
Doug Neuman