Common Misconceptions About Online Proctoring and Remote Exams


As the need for remote exams increases, so does the need for online proctoring of assessments in order to protect exam integrity and the integrity of the administering organizations. Online proctoring can be difficult to understand, especially when you’re new to the process. We want to address some of your concerns when it comes to online proctoring and remote exams.

Remote exams, even when online proctoring is used, are not as secure as in person exams.

One misconception is that it’s easier to cheat on remote exams compared to in person exams. When using online proctoring, remote exams are just as secure as in person exams, and in most cases, even more secure. Before the exam begins, and in order to prevent any violations that can occur during the exam, proctors make sure that the test-taker’s testing environment is clear, secure, and that the test-taker is alone in the room. In an in person testing setting, a moderator may not have the time or the ability to check every test-taker’s surrounding environment. 

In person exams at testing centers usually have one moderator per several students. Examity’s low-proctor ratio, which is often 2:1 and never more than 4:1, can make it harder for test-takers to cheat. Proctors are able to closely monitor each test-taker and watch out for any violations that may occur. In these situations, remote, proctored exams can be more secure, because the proctors are closely focused on each test-taker. 

Online proctoring is an invasion of privacy.

At Examity, we take privacy and security very seriously. We aim to protect our test-takers, and to make every test-taker feel safe and secure during the exam process. 

Our proctors go through a rigorous background check process in order to be hired. They are all college-educated and have no criminal background. Proctors are not allowed to use their cell phones while they are working and do not have access to email. Additionally, all exam sessions are recorded, and Examity does not allow proctors access to recordings. The recordings cannot be emailed, downloaded, or saved. The exam process and proctor behavior are also monitored by a supervisor. If a proctor were to perform any suspicious activity, it would be known, and corrective action would be taken immediately. 

Proctors only request permission to access a test-taker’s computer if they need to help the test-taker find something, to provide updates, troubleshoot technical issues, or to insert the password for the exam. However, the test-taker is allowed to input their own password through Examity’s extension, so proctors no longer have to connect to the test-taker’s computer to manually enter a password. When a proctor does gain access to the test-taker’s system, they cannot access a test-taker’s computer files or go through them. A test-taker is always able to revoke access privileges as well, and any access granted will be automatically disabled at the end of the proctoring session.

It is too complicated, and much more difficult, to take remote exams monitored by a proctor instead of just going into a classroom to take an exam.

Remote exams have greatly improved access to testing by allowing the test-taker to save time and money by giving them the ability to take an exam anytime, anywhere. Although Examity tries to make the assessment experience as seamless as possible for every test-taker, technical issues may still arise. These issues can always be addressed by engaging with our technical support team. 

Online proctoring may also seem overwhelming at first, so we encourage new test-takers to view our Test-taker FAQs page, or to contact a member of our support team by utilizing our Test-taker Resource Center. Our support team is available 24/7/365. 

Taking a remote exam ultimately takes less time and effort, and potentially less money out of your pocket, than testing in person, and we at Examity want to create the smoothest and most flexible online proctoring experience possible.

Online proctoring makes suspicious behavior and/or cheating on exams more likely. 

Online proctoring makes suspicious behavior easier to catch, especially due to Examity’s low-proctor ratio. In a regular testing environment with many test-takers moderated by one person, cheating and other violations may be missed entirely. With Examity’s low-proctor ratio, proctors can catch suspicious behaviors more efficiently and more often than in testing centers. For extra security, all exams are recorded, and in the rare instance that a proctor misses a violation, a member of our auditing team will review the recordings and catch it.

The test-taker will fail the exam if the exam closes, if they are disconnected from the proctor, or if other technical issues occur. 

Every exam administrator has different policies regarding what will happen if a test-taker is disconnected from an exam, or if other technical issues happen and prevent the test-taker from continuing it. Usually, technical issues do not mean an automatic failure of an exam. Examity has a policy in place if a test-taker becomes disconnected, and we do as much as we can to try and re-engage the test-taker and get them back to the assessment and connected with the proctor again. As long as the test-taker is able to get reconnected, they can get back into their exam. If a test-taker is disconnected from the exam, some institutions will allow the test-taker another exam attempt, or will add some additional time to let the test-taker try and finish the exam.

• The proctor is only there to catch the test-taker cheating.

Examity strives to provide the highest-quality support to every test-taker. Before the exam begins, the test-taker is greeted and set up to make sure that they have everything they need in their environment to test successfully. Proctors are there to help test-takers navigate through the online platform, and they’ll help the test-taker troubleshoot if they’re having issues with their webcam, audio, or internet. Although one aspect of a proctor’s position is to monitor for violations and ensure that the test-taker is not using items that aren’t allowed, a proctor is also there to try and put the test-taker at ease, to make sure that they are as comfortable as possible, and to ensure that they have a great assessment experience.

Online proctoring isn’t needed.

The demand for flexible and secure online assessments has increased exponentially. To ensure the integrity of these exams, regulations have been put into effect, and online proctoring provides the highest level of security and regulations of exams. The online proctoring industry has experienced tremendous growth because of how necessary it is, and as the remote landscape continues to grow and develop, so will the need for online proctored exams. 

Want to make the switch to online proctoring for your exams? Reach out to us today.

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