Exam proctoring: A quick how-to guide

How do I take an exam in an online class?

There are a variety of options, and one that instructors use frequently is called proctoring. A proctor is someone who supervises a student during an exam to ensure academic integrity.

That sounds simple enough, but how do you find a proctor? What’s the process of scheduling a proctoring appointment? This quick tutorial will answer those questions and more about proctored exams with Bama By Distance Testing Services (BBDTS).

So, how does it work?

You are informed that a class will be proctored in the course description before you register for a class. Your instructor will inform you how proctored testing will be administered in your course. If they have chosen Bama by Distance Testing Services to facilitate your proctored exams, you will have three options to choose from.

  • Off-Campus In-Person – A local library or educational institution that offers proctored testing (additional fees may apply)
  • On-Campus – Bama By Distance Testing Services office (126 Martha Parham Hall West, no fees)
    • Students living in the Tuscaloosa area may only choose our office as their in-person option.
  • Online – Online proctoring using Examity (additional fees apply)

Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to schedule an appointment with a proctor.

How to Schedule an Off-Campus In-Person Proctored Exam

How far in advance should I make a proctoring appointment?

We use a service called SmarterProctoring to help students find proctors and as a portal to share testing materials with proctors. Students should submit their requests for a proctor in the SmarterProctoring portal at least two weeks in advance of their exam (preferably more). It will take Bama By Distance Testing Services (BBDTS) a few business days to process the request.

What is BBDTS’ role in all of this?

BBDTS serves as the liaison between your instructor and the proctor. Once your proctor has been vetted and approved by BBDTS and you have successfully scheduled a test time and date with your proctor, your exam information will be sent to their account.

What are my responsibilities as a student?

  • Submit your proctor choice through SmarterProctoring as soon as possible, or at least two weeks prior (preferably more) to your exam start date, if time permits.
  • Check with your proctor before your exam is scheduled to make sure their location is open, your proctor is available, still has access to their SmarterProctoring account, and can accommodate your needs, such as providing a computer for your exam.
  • ODS students with accommodations should notify their proctors before scheduling to ensure they are aware of any accommodations. Be aware of time limits on your exams and keep track of the time.
  • Be aware of and follow UA’s Academic Integrity Guidelines.
  • If unusual circumstances occur, please contact BBDTS as soon as possible.
  • Contact BBDTS with any questions. Our office hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. CT and Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. CT.

Can someone at BBDTS help me if I have questions?

Absolutely. Contact us at (205) 348-6220 or testing@ccs.ua.edu if you need help.

Off-Campus Proctoring

All students will be able to schedule their exams in their Blackboard course page through the Proctored Exams link provided on the left-hand side of the page. Students with multiple courses will need to go through each Blackboard course page to schedule.

  • Any fees, such as exam proctoring fees and postage, are the responsibility of the student.
  • All proctored exams must be scheduled with Bama By Distance Testing Services through the SmarterProctoring link found in your Blackboard course.

Students must present two forms of identification, and one form must be a picture ID. 

What is an acceptable proctor?

What are the criteria for being an off-campus, in-person proctor for UA?

  • A two- or four-year college with a testing services area.
  • An approved education center or tutoring center, such as Sylvan Learning Center.
  • An approved public library with a currently employed librarian.
  • High school principal, advisor or teacher (UA Early College students only).

What are the criteria for being an off-campus, in-person proctor for a UA active duty soldier?

  • Education center at the soldier’s installation
  • Commissioned Officer (0-1 and above)
  • Senior NCO (E-7 and above)

Who is NOT an ACCEPTABLE Proctor?

  • Family members
  • Friends
  • Co-workers (to include supervisor, HR rep, etc.)
  • Traveling proctor (proctor who is not employed at the testing location)
  • Academic advisors, instructors or professors 

How to Schedule Your Exam

To schedule your exam with an off-campus approved proctor, you will first need to create a SmarterProctoring account. Links will be provided in your Blackboard course to get to the SmarterProctoring website. After you visit the website and set up your account, follow these steps to schedule your exam:

Exams will be listed in your SmarterProctoring account

How to Schedule an Off-Campus Exam

  1. From the proctored exam folder, select “Off-Campus In-person”
  2. Schedule an exam through SmarterProctoring
  3. Select “Off-Campus In-Person”
  4. Select “Choose a proctor”
  5. After selecting the option, you will input your zip code. You will be able to see what proctors with SmarterProctoring accounts may already be in your area
  6. You are required to contact your proctor before attempting to request a session to make sure the proctor is available, to confirm if they still have access to their SmarterProctoring account, and if they can accommodate your needs such as providing a computer for your exam
  7. You should also verify if a fee is required for proctoring services
  8. When you are ready to request a session, select “Request Session”
  9. Make sure to type in the text box and select three dates and times for your proctor to choose from and then click “Send”
  10. You must contact your proctor to make sure they have received your request in their SmarterProctoring account’s messages
  11. Your proctor will then need to respond by selecting one of the dates and times you have requested
  12. Once your proctor has responded, you will need to go back to your account and complete the scheduling process by confirming the session
  13. Once you have confirmed the session, your account should say “Scheduled”
  14. Your proctor will receive all of your exam information, including the password, in their SmarterProctoring account

All proctors must have a SmarterProctoring account and will be vetted and approved by Bama By Distance Testing Services. If you cannot find a preapproved proctor in your area, you will need to locate one based on the criteria listed above. Please provide the following link to the proctor for account registration instructions.

Find detailed registration steps here.

What to Do If Your Proctor Is Not Approved

If you are unable to find a proctor listed in SmarterProctoring, you may search for potential proctors in your area such as a local library, education testing center, or college testing center. Please know that all proctors must meet the criteria of an approved proctor and must also have a SmarterProctoring account.

Be sure to contact BBDTS at (205) 348-6220 or testing@ccs.ua.edu for assistance.

What to Do After You Are Scheduled

  • Make sure that you are prepared. It’s important that you know where your proctor is located and what time you are supposed to be there.
  • Should your session require a fee at the location of your proctor, make sure you know the correct amount and pay options they accept. When you arrive for your session, you will be required to provide two forms of ID, one form being a picture ID. It is preferred that students provide their Action Card and driver’s license.
  • Students taking NHM courses are not allowed to use scratch paper and must have a whiteboard, dry erase marker, and eraser if permitted by the professor.
  • ODS students with accommodations should notify their proctors before scheduling to make sure they are aware and they can accommodate you.

How to Schedule an On-Campus Exam

On-campus students or students located in the Tuscaloosa area have two options to take proctored exams.

  • Bama By Distance Testing Services office, located in Room 126 at Martha Parham Hall West on The University of Alabama campus. (no additional fees)
  • Online using Examity (additional fees incurred)

All proctored exams must be scheduled with Bama By Distance Testing Services through the Proctored Exams link found in your Blackboard course. Deadline dates for proctored exams are provided by your course instructor. Students are responsible for scheduling the exam before the deadline.

Things to know before you come to test

Several new processes have been implemented as an abundance of caution for the safety of students and staff.

  • Masks must be worn properly at all times
  • We will be requiring social distancing so our testing facility will be at half capacity.
  • Do not arrive more than 5-10 minutes early as we have limited space for you to socially distance inside of our facilities.
  • To further limit physical contact, please only bring necessary items to test.
    • Students should not bring any items except for their two forms of ID and what is allowed for their exam such as a writing utensil and a calculator
    • All students will be required to put any items such phones, keys, headphones, smartwatches, etc. in their pockets if possible
    • Backpacks, laptops, purses/bags, books, etc. will not be permitted into the testing room
  • Students are not allowed to have hats, sunglasses, or hoodies on during the exam.
  • Exams must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance, excluding weekends and holidays
  • No walk-ins are acceptedYou must have an appointment scheduled.
  • Be sure to bring two forms of identification. One form must be a picture ID. UA Action card or digital Action card on your phone are allowed as one form.
  • If you would like to take multiple exams in one visit to BBDTS, we welcome you to do so. However, you are required to schedule each exam separately.
  • Food or drinks are not allowed in the testing room; this includes bottled water.

How to Schedule For On-Campus Proctoring

All students will be able to schedule their exams in their Blackboard course page through the Proctored Exams tab provided on the left-hand side of the page. Students with multiple courses will need to go through each Blackboard course page to schedule their exams.

To schedule your exam on-campus, you will first need to create a SmarterProctoring account. Links will be provided in your Blackboard course to get to the SmarterProctoring website. After you visit the website and set up your account, follow these steps to schedule your exam:

Exams will be listed in your SmarterProctoring account

To Schedule an On-Campus Exam

  1. From the proctored exam folder select “On Campus”
  2. Schedule an exam through SmarterProctoring
  3. Select “Testing Center”
  4. Scroll until you see Bama By Distance Testing Center and select “Request a session”
  5. You will be taken to Bama By Distance Testing Services’ scheduling portal, Register Blast
  6. Make sure to fill out all of the requested information. If you are an ODS student make sure to contact Bama By Distance Testing Services (testing@ccs.ua.edu) to make sure they are aware of your accommodation and can accommodate you.
  7. Once all information has been provided, submit the request and your session will be scheduled.

What to Do After You’re Scheduled

Once you are scheduled, you will receive a confirmation email about your scheduled session. It is imperative that you pay close attention to the date and time of your session. If you are an ODS student, please make sure that you have contacted Bama By Distance Testing Services about your accommodations before you come to take your exam.

Bama By Distance Testing Services
(205) 348-6220
testing@ccs.ua.edu

Required Items to Bring

  • Students are required to bring two forms of identification, one being a picture ID. It is preferred that students bring their Action Card, physical or digital version, and a second form of ID such as a driver’s license
  • Students in Early College who do not have an Action Card can bring their driver’s license or driver’s permit and a second form of ID such as a birth certificate, passport, or a credit/debit card if that is all you have

Provided Items

  • Students will be provided with blank scratch paper for exams that allow it
  • Pencils will be provided to students who may have forgotten to bring one
  • Basic scientific calculators can be provided, however, there is a limited supply so students are encouraged to bring their own

Do Not Bring

  • Students should not bring any items except for their two forms of ID and what is allowed for their exam such as a writing utensil and a calculator
  • Students are not allowed to have hats, sunglasses or hoodies on during the exam
  • All students will required to put any items such phones, keys, headphones, smartwatches, etc. in their pockets if possible
  • Backpacks, laptops, purses/bags, books, etc. will not be permitted into the testing room 

BBDTS On-Campus Testing Procedures

Station 1: Martha Parham West Front Entrance

  • Face masks must be worn at all times
  • Before entering Martha Parham West, all students must text or call the number provided outside to let Bama Distance Testing Services know that you have arrived for your exam
  • Make sure to provide in the text or call: Your name, time of arrival, time of scheduled exam, and the exam you are taking (Course, Section, Exam Number)
  • Only scheduled students will be allowed in the building
  • Friends, chaperones, parents, etc. will not be permitted into the building as seating is limited in the waiting area and will only be available for students waiting to be checked in
  • We have limited seating in our waiting area due to social distancing, so please do not arrive more than 5-10 minutes early. If our waiting area is full, you will have to wait outside of the building until there is space available.
  • Walk-ins will not be permitted into the building and will need to schedule an exam or contact Bama By Distance Testing Services with questions or concerns about scheduling
  • If you are going to be late, call our office to let us know as soon as possible so we can confirm if we will still be able to accommodate you or if you will have to reschedule.

Station 2: Student Waiting Area

  • Once you have entered the building, you will go to the waiting area for students designated as Station 2
  • Students will wait to be texted or called to know when to go to the testing area to be checked in (known as Station 3)
  • Please know that this process can take time and that students can only be checked in one at a time in order to adhere to scoal distancing guidelines

Station 3: Check-In Area

  • Students will be notified via text or call when a seat has become available
  • Once you have been notified, you follow the signs to Station 3 where you will check in
  • Please make sure to have your two forms of ID ready and follow all instructions given by the check-in staff
  • If you require a locker, please let the check-in staff know and they will provide you with a locker
  • Once you have been properly checked in and all instructions have been given, you will be permitted to enter the testing room, Station 4, to take your exam

Station 4: Testing Room

  • All students will be instructed to go to a specific computer in the testing room
  • All exams will be given through Blackboard and passwords will be input by the testing staff remotely
  • When you have completed your exam, you will need to log out of your account and exit the testing room.
  • No more than one student may exit the testing room at the same time. If a student just exited, please wait a few moments before exiting.
  • Check-out staff will be waiting to instruct you where to return all items such as scratch paper, borrowed calculators, etc.
  • You will then be checked out and asked to provide your name
  • Once the check-out staff has you sign out, you will be directed to exit the building
  • If you were given a locker, you will be reminded get all belongings before exiting the building

How do I take an exam online?

Step-By-Step Instructions on how to schedule an online exam with Examity can be found by clicking the link below. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact testing@ccs.ua.edu.

How to Schedule an Online Proctored Exam

Visit the Examity Materials Check website to ensure your internet connection, web browser, microphone and webcam are set up properly for your first exam.

Things to Know Before Taking Your First Online Exam

  • You must schedule your online proctored exam 48 hours in advance or you will be charged a $5.00 fee for last minute scheduling. You are responsible for any proctoring costs or fees.
  • You will need a computer with a reliable high-speed internet connection.
  • No mobile devices or Chromebooks can be used for online proctored testing.
  • All students are required to have a webcam for this service.
  • If an item is not allowed to be in your testing area, please remove it before the testing session begins (Example: cell phones, tablets, notes, textbooks, etc.).
  • Students must present two forms of identification and one form must be a picture ID. Preferred items are an action card, driver’s license, passport, and work ID with your picture and/or name on it. For your safety, do not use credit cards, a social security card, or any other identification carrying similar private and/or sensitive information.
  • Your entire testing area will be scanned before you begin testing to ensure test security, so be sure you only have allowable items in your testing area and you are free from distractions.
  • If your professor has chosen the live proctor option:
    • The Examity proctor will provide any necessary software to effectively proctor your session remotely. Please note that you may have to do updates to your system.
    • Examity proctors are IT trained and will walk you through all steps.
    • The proctor will monitor you while you take your test and ensure that you are not attempting to open any browsers or documents on your computer.
    • The proctor has a list of allowable items supplied to them by our office and approved by your professor.
    • The proctor may pause the testing session at any time and ask you to conduct another scan of your testing area.
    • After the session is complete, your proctor will remove any remote proctoring software from your computer.