What does a proctor do?

  • Monitors test-taker behavior
  • Ensures that test rules and guidelines are followed
  • Intervenes and supports test-taker if potential issues occur
  • Reviews test-taker accommodations and test rules provided by the instructor
  • Provides the instructor with exam reports and recordings

Before we detail what a test proctor is and what they do before, during, and after exams, here’s a quick summary of what online exam proctoring is and how it works:

What is remote proctoring for online tests?

Remote proctoring, sometimes referred to as online proctoring or test proctoring, uses test monitoring software and/or live exam proctors to monitor students throughout their online exams to prevent cheating and protect academic integrity.

What is a proctored exam? 

A proctored exam uses AI test monitoring software such as video proctoring, cell phone detection, browser lockdown, and voice detection to monitor test-taker behavior.

Some online proctoring services offer AI software (including only using a browser lockdown), live online proctoring, or a combination of AI and human test proctors. In addition, some services also offer post-exam review of the assessment by a human proctor.

What is a proctor for online testing?

At a high level, a proctor definition includes monitoring test-taker behavior during online exams to help prevent and deter cheating and keep students on track to successfully complete the exam. 

Here’s what an online test proctor does before, during, and after the exam.

Before the test starts

Reviewing and understanding test rules, guidelines, and accommodations

To ensure a successful exam and that expectations are clear, test proctors need to fully understand test rules and guidelines provided by the instructor. This can include what is or isn’t allowed, such as no cell phones or talking, or allowing specific books or notes to be used if the instructor chooses. Test rules also include accommodations such as bathroom breaks and extended time limits.

During the test

Monitoring test-taker behavior

With some services, the exam proctor may have to watch a dozen students at the same time, but there are better solutions that monitor students with AI software and then notify a proctor of any potential academic dishonesty. Blending AI test monitoring with human proctors can provide a less stressful testing experience.

Intervening and supporting test-takers if potential issues occur

Remote proctors can typically intervene when potential academic dishonesty occurs to assess the situation and help the test-taker get back on track. 

Ensuring that students are following test rules and guidelines

An exam proctor definition also includes enforcing test rules provided by the instructor and ensuring that guidelines are followed. Test rules include everything from time limits and accommodations to allowing scratch paper and other applications during an exam.

Providing accommodations

Proctors can sometimes allow specific accommodations that the instructor provides in the exam details.

After the test is finished

Providing exam reports and recordings 

With some services, the test proctor may send additional notes to the instructor to help provide context of any incidents as they review the reports and recordings.

The right approach to proctoring online exams can help reduce student test anxiety

It’s difficult to overcome the idea that online test proctors are only there to catch students who are cheating, but if online exam proctoring is done right, it can be a benefit for students, instructors, and institutions as a whole.

A recent student test anxiety survey

The student survey by Honorlock and the University of North Alabama found that online exam proctoring can help reduce student test anxiety. 

Over a three-month period, students were surveyed before and after exams to get a better understanding of their baseline anxiety about online proctored exams.

Student survey results

The survey found that students had less anxiety after their first proctored exam and every student who interacted with a live test proctor responded that the proctor made them less anxious. 

How’s that possible? Aside from our non-invasive combination of AI and human proctors, proctor training is crucial for student success. 

It’s important to note that nearly all proctoring services that offer live test proctors say that they’re trained, certified, or even claim that they have a “human-centered proctoring policy.”

But what does that actually mean? Clarity is needed. 

Here’s how Honorlock trained exam proctors a better way

The full-time remote proctoring staff is trained by a nationally certified counselor and educator to assist and support students who are experiencing anxiety and stress during the online exam.

This training equips our exam proctors with the ability to: 

  • Recognize signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety
  • Deescalate problematic behavior and encourage appropriate behavior
  • Increase positive student interactions and help students learn to self-regulate behavior

Get The Student Test Anxiety Survey eBook

 While other online proctoring services may just try to catch students cheating, Honorlock aims to bring integrity, humanity, confidence, and positive outcomes to students and faculty.