Being Successful with Online Proctoring


Online Proctoring Exam Checklist: ALERT

A: Academic Preparation

  • Deadlines: Review the Assessment Scheduling Information article (opens new window) for all scheduling and testing deadlines.
  • Mentor Approval: As of July 10, 2019, Faculty approval is not required for a first attempt (opens new window) of an in-house objective assessment, provided the student has attempted* the preassessment for the course (preassessments do not require faculty approval). Students can schedule and take their first attempt at an objective assessment (opens new window) through the Assessment Center. First attempts at third-party assessments are approved by the Course Instructor for the assessment.  

    *Note: Passing the preassessment is not required to proceed with attempting an objective assessment. 

  • How to find Course Instructor contact info: If students require academic content assistance, Course Instructors are eager to help! Students can find Course Instructor contact information within their course of study.
  • Retakes: Second and subsequent attempts are approved by the Course Instructor for the assessment. Prior to retaking an assessment, students must consult with their Course Instructor to develop a personalized study plan. The study plan may include a recurring appointment with a Course Instructor, engagement in the Course of Study, engagement in weekly webinars, or other appropriate educational activities. In addition, students who do not pass their assessment on the first or second attempt will be required to wait a minimum of five days and receive approval from senior leadership before any subsequent assessment attempts can be scheduled. See WGU Assessment Policies (opens new window).


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L: Launch Process Information

  • Students should have their government-issued photo ID ready.
  • Once students click Start Exam, a proctor will help them through the setup process - this may take approximately 10 minutes. This setup includes the proctor borrowing a student's mouse momentarily to download the necessary software to launch their assessment, and closing all other running programs. Watch this informative video (opens new window)
  • Taking the practice test available on students' Assessment Center page in the assessment tab of their Course of Study is highly recommended. This will orient them to the test-taking process and also confirms that their computer meets the technical requirements.
  • Webcam placement: Students should ensure their webcam* is properly placed in their work area so their eyes, hands, face, mouse, and work area are visible. After the proctor asks students to perform a 360-degree scan of the room, students will place the webcam back in this position. For more information see this video (opens new window).  
  • See Webcam Setup and Troubleshooting (opens new window) for helpful information on using the webcam. 


*Note: External web cameras for online proctored (OLP) assessments must meet WGU Webcam specifications (opens new window).


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E: Environment

  • Lighting: The lighting of students' testing space must be daylight quality with overhead lighting preferred. If overhead lighting is not possible, students should ensure the light source is not directly behind them, because it will be difficult for the proctor to see them. See this video (opens new window) for more information and examples of proper lighting. 
  • Students should allow for enough quiet time for their exam plus 10 minutes for the setup time described above.
  • Students must clear their work area of any papers, books, and other materials. This includes any items on the walls around them.
  • Students must be alone to take their exams. They may want to use the ‘do not disturb’ door sign included in their Student Success Kit!
  • Cell phones are not permitted during exams. Students may be asked to turn their phone off or place it in another room. Visit Assessment Policies (opens new window) for more details about the secure environment policy. 
  • Students must have speakers on or connected to their computer as proctors will communicate with students via their computer speakers during the exam.
  • If students experience technical difficulties during an exam, the proctor will reach out to them on their phone. If students are unable to re-connect or continue to experience technical difficulties that prevent them from completing an exam, they are encouraged to contact the Assessment Services (opens new window) team immediately. 


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R: Rules for the exam

  • Rescheduling: Students can reschedule by clicking on the Assessment Center button (next to the Schedule Now button) located within the Assessment tab in the Course of Study. By selecting Reschedule, students can pick a new date and time for their exam. They have up to 24 hours following the scheduled time to request scheduling.
  • Breaks: For approved assessments, students are allowed one 10 minute break per hour of testing time, which they can take anytime during the exam. The timer will continue to count down while students are on their break. Upon returning to their assessment, students will not be able to return to questions they viewed prior to starting the break. (Note: Effective Feb. 11, 2019, students will be allowed one 10 minute break per hour of testing time, for all proctored WGU-created assessments. Break rules listed above apply. (Please visit Take-a-Break feature (opens new window) for the full feature description.)
  • All exams are monitored via screen share, webcam, and microphone and may be recorded.
  • Allowed testing aids: Students are allowed to use a dry-erase whiteboard and handheld calculator on any WGU assessment. No paper is allowed. Calculators with a Computer Algebra System (CAS) EX: HP48, Voyage 200 are not allowed. For more information, see WGU Objective Assessment Policies (opens new window).
  • Talking and/or reading questions out loud during the examination session is not permitted.
  • If students experience technical difficulties during their exam, the proctor will reach out to them on their phone. If students are unable to connect or experience technical difficulties that prevent them from completing an exam, they should contact the Assessment Services (opens new window) team immediately. 


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T: Technical setup

  • Students should restart their computer before they begin an exam.
  • Mobile hotspots are not an adequate Internet alternative for online proctoring.
  • They should also test their computer systems and Internet bandwidth before they begin using (opens new window).


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Article Number: 20383, 2849