Practical Tips for Proctoring Tests

Proctoring an exam is a big responsibility because not only are you creating an environment where the students can effectively take the test, but you’re also protecting the integrity of the test itself. With that in mind, here are 10 practical tips to help you make the test-taking, and proctoring, experience a positive one.

  1. Confirm identities of all students entering the testing environment and document their attendance by using the course roster or a sign-in sheet.
  2. Ensure adequate spacing between students and use computer screen privacy filters if the test is administered digitally.
  3. Create a test-appropriate environment by ensuring the room retains a comfortable temperature, supplies adequate lighting, and experiences minimal interruptions.
  4. Communicate the time limit on the exam by verbally updating students on the remaining testing time or refer them to the time that is automatically recorded on computerized exams.
  5. Explain bathroom protocol (if applicable) before the testing begins (e.g., one student at a time, accompanied by one proctor to the bathroom).
  6. Outline the appropriate test accessories by describing what students are allowed to use during the exam (e.g., EKG ruler, calculator, etc.).
  7. Eliminate use of electronics by ensuring that students have their cell phones, tablets, and PDAs silenced and entirely stored away out of sight.
  8. Supervise the students taking the exam as you circle around the room. Make sure students are not in some sort of distress or being disruptive to other test takers. A proctor must be physically present at all times while the test is active, including the viewing of rationales.
  9. Respond promptly to students’ problems and raised hands.
  10. Provide no hints (verbal or nonverbal) regarding the correct answer.