Most students are not interested in cheating on their exams, but to help keep things fair, here are some guidelines.

Top Ten Test Proctoring Tips for Staff:

#1      Always check ID—valid photo ID should look like the person and have their current name on it—bus passes, passports, Costco cards with their name and photo, etc. Driver’s Licence can be expired as long as it looks like them and has their current name on it. J

For MOODLE tests—Check to make sure the same name appears on the ID and the upper right of the MOODLE screen after the student has logged in.

For Written Make-up exams, Instructors should have the students’ names on the exams and the name should match the name on the ID.

Occasionally an Instructor will write a name on a written test that is different than the legal name on the ID, because a student may use a different first name or nick name. If that is the case, enter the name on the ID in the Checkin and Email the Instructor of the discrepancy.

The name on their ID should match the name that comes up in MOODLE for a computerized exam. In theory, a student could show you their ID and give you someone else’s L# and take a computer test for someone else, which is why we need to check this.

If a student does not have ID, then s/he can have an Instructor vouch for them, meaning the Instructor should identify that student in person. If they do not have ID, then ask them where their ID is—if it’s in their car, then they need to go get it. You can have another Instructor vouch for the student, but not another student. Note in the Checkin screen “Comments” if someone else vouches for the student’s identity and who, so if there is any question, we will have this documented.

You should not make exceptions for students and let them test without their ID. If you let a student test without ID then the next time s/he comes in for an exam they may expect that staff person to waive the ID too, and we cannot waive ID for some students and not for others.

Pictures in MOODLE, Facebook, Twitter or a picture on their phone of their Driver’s License are not valid.

If a student claims that their wallet has been stolen, then we should Email the Instructor to document this. They need to Email their Instructor about this as well—really they should do this before they come to take the test with no ID.   Occasionally an Instructor has taken a picture of a student from their lecture class and sent it to us to use in lieu of ID if it has been stolen.

#2      Ask students if they have tested here before and have read our rules sheet. If not, then have them read it while you enter their information into the Checkin screen. Always remind students that cell phones, all electronics and belongings must be put in lockers and that s/he should use the rest room prior to starting their exam.     

This should help prevent students from wanting to use the rest room and or/make a phone call in the middle of their test. As a general rule, students should not be allowed to leave the testing room, except in an emergency (i.e. Fire Drill) if they have received a test.

If a student has been testing for over an hour and s/he needs to use the restroom, then you can offer to walk the student to the restroom. Remind them if the test is timed, that they will lose that time on the exam. You should track how long the student was gone, and in the Email you send to the Instructor, include the time lost on the exam and, if possible, where approximately s/he was in the exam. Of course, we cannot know if the student used their cell phone in the restroom, but we can document time lost and that there was an interruption in the exam.

If a student uses a cell phone during the test or they leave the room for any reason, then we need to inform their Instructor. You would include the same information in the Email to the Instructor as in the above instance.

If the test is left open on the computer, then consult other staff on duty and the Testing Coordinator to verify that the student has left. Then the exam should be submitted, even if it is not completed.

#3      If a note card is allowed for an exam, then ask to see it before the student tests and put a small colored “sticker of approval” on it. Tell students to turn in their note cards when finished testing.

Please have students write their name and their Instructor’s name on the card (so that we can file them easily and return them to the Instructors).

Having the stickers of approval on the notecards enables us to see who has a valid notecard in the testing rooms. Even though students are supposed to show us their notecards before they start to test, a student could pull out notes and/or a second note card after they have started testing, and we need to be alert for this when proctoring.

If the notecard is larger than 3 x 5, and it is covered in writing on both sides, then the student will need to remake the card or cut it down to size. Sometimes you may have to make a bit of a judgment call, for example, if it is the first exam of the term and the notecard is 4 x 6, but the writing does not cover the whole card. You would make a note in the comments on the Checkin that the student was told to bring a 3 x 5 card next time.

If you have any questions about notecards, then always feel free to call the Testing Coordinator and ask, especially if a student insists that s/he is allowed to use a notecard and the exam is not on blue paper or there is no indication in the computer screen that a notecard is allowed.

COMPUTER tests for which notecards are allowed should have the message, “One 3 x 5 notecard allowed. Turn in after testing,” on the computer screen when you access the student’s exam through MOODLE.

If there is a discrepancy between what the student is telling you is allowed and what is stated in the test description, then consult the Testing Coordinator. (Instructors are supposed to fill out a test request form at the beginning of the term and indicate if notecards will be allowed on their exams.) You should always Email the Instructor if there is a dispute or discrepancy over a notecard.

WRITTEN tests for which notecards are allowed will be printed on light blue paper, or there will be light blue marker in the margins and notations on the front page indicating that one 3 x 5 notecard is allowed.

Having the written tests on blue paper allows us to scan the room and see that the only people taking written exams on blue paper are using notecards. It enables us to catch people cheating more easily.

#4      Make sure that students put all their possessions, including CELL PHONES, Smart watches, Google glasses, HATS, and any electronic devices in the lockers provided. Phones and drinks are not allowed at the testing station.      

The proctors in the testing rooms should walk around and make sure hats, coats, backpacks, water bottles, etc. are in the lockers. If there is no one in the testing room, then front desk staff should periodically do a walk through the the testing room(s).

Since the staff at the front desk cannot see the majority of the testers, the staff person(s) in the testing room(s) should be periodically getting up to push in chairs, check to see if students have their backpacks, cell phones, etc. put away. Staff at the front desk and in the proctor room should be monitoring students with the cameras as well, to look for suspicious behaviors and should adjust cameras for maximum visibility of testers.

If a student has their drink or hat, scarf, etc. at their station, then it can be put on the shelf in the testing room—you can offer to do this for them. Sometimes students take off their sweatshirt, etc. after they get in the testing room, because it gets warm in there and these need to go on the shelves or in their lockers, to prevent students from accessing a cell phone in a jacket pocket.

Students could take pictures of the exam during the test with their cell phone, record their notes, put notes in their hat, sleeves, water bottle, etc.

If students just have their cell phones and no bag or backpack, then they should put their phone in the locker (turned off). If a student insists that s/he has to leave their phone on because they are expecting a call, then offer to keep the phone at the front desk.

Only staff should retrieve students’ phones, etc. Please do not allow students to go behind the staff desk to retrieve their items, since we sometimes have confidential materials behind the desk, and we do not want anyone accidentally or purposefully taking someone else’s phone or other items.

#5      As a general rule, space students taking the same exam at least one seat apart and not seated back to back from each other.

If students come in with their friends or family members to test, then assign them seating on opposite sides of the room and make sure that students do not move to sit next to one another. This is another reason to make sure to put the correct number/letter of the station that you assign to a student in the online Checkin screen—so we can tell if someone has moved their seat, and when we catch someone cheating, then we can know the student’s name without having to ask them. Students who arrive together can easily be separated, by having a different staff person check them in, since staff at station #1 generally check students in to stations 1-17 and staff at station #2 or #3 generally check students in to stations 18-31.

#6     Make sure that students go to the assigned computer testing stations at the computer stations and check to be sure they have put their belongings in the lockers provided.

Walk the written test to the testing station and make sure that their belongings are put away.

Try not to seat students at stations that are out of view of testing staff, unless the testing room is full.

#7      Periodically, (at least once every 10-15 minutes), walk through the testing room(s), where students are testing, pushing in chairs and collecting paper clips—this is a discreet way to quietly be checking to make sure students do not have cell phones or other unauthorized items at their testing stations, and also to remind students to save their exams.

If students have their CELL PHONES on their desk, politely tell them to put it in their locker or they can check it with staff. Students could take a photo of the test if their phone has a camera. You should send an Email to the Instructor if a student is caught with their phone on their desk, and whether the student was caught using it during the exam.

If you think a student is using an unauthorized CALCULATOR or DICTIONARY, then check with other staff and/or in the Checkin to see if it is noted in the Checkin screen under “Comments”.

Calculators are often not allowed, even on certain math, business or economics exams. When you check students in, read the Instructions carefully and let them know if they are not allowed to use a calculator, etc. If a simple calculator is all that is allowed, then students can use one of our calculators.


COMPUTER tests for which note cards are allowed will have the message, “One 3 x 5 note card allowed. Turn in after testing.” This message should come up on the computer screen when you pull up the exam in MOODLE.

Once again, WRITTEN tests for which note cards are allowed should be printed on light blue paper and/or will have blue marker on the front page and have a stamp that says, “One 3 x 5 note card allowed” in the right margin.

When Instructors drop off exams for which a notecard is allowed, stamp the exam in the right magin with, “One 3 x 5 notecard allowed” and “Turn in with exam”, so that staff can see this when signing someone into the exam, and can ask to check their notecard.

For exams allowing a notecard, staff should be proactive and ask students if they have a notecard and then put a sticker on it to indicate that it has been approved. This is your opportunity to check to make sure the notecard is the right size and have the student put her/his name and the Instructor’s name on the card.

For notecards that have tape on the edges, be aware that occasionally a student may write on the insides, which would not be allowed. Also, students may have a card that is larger than 3 x 5, in which case, you can offer then a 3 x 5 notecard so the student can copy it over, or they can cut the card down to size.


Students whose primary language is not English (ESL/ELL students) are allowed to use paper translation dictionaries, unless the Instructor specifies that dictionaries are NOT allowed. Please read test Instructions carefully, since many Nursing and Dental Hygiene exams do not allow dictionaries or even scratch paper.

Students should use the paper copies of translation dictionaries that we have in the testing center. A student may tell us that they have the Instructor’s permission to use an electronic dictionary, but unless the Instructor has Emailed the Testing Coordinator about an exception, we have to assume that the student is only allowed to use the written dictionary that we have in the testing center. Send the Instructor a Test Problem Report if there is a discrepancy over use of a dictionary.

If we do not have a dictionary in their native language, then the Instructor may approve for the student to bring their own dictionary or/and electronic dictionary. The Instructor should Email the Testing Coordinator if an exception is allowed. We would need to check dictionaries for notes.

Inform the Testing Coordinator if a student requests to use a written translation dictionary in a language that we do not currently have available and when s/he plans to take a proctored exam for which a written translation dictionary is allowed.

Some Instructors do not ever want students using electronic dictionaries. For example, on some Geography tests, students should not use these, because they could easily look up information on the test.

No one is allowed to use an English dictionary. If a student asks us to define a word, then we need to be careful that we’re not leading or misleading him or her to choose an answer. You can say, “It’s whatever that means to you, in the context of the question.”

If a student is caught using any testing aids that are not allowed, then try to get a second set of eyes—if possible, the Testing Coordinator’s—on the observed behavior. Gently inform the student that notes, etc. are not allowed during testing and that you need to remove the cell phone, I-pod, notes, etc.

We need to inform their Instructor of the cheating or suspected cheating. As much information as you can collect is helpful to Instructors. Fill out the online Test Problem Report. In addition, you can attach a post-it note to a written test describing the incident and let the Testing Coordinator know what happened. If possible, note which question the student was on when you discovered the student using unauthorized testing aids and whether or not s/he was actually using the notes, etc.

If you just see that a student has their notes, text, phone, etc. on their desk, then have them put it away and still note where they were in the exam. We’ll let the Instructor know that we didn’t actually see them using the notes, but that they had them on their desk.

#8      Do not leave completed written tests, scantrons, class lists, scratch paper, etc, sitting out, where students could access them. File them right away or as soon as possible and make sure all confidential and testing materials are locked in the file cabinet when closing.

If you are busy checking students in, then please check to see that that students have put their name on the exam and/or scantron and that all parts of a written test, scratch paper (if allowed) and notecard (if allowed) are turned in. Place the test in the wire basket labeled, “Exams to be Filed”. File the test (s), scratch paper, notecards, etc. after you’re done checking students into exams.

If you are working the closing shift, then please make sure that there are no exams, scratch paper, class lists, etc. left out overnight—they should all be filed before you leave. If the Written Test Tracking Binder is left out, then please put it in the front of the second filing drawer since it may contain class lists with confidential information.

If you do not have the key to the filing cabinet that the tests are stored in, then you can leave scratch paper, etc. in the small file next to station #1. Ask Testing Coordinator where the key is located. Since the keys need to be returned to the Library Circulation Desk 15 minutes before closing time, on dealine days when there are still students taking written exams, please store those exams/scratch paper/notecards in the top drawer of the little file cabinet overnight and leave a post it note on staff station #1 that there are materials stored there, so that staff opening in the morning can retrieve those items and file them.

#9      After a student completes a computer test and submits it, always:

MAKE SURE THE STUDENT HAS LOGGED OUT OF MOODLE, RETURN THE SCREEN TO THE MOODLE LOGIN SCREEN and LOCK the screen. (This is usually the task of the person(s) in the proctor room(s).

THIS IS IMPORTANT! If you lock the screen without checking first that the student has logged out of MOODLE, then the next student could accidentally take an exam under the previous person’s MOODLE account. Students taking online courses are often enrolled in several online classes.

If screens are not locked, then students could potentially move to a different station and could potentially take a test for someone else, if they had the student’s L# and password.

If there are 2 or more staff people, then it generally works best for the person in the testing room(s) to manage the testing computer screens. When a person in the proctor room goes on break, then s/he should let the staff at the front desk know, so they can take over this task.

When students are leaving the computer room, you should:

  • Ask them what computer they were on, if they submitted their exam and if they logged out of MOODLE.
  • LOOK to see that there is no one testing at the Computer Station they told you, because sometimes they tell us the wrong number.
  • Pull up the screen remotely, using the remote access software.
  • Check to see that they are logged out of MOODLE.
  • DO NOT EXIT OUT OF AN EXAM/SUBMIT AN EXAM, unless you are sure the student has left and if an exam is left open on a screen, always inform the Testing Coordinator and Email the Instructor if you find an exam not finished and not submitted.
  • Log the student out of MOODLE, if they didn’t log out.
  • LOCK the screen.


A couple more things about checking students into computer exams:

The person at Staff Station #1 should try to check students in to computers 1-17. The person(s) at Staff Station #2 and Staff Station #3 should try to check students in to computers 18-32. This helps avoid the confusion of having more than one staff person trying to check students into the same computer at the same time. Of course, if there are 3 people checking students into exams, then we do need to communicate with one another about which station we are setting up for a student.

NOTE: When we are just using the main testing room—CENTER 304—we put students taking written tests along the back wall—Stations 33-40. Station 41 is the desk over near the staff desk and has no computer station on it, so it is only for written testers. This is to prevent confusion, since if you put a written tester at stations 1-32, then another staff person might set someone up on that computer for a computer test. Then s/he is sent to that station and there is already a student sitting there taking a written test.

If there is a deadline for a written exam that the whole class is taking, and it gets too full in CENTER 304, then we can have someone proctor those students in CENTER 310. We have been using this room during Finals Week for Written exams, because CENTER 304 is full.

When setting up computer tests in MOODLE, make sure to open the exam for the student and make sure to exit out of any message screens, unless it is a timed exam.

If it is a timed exam, then wait to open the exam after the student is seated—ask them to give you the thumbs up once they are seated and have read the Instructions for timed exams and then open the exam so that they can begin. Often students grab the mouse and open the exam themselves—that is fine, as long as you are verifying that they start the attempt.

Also, remember to tell students that they should, hit the “Finish Attempt” button as they go, if the test questions are all on one page. The “Finish Attempt” Button functions as a Save Button at the end of the exam.

Many exams have all the questions on one page, to make it easier for students to scroll up and down, so if they do not save periodically, then MOODLE can time out and their test may automatically be submitted.

Saving periodically is especially important if the exam is very long and if it has short answer or essay questions. If students save as they go, then if the computer suddenly goes offline, their answers may not be lost.

Tell students to “SUBMIT ALL AND FINISH” when they have completed the exam and to Log Out of MOODLE.

This is actually something that the proctor in the testing room can do as s/he is walking around—you can discreetly notice if a student is taking an essay exam or see that they are halfway through a multiple choice exam and ask, “Have you saved your exam?” If they say, “No”, then you can quietly tell them to scroll to the bottom of the page, hit “Finish Attempt” and then navigate back to the exam.

When you check people into a computer exam, you should actually show that person where the save and submit buttons are if they have never taken a MOODLE exam before and/or they seem especially nervous/uncertain. ALWAYS remind students about saving and submitting. If it is a Midterm or Exam #1, that the student is taking, then ask if they know how to save and submit their exam in MOODLE, because this may be the first proctored exam the student has taken here.

#10       Make sure that students turn in scratch paper, notecards and written translation dictionaries (if allowed on an exam).

PLEASE NOTE: Some Instructors do not allow scratch paper. For MOODLE exams, Instructors should note whether or not students are allowed to use scratch paper, one 3 x 5 notecard and translation dictionaries on the MOODLE page when you click on the test link.

As a general rule, do not allow students to use extra scratch paper. For any Written exams, make sure students turn in all parts of the exam—scantron, essay sheet, etc. if attached to exam.

Some Instructors do not want students using scratch paper, because they can write down the questions to a test, take it out of the testing center and give it to someone else. Please be alert for this especially on Dental Hygiene and Nursing exams. Instructors should indicate that “No scratch paper is allowed” or “Scratch paper is allowed”—look for this when you pull up an online test. Read the test Instructions carefully when you pull up an exam in MOODLE.

If you have to let a student use scratch paper, then be sure to give them a sheet that says,”TURN IN AFTER TESTING”, note it in the Checkin screen, and make sure the person hands it in after they complete their test.

For written exams that students can write their answers on, then it is possible that they can just use the back of the exam to write on.

Some scratch paper (i.e. for some math online exams) has to be collected because students are given partial credit for showing their work. If this is the case, then there will be often scratch paper with each Instructor’s Name on it—make sure to give students scratch paper with the correct Instructor’s Name on it.

There will also be a class list in the third file drawer under the last name of the Instructor, and staff will alphabetize and mark off students’ names on the list as they turn in completed work. If there are multiple sheets, then staple them together.

Students could also potentially walk out with a written test, or part of a test, if we’re not watching and/or it’s very busy. Please ask students when they are leaving if they had any scratch paper or a notecard.

People usually want to hand their tests in, but it would be possible to discreetly walk over to the lockers and put the test, scantron and/or essay paper with their belongings and leave with it.

When in doubt about whether or not to file scratch paper—go ahead and file it in the third file drawer under the Instructor’s last name.