How to Proctor a Test


As a test proctor, it is your responsibility to oversee student testing for an exam, while maintaining the same high standard for exam integrity that the original professor would maintain. Preparation is important for you to understand the expected testing requirements prior to entering the classroom or testing station and carry out those expectations throughout the exam. If properly executed, a proctored test will carry the same responsibilities, standards and academic honesty as an exam given by the original professor.

  • Speak to the professor who assigned the test and ask what items the students are allowed to use on the test and if there are any special instructions that you need to give them. Ask when the start time is and how long the students have to take the exam. Also, ask where you will need to go to retrieve the tests on the test day. Write this information down and take it with you into the exam. For instance, you may find out that the students are allowed to use one handwritten page of notes but not allowed to use their books.

  • Prepare to stay in the testing room for the entire exam period, so you can avoid having to step out for your own needs. Arrive at the testing station early so you have enough time to retrieve the tests and make it to the test station early. As an example, if you know that your throat gets dry, bring a bottle of water with you so you do not have to make trips to the water fountain during your test.

  • Explain the professor’s instructions to the students, both to explain their responsibilities and to make them aware that you have been informed of their instructions by their professor. Watch for them to keep those things that they are allowed to use on their exam with them and store the rest of their belongings either under their desk or in the front of the room. For instance, watch that each student has a page of handwritten notes on the desk and that books are stored out of sight.

  • Watch for any suspicious behavior during the exam, such as students trying to read extra notes from their lap or other creative resource. Listen for any talking or communicating during the exam and make sure that students understand that any conversation is inappropriate. Watch for students who seem to be reading off other student’s papers. As an example, if you see a student reading from another student’s exam, tell him to stop, write down his name and where he was sitting in the class.

  • Collect the exams when the test is concluded and return them to the professor’s office. Sign the testing sheet if the professor requires it and turn in your notes regarding the exam, including your list of any suspicious test takers.


  • Photo Credit Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
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