What are proctored exams, and how do they work?

‘What are proctored exams’ is a ubiquitous question in today’s educational community. Proctored exams are now a reality as learning...

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What are proctored exams, and how do they work?

‘What are proctored exams’ is a ubiquitous question in today’s educational community.

Proctored exams are now a reality as learning remotely has spread. It is no longer something exclusive to just a few, as anyone with interest in continuing training has access to it.

And if more and more people take distance learning courses, there will be fewer and fewer inconveniences with this type of education. 

One of the drawbacks that existed until recently was the difficulty of evaluating this type of education. But then, online proctored exams changed the education sector forever.

But, what does proctored exam mean?

Online proctored exams are a type of remote test supervision where a student’s computer (where is taking the examination) is monitored by proctoring software. 

The student is identified through biometrics thanks to artificial intelligence to start this process. This allows the software to check throughout the process that the test takers are the same who registered at the beginning.

The proctored online examination software can monitor a student’s desktop, audio, and webcam (it records video and audio). It can also determine which applications the user has opened, which text has been copy-pasted, or which devices have been plugged in or disconnected during the process. 

What are proctored exams and how do they work?

Proctored examination: what happens after the test?

After students have completed their online test, the exam session is saved and can be reviewed by teachers and other institutional members. 

The proctoring software itself will contain a section for results management where you can find all the necessary information for good auditing and decision-making. 

Many proctoring tools block the user in real time if there is any indication that they may be committing a violation in their examination. This disqualifies the student from further testing.

Other remote exam proctoring tools, such as SMOWL, give the possibility to customize it so the system allows the student to finish the exam and then report violations to the examiner with a color-coded report. If the system detects anything suspicious, it will notify the examiner with a red warning, preventing cheating.  

This allows the teacher to determine the severity of the infraction and whether it invalidates the student’s examination. In any case, it’s not the proctoring tool that makes the decision. 

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Does the proctored exam affect the test methodology?

No. proctoring is just a monitoring tool. The methodology or the format of the exams depends on the LMS (Learning Management System) platform of your institution.

For example, in a platform like Moodle, the most common question formats on a remote test are multiple-choice, open-ended, or fill-in-the-blanks. 

How to prepare a student for a remote proctored exam?

The chosen proctoring solution may require students to install an app or software on their computers.

Other options such as SMOWL are integrated within your institution’s virtual campus, so it can be launched automatically when you start your online activity.

The only hardware requirements for students are their computer and a webcam to perform biometric analysis and other checks.

remote proctored exams

Who can benefit from proctored examinations?

This technology is being adopted by training companies, universities, and even companies in the corporate sector that want to train their employees or make their selection processes more secure. 

This educational format can open the horizons of your institution and attract new students. The fact is that there are still many people who want to train or keep studying but who, due to their obligations, characteristics, or location, cannot access a face-to-face methodology.

In addition to giving a modern and technological image to your institution, proctored exams have an impact on students’ savings by allowing them to participate in distance learning activities. 

For example, an American student wishing to take a master’s degree from a European university could carry out the entire process (education + evaluation) remotely, saving the costs associated with traveling and staying in another city to take the exams.

Proctoring for businesses: 

In the corporate sector, proctoring increases the reliability and quality of assessments. It allows to streamline processes and reduce costs. 

The major use cases of proctoring in the corporate sector are:


SMOWL can be the proctoring service that you are looking for

At Smowltech we believe that each institution is unique and so is its evaluation process. That is why we have a SMOWL product for each client. 

Our service can be customized, but we consider some common elements to be the most significant advantages of SMOWL.

4 reasons to use SMOWL as your online proctored examination software

  • When a student is being monitored with the SMOWL proctoring tool, the detection is image-based and not video-based, so the files generated are smaller and, hence, it works better in locations with limited internet connectivity. 
  • Our business core is to maintain privacy by design: European GDPR laws are among the most restrictive in the world and we ensure ongoing compliance. 
  • It works with the main LMS systems on the market (Moodle, Canvas, Open LMS, Blackboard, Classe365, etc.) and it’s compatible with the most popular browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.).
  • Do you need to avoid facial recognition? We can provide a human team that, if required, will perform all the identity verifications of all the tests in a short period. If you just need more control, it could also be a good fit for your proctored examination process.

Do you still need more reasons? Contact our sales team, and they will give you a couple more!

You can also ask for a free trial license to learn more about how online proctored exams work.

Download now!

8 interesting


about proctoring

Discover everything you need about online proctoring in this book to know how to choose the best software.

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