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Online proctoring

FAQ Selection tests

Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the selection tests will be held online using an online surveillance tool. Below you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about online proctoring.

General

  • What is online proctoring?

    Online proctoring makes it possible to take exams online with remote supervision. To do this, the UvA uses the tool Proctorio. The system recognises suspect behaviour and reports instances of potential fraud. Online proctoring is a form of digital supervision of exams during which no invigilator is present. After the test, the recorded images, audio and screen activity can be reviewed, thus providing a countermeasure against fraud during remote exams by means of digital supervision. This enables exams to be held in a fair manner.

  • How online proctoring works

    The tool that the UvA uses for online proctoring is Proctorio. The software Proctorio is an add-on to the web browser on the PC or notebook that a candidate uses to take the exam. The software records audio and video to register what happens in the room in which the exam is taken, as well as the activity on the screen of your device.

    After completion of the exam, the system issues a risk score for each candidate, based on parameters set by the UvA. Based on these scores, a select group of trained UvA staff members, the so-called reviewers, get to work using a review protocol agreed with the faculty.
    After the exam has been completed, the IDs of all candidates will be checked to confirm that Candidate X is indeed the Candidate X taking the exam. Reviewers will only look at other data if a candidate’s risk score gives reason to do so. If, based on this protocol, a reviewer detects a potential case of fraud, an official report will be compiled and submitted to the selection committee. In other words, the reviewers are not there to assess, only to identify cases of potential fraud. The selection committee will conduct an investigation and assessment based on the official report and the information recorded by Proctorio.

    Watch the video below if you want to know more about how Proctorio works and how to prepare for an online proctored exam.

  • Do I have to identify myself?

    Yes, you can identify yourself using your passport or ID card. However, when doing so, make sure that your citizen service number (BSN) and signature are hidden from the camera.

Environment

  • Does the room in which I take the online selection test have to meet certain requirements?
    • Ensure that it is a place where you will not be disturbed;
    • Ensure that nobody else is present in the room;
    • Ensure that the room is quiet (no music or other sources of noise);
    • Ensure that you have a strong WiFi connection (Position yourself close to the WiFi router or use a cable connection, ask housemates/family members not to download or stream movies, use the microwave etc.;
    • Make sure that there are no books, summaries, problem solutions, notes etc., unless it has been clearly stated in advance that these are permitted.

    We understand that this is a unique situation and that you may not be able to control everything. Please try to observe the above requirements to the greatest possible extent.

Hardware, software and internet connection

  • What equipment do I need to take the selection test with online proctoring?

    In order to be able to take an online exam, you need the following:

    • a laptop that satisfies the requirements found at www.proctorio.com/system-requirements;
    • a working webcam;
    • a working microphone;
    • internet access in order to connect to the exam application;
    • paper, pen, pencil, ruler etc. in order to work out any open questions that must be worked out on paper. This will be communicated in advance;
    • a telephone with a camera in order to upload photos of hand-written answers, but only if the exam contains questions that must be worked out on paper;
    • Google Chrome web browser with the Proctorio plugin installed (getproctorio.com) as an extension;
    • your passport or ID card to identify yourself,  with the citizen service number (BSN) and signature concealed;
    • a strong internet connection through WiFi or ethernet cable;
    • a strong internet connection (1Mbps upload) is preferable;
    • close all unnecessary applications and, preferably, restart your laptop/PC before the exam;
    • close all tabs and browser sessions that you will not need.;
    • do not use any headphones, headset or advanced earbuds (simple foam earplugs are allowed).

    Note: other equipment (virtual or otherwise) is NOT allowed (e.g. a second or third screen, your mobile phone acting as an extra screen, a virtual microphone, etc.).

  • During the identification process for the online proctoring, you may be asked to perform a 'desk scan'. When should you do this?

    Like the identification check, the ‘desk scan’ may be part of the Proctorio Practice Test and the real exam. If you skip the desk scan when asked, your exam cannot be processed. It is therefore important that you do the desk scan. For this, you must pick up your laptop and turn it so that the camera can see your entire desk/workspace. It must be clear that there are no additional materials or prohibited materials on your desk.

    For the desk scan it is important that you practice this well during the Proctorio Practice Test and that you carefully consider which objects in your room/on your desk you should put somewhere out of sight during the exam.

  • May I use a VPN connection?

    No, this is not allowed. Proctorio will recognise any use of VPNs or anonymous proxy services. These programmes are designed to conceal your identity, and may therefore not be used during exams.

  • How do I take an exam on my Macbook?

    To take a proctored exam on a Macbook (MacOS 10.15 Catalina or other type) you need to adjust the privacy settings to share your screen. Go through the following steps:

    1. Go to the Apple menu by clicking on the logo at the top left. Go to: System Preferences> Security and Privacy> Privacy> Screen recording. Check the box next to Google Chrome and click "Apply".
    2. If you are asked to quit Chrome, you do not need to do so. You can click "Later".
    3. Adjust the size of the screen so that it is not maximum, then do a retest and share your screen.

    For more information or support, contact Proctorio 24/7 Support in the Live Chat or email at support@proctorio.com.

Before the test

  • How can I prepare for an online exam subject with Proctorio?

    1. Install Google Chrome

    Install this browser using the Google Chrome website.

    2. Install the Proctorio plugin

    Install this plugin using the Proctorio-website.

    3. Use a Proctorio Practice Test to test whether your hardware, software and internet connection are adequate

    The Proctorio Practice Test tests whether your own hardware (such as your laptop and camera/webcam), software and internet connection are good enough to take the exam. Make sure that you take the Proctorio Practice Test using the same set-up that you will be using for the real exam. Also ensure that (like with the real exam) you first close all unnecessary software and websites. A stable internet connection with a minimum upload speed of 1 Mbps is recommended for Proctorio. You can check the requirements to be able to take exams on Proctorio’s website at the bottom of the page under Proctorio Minimum System Requirements.

    If you experience problems while taking Proctorio Practice Test, please contact Proctorio directly. Proctorio is available 24/7 through the Live Chat in the Proctorio Practice Test or at https://proctorio.com/support.

    4. Take the Proctorio Practice Test so that you know what to expect

    We ask that you take theProctorio Practice Test well in advance. This give you enough time to solve any technical problems you may experience. If you have questions, please contact Proctorio first, through the Live Chat in the Proctorio Practice Test or at https://proctorio.com/support.

    If you are unable to resolve the issue with their help, contact the designated person / department of your study programme.

    5. Ensure that you are up to date on key topics

    In order to ensure that you are well prepared for your exam, it is important that you at least know the following:

    The following step-by-step guides will help you ensure that you are well prepared for the online exam:

    Want to know more? Watch the video below for more information about how to prepare for an online proctored exam.

During the test

  • What should I do if I experience problems with the use of online proctoring during the exam?

    The online proctoring software contains a chat option that is available 24/7 to solve technical problems. If the process takes too long or is not working, the chat icon will be shown and you will be asked whether you require help. You can also click the blue button at the bottom of the screen to ask for help, or navigate to www.proctorio.com/support to start the live chat. The UvA will have access to the log files afterwards and will review them if there is cause to do so.

    During exams, any questions about the exam itself can be asked through the UvA LiveChat at examsupport.uva.nl. Also contact the UvA if you are experiencing problems during the exam. LiveChat can be reached 30 minutes before the start of the exam.

  • Am I allowed to use scrap paper?

    The selection committee will determine which aids – such as scrap paper – are allowed during the exam. This will be announced before the exam. When the use of scrap paper is allowed, we recommend that you use a clean white, blank sheet of paper.

  • Am I allowed to go to the bathroom during online exams?

    No, you are not allowed to go to the bathroom. Unless you have express permission from the selection committee, e.g. for medical reasons. You should therefore make sure to go to the bathroom before you start the exam.

Fraud

  • What is considered to constitute potential fraud during exams subject to online proctoring?

    Fraud is assessed among others by looking for the behaviour and actions described below. Note: the faculty determines, before the exam is held, which behaviour and actions will be given the greatest weight.

    • excessive looking away from the screen (once or repeatedly)
    • whether the candidate leaves the room
    • whether the candidate uses aids (e.g. headphones or a graphing calculator) without the express permission of the examiner
    • whether other faces can be seen
    • whether new tabs are opened without the express permission of the examiner;
    • whether the candidate exits the browser without the express permission of the selection committee;
    • whether the candidate uses software other than the examination software without the express permission of the selection committee;
    • whether the audio signal does not match the video;
    • whether the starting time, ending time and duration of the exam do not match.

    See the infographic explaining how proctored exams are analysed.

  • How is fraud assessed?

    Online proctoring software identifies suspicious behaviour, but does not determine whether fraud has been committed. The identification of potential cases of fraud is carried out by a select group of trained UvA staff, referred to as reviewers, who will monitor the recordings after the exam has been completed, following a specific protocol. If, based on this protocol, a reviewer detects a potential case of fraud, an official report will be compiled and submitted to the selection committee. The reviewers do not assess, they only identify potential cases of fraud. The selection committee  investigates and adjudicates based on the official report.

Privacy

Any further questions?