How to Take a Proctored Exam

Instructor: Casey Lozier

Casey has a master's in medieval history and is a former book editor.

This video provides an overview of how to take a proctored exam. After watching this lesson, you'll know what Software Secure is, the requirements for testing, do's and don'ts of exam taking, and what happens after your test.


Congrats on finishing your course here on! Now that you're ready to take the exam, we'd like to take this opportunity to explain how it all works.

You'll be using something called Software Secure to take a proctored exam in the privacy of your own space. Essentially, Software Secure is like a special kind of web browser that helps ensure academic integrity for your test. It prevents potential cheaters from taking pictures, using forbidden devices and plenty of other nefarious activities.

In order to use Software Secure yourself, you'll need a few things:

  1. A webcam
  2. A working microphone
  3. A photo ID
  4. An internet connection 200kb/s (.2mb/s) upload speed
  5. And an exam code

Keep in mind that you'll need to take a 360-degree scan of your room with your webcam, so it needs to be separate from your computer. Or, if you're up for it, you can turn around your laptop the whole way.

When you click that 'Register for Exam' button below, you'll be given an exam code, and then asked to test your system. The Software Secure website will test your system hardware, making sure that you have all of the previously listed items (except the exam code).

Once Software Secure is sure that you're ready, it will let you download the testing application for your Operating System. After you've downloaded and installed it, you can open the application and use your exam code.

At this point, Software Secure will check the rest of your computer for any problematic applications like instant messengers and other web browsers. The best thing to do is to close all other applications and keep only Software Secure open.

After that, Software Secure will ask you to take a picture of your photo ID, scan your room in a full 360 degrees, and take a picture of you. (To compare to your ID, of course.)

Then, you'll be asked to log into your account one last time, and you'll be ready to start your exam.

Now that you know what's required for your test, let's go over a few do's and don'ts.

DO: Sit at a desk or table, clear of objects, papers or anything else that could look like notes for the exam.

DO: Light the room you're in with overhead lighting, bright enough that it could be considered 'Daylight' quality. If you can't use overhead lighting, just make sure that you're not backlit.

DO: Dress as if you're in a public setting. This is a proctored exam, so a real live person will watch the recording. You wouldn't show up in a bathrobe for any other test, would you?

DO: Make sure your desk and walls are clear of writing that could look like notes.

DON'T: Use any Office programs, textbooks, websites, calculators, pen or paper during your exam, unless the exam specifically allows it.

DON'T: Listen to the radio or have a TV in the background.

DON'T: Let anyone else enter the room while you're taking the test. Put up a sign or a note requesting privacy during your exam. If you're seen talking with someone during the exam, you will not be eligible for credit.

DON'T: Leave the room during your testing period at any time, for any reason. This includes taking your laptop with you!

DON'T: Use headphones, earplugs, or similar audio devices. Do not use a phone for any reason except to contact Software Secure support in the event of a technical issue.

That's a lot of Do's and Don'ts, but it all comes down to common sense: If you don't think it'd be allowed in a college classroom exam setting, then you shouldn't do it during your proctored exam.

Once you've finished taking your exam, you can close the Software Secure application. A member of the team will contact you within 3 weeks of your test date with the results of your exam and your next steps.

And that's all there is to it. Good luck on your exam!

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