12.3. Proctored Exams

Some courses require learners to pass at least one proctored exam. Proctored exams typically differ from regular exams in the following ways.

  • Proctored exams might have time limits.
  • You might have to install proctoring software on your computer.
  • You might have to verify your identity.
  • You might have to scan your test environment with a webcam.
  • The proctoring software might monitor your computer, including the programs that you have open, and record video and sounds during your exam.

12.3.1. Proctored Exam Technical Requirements

Proctored exams might have specific technical requirements. Before you take a proctored exam, read any requirements carefully. If you are not sure that your computer meets the requirements, contact your instructor or support organization.

12.3.2. Practice Proctored Exams

Your course might include an optional practice proctored exam. In a practice exam, you set up the proctoring software on your computer and perform any required identity checks and environment scans so that you know how to complete these tasks for the actual exam. The practice exam usually includes several example problems. This exam is not graded.

12.3.3. Proctored Exam Rules for Learners

The rules for each proctored exam depend on the proctoring service that your course team or system administrator has chosen. However, the following rules are common for “closed book” exams. The starting page for every proctored exam includes a link to these rules.

The starting page also includes any additional rules that your instructor has specified, such as allowing you to use a handheld calculator.

12.3.4. Learner Rules for Online Proctored Exams

The following proctored exam rules are the basic rules for “closed book” exams.


Some proctored exams have different or additional rules. For example, some proctored exams allow you to use reference material or a calculator. Any additional rules are visible along with the exam instructions before you start the exam. Test Environment Rules

  1. You must take the exam in the same room that you scanned during the proctoring setup for the current exam.


    You must complete a webcam scan of the room where you will take the exam every time you take a proctored exam. However, you do not have to take all of your proctored exams in the same room.

  2. No other person is allowed to enter the room while you are taking the proctored exam.

  3. The lighting in the room must be bright enough to be considered “daylight” quality. Overhead lighting is preferred. If overhead lighting is not available, the source of light must not be behind you.

  4. You must sit at a clean desk or table.

  5. The following items must not be on your desk or used during your proctored exam, unless posted rules for the exam specifically permit these materials.

    • Books.
    • Paper.
    • Pens.
    • Calculators.
    • Textbooks.
    • Notebooks.
    • Phones.
  6. The desk or walls around you must not have any writing.

  7. The room must be as quiet as possible. Sounds such as music or television are not permitted. The Computer You Use to Take the Test

  1. The computer you are using to take the exam must not have more than one display or monitor. For example, if you usually use a laptop with a monitor connected, disconnect your monitor and use only the laptop screen.
  2. You must close all other programs or windows on your testing computer before you begin the exam.
  3. You must not use the following tools.
    • Programs such as Excel, Word, or PowerPoint.
    • Communication programs such as Skype.
    • Any website page other than the exam window in your course, including other content on edX.org. Your Behavior

  1. You must establish your identity by using a government-issued photo ID with a name that matches the full name you use in your edx.org account.
  2. You must dress as though you were in a public setting.
  3. You must not use headphones, ear buds, or any other type of listening equipment.
  4. You must not communicate with any other person by any means.
  5. You must not use a phone for any reason.
  6. You must not leave the room during the exam for any reason, unless posted rules for the exam specifically permit you to do so. Additional Time or Special Allowances

If you have a disability and need additional time or specific accommodations to take the exam, consult your organization’s disability resources or the course team before you make any choices on the exam page. The course team must approve your request and make any adjustments before you start your exam.