During the semester, there are four 2211 exams (on Monday nights) and four 2212 exams (on Tuesday nights), and you’ll be assigned to proctor one or more of them. Exams are 90 minutes long (6pm to 7:30pm); however, if you’re assigned to proctor the exam for students with accommodations from the Office of Disability Services (formerly known as ADAPTS) then those are 3 hours long. Greco will provide more details to the GTAs who are assigned to proctor those exams.
Two GTA proctors are assigned to each exam room. Your main job as a proctor is to make sure nobody is cheating. Here’s three important things to keep in mind:
- Students are allowed to have a calculator during the exam, but it can’t be connected to the internet. Basically: TI’s are ok, but smartphone calculator apps are not. If a calculator can communicate with other calculators, then it’s not allowed.
- Students should not be looking at another student’s test (or their books, or notebooks, etc), nor should they be talking to each other in any language during the exam period.
- Students tend to avoid sitting in the front of the room and cluster in the back rows. If you think two or more students are sitting too close together, tell them to separate a bit or ask them to move, pointing out the many available seats in the front of the room.
- Important: Be careful that when you do this, you are not stereotyping or (consciously or unconsciously) unfairly singling out students because of their race or appearance. Remember to always treat all students equally.
When it comes time for you to proctor, you need to stop by Greco’s office around 5:40pm (20 minutes before the test begins) to pick up the exams and attendance sheets. When you get to the exam room, one of the proctors should log into the instructor’s computer and pull up a countdown timer (e.g., google countdown timer) and set it for 90 minutes (but don’t start it yet!). At 6pm, both proctors should begin passing out the test papers. Once every student has their test, a proctor should go to the computer and start the countdown timer.
Some students may arrive late for the test. This is ok, they’ll just have less time to work on the test. However, if someone arrives more than 15 minutes late, then they’re not allowed to take the test. If a student asks you for permission to use the bathroom, you should let them go but they have to leave all their stuff in the exam room (i.e., they can’t take anything with them out of the exam room during the testing period, not even their phone).
Both proctors should walk around during the test period, keeping an eye on students. You don’t have to be walking ALL the time, but it should happen often. Try to spread out; if one proctor is at the front of the room, the other should be in the back; if one proctor is on the left side of the room, the other should be on the right.
Students may ask you questions to clarify if something on the exam isn’t clear. You should answer those questions as best you can. However, you shouldn’t answer questions such as “am I doing this right?” or “what am I supposed to be doing here?”
If any issues arise during the test (e.g., printed tests missing a page; test problem is missing necessary information; a student falls ill in the middle of an exam), call Greco’s cell phone. He usually stays on campus during exams, in case something happens.
If you suspect cheating could happen or may be happening, for example if two students are sitting way too close together, ask them to move to different seats. Try to make eye contact with any suspicious students — staring them down might get them to realize they’re being watched. If you see any obvious cheating, try to discreetly take a picture and/or video of the situation, and write down immediately a detailed account of what you saw and who was involved. Mention it to the other proctor so they can take a look as well. And of course, tell Greco as soon as you can, giving him as much details and evidence as possible.
As students start finishing their tests, they’ll come to the front of the room to turn in their exams. The following things need to happen when a student turns in their exam:
- A proctor should take the exam and ask the student for their BuzzCard (or any other type of picture ID). The proctor should then compare the name on the ID with the name on the test, and the picture on the ID with the student’s face.
- Once the ID has been checked, the student needs to find their name in the attendance sheet and write their signature next to it. It is crucial for all students to sign the attendance sheet — if they don’t sign, and their test is somehow lost afterwards, there is no evidence that they ever took the exam!
- If at some point you suspected a student of cheating, when the student hands in their test you should make a note on it (in pencil, so it can be erased later) and keep it separate from the rest, so when you later inform Greco you can also present him the exam in question. Separate out the test of the person the cheater was copying from as well.
When time is over, make a LOUD announcement of it and make sure students stop working on their test. Many students try to keep working, thinking that it’s ok because so many other people are standing in line to turn in their tests. This is not allowed! Everyone needs to stop working when the time for the exam runs out.
It will be very hectic when everyone is trying to turn in their exams. The two proctors need to collect tests, check ID’s, and direct the students to sign the attendance sheet, all while making sure everyone has stopped working and nobody is attempting any last-minute cheating. The two proctors should coordinate beforehand how they want to handle this chaotic period.
Once all exams have been collected, grab all the signed attendance sheets and put them back in the box with the tests, and then take them all back to Greco’s office.