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Preparing for a Proctored ASU UL Course Exam

Many of our HS4CC members use Arizona State University’s unique Universal Learner courses to earn college credit. We are often asked for tips to prepare for the proctored exams, so here is a compilation of tips from ASU and from our ASU Course Group for Homeschoolers members.

Read through ASU’s Exam Rules and Tips:

Exam Rules

Technical Requirements

Preparations for Proctored Exams

Take the Practice Test

Every course with a proctored exam has a practice proctored exam students should do in the first week of the course. If there is an issue, it gives the student time to resolve it before the final.

C.L.: “Do the practice proctor. We do it every time we have a real proctor exam coming up. It should be in week 1 or your intro to asu class that lots of people skip for some reason.”

M.G.: “It only takes 5-10 minutes. It was just making sure your computer has everything required to take the proctored final.”

Making a room ready for proctored exams:

Rooms used for proctored exams should be free of any writing, whiteboards, computer/tv screens, etc. You’ll be asked to show under the desk, on top of the desk, and pan around the room. Be sure to show any windows are covered and doors are closed.

A.L.: “We throw sheets over everything in the room and cover any screens, whiteboards, bookshelves, etc. Anything with writing gets covered. We also setup a desk facing a pair of closed closet doors, so the student’s back is to the room. I don’t want to take any risks that the test will be rejected by an overzealous proctor. “

RPD: “My child takes exams in the library where there are a ton of books on the shelves. There is also a desk behind with 2 computer screens and it has not been an issue. If there are additional screens on the same work surface, they need to be covered.”

R.D.: “No problems with books or computer screens in the room as long as they are not in front of where the student is testing-multiple classes. “

S.D.: “We moved after the practice proctored exam….I was so worried there would be a issue because we had no choice for her to sit on a couch in living space. It was also a different area then originally scanned. We had no issues at all. If anything, hang a curtain behind her space or make a faux wall behind her out of cardboard? It’s just the immediate area they seem to be concerned about. We just made sure she was alone in room when she took exam”

B.V.: “My son did it in his bedroom w/ crap everywhere  Bookshelves full, stuff on the dresser, posters on the walls, clothes all over the floor, etc. But a clear desk. We had no issues for all 4 finals he’s taken”
D.Z.: “same with my son. We just made sure his desk space was clear and had no issues”

A.B.: “My son took the Proctored exams in our laundry room. Put a sheet over shelves and it was fine”

K.P.: “My son had no problems in a room with three computer monitors and all sorts of other things.”

M.F.: “I always worry about how my kids will do with proctoring (my youngest is only 10). They’ve taken exams in rooms with books, TV screen, etc., and reported various things they forgot to do, but have never had a hiccup with proctoring. Take reasonable precautions, but don’t sweat it too much.”

A.K.C.: “Practice proctoring failed because there was a bag of cat food in the room. That’s the only thing we could figure out and it was the only thing with printing on it. We removed it and tried it again and it was fine.”

When is the Final Exam?

Final exams in teacher-paced courses are scheduled during the last week of the course. Like all assignments, the final exam unlocks early Tuesday morning and remains open until the following Monday night. One of our ASU Group members offered this sage advice:

C.L.: “We usually try to be done by Friday, in case something technical goes wrong. Monday traffic can be heavy which causes the server to be wonky. Weekends, there is little to no tech support.”

2 Factor Authentication / Logged out during exam

K.S.: have the student log out of ASU and log back in prior to taking exams. The ASU 2Factor Authentication runs out after 7 days. You do NOT want it to run out in the middle of an exam!

S.L.: “Has anyone’s child been logged out while taking a proctored exam? My son was taking the Math 117 final and when he just had a few questions left, it logged out and he had to log back in. Will this be an issue?”
Follow-up: “I reached out to Derek (, Derek left ASU) and he was pretty confident it would be ok and actually my son just now received notice that he met all of the proctored exam requirements. That was fast! We didn’t expect to find out until next week!”

Can I help my student get started with the proctored test?

Usually no. If there is a special circumstance, please contact

B.V.: “I asked ASU about that for my 9 year old & they gave me permission to do the room sweep with him. After, the computer was set down in such a way that I could be seen leaving the room. That’s what we did for all 4 of his classes when he was first starting” (follow up question asked when this was allowed. Answer: “this was during the ’19-’20 school year”)

J.Q.: “My 8 year old was able to do it completely solo and he was not computer savvy at all at the time. He had barely ever used a computer before in his life. We walked through the practice process together and then I was not in the room at all during the real deal. Just practice and walk through the motions together first. The instructions given made it sound as if no one else was allowed in so I would follow the guidelines.”

H.A.: “do you know off hand if they can do the practice one a second time? They did at the beginning of the course”
A.K.C.: “I *think* we walked through it twice. One time we failed because there was printing on the bag of cat food.”

Can I take a Proctored exam on a Chromebook

No. You’ll need to download software for the proctoring. There is apparently still an issue with this on Chromebook. Here are the technical requirements for courses with proctored exams:

Can I have paper, calculator, etc in the room?

Each course defines what is acceptable for the student to have with them during a test.

A.L.: Astronomy course students were allowed the formulas sheet provided by the course, a single sheet of blank paper, pencil/pen, and specific scientific calculators.

J.Q.: “My son has taken algebra and precalculus. He was allowed to have his ti-84 calculator (a list of acceptable calculators are listed) and a blank sheet of paper (had to show both sides being blank during the room scan). Other than what you listed as being obvious (he was in a room with nothing on the walls, he is far too young for a cell phone and door closed), he didn’t run into anything difficult or unusual.”

A.K.C.: “MAT 117 & 170 you can use a stack of plain paper, pencils and calculator. And wallet for ID.”

L.S.: “Programming they could have a sheet of notes, front and back.”

R.D.: “Calculator and plain scratch paper for math- student needs to show front and back of each sheet.”

What if I mess up during the proctoring?

Contact ASU asap if there is something you feel might be an issue with the proctored exam. or call them: or contact the proctoring service:

A.L.: I was supposed to show the front/back of my scratch paper at the end of the proctored exam and forgot. It was no problem. My husband forgot to show the back of his scratch paper (it was laying on the desk) and he still passed. My son forgot to show the back of his formulas sheet and he still passed. Ymmv, but it’s likely okay if it’s a small issue. I think they watch if you’re looking at these things, so it was obvious none of us were cheating.

M.F.: “I always worry about how my kids will do with proctoring (my youngest is only 10). They’ve taken exams in rooms with books, TV screen, etc., and reported various things they forgot to do, but have never had a hiccup with proctoring. Take reasonable precautions, but don’t sweat it too much.”

Do we HAVE to take the proctored practice exam the first week or can we do it later? Why do we have to do this?

It can be done at any time, but it is recommended to do it at the beginning of the course so you will know if your computer has any issues that need to be resolved, or if it won’t work at all, before the student puts a lot of work into the course.

M.G.: “It only takes 5-10 minutes. It was just making sure your computer has everything required to take the proctored final.”

C.L.: “they also have to spin in a 360, so the proctor can see no one else is in the room, the door is shut, no paper is on the desk or walls, etc.”

How to turn off NVidia Services that interfere w/proctoring?

Not everyone will have this issue, but for those who do, here’s a tip from a member:

C.L. “Open Task manager, services tab, find all the Nvidia services, right-click. Stop. Then go to the processes tab and find all Nvidia processes still running and hit end task. If they keep opening, just keep deleting. If services restart just keep stopping. It should take less than two minutes for everything to end. Eventually, they all stay closed and you’re ready to start the proctored exam. The trick is to close the services first. Not the processes. It makes a difference.”

To reset NVidia services after the proctored exam, simply reboot the machine.

Which courses do NOT have proctoring?

This list is from ASU’s site, however, there were changes to a few courses in Spring 2022. For instance, AST111 Astronomy is no longer proctored (added to the end of the list)

ASU added a drop-down box on the course page to select courses with or without proctored exams, also!

Additional time or special allowances

For questions about accessibility and accommodations, please visit ASU’s DRC Connect and submit a new student application. If you have any questions regarding the process, please review this knowledge base article.

What is the ASU UL Program?

If you’d like to learn more about the Arizona State University Universal Learner Program, this is a great place to start.

Join our HS4CC ASU Facebook Group!

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