Remote Proctoring: What is it?

For many parents, remote proctoring may seem like a new idea hatched due to Covid-19, but remote proctoring has been around for a while. For those unfamiliar, the proctor is the person who administers a standardized test and enforces the test’s guidelines. Remote proctoring involves administering the test, ensuring time limits, and enforcing regulations from afar (aka virtually).

For people like me, who received their degree through an online program, remote proctoring is common, especially when taking important mid-term exams! The kind of remote proctoring I had was a bit more primitive as it has been a while (exactly how long is not important here!), but it was still effective.

If schools and/or testing companies are willing to pay for an online proctoring service, remote proctoring can be quite sophisticated and not just a mere timing out of a computer if a student takes too long to answer a question. 

How does a high tech remote proctoring company do what they do? 

  1. CAMERAS.  Students who are going to take a high stakes test (or any test/exam) will need a camera on their computer.  The company will ask the student to do a 360 span of the room so that they can see the room the student is in for the test and make sure there are no unpermitted items in the room. 

    The online proctor will also use the same camera to monitor the student the entire time they are taking the test. 


  2. SPEAKERS/SOUND.  Students will need to have speakers on their computers, so that the proctor can hear what is going on in the room and with the student. Some remote proctoring companies have an audio program which will use a voice variance showing indicators of any change in sound within the testing room. 


  3. ONLINE PROCTOR.  Online proctors are not just a body in the room.  These proctors are actually trained to observe and know the typical cheating patterns and behaviors. For example, if a student keeps glancing over at something beyond the computer or work space. 

As more and more SAT/ACT test dates are being cancelled across the country, remote tutoring may end up being a necessity for a wider range of standardized tests.

The above is just a basic explanation of how remote proctoring works. If you are interested in learning more about online proctoring, check out the following companies' sites:




With online learning and testing, also, comes the very important need to protect student information and digital work integrity!  ProctorU has also come up with a Student Bill of Rights on Remote & Digital Work  to help parents and students understand what they should expect and demand while participating in any online learning or testing platform.

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