Examinations and Proctors

"Examinations and Proctors" contains the following main sections:


Many online courses (primarily undergraduate courses) require you to take proctored midterm and final examinations. These exams are administered either as online exams using the University's Online Proctor Service or as pen-and-paper exams taken at an approved exam site under the supervision of an approved proctor.

Exams are an important part of your final grade, typically counting for as much as 50 percent of your grade in an online course. (Note: Exam requirements and grading weights vary from course to course. Please consult the "Grading and Evaluation" section in the Syllabus. To receive credit for an online course, you must earn a grade of C or better in area of study and graduate courses or D or better for a course not in your area of study, based on the weighted average of all assigned coursework. Graduate students must maintain a B average to remain in good academic standing.)

Course exams usually have a time limit of two to three hours. Exams may contain objective questions (multiple choice, true-false, matching, etc.), short essay questions, long essay questions, or a combination of these types of questions. For clarification about what will be covered on the exam, contact your mentor and check your online course Syllabus.

All exams are closed-book and closed-notes unless otherwise stated in your course. For proctored pen-and-paper exams taken at an exam site, the inside cover of the examination booklet will also indicate whether study materials are allowed during your exams.

Although some courses allow you to use a textbook during proctored examinations, you will not be allowed to use any other sources of information, whether hard copy or electronic, during the examination. Unless otherwise stated, you may not take a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or any other type of computer or computing device, electronic-communications, playback, or recording device with you to an examination.

If you are found using unauthorized materials during the exam, you will receive an F on the test. In addition, any attempt to copy or remove from the test site information contained on the test will result in a failing test grade. Such actions may possibly warrant action by the University's Ethics Committee as well.

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Online exams at Thomas Edison State University are accessed administered through the Examinations section of the course website. Unless stated otherwise in your course, all online midterm and final exams are proctored exams that can be taken using the University's Online Proctor Service.

The Online Proctor Service (OPS) offers you the convenience of taking exams from your home computer. Through this service, you no longer need to travel to an approved proctor site to take tests. To use OPS you will need a webcam, a computer with a microphone and speakers, and a reliable high-speed Internet connection.

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Scheduling Your Online Exam
Check the course Course Calendar for the official dates of your midterm and final test weeks. You may take your exams at any time during those two official exam weeks. 

  1. We strongly recommend that you schedule your online exams during the first week of the semester to secure the time/date that works best with your schedule during the official test week. There are no fees associated with the OPS option. However, if you schedule a test appointment less than 72 hours in advance, there is a $5 fee charged by the OPS vendor. There is also an option for last-minute test scheduling called Take It Now, which requires an $8.75 fee to be paid directly to the OPS vendor. If you schedule in advance, you will not encounter any OPS fees.

  2. Click the Online Proctor Service link, and then select the Getting Started tab.

  3. Create a user name and password, and then select the New Exam tab.
If you have technical problems related to any of the processes, please refer to the technical support contact information provided on the OPS site.

Taking Proctored Exams Online
To take your exams, you will need to have a reliable Internet connection and a computer with a working webcam, microphone, and speakers.

When your test day arrives, log in to the Online Proctor Service a few minutes before your scheduled exam time. Log in with the user name and password you established when you scheduled your exam appointment, and then click the My Exams tab. After verifying your identification, your online proctor will tell you when to log in to your course space to open the test link. The online proctor will then guide you through the process.

If You Are on Extension
If you are on extension and using OPS, you should call the OPS vendor at 855-772-8678 to schedule a test date for your extended course.

Statement about Cheating
Whether you are taking a proctored exam (online or pen-and-paper) or an unproctored quiz, you are on your honor not to cheat during the exam. Cheating means:

  • Looking up any answer or part of an answer on the Internet, or using any other unauthorized source to find the answer.

  • Copying and pasting or in any way copying responses or parts of responses from any other source into your online test. This includes but is not limited to copying and pasting from other documents or spreadsheets, whether written by yourself or anyone else.

  • Plagiarizing answers.

  • Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take the exam.

  • Copying any part of the exam to share with other students.

  • Telling your mentor that you need another attempt at the exam because your connection to the Internet was interrupted when that is not true.

If there is reason to suspect that you were cheating in any way, you run the risk of being given a failing grade in this course. The University also reserves the right to submit essay answers (where required) to a checking service to check for plagiarism. If plagiarism is detected, you will also be given a failing grade.

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If you are taking a pen-and-paper exam, you will need to select a proctor who meets the University's guidelines (see below) and to submit a "Proctor Request Form" by the end of the first week of the semester. You must submit this form at the beginning of each new semester for each course in which you choose to take the pen-and-paper exam(s), even if you are using the same proctor from previous semesters. You will receive email notification when your proctor has been approved. If you are late in sending in the "Proctor Request Form," the mailing of your exam(s) will also be late.

Proctors are not aware of your semester deadlines, so make sure you complete all required exams by the last day of the semester. If you cannot take a scheduled examination—or if you have filed for a course extension—you must notify your proctor immediately. Proctors are required to return your exam to the University if it has not been administered within thirty days of receipt.

If you have been granted an extension, you will need to send OTA an email at testing@tesu.edu three weeks before your desired test date to request that the exam be mailed to your proctor. The Office of Test Administration cannot guarantee that the exam will arrive on time if you do not provide a three-week lead time in making the request. Again, proctors are not aware of extension deadlines, so you must be sure to take all required exams by the last day of the extension.

Make sure you are ready to complete the test when you arrive on test day, because once the exam seal is broken, you will be graded on the work completed. Examinations may not be retaken. For pen-and-paper exams, please be sure to review the exam cover carefully before you break the exam seal to verify that you have the correct test for the course in which you are enrolled. If this information is not accurate, immediately notify your proctor so that OTA can be alerted. Your proctor will then be provided with instructions.

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Selecting and Requesting a Proctor (Nonmilitary Students)

Nonmilitary students have two principal options for selecting a proctor for pen-and-paper exams:

  • Option A: Select a proctor at a site near your home or place of work.
  • Option B: Take the test at Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, NJ.

Option A: Select a Proctor at a Site Near Your Home or Place of Work
You can take Thomas Edison State 
University pen-and-paper exams at an accredited college or university or at any public library. It is advisable to find a location close to your home or workplace so that you have easy access during the official test week, especially if you are taking more than one course per semester.

  • Accredited college or university—Contact your local college or university and find a full-time member of the testing office or a full-time professor or professional staff member. Adjunct and part-time professors do not qualify.

  • Public library—A full-time librarian at a public library is acceptable as a proctor. Librarians at elementary and high schools, however, do not qualify.

Note: We do not send exams to employers, coworkers, corporate training offices, members of the clergy, family members, or friends.

Be sure to verify that your proctor is available during the designated test week. Once the proctor is approved, the exam will be mailed from Thomas Edison State University two weeks before the official test week. Call your proctor the week before the official test week to confirm delivery of the examination(s) and to set up a specific test date. Never travel to your test site unless you have confirmed that your test is there. Unless you have received an official course extension, all exams and assignments must be submitted by the last day of the semester.

If you select Option A, there are three steps to complete:

  1. Go to http://www.tesu.edu/degree-completion/Proctor-Requests.cfm to access either the Online Proctor Request Form or the Paper Proctor Request Form.  

  2. If using the Online Proctor Request Forum, enter all required information, and submit the form electronically. If using the Paper Proctor Request Form, select Option A and then have the proctor complete Page Two of the form. When all student and proctor information is complete, scan and send the form to testing@tesu.edu, or submit it by mail or fax (609-777-2957) to OTA by the end of the first week of the semester. You will receive verification when your proctor is approved. If you do not receive a proctor confirmation email within five (5) business days, contact OTA at testing@tesu.edu.  

  3. Call your proctor the week before the official test week to verify receipt of all test materials. Then schedule a test date that is convenient for you both. Note: The proctor will not be aware of your course deadlines, so it is your responsibility to make sure all exams are completed by the last day of the semester or, if you have been granted an extension, the last day of that extension.

Option B: Take the Test at Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, NJ
If you live or work near Trenton, you may elect to take your pen-and-paper exam at Thomas Edison State 
University. Specific test dates are listed on the University's website at http://www.it-frontdesk.com/resv/tesu/. Test sessions are offered at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. in the testing room at 111 West State Street. If you select Option B, there are two steps to complete:

  1. Go to https://forms.tesu.edu/dfprocto.php or the Paper Proctor Request Form for our Trenton test room. If you do not receive a proctor confirmation email within five (5) business days, contact OTA at testing@tesu.edu

  2. Go to the online Test Scheduling System to select your test appointment. Students are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, so reserve a seat for your exam as soon as possible. Students can usually take two exams per test date, but that may not be the case if your exams are more than two hours each. If you have questions about scheduling, contact testing@tesu.edu.

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Selecting and Requesting a Proctor (Military Students)

Military students can take examinations using a proctor who meets the guidelines discussed below. The University must first approve the proctor before any examinations can be mailed or completed.

Acceptable Proctors
Acceptable proctors must be a neutral third party with no ongoing relationship to the student, nor can the proctor be currently attending Thomas Edison State 
University as a student. In addition, the proctor should hold a position of responsibility, be able to communicate in English, and have no conflict of interest with either the student or Thomas Edison State University. Any full-time commissioned officer (CWO2 and above), serving on active duty, who is senior to the student in rank and not serving within the student's direct chain of command, may fulfill this requirement.

Acceptable proctors for military students include:

  • Commissioned officers of your unit not in your direct reporting chain to the commanding officer, that is, division officers, department heads, platoon commanders, special/subordinate staff officers with whom you do not have a direct supervisory relationship
  • NCPACE reps
  • Test control officers (TCO)
  • Education services officers (ESO)
  • Career counselors
  • Base librarians
  • Chaplains

Unacceptable proctors include coworkers, direct or immediate supervisors, family members, friends, and medical staff at hospitals, medical centers, and clinics.

Students serving at remote or isolated postings should make every effort to find a proctor outside of their direct reporting chain. If this is not possible, contact the office of Test Administration at testing@tesu.edu.

Requesting a Proctor
To request a proctor and obtain approval from the 

  1. Complete the "Military Proctor Request Form" found in the General Information area of the course website (see under Administrative Forms) or on the University's "Proctor Request—Military Students" page at http://www.tesu.edu/military/Proctor-Request.cfm.

  2. Select your state or country and corresponding base from the drop-down list under Method 1 of the form. If your location is not listed, then choose Method 2, and provide the name, rank or title, and work email address of your proctor.

  3. Please be accurate in submitting all contact information. Incorrect contact information can lead to serious delays in taking your exam and in completing your final grade report.

Once we have your "Proctor Request Form," your exam will be mailed from Thomas Edison State University two weeks before the official test week. Contact your proctor the week before the official test week to confirm delivery of the test and to reserve a seat at your education center on your specified test date. You must complete all assignments and exams by the last day of the semester unless you have been granted an official course extension.

If you are deployed and want to continue with your course at your new location, please submit the "Proctor Request Form" in the same way as described above. Students who are deployed are eligible for course extensions if they complete a "Request for Extension" form and provide a copy of their deployment orders. If you are deployed but opt to wait until your return to finish the course, simply notify your base proctor that you will be taking the test when you return. This is possible only if you have received an official course extension. No exams will be administered after the last day of the semester unless an official course extension has been granted.

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Important Reminders

  • If you do not submit a "Proctor Request Form" for each course in which you wish to take the pen-and-paper exam(s), OTA will not know where you intend to take your exam(s). You must submit a proctor form at the beginning of each new semester, even if you are using the same proctor as in previous semesters. 

  • It is your responsibility to verify that the proctor's name and mailing address are correct and up to date. If this information is wrong and the exams are mailed to an incorrect address, the delivery of your exams will be delayed.

  • If you are on extension, your exams will not be mailed out automatically by OTA. An official course extension in a course means you have an additional eight (8) weeks in which to complete the course. Office of Test Administration staff members do not know when you plan to take tests during your extension period unless you notify them. You must send an email to testing@tesu.edu three (3) weeks before your desired test date to request that the exam be mailed. Students taking exams in the online format should contact OTA three business days before the test date to have the test link opened. Please include your University ID and specify the course and semester.

  • Nonmilitary students: If you are using Option A and you know your proctor is approved, he or she does not have to complete Page Two of the "Proctor Request Form" each semester. It is your responsibility, however, to verify that the proctor's name and mailing address are correct and up to date. If this information is wrong and the exam is mailed to an incorrect address, the delivery of your exam(s) will be delayed.

  • A "Proctor Request Form" should be submitted only if you plan to take your exam(s) in the pen-and-paper format. If you choose to take your exam(s) online through the OPS, you will schedule your test appointment directly with the OPS vendor.

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