Exam Proctoring Details

students about to begin testingTest proctoring is one of the most popular services provided by the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). We provide this service to ensure that you receive the testing accommodations you are entitled to in as organized and stress-free a fashion as possible. Keep in mind that we are only a 3-person office with 10 proctoring seats available in the immediate office area. Therefore, in order to help us make test proctoring run smoothly, please follow our procedures below.

At the least, review our AccessibleNU - Alternative Testing pages.

  1. Make sure you've requested your accommodation notifications. (If you haven't already done so, review the accommodation notification request process.) SSD cannot proctor exams for students who have not requested notification of their professors, and professors aren't required to provide accommodations to any student who has not submitted an accommodation notification to them.
  2. Notifying your professor alone does not mean you have arranged for your testing accommodations. You must follow up with your professor after you notify him/her to determine if your professor can provide your testing accommodations.
    • Your professor should visit the link inside the red box of your accommodation email and complete the alternative testing contract to indicate if s/he will arrange for exam accommodations or if SSD is requested to proctor. However, professors will no longer be required to fill out the alternative testing contract in order for you to schedule your exam with SSD through AccessibleNU.
  3. If your professor or TA is available to proctor your exam with accommodations, please remind him or her at least a week in advance of a test and make arrangements directly with the professor or TA. (SSD does not need to be notified about tests that are being proctored by your professors or TAs.) 
    • We especially recommend that students who have a lot of questions during exams try to arrange proctoring through their professors or TAs. If this is not an option, we encourage you to ask your professor or TA for contact information that SSD can use during the scheduled exam time.
  4. If your professor is not available to provide your test accommodations, s/he must indicate this on the alternative testing contract, and you will need to take your exam at SSD. To arrange this, please follow the procedures detailed in AccessibleNU - Alternative Testing. Now, even if your professor indicates that s/he would like you to take the test with SSD but fails to visit the link in your accommodation email to complete the alternative testing contract, you can still schedule your exam with SSD through AccessibleNU by clicking "Schedule Exam without Alternative Testing Contract." Either way, YOU (not your professor) are required to schedule your test with SSD at least a week prior to the date of your exam. We require a week's notice because:
    • We need to arrange space for proctoring, which may mean reserving additional rooms and proctors.
    • Some exams require SSD to load special software, arrange for a computer, print out color slides, etc.
    • Students sometimes realize after their original request that they need to take the exam at a different time from the rest of the class, which necessitates additional communication with the professor and reevaluation to determine if we have sufficient proctoring space.
    • We need ample time to be in communication with the professor to obtain the exam and any special instructions pertaining to it.
  5. If you want to double-check, log onto Accessible NU or email ssd@northwestern.edu to ensure that all arrangements have been made for SSD to proctor your exam.
  6. If you do not schedule your exam at least a week prior to your exam date, you must make a Late Exam Request through AccessibleNU.  
    • Warnings: if SSD does not have adequate space, you will be required to take any late-requested exam in the classroom without accommodations. Late-requested exams are also less likely to arrive on time at SSD.
  7. Please treat your test appointment with SSD as you would an exam in the classroom. This means:
    • Respond immediately to any emails pertaining to your exam from SSD or your professor.
    • Be on time for your exam. (Other students may be scheduled for your seat right after you are scheduled to be done.) Your time for the exam starts at the time scheduled, not when you show up! If space is available, you may be permitted to start up to 10 minutes early; however, if you are late, the time you are late will be deducted from your originally allotted test time.
    • Notify SSD immediately if you intend not to show up for your exam. Similarly, notify SSD as soon as you drop a class for which you have scheduled a test, procured a note-taker, or requested other services.
  8. Cell phones or related items such as tablets are not allowed in the testing room. Ideally, leave phones and other valuables in your room, as SSD is not responsible for lost or stolen items. (If you do bring your phone, you will be required to leave it outside of the testing room and are asked to turn alerts off; otherwise, they disturb the office while you are taking your test.)
  9. The testing rooms are usually warm. As such, and in the interest of maintaining academic integrity, please be advised that you may be asked to remove your jacket, sweatshirt, sweater, and/or hat and to turn out your pockets.
  10. Use the restroom prior to your exam, as you will not be allowed to use the restroom during an exam except in the case of an emergency or documented medical condition.
  11. Please quietly close the door of the testing room when you enter and exit the room so your peers are less distracted by noise in the rest of the office.
  12. Last, but not least, as with any exam taken at Northwestern, rules of academic integrity apply. Any student suspected of a violation will be reported to his/her professor and school dean.