The Final Straw with ProctorU

I have a lot of issues with online testing, especially those run through ProctorU. If you’ve been around a while, you may recall my issues with the proctoring service last summer! How fun…

I’ve been taking biochemistry online this summer and our exams have been proctored by ProctorU Live, meaning that I’m proctored in real time by a real person. This person has complete control over my laptop when I give them permission and they force everything to be shut down: from my Siri command to my screenshot abilities to my access to settings. They monitor your eye movement, what your room looks like, and even where your phone is, all to prevent more students from cheating. Most of the time, I understand the precautions that the proctors take and are required to take.

This past time however, my proctor took it a bit TOO far. In my room, I have a tournament draw that shows my regional tournament from junior year of high school when I won the 2 singles varsity tennis regional tournament. There is absolutely NOTHING on that poster that would or could be used to cheat. I have four clear glass trophies from other various tournaments I’ve won on my desk too. In the past, I’ve showed proctors that there is no harm in any of them and they’ve permitted them to stay at my desk. Most proctors have also understood that people get nervous during exams and it’s nice to have a glass of water available to you. As long as it’s a glass and they can see that you haven’t somehow magically taped some notes to the glass, you’re set. This proctor though. Oh. My. Goodness. She forced me to take EVERYTHING from my walls and desk. Even my ID, which as needed to verify who I was, was no longer allowed on my desk. I had to fully show her the process of me attempting to get my tournament draw off of my wall and then show her where I placed all of my belongings. After all of the rearranging and moving, I still had my glass of water at my desk. She told me to move it and I stood up for myself. I mentioned that I had been allowed my glass of water on past exams and she very rudely told me that she would notate my exam and my request to have a glass of water. She also explained that my exam score may be compromised… FOR THE FACT THAT I WANTED A CUP OF WATER AT MY DESK. Goodness gracious did that do “wonders” for my mental state going into that exam.

Not only was my proctor absolute trash, but I had struggled to get hold of one in the first place. There is supposed to be a proctor prepared for your exam time when you schedule. That’s the point of scheduling before your exam- to ensure that someone is THERE for you at the TIME YOU REQUESTED. My exam was supposed to begin at 9:10 am but it actually didn’t start closer to 9:30 am because of all the crap I dealt with. I was a total mess during my exam mostly because I worried that my score may not even be counted!

In the end, I actually ended up doing alright on the exam, but still, the score was not was I studied so hard for. Regardless of that, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to test from home. I recognize that this is a stressful time for everyone and maybe my proctor was just having a rough day. I get that. I also know that there are things that I can and cannot control and the crazy, rude actions of other are something I have ZERO control over and that’s okay! I can control how I respond in situations like where someone is unkind, hurtful, and rude, and be the better person. Remember to be kind but also stand up for yourself!

If you have to use ProctorU through your university, I’m so so sorry. See if there’s anything you can do to test at a university testing center or find another way to be proctored. That’s what I’m doing for my last biochem exam! I’d be curious to know if anyone else has had major issues with ProctorU… Let me know! Anyway, have a good week everyone! See you next Sunday 🙂

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