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Regular version of the site

Proctored Exams: Frequently Asked Questions

To be updated

On June 10, Module 3 and 4 exams will begin at HSE University. Many students will be taking online exams with proctoring software for the first time. We have prepared the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the procedure. 

How can I prepare for a proctored exam?

First of all, make sure that you have all the equipment necessary to sit the exam. If you do not have it, please refer to your programme’s study office.

Test your computer’s settings in advance using this check list. If your computer does not pass the test, check Section 4.2  of the Instructions on Taking Exams with Examus Proctoring Service. You can also send your questions via elearn@hse.ru and help@examus.net

Read the exam instructions and rules here. If you are a senior and you are taking a Final State Examination, check your programme’s syllabus/ additional rules of public examinations, which are published on your programme’s website.

24 hours before the exam, log in and double check your computer settings here.

Read more about how to prepare for the exam here.

Are mock exams obligatory?

No, but we advise you to take advantage of this opportunity. At the mock exam session, you will see how the proctoring system works and will feel more relaxed on the day of the actual exam.

Mock exams will be held on June 5, 8, and 9. Please, see the schedule.

Please note: the mock exams will be available only during the time period indicated in the schedule!

During the Exam

How should I prepare my room before the exam?

You should take the exam in a well-lit room, so, if an exam is scheduled in the afternoon or evening, turn on the light. Clear the workspace and prepare your passport, a water bottle, and other items specified by the relevant syllabus, such as paper for notes, a calculator etc. Ask your family members to leave the room and not to disturb you.

Read more about the exam procedure in the manual.

Why should I show my passport at the exam? Can I show my student ID instead?

HSE staff members (from divisions other than yours) or external proctors may be monitoring your exam, and that’s why personal identification is required.

Following the Russian law, a passport is the main identification document. Please use your government-issued ID during the exam.

A student ID is not a suitable type of ID and cannot be used during a proctored exam. 

If my cat meows during an exam, will the exam be terminated?

Of course not. If there is a loud noise near you during the exam (a cat meows or your neighbours start a renovation at the worst possible moment), the proctor or the system will flag this as a possible violation, but your exam won’t be terminated.

In synchronized proctoring procedure, the exam is monitored by a human proctor. They are not there to ‘flunk' students. Their task is to monitor the exam procedure and guarantee the validity of the exam. During the synchronized proctoring procedure, students can ask the proctor questions (not related to the subject matter of the exam) in the chat.

In case of gross violations (for instance, if the student stands up from their workplace, opens unrelated tabs on the screen, talks loudly, communicates with other people, uses pre-prepared notes or gadgets, or ignores the proctor’s comments), the proctor would flag these actions as violations and send the student a warning in the chat.

In case of repeated gross violations (if the student ignores the warnings), the proctor may make a record that the academic integrity has likely been compromised. The final decision will be made by the programme administration. Videos of all exams with flagged violations will be further reviewed by the university staff members, and the confirmed violations will be documented.

With asynchronized proctoring procedure, the system will automatically record the exam, without sending any warnings or notices to the student. After the exam, a university staff member may watch the exam video to confirm or rule out possible violations.

Staff members checking the video records know the exam rules (the items allowed for use during the exam: spare sheets of paper for notes, reference materials, calculators, etc.). All unusual situations (that are out of the student’s control) are treated with common sense and rational approach (a pen falls of the table and the students bends down to pick it up; a cat jumps on the table; a baby starts crying in the next room; a doorbell rings, etc.)

Can I look away from the screen for more than 15 seconds?

Yes, you can.

The ones who should worry are the students who keep averting their eyes from the screen throughout the exam in order to copy their assignments from an external source.

How will I know if my exam has passed the asynchronized proctoring?

If a student is suspected of cheating, they will be contacted.

According to the ‘Provisional Regulations for Interim and Ongoing Assessments of Students’, if plagiarism is detected in a student’s assignment after the examination results have been announced, the grade in the assessment record sheet shall be changed to '0’.

If it’s an 'open book' exam (students are allowed to use additional materials), will the system flag all students as potential violators?

The system is set to detect potential misconduct, which will be further analysed by a staff member.

During the subsequent review of the video, such instances will not be considered violations, but rather special characteristics of this particular exam (as outlined in the course syllabus or additional rules for final state examinations and appeals, posted on the degree programme’s webpage (applicable to state exams)).

Who registers the fact that a student is cheating?

The proctoring software flags the students’ suspicious activity automatically and registers the users who have acted suspiciously on repeated occasions during the exam. Then, the records are reviewed by a teacher and they are the ones who classify the students’ video-recorded behaviour as a violation of academic standards (or as a technical error of the algorithm).

If a student believes that the teacher’s decision has been unreasonable, they can file an appeal, which will be reviewed by the Academic Supervisor of the degree programme and an Appeals Committee in accordance with general procedures for filing and considering appeals.


In what cases can a student file an appeal?

Possible grounds for appeals may include:
  • inadequacy of question formulations; questions exceed the scope of the course syllabus; mistakes (including ambiguity) in the formulation of problems and test assignments made by authors;

  • irregularity in the established procedure for holding assessment committed by the examiner;

  • irregularity in the methods for grading works;

  • circumstances, which may impede objective evaluation of the work, on the part of the examiner

The appeals committee may review the records made during the proctored exams to make their final decision.

If the results of an exam are annulled due to a suspected cheating and/or interfering with the proctoring procedure, the student has the right to file an appeal against this decision, in accordance with the provision on the circumstances that may impede the examiner’s objective evaluation of the work

The appeals are regulated by the document

Technical Problems During the Exams

What should I do if I've forgotten my password?

Recover your password here (use your email address).

What should I do if my computer does not pass the system check and 'literally nothing works'?

Immediately contact elearn@hse.ru, indicating your last name and faculty in the subject line, and make sure to indicate your login—the email address you used for authorization.

Updated June 9: What should I do in case of technical trouble during the exam?

In case of a short (less than 5 mins) failure (the page is not responding, the test session has been interrupted, the ‘Start the Test’ button does not appear), we recommend refreshing the page (Ctrl +F5), or exiting the Examus system (click on the cross in the upper right hand corner of the screen) and re-enter following the link.

If there is a serious technical failure and you cannot get back to the test, inform your Study Office manager about the situation and follow their instructions.

Read more about what you should do if something goes wrong during a test or exam.
Read more

I still have questions. Whom can I contact?

The Proctoring Centre can answer your technical questions via email elearn@hse.ru

June 04, 2020