Proctor Exam FAQ

Version 36

    Proctored Exams


    What is a Proctored Exam?

    Proctor Exams are simply “supervised” final exams that take place at the end of each semester. Proctor Exams are a requirement of the DEAC for our accreditation as a degree and certificate-granting institution. Your proctor will be someone you choose who will agree to meet with you to oversee your exam. You are not required to travel to Penn Foster to take the exams.

    Within each semester of a degree program, there will be different requirements for students to complete before moving on to a new semester. These requirements can include proctored exams, applications projects, research projects, and practicums. The Travel Agent Program requires a proctor as well. Proctored exams are the final exams required in some but not all course subjects within a student's semester.


    Who is a proctor?

    A proctor is defined as "a person appointed to look over students at examinations."  A proctor must have an Associate’s degree or higher to qualify. Your proctor cannot be related to you or live at the same address. You can use a friend, coworker, manager, librarian etc. (Vet Tech students have different requirements, however; anyone who is an employee reporting to the student is NOT eligible to serve as proctor.)


    How do I notify the school of my proctor choice?

    You and your proctor will need to complete the Proctor Acceptance Form. The form can be found in the following locations:


    If you access your lessons through the "My Courses" page, you can access the Proctor Acceptance Form from the View Forms and Handbook page of your Student Portal.


    If you access your lessons through the "Programs & Courses" page, the form can be found by going to the "Resources" page and clicking the "Student Forms and Handbook" link, or by clicking the "Take Exam" button for the listed Proctored Exam, and clicking the "Proctor Acceptance Form" link from the "Resources/Helpful Links" section of the landing page.

    Have your proctor fill out the form and sign it; then complete the student portion of the form and sign it. The Proctor Acceptance Form can then be returned to the school by mail at Student Service Center, 925 Oak Street, Scranton, PA 18515, by fax at 1-570-961-4169 or by email at The school will notify you whether your proctor has been accepted or declined. If declined, you will need to select and nominate a new proctor by completing the Proctor Acceptance Form again.

    If you are unable to access the form from your Student Portal page, please contact the Student CARE Department at 1-888-427-1000 to have a copy of the Proctor Acceptance Form sent to you.


    When should I complete and submit the Proctor Acceptance Form?

    You should choose a proctor and submit the Proctor Acceptance Form as early in your semester as possible, so that you may avoid any delays once you are ready for the exam. Your exam will not ship until a valid proctor is on file and all of your regular lessons have been completed. If you are unsure if your proctor was approved and added to your file, please contact us.


    What are the requirements for choosing a proctor?

    All of Penn Foster's Associate Degree and Bachelor Degree programs include Proctor Exams, and, thus, require a proctor to be on file.

    There are three requirements for someone to qualify as a student’s proctor:

    1. Your prospective proctor candidate must have at least an Associate Degree
    2. The prospect cannot be related to the student or have the same address as the student
    3. The prospect cannot be an employee of the student in an employment situation, nor may they be a classmate of the student in any manner. (applies to Vet Tech only)

    The most acceptable and most commonly used proctors are librarians and human resource representatives, with 85% of our accepted proctors coming from these two areas.

    Because we need the signatures of both the student and the proctor, we cannot take proctor acceptance information over the telephone. The student needs to fill out, sign, and return the Proctor Acceptance Form by mail, fax, or by scanning as an attachment to an email.

    If the prospective proctor has been rejected, the student will be notified that they must select another prospect.


    Do you contact the college the proctor attended in order to confirm their education credentials?

    By signing the Proctor Acceptance Form, the proctor and student certify that:


    • the proctor’s Educational background is correct
    • the proctor is not related to the student
    • the proctor agrees to carry out the proctor responsibilities


    Penn Foster reserves the right to verify your proctor's educational credentials. If we request documentation and the appropriate documentation is not provided, you will be asked to secure a new proctor. If the credentials are found to be fraudulent, the student may receive a failing grade for the proctored exam and must retake the exam with a different proctor.


    Can I change my proctor?

    The school assumes you will keep the same proctor for the life of your program. However, you can change your proctor, if necessary.


    If you access your lessons through the "My Courses" page: under the View Forms and Handbook sections of your My Courses page, along with the normal Proctor Acceptance Form, you can find the Change of Proctor Acceptance Form.


    If you access your lessons through the "Programs & Courses" page: complete and return the standard Proctor Acceptance Form with your new proctor.


    Complete either form with your new proctor as you did the original Proctor Acceptance Form. We will then process the form and add your new proctor to your file. Once you are ready for your next Proctor Exam, it will be shipped to your new proctor at the address provided. If you changed your proctor after your current semester's exams were shipped, please contact us for assistance.


    When will I receive my Proctored Exam?

    Once you have successfully completed all of the regular lessons in your semester, all of the grades have been posted and an accepted proctor is on file, your Proctor Exam will automatically be mailed out to your proctor at their address on file. You will receive email notification when the exams are mailed out, along with a letter that is sent to both you and your proctor so you may verify your proctor's name and address information is correct. You will then have three weeks to take the exam from the day your proctor receives it to take the exams.


    When and how is the exam given?

    If you have an approved proctor on file, once you have completed all of the regular lessons for your courses in your semester, the Proctor Exam will be shipped automatically to your proctor at the address provided on your submitted Proctor Acceptance Form. You then have three weeks to take the exam, which begins the day your proctor RECEIVES the exam. The three week timeframe does not take shipping time into account, so the exam going to your proctor or being returned to us will not be counted against you. Exam instructions, for both you and your proctor, are included in the exam package.


    In some cases, such as if you have received transfer credits in your current semester or completed a Challenge Assessment for a specific course, the exam will not ship automatically. If you have received transfer credits or completed a Challenge Assessment and have been waiting for your proctor to receive your exam, please contact us to ensure the exam has shipped.



    Remote Proctor Option


    What is a Remote Proctor Exam?


    The Remote Proctor Exam is an online option that is currently offered to select Vet Tech students, and those enrolled in select Essentials of Psychology, Mathematical Applications, and Introduction to Biology courses. It allows you to take your Proctor Exam through your My Courses or Programs & Courses page while being monitored through your computer's webcam. Certain hardware requirements must be met in order to use this option on your computer. Remote Proctor Exam system requirements can be found below, under "What are the system requirements to take the Remote Proctor Exam?"


    Please note: there is a US $10 fee required to use the Remote Proctor Option. This fee is paid directly to our Remote Proctoring partner, Software Secure, using a credit or debit card, or a valid PayPal account. Penn Foster is not responsible for the processing of the Remote Proctor Option fee.

    If you encounter a problem making a payment, please contact Software Secure directly at 18553183868, or use the Chat Line at Click the "Live Support Online" option on the left side of the page, fill out the form, and select Start Chat


    How do I know if have the option to take a Remote Proctor Exam?


    Not all Proctored Exams are offered with the Remote Proctor option. Only students enrolled in select courses have the ability to take the Remote Proctor Exam. Any Proctored Exam that is offered with this option will have "Remote Proctor Option" listed next to the exam name on your My Courses or Programs & Courses page. We are currently working on additional offerings using the Remote Proctor option. When available, announcements will be made regarding any updates.


    Currently, most Proctored Exams are NOT offered with the Remote Proctor Option, so please check the exam name to verify if it is offered with this option.


    The Remote Proctor option is available to any student enrolled in the 573 E-Book Vet Tech Program. If you are enrolled in this program, any course with a Proctor Exam will have the Remote Proctor option available.


    When can I take it?


    The Remote Proctor Exam can be taken once all of the grades for each of your regular lessons in the course have been posted. You will not be permitted to take the exam unless everything else has first been completed. This includes any webinars, discussion boards, etc. that may be required in the course.


    How do I take the Remote Proctor Exam?


    Clicking the "Take Exam" button next to the Proctored Exam listing for the course before you are ready for the exam will take you to a generic landing page explaining what a Proctored Exam is and how to take it. If you are eligible for the Remote Proctor Option and have completed all of your lessons, webinars, and discussion boards, clicking the "Take Exam" button will now take you to the Remote Proctor Exam landing page.


    Here, you can check system requirements, run a hardware check to determine if your computer is capable of running the Remote Proctor, take a Sample Exam, opt out of the Remote Proctor, or take the exam itself. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete each option.


    For additional information on taking the Remote Proctor Exam, please see the Remote Proctor Exam Quick Guide.


    What are the minimum system requirements necessary to take the Remote Proctor Exam?


    Computer Requirements:


    • A computer to which you have administrative rights; that is, you have the ability to add or update software. It cannot be a mobile device or a public computer, such as at a library.
    • PC running Windows Vista or higher (be sure to install any Windows Updates)
    • MAC running 10.8 or higher
    • Broadband Internet Connection Microphone
    • Web Camera
    • Adobe Flash Player - can be installed during exam registration, or by clicking here:

          (Be sure to un-check “Install Google Chrome” as this is not required.)


    You can also see more specific system requirements here:


    I can't access the hardware check/sample exam/Remote Proctor Exam. What should I do?


    If you are unable to access any of the Remote Proctor landing page options, you will likely not be able to take the Proctor Exam remotely. Clicking the "Opt Out" button will opt you out of the Remote Proctor option, in which case a paper exam will be shipped, along with any other non-Remote Proctor Exams you will need to take, to your proctor at the end of your semester.


    If you opt out of the Remote Proctor, you will be given the option to opt back in by clicking the "Opt In" button in the Proctor Exam landing page. You may opt in or out as many times as you like, but please note that a paper exam will not be shipped if you choose to opt out of the Remote Proctor after your other paper exams have been shipped.


    If you have any issues with opting in or out of the exam, please call the Proctor Exam Department at 1-888-427-1000.


    While taking the Remote Proctor Exam, it closed on its own before I was finished taking it; what do I do?


    If the Remote Proctor closed while you were in the middle of taking the exam, please contact the Proctor Exam Department at 1-888-427-1000 or at


    For additional system requirement and policy information, please see the Remote Proctor Exam Policies document. For detailed information regarding taking the Remote Proctor Exam, please see the Remote Proctor Exam Quick Guide.


    How do I know if my course has a Proctored Exam?

    College Students can see whether they have a Proctored Exam at any time, simply by looking at their My Courses or Programs & Courses page.

    Every college course includes a final exam or project. Many include a Proctor Exam, which must be supervised by an approved person at the end of the semester.

    Your Proctor Exams will always appear as the last lesson in the course, and will be visible from the day of enrollment. If you click the TAKE EXAM button, it will display basic information on Proctored Exams. Be sure to read the Proctored Exam Information Booklet for additional information, which is now available on the Forms and Handbooks or the Resources section of your Student Portal.


    How much time do I have to complete my Proctored Exams?

    The exam package contains exams covering the different courses in your semester. As previously mentioned, not all courses will have a Proctored Exam. You are given one hour for each exam, and a 15-minute break between exams. Depending on the number of Proctored Exams required in your semester, the whole exam can take anywhere from one to seven hours to complete. The tests contain mostly short-answer and essay-type questions. Some exams may also include multiple-choice questions or word problems.

    The allotted time-length for the exam will be stated on the cover of the Proctored Exam folder. Exceeding the allowed time will compromise the validity of your exam. In this instance, once your exam is returned to us, it will be given to your Chief Instructor to determine if you will need to retake it. To avoid this situation, please do not exceed the time noted on the exam folder cover.


    Can I use my books/study guides/notes on the Proctored Exam?

    You are permitted to bring your notes, study guides and textbooks for use during the exam. All exams are open-book, except for specific Vet Tech courses. You may also use a calculator during your exams. If you are a Vet Tech student, however, calculator use also differs. Please see the Veterinary Technician Proctor Exam F.A.Q. for information regarding the use of study guides, books and calculators on Vet Tech Proctor Exams.


    I'm an E-book Student/my study guides are all digital. Can I use a computer to access my books/study guides during the exam?

    If you are in an e-book program, or are in a course for which the study guides are only provided digitally, you are permitted to use a computer during the exam. However, use of a computer is restricted, and you may only use a computer to access your e-books and study guides. You are only permitted to use the computer for exams covering courses which have digital-only materials.

    It is your proctor's responsibility to monitor your use of a computer during the exam, so please advise them of such when informing them of their duties as a proctor. Any unauthorized use of a computer during the Proctored Exam will result in the invalidation of all of your exams. If suspected, you will receive a grade of 1 on each of your exams and be forced to retake each of them. The highest grade you can receive on these retake exams is a score of 70.


    What writing utensil should I use to complete the Proctored Exam?

    Please use either blue or black ink on the exam. For math exams, you may use a pencil, as necessary.


    There weren't enough answer sheets included with the exam! Can I make copies of a blank answer sheet or use notebook paper?

    Should you need more paper to write out your answers during the exam, you may make copies of one of the blank answer sheets, or use regular lined paper. DO NOT MAKE COPIES OF THE EXAM QUESTION SHEETS. If for any reason you make copies of the exam questions, your exam will be invalidated.


    What happens after the exam?

    Your proctor will collect the completed materials/exams and mail them to us in the provided postage-paid envelope (included with the exam). You will see your exam results posted to your My Courses page 7-10 business days after Penn Foster receives them. Your proctor will not receive any information regarding the exam, such as grades, as your scores are confidential.


    How will I know if the school has received my completed Proctored Exams?

    Students will be able to verify their Proctored Exams have been received by Penn Foster by checking their My Courses page, or the “Grades” page. When we have received the exams and processed them for grading, an "RCD" code next to the Proctored Exam, listed under each of your courses, indicates the exam has been received by the school and is currently awaiting grading. A grade will be posted in place of the "RCD" once this process is complete.

    Please note that your returned Proctored Exam may not be processed for grading for several reasons. All of the following requirements must be met for the returned exam to be processed for grading:


    1. The Proctored Exam folder must have been filled in completely. Your proctor must note the date, location of the exam, and the time the exam was begun and completed. They must also verify your identity, either by listing a valid driver's license number or by your signature. The proctor must also sign the folder cover as well. Your exam will only be processed if all of the required fields on the Proctor Exam folder have been correctly completed.
    2. The time the exam was begun and the time the exam was completed must match the Total Exam Time listed on the folder cover. If the times noted by your proctor on the folder cover exceeds the allowed time of the exam, we will not be able to process the exam.
    3. If any of the exam materials are not returned to us in the postage-paid envelope, we will be unable to process the exam. This includes the folder cover, the question sheets and your answer sheets.


    We will attempt to contact either you or your proctor in the event one of the above requirements was not met. Please be aware that your Proctored Exam will not be processed for grading until we have obtained the necessary information from both you and your proctor. In the event any exam materials are not returned to us, your Chief Instructor may opt to invalidate your Proctored Exam.


    I failed my Proctored Exam. Am I required to retake the exam?

    In the event you should fail a Proctored Exam, you will be informed by Penn Foster if you will need to retake the exam. Not all students who fail a Proctored Exam need to retake the exam. You will receive a letter from the school indicating the status of your courses as soon as all of your Proctored Exams have been graded. If the overall grade of your course is passing, despite the failed Proctor Exam, you are not required to retake the exam. If the overall course grade is NOT passing, you are then required to retake the exam. It is your responsibility to contact Penn Foster when you are ready to retake the exam. Upon your request, the Proctored Exam retake will be sent out. Please contact the Proctor Department to have the retake ordered for shipment.

    Please note the highest grade possible on a Proctored Exam Retake is a score of 70. Should the grade of your Proctored Exam Retake not be high enough to give you a passing grade for the course, you would then need to complete a Replacement Course. Should this occur, you will be contacted by Penn Foster on how to proceed.


    When will I receive my Proctored Exam grades?

    When the Education Department receives a completed Proctored Exam, each exam is graded individually and, therefore, your grades will be posted separately. Certain exams will be graded before others. The grading process generally takes 7-10 business days. Once all of the exams included within the Proctored Exam folder have been graded, you will receive your cumulative course grades for the semester. If you have been waiting longer than three weeks and are still waiting to receive your grades, please call Student Services immediately at 1-888-427-1000 and verify that we have received your exam.


    Will I be able to review my exam and answers after I take my Proctored Exam?

    No, you will not be able to individually review your Proctored Exam. If you have questions about your exam, you may call your instructor at 1-888-427-1000 and they will review your exam with you over the phone. You will not be provided with a copy of your exam, nor will the exam be returned to you.


    Other Info

    Proctored Exams consist of ONE exam for each course within a semester, UNLESS the course has a separate project as the final exam. This means that a proctor may receive an exam to administer that consists of anywhere from 1 to 7 exams within a Proctor Exam folder.

    Students will not have to take a Proctored Exam for any course that was transferred in from another institution, or for which a Challenge Assessment was completed.