Distance education

F.A.Q. – Digital exams

What is online proctoring?

Online proctoring is online invigilation. There are different forms of online proctoring. The scope of these FAQs is restricted to the form of proctoring based on automated reviewing by means of software from Proctorio. The software works with automated review support and storage of proctoring data (among other things, the footage). This means that reviewers are not watching what you are doing in real time, they will retrospectively only review moments at which the software detected ‘abnormal behaviour’. In configuring the software, abnormal behaviour will be pre-defined for each exam. For example, is the student allowed to use reference works during the exam or start other software? An example of abnormal behaviour is when the student walks away or looks away or when somebody else is seen in the room. The reviewer will receive notification via a report which is automatically generated on the basis of behaviour that has been defined in advance as ‘abnormal’. The reviewer can watch those specific moments and decide whether there is reason to ‘suspect irregularities’. For example, this will prevent drinking a glass of water from being seen as a case of ‘suspect irregularities’. The proctoring data (such as the footage) will be retained for one month, after which they are automatically deleted, unless the Examination Board needs more time to see the footage because of a suspicion of irregularity.

What are the new central exams?

The new central exams are digital exams administered on the campus, with an invigilator and on the student’s own laptop. More specifically: 

  • There is always an invigilator present from the Exam Organization.  
  • It concerns the administration of digital exams in TestVision 
  • The exam is administered on the student’s own laptop
    Note: A limited number of HU laptops is available for students who do not have a suitable laptop or for those who object to installing software on their laptops. Requests to use HU laptops must be submitted to the Examination Board in good time.  
  • The new central exams do not involve online proctoring, because the exams are taken at an HU location and the most important monitoring or invigilation is carried out by the invigilator. We do use proctoring software, albeit with settings that are far less invasive regarding privacy: 
  • The software monitors the digital safety 
  • No webcam images are recorded 
  • No audio recordings are made 
  • Proof of ID will not be scanned 
  • The student must install Google Chrome or MS Edge and the Proctorio plug-in on his or her laptop. The student is free to uninstall this software after the exam.  

Can I practise taking proctored exams?

If your lecturer has made a dummy exam available to you, you can practise taking a proctored exam.

When will I get my grade?

You will get your grade within the regular grading period, unless otherwise communicated by your degree programme.

The new central exams (BYOD)

Why are the new central exams introduced?

The use of digital exams has seen a substantial increase over the past few years. At PL97 we now have 421 exam places, which were fully occupied during exam weeks even before COVID-19. The growth of digital testing has been accelerated further by COVID-19. At the same time, we must observe the 1.5 m distance rule and currently only 173 of the 421 exam places (41%) are available.  
Given this enormous growth, a scalable solution that is quickly available is the most suitable. That is why we use elements from online proctoring and we are making changes to this safe solution to reduce the impact on privacy substantially.  

As of when will students take exams on their own laptops?

From 29 March 2021 (Monday C9), the following applies for students with centrally organized exams: “You take your exam using your own laptop, unless you have been explicitly told by your degree programme that an HU computer will be used for this”.

Which exceptions are there? / When do I take the exam on an HU computer?

The degree programme management may decide to administer an exam on an HU computer in these situations:  

  • Exams that are not administered in TestVision, for example nationwide tests, decentralized selections. 
  • If in addition to TestVision special software is used that the student does not have installed on their own laptop.  
  • For secure review moments of exams taken under the supervision of a lecturer (these are held outside the exam weeks). 
    Non-secure administration of reviews is also possible in exam weeks, provided they can be fitted into the timeslot/schedule. 
  • In special cases, for example an exam involving images of real patients or the use of a database that students do not have/are not allowed to have on their laptops.  
  • All digital exams which take place at HU Amersfoort (HUA), will be administered on a HU computer.

From experience, the Exam Organization knows which exams are involved; for C9 and C10 this has already been taken into account in the scheduling. In case of doubt please send an email to toetsorganisatie@hu.nl  

Why are the dedicated HU computers in the exam rooms no longer used for the majority of the exams?

Not even when a student has forgotten to bring their own laptop?

The reasons for this are as follows: 

  • We want to keep the circumstances under which the students take an exam the same for everyone as much as possible. This requires consistency in administering the exam;  
  • By maximizing the number of flexible places per exam, the number of shifts will be minimized and this will obviate the need of lecturers having to create extra exams; 
  • The principle of ‘bring your own laptop unless…’ creates clarity for students.  
  • This way, we keep the implementation of the administration of exams manageable.

How is the supervision set up?

Invigilators will check the proof of ID of students and they have attendance lists. As usual, they will keep an eye on students in the room, i.e.: they are not allowed to communicate with each other, they cannot use their mobile phones etc. The invigilator cannot answer technical questions. For these, the students must use the chat feature in Proctorio or send an email to the Exam Organization. Software is required because we want to stop students from using Internet or email or engaging in other irregular activities that the invigilator does not notice. To this end, the proctoring software of Proctorio is used. Because we administer the exam at the HU with an invigilator, no webcam images or sound will be recorded. However, the software ensures that there will be a recording of what the student sees and does on their screen. The software will also keep track of the websites visited by the student. This means that the screenshots taken must be reviewed, in addition to the invigilation in the exam room.

So the exam has been taken - then what?

To ensure that there is no suspicion of any irregularities in connection with the use of the laptop (internet use, mail), exam sessions will be reviewed. The software creates a report per student, which includes among other things screenshots taken during the exam session. We are still investigating how this can be carried out relatively efficiently. Because there will be no webcam images and sound recordings, this is a lot less labour intensive than with online proctoring. 

For our exams, extra software is needed in addition to TestVision. How do we deal with this situation?

Sometimes, an exam requires additional software. This means that students must have that particular software installed on their laptops.  
Note: A lot of software, such as MS Office (including Excel and Word) can be purchased by students using their HU accounts, which affords them a discount. This can be done via www.surfspot.nl. Degree programmes that use PuTTY, Power BI and SPSS usually know how students can obtain this software.  
If students cannot be expected to have the required additional software installed on their laptops, the degree programme will have to include this in the schedule application. Further instructions about this situation will follow. 

Which facilities are going to be organized?

Facilities such as extra time will be organized as usual. Students who are entitled to the use of ClaroRead can download and use this software themselves, free of charge. 

What does a student have to do if they missed an exam because of illness or self-isolating?

It may happen that students are ill, they have a cold or there are other reasons that they need to self-isolate and miss their exam because of this. In that case, students, in accordance with the procedures, can submit a request to the Examination Board via HUKAS for another exam opportunity. 

What are the provisions for students abroad?


How does the HU safeguard my privacy?

The HU considers privacy a very important issue and therefore it handles your personal data carefully. Our Privacy Statement explains what happens with your personal data and how we safeguard your privacy if you take an exam with online invigilation, which will from this point onwards be referred to as proctoring.

The processing agreement contains all the provisions that the supplier of the proctoring tool must adhere to. These are in accordance with European guidelines for privacy. During the negotiations with this supplier, we have continuously paid close attention to the measures taken by the supplier of the proctoring tool with respect to protecting privacy.

Does my device remain accessible to Proctorio or others after the exam?

No, Proctorio can only watch you with a web cam and use the microphone (When taking an BYOD exam, only your screen will be recorded) while you are sitting the exam. As soon as you exit Proctorio, your device is no longer accessible. With the exception of the installed plug-in, no data from Proctorio will remain on your device. Nor is it possible to take over control of your device.

What happens with the stored data and who is going to see them?

Initially, the personal data that are collected during an exam at a non-HU location subject to online supervision are processed automatically. They are seen exclusively by staff members of the HU who because of the very nature of their jobs play a role in processing your personal data for the above-mentioned purposes and for whom it is necessary to have access to these personal data. For example: an examiner. This only happens in those cases in which irregularities have been detected by the system that can point to abnormal behaviour.

Which personal data of mine are processed?

If you take an exam online where the HU uses proctoring for the purpose of invigilation, then the HU processes the following personal data: First name and surname; email address; picture of your proof of ID: identity card, driving licence or passport (without citizen service number (BSN)); a picture of you, taken by the webcam on your laptop or computer; video and audio recordings of you and the room in which you sit the exam, made with the webcam on your laptop or computer; monitor activities during the exam; keystrokes; head and eye movements; the IP address of the computer network to which your laptop or computer is connected; the web pages you visit during the exam; your answers to the exam questions.

Whom can I turn to with queries about how the HU handles and respects my privacy?

You can submit your question about privacy to the Privacy help desk. Send an email to askprivacy@hu.nl.

Are my data stored in trustworthy countries, though?

Yes, the data are stored in countries that must comply with our privacy legislation.


At any rate one month, and if there is a suspicion of irregularities and the Examination Board has to investigate this, or in the event of appeal or objection proceedings having been initiated, the data may be stored longer, but no longer than necessary.


How long are my personal data kept?

At any rate one month, and if there is a suspicion of irregularities and the Examination Board has to investigate this, or in the event of appeal or objection proceedings having been initiated, the data may be stored longer, but no longer than necessary.

Where are my personal data stored?

The personal data that are processed in the context of your participation in the examination are only retained in encrypted form in countries within the European Union. If during the exam you use an email or chat message addressed to the help desk, then your IP address and your email address will be safely stored, in encrypted form, in a location in the US, in line with the arrangements laid down in the processor agreement.

Who has access to my personal data?

All personal data are only seen by a limited number of HU staff members. Initially, the personal data that are collected during an exam at a non-HU location subject to online supervision are processed automatically. They are seen exclusively by staff members of the HU who because of the very nature of their jobs play a role in processing your personal data for the above-mentioned purposes and for whom it is necessary to have access to these personal data. For example: an examiner. This only happens in those cases in which irregularities have been detected by the system that can point to abnormal behaviour.

Why does the HU need my personal data?

In the event of you sitting an exam at a location of the HU, we will do this by means of physical invigilation. Now that we are administering exams online, we do this in a way that is different from what you are used to and we will also collect and use your personal in a different manner. Your personal data are used exclusively for the following purposes: a. authentication. After you have sat the exam, we will check whether you are indeed the person you claimed to be; b. fraud prevention. After you have sat the exam, we will check whether you complied with the rules during the exam and did not use unauthorized sources such as crib sheets (“cheat sheets”), chats and the internet.

How does the HU justify the processing of my personal data?

We process your personal data on the basis of a so-called ‘legitimate interest’ (Article 6.1(f) GDPR). This means that processing is necessary for a legitimate interest and your rights and freedoms are sufficiently safeguarded in the process. Pursuant to the Higher Education and Scientific Research Act, the HU is free to choose the practical methods for organizing examinations. However, the interests of the educational institution must always be weighed against the impact on the privacy of the students. These deliberations must be recorded. The Covid-19 pandemic renders it impossible to administer exams on a large scale at a HU location. In those cases where it is impossible to choose an alternative form of examination and other forms of supervision are not feasible either, the HU decided in this exceptional situation to administer the exams by means of online proctoring. This obviously affects the student’s privacy, which the HU endeavours to protect as much as possible by taking various measures.

Is my citizen service number (BSN) stored?

No, the citizen service number (BSN) is not needed for sitting the online exam. Your citizen service number (BSN) is stated on the back of your driving licence and identity card, so it will not be visible when you scan these. However, it is included on the front of your passport as part of a longer code. so the best thing to do is to mask that bit. Should you forget to mask your citizen service number (BSN), not to worry: it will only be stored in encrypted form and will only be seen by the HU staff member who verifies the proof of ID.


The Privacy Statement of the HU does not match what Proctorio says in its own privacy statement, how is that possible?

The privacy statement on the Proctorio website concerns the arrangements in the US. Different arrangements have been made with European universities and colleges, and they apply within the European privacy legislation. The Privacy Statement of the HU is based on these European arrangements.

Which data are stored in the US and why is that not mentioned under sharing data with third parties?

Only the data shared with the Proctorio helpdesk in the event of technical problems during the exam are stored in the US. They are not shared with third parties.


How are my personal data protected?

The HU has made technical and organizational arrangements with Proctorio in order to safeguard the processing of your data. Among other things, they contain provisions that data recorded during the online supervision must be encrypted before they are sent and stored. The data stored are only accessible to staff members of the HU who are involved in checking and assessing the exam session, not to Proctorio or other customers of Proctorio.


What does the HU do in the event of a data leak in Proctorio?

Proctorio has taken all sorts of security measures to minimize the risk of a data leak. For example, by encrypting the data immediately and by storing the files on secure systems. Nevertheless, a data leak can never be ruled out and therefore we made agreements about this in accordance with the GDPR.

In the processor agreement, we have stipulated that Proctorio informs us (our Data Protection Officer) of a data leak without any delay, assists in the investigation into the data leak and takes measures to limit the impact as much as possible. The Data Protection Officer will also notify the Data Protection Authority immediately of the data leak and if necessary, the Data Protection Authority will launch an investigation. For more information about the data leak procedure, please go to AskHU.

If the servers are hacked, are my personal data accessible then?

All personal data are stored in encrypted form. However, one can never rule out that personal data may leak in the event of a data leak. Regrettably, absolute guarantees cannot be given.


Which equipment do I need to sit an online exam? 

To sit an exam with online proctoring, you will need your own computer on which you have installed the Chrome browser and a Proctorio plug-in. The webcam and microphone of the computer are needed to use the Proctorio software. Your computer must meet the minimum system requirements set by Proctorio, they can be found on: https://proctorio.com/support#faq

What should I do if my web cam and/or microphone is/are not working?

This only applies to online proctoring, BYOD exams do not require the students to have a working webcam or microphone.

Step 1) Try to get the devices to work yourself
Step 2) Try to borrow a device from someone near you
Step 3) Contact the help desk
Step 4) Turn to the Examination Board / the student counsellor

What must I do if I do not have a laptop and cannot find a laptop with a working webcam and microphone either? 

First ask your family or friends whether you can borrow a suitable laptop for the exam. If you cannot get hold of one in this way, contact the student counsellor in good time, at any rate a few days before the exam date. You can find the contact details of the student counsellors on HUKAS.

Is Google Chrome necessary or can I use another browser?

Both Google Chrome and the Google Chrome plug-in from Proctorio are necessary to take an exam with Proctorio. Exams in TestVision that do not use Proctorio may also be taken using other browsers (Chrome, Edge and Firefox are the recommended browsers for TestVision).

Are there any requirements with regard to my room?

The lighting must be sufficient.

It is okay to have a mirror hanging on a wall in your room.

Can I use a camera from one device (for example, from a tablet) and then take the exam on another device (for example a laptop)?

No, everything must be done with the same device.

Can the exam also be taken abroad?

As long as you have a quiet room somewhere, with a stable Internet connection and a computer with a webcam, microphone and Google Chrome, you can sit the exam anywhere. However, take into account any time difference between the country where you sit the exam and the Netherlands.

How are special facilities taken into account?

If you are entitled to the use of special facilities, you can discuss this with the student counsellor.

What do I have to do if ClaroRead does not read everything?

ClaroRead has a setting with which the page is not read out in full, but only the part underneath your mouse, this should solve the problem. The option can be found under ‘Geavanceerde spraak’ (Advanced speech).

During the exam

I am told a ‘room scan’ has to be made.When and how should I do that?

The room scan is to be made immediately after completing all other steps with Proctorio and just before you start your exam. If you use a laptop, you move the laptop around so that your room is visible. If you use a movable webcam, you move the webcam so that the room is visible. Making a room scan is not part of the process to go through before the exam begins in every case.




Does Proctorio block the use of my laptop? Is it still possible to open documents?

Depending on the settings chosen by the lecturer, you can use features of your browser and computer to varying degrees during the exam. If the settings chosen by the lecturer do not limit a certain feature (such as opening documents), your use of that feature will still be recorded.

My books are on an iPad/e-reader, am I allowed to use these during the exam?

No, unless this has been stated explicitly by your lecturer for a specific exam.




Do the pre-checks eat into my time allowed for the exam? How long will the pre-checks take?

Your time in TestVision does not start until you have clicked on ‘Start’ after the pre-checks. They take about 5 minutes.

I need to sit the exam with multiple people in the same room. Is that allowed?

No, you are not supposed to do that. Sounds and movements of another person in the room where you sit the exam will be registered. This may lead to the inclusion of an entry in the report about your exam.

How is the fraud check carried out?

The Proctorio software does a number of things.

  1. Use identification and verification that you are indeed who you say you are, and make sure that everything works correctly before you start the exam.
  2. Limit the possibilities you have to use certain features of your computer or browser during your exam.
  3. Record webcam images, the screen of your computer and audio from your microphone during your exam. On the basis of the third category (recordings), the software automatically looks for moments at which students display potentially suspect behaviour and those moments are then marked.

Subsequently, a staff member will review those marked moments to see if something is amiss or whether the student for example only had a sip of water. If the staff member thinks that something odd might be going on, the Examination Board will be contacted and they will review that footage themselves as well. Your behaviour is not labelled as fraud by the software itself, in every case at least two different people will make an assessment.





How does the ID scan work and how can I prove my id

You can prove your identity with your identity card, passport or driving licence. The scan reads the data from your ID and encrypts them immediately. Only HU staff members carrying out the ID check will be able to see the data on your proof of ID. If your citizen service number BSN shows at the front of your proof of ID, we will ask you to mask it.

Does the clock keep running if my Internet connection is interrupted or if I “am thrown out of the exam session” for example?

If you started the exam and you are temporarily not in the loop of the exam, the clock is stopped.

What do I do if I receive a message that I have insufficient RAM / working memory?

Try and close as many tabs and applications as you can. If that does not work, it may help to restart the computer. In general, you can also continue the exam in spite of the warning.

Is it a problem when my Internet connection is interrupted during the exam?

TestVision saves all your answers you have already given every minute. TestVision also saves the answers given so far when you navigate to another question.


What must I do if the Proctorio pop-up obscures my view or if I find it unpleasant to see myself during the exam?

You can minimize the Proctorio pop-up, so you will no longer see yourself. You can also move the pop-up to a place is convenient for you.

Am I allowed to eat or drink during my exam? 

Yes, you may drink from a transparent bottle or glass. You may also eat a snack, but do not have an elaborate meal because all these sounds will be registered and can lead to registrations of abnormal movements and sounds.

What must I do if the webcam does not focus on my proof of ID?

There are various things you could try. Move the proof of ID, particularly towards and away from the camera. It may also have something to do with lighting in the room, it may be too bright or too dark. If this does not help, the cause of the problem is bound to be your hardware. When push comes to shove, it is up to the lecturer to decide whether he or she can identify you satisfactorily.

What must I do if I experience problems during the exam with the use of online proctoring?

You can report faults via the Proctorio chat feature. If you are unable to go online, then you can also contact the HU via onlinetoetsing@hu.nl. The reports are registered. If the problem cannot be fixed by yourself or the help desk, and you have to abort the exam, you can report this to the Examination Board and submit a request to re-sit the exam.

What must I do if Proctorio is no longer displayed during the exam but I am still part of it?

Close the browser by clicking on the cross in the top right corner (do not specify in the exam that you have finished it). When you close the browser, all your TestVision answers are retained. Start the browser again, navigate to the exam, and Proctorio should start again as per usual.

If during my exam I submit a question for help via email to onlinetoetsing@hu.nl, would that be regarded as fraud?

Proctorio will mark this as an irregularity but because the footage will be reviewed by an examiner in case of doubt, it will be clear that this is a request for help, so this will not be classified as fraud. This is why we ask you to send your questions not from your mobile telephone but via the PC that you are using for the exam, this will make it transparent for the examiner.



Am I allowed to take a picture of the exam questions or copy them or keep them some other way?

No, that is not allowed. Nor are you allowed to capture screenshots or to record the exam with a camera.

How will I know how much time is left?

During a TestVision test, you can see how much time you have got left at the bottom of your screen.

Process & objection

What if I cannot sit the exam or I miss it?

When you have registered for the exam and you are not sitting it, instead of the result the information an NA (Niet Aanwezig, Not Present) will be recorded in OSIRIS. You will be deemed to have had – and used – an exam opportunity.

Can I refuse to take part in proctored exams?

Yes. Registering and recording personal data is governed by strict legislation. Within the HU we have a Data Protection Officer who can explain everything about privacy protection. If you still have insurmountable objections to a proctored exam, you can submit a request for another form of examination to the Examination Board.

Can I also lodge an objection and if so, where?

Depending on the reason of the objection and the putative grant of a facility, you will be referred:

  • If sitting the exam within a HU location using a laptop from the HU might be a solution for you (for example because then your own room will not be seen, or because you do not wish to install software on your own laptop), you can submit a request to the Examination Board via HUKAS. However, note that availability for this facility is very limited!
  • If you do not wish to participate for privacy reasons and sitting the exam at the HU using a HU laptop is not a suitable solution for you, or that option is no longer available, you can notify the Data Protection Officer, Mrs Roos Roodnat. Please send an email to roos.roodnat@hu.nl


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