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Invigilation guidance for Computer Based Examinations




​This page provides some useful information to those supervising and invigilating a Computer Based Examination.


This information is specific to computer based examinations - for general guidance about the conduct of examinations and the role of invigilation, please see Section B (Item 14) of GEAR


The guidance below is also available as a PDF which should be made available to invigilators during an examination 


 Summary Links


 Guidance for Invigilators


Initial Set Up

Usually for a computer based examination, technical staff from either Information Services or the relevant school will prepare the appropriate equipment for the examination. Technical staff will also check equipment for signs of tampering, for example the presence of a USB flash drive.

It is strongly recommended that seating is randomly allocated by the invigilation team. 

As per any normal examination, mobile devices (including smart watches) are prohibited and should be placed in a clear plastic bag underneath the student's desk. Please see Section B (Item 14) of GEAR. for details.

Offering guidance for students​


At the start of any examination, the principal invigilator is required to offer basic instructions about completing the examination (Section B (Item 14) of GEAR).

However we would recommend the following additional guidance is offered to students at the beginning of a computer based examination

  • Students should ensure they are using Firefox for any examination using studentcentral or Turnitin.
  • Students should not open any application or website that is not required for the examination. In some cases, this may lead to closing of their web browser and disruption to their examination progress.  
  • Students should regularly save their work in whatever application they are using.


With studentcentral tests:

  • Students should avoid using multiple tabs within a browser.
  • Students should avoid using the back button in their browser; instead they should use the navigation icons within the studentcentral test itself.
  • For typed answers (e.g. short answer/essay), students should use the save button periodically to ensure their work is saved. 


Monitoring of submissions


It is recommended that a nominated invigilator has logged on to a nearby computer, and is supervising the submissions of the examinations. For example:


    • Studentcentral tests: An invigilator with access to the relevant module area can supervise the Grade Centre to monitor the students progress through the test. By viewing this an invigilator can view outstanding submissions and ensure students have submitted their test correctly before leaving the examination room.
    • Exams involving Turnitin/studentcentral assignment submissions:  An invigilator with access to the relevant module area can supervise the Grade Centre or the relevant Turnitin inbox to monitor the students progress. By viewing this an invigilator can view outstanding submissions and ensure students have submitted their examination documents correctly before leaving the examination room.


If you require guidance on how to monitor submissions, please contact your Learning Technologies Adviser 


When a student has completed the examination and wishes to leave before the examination has finished, they should raise their hand to notify an invigilator. The invigilator can then check with the nominated invigilator that the student has indeed submitted correctly (see above) and is therefore free to leave the examination.



Dealing with technical issues


  • If a student experiences issues with any technology, invigilators have a number of options:


  1. The student could move to an alternative computer
  2. If using a studentcentral test, the students individual attempt can be cleared from the grade centre to allow another attempt.
  3. The invigilator could call a technical representative for assistance (invigilators should ensure they have a contact number prior to starting the examination.
  4. The student could be given a paper-based alternative 


  • If the examination is disrupted (e.g. a fire alarm), invigilators can follow guidance in GEAR Section B14.2.4, 4.7. With studentcentral tests, ensuring the 'auto submit' setting is not used will enable students to continue the exam if awarded additional time due to disruption.  
  • In cases of serious technical failure which affects the whole group, then the procedures in GEAR Section B14.2.4, 4.7 should be followed.






Page owner: Craig Wakefield