Proctoring Exams with Zoom

For a discussion of alternatives to proctoring, please see the remote exam and assessment page.

Remote proctoring of any sort lends additional stress to the testing environment. If you choose to proctor your exams, we strongly recommend you and your students practice the process beforehand using a no- or low-stakes assessment or other activity.

When proctoring your exams with Zoom, your class joins a Zoom meeting you have scheduled and have set up to restrict interaction among students in the class while allowing you to observe students’ webcams as they take the exam.

  • Webcams are fine, but what about observing students’ on-screen activity? The capacity to do this is fairly limited. Individual students could be placed in up to 50 breakout rooms, and you could cycle through joining all or a sample of breakout rooms. Note, however, that breakout room activities cannot be recorded.
  • What about each student setting up their own Zoom meeting and recording themselves sharing their webcam video and desktop? There are many missteps students could take with this approach, which requires each student in the class to set up their own Zoom meeting, record it, and then share the recording with you—and not with anyone else.

Prior to the exam period

  • Create the Zoom meeting for your exam using your UNC (SSO) Zoom account ( For more information, see the Get Started With Zoom page.
  • Select Registration Required when creating your Zoom exam meeting. Share the meeting invitation with your students, letting them know:
    • if you will be recording the session
    • that you expect everyone to keep their webcams on throughout the exam
    • and if they need to receive your approval (via chat) before leaving the exam.
  • If you are giving an exam to more than 25 students, set up Zoom to display up to 49 participants per screen. (Be sure to test this setting outside during a prior class meeting to check that it works well over your internet connection.)

If you plan to record the exam session

  • From your personal Zoom Account go to the “Settings > Recordings” tab.
  • Enable Cloud recording and select “Gallery View with Shared Screen”—otherwise, your default recording settings may be set to record only the active speaker, rather than recording as many students as possible.
  • If students will be using Sakai to take the exam, password-protect the exam. This option is available in Sakai under “Tests & Quizzes > Settings > Availability & Submissions > Ensure students take exams from specific location > Secondary password.” You can share the password with students before the exam.

A few minutes before the exam is scheduled to begin

  • If TAs or others will be assisting with proctoring, have them join you in the meeting before students do.
  • Once in the meeting, promote your assistants to co-host.
  • Click the “Security” icon. Under “Allow participants to,” uncheck “Share Screen,” “Rename Themselves,” and “Unmute Themselves.” Make sure to leave “Chat” selected.
  • Click the “Chat” icon, click “More,” and select “Participants Can Chat with Host only.”
  • From the “Participants Panel,” select “Mute All” and also deselect the option to “allow participants to unmute themselves.” If needed, you will still be able to unmute students individually.
  • Remind students that they need to turn on webcams and keep them on for the duration of the exam. Optionally, remind them they cannot exit Zoom or turn off their webcam until they have submitted the exam (see Optional requirement below).
  • Make sure your Zoom window is in “Gallery View” so you can watch as many students as possible from the main Zoom window. You can scroll between screens in the gallery if you have more students than will fit in the first page.

Optional requirement: Students must privately message you to inform you that they have completed their exam. If administering the exam with Sakai, you can then check Tests & Quizzes to see if they have submitted the exam before approving them to leave the Zoom session. To view submissions, go to “Published copies > Select Action > Scores or Event Log > Filter log by test title.”

If you are recording the exam

Well in advance of the exam, inform students you will be recording the Zoom session. If individual students express concerns about this approach, you will have time to consider alternative approaches.

The University is charged the amount of cloud storage Zoom uses, so do delete these recordings when they are no longer needed or consider setting up a schedule for deleting Zoom recordings automatically.