Synap Academy


Learn about adding identity verification, screen and candidate recording using proctoring services alongside Synap
Proctoring is about preventing or identifying cheating, by recording the user, their screen, surroundings. If you have an exam that is relatively easy to cheat on then proctoring may need to be a consideration to keep the integrity of the exam.
There are many different Anti-Cheat methods that can be used on an exam, the more of these you use the more secure an exam is. There are different levels of exam security for you select from Basic to Extreme. Selecting the right methods and security is important because the higher the level of security, the higher the level of set up and responsibility on the user.
There are lots different tools and services that offer proctoring to do alongside your exam on Synap. We recommend as it is the one our team has used to run exams, and has servers based in the EU so is fully GDPR compliant.
🧠 Don't forget Synap lets you shuffle question and answer option order. As well as create dynamic exam variations with different questions. All of which are powerful anti cheat methods as it stops candidates being able to collude with their peers for answers.
Before you select a proctoring service and level, you'll need an understanding of the following:
  • Anti-Cheat methods
  • Exam security levels
  • Monitoring and review
  • Candidate requirements

⚔️ Anti-Cheat methods

Some methods don't require users to do anything, others require them to install various levels of software. In Europe you cannot record the face candidates under the age of 18. Most proctoring solutions require a desktop, there are some that are compatible on mobile and tablet devices.
🚨 Whenever a candidate needs to install anything on a device they must have admin access to their computer. This not a problem for personal computers but can cause problems on work / school devices. Keep this in mind when scheduling proctored exams as additional time may be needed to contact IT departments.
Requirement on candidate
Question shuffling
Enable question shuffling to prevent collusion on questions
Answer option shuffling
Enable question shuffling to prevent collusion on answer options
Exam variations
Have the same exam with different questions to prevent collusion
Strict sections
Enable sections to lock candidates out of a group of sections once they have completed it
Strict times
Tighter timing on an exam makes it more difficult to cheat and search for answers
Record browser
  • Desktop only
  • Install a plugin
Modern browsers will be required - note some candidates may not have admin access on their device (work computer, networks)
Record candidate
  • Desktop only
  • Install a plugin
  • Webcam & microphone
Modern browsers required and all devices need to be working on exam day
Record environment
  • Desktop only
  • Install plugin
  • Webcam & microphone
  • Smartphone
  • Install app on phone
Modern browser required, up to date smart phone with working camera. Candidates need to download an application also and make sure its set up before the exam
Record and lock down desktop
  • Desktop only
  • Install software
Candidate will need admin access to their desktop to install software - can be used alongside Record candidate
Most of the above methods can be used independently or in unison.

👮‍♂️ Exam security levels

Scroll across the table below to view the different Anti-Cheat methods and the level they fall into.
Shuffling, variations, sections & timers
Record browser - install plugin
Identity verification - webcam
Record candidate - webcam
Record environment - smart phone app
Record / lock desktop - download software

🎥 Monitoring and review

Exams can be live proctored or recorded. When an exam or candidate has been recorded, there needs to be some sort of a review process to go through that footage and identify suspicious activity, there are a few different methods for reviewing footage.
How it works
More info
Live proctoring
Someone on your team or an external proctorer to watch candidates live as they sit an exam
Usually about a 1:13 ratio or proctors to candidates. Proctors can end a session where they see cheating
Record and review
External reviews the footage after the exam. Flags suspicious sessions in a report.
Sessions could be reviewed be internally with your team
External reviewers typically costs about £6 per session (3 hours of footage) with a 2-3 working day turn around time.
AI Live Proctoring
Software that monitors student activity during an exam and provides reports in real time.
Uses microphones, browser monitoring, events and changes from the camera to identify cheating
AI Record and review
Software that reviews footage after an exam, and produces a cheating report.
Uses microphones, browser monitoring, events and changes from the camera to identify cheating - usually about 10% of the cost of paying for a human to review
🤖 A very important note on AI Proctoring
Using AI can be a really helpful tool to highlighting potential cheating behaviours in an exam, in an automated way.
Some providers of AI proctoring use this method to highlight and decide if a candidate is cheating. However we think that a human should make the final decision on whether someone is cheating. At Synap we will only ever use AI to flag the exam session for a human review

👨‍💻 Candidate requirements

Any level of proctoring requires some input from your users and adds complexity to what they need to do on exam day. Selecting the right level comes down to what your clients are able to install on their devices and what you need in order to trust in the exam integrity. From our experience we've found intermediate to be the most common level required.
Whatever the level, there will be some candidates that struggle with the set up, and this increases the support overheads for your exam.

👀 What to look for

Our recommendations when looking at proctoring solutions:
  • Support - First line support should be provided by proctoring services for your candidates to get them through a system set up. They need to be providing responses within minutes not hours and days because of the nature of exams
  • Easy to use - There will be last minute additions and changes, you need a interface that is easy to use and manage under pressure
  • CSV upload - You will need to upload a list of users and exam links into any proctoring solution, they should support this requirement
  • Onboarding - Ongoing onboarding and support should be provided for you and all of your team who will be using the system
  • Additional services - Options to use their services as live proctors and to review footage.
  • Documentation - Good documentation should be provided to you and to your candidates
  • Automated emails - Set up so automated emails go to candidates and reminder emails without you having to send them.
  • System check - Candidates should be taken through a system check process a few weeks before their exams, good proctoring services will have their own flow and process they need to put students through.